Mar 262019
 March 26, 2019  Posted by at 10:48 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jan van Eijk The Arnolfini portrait 1434



I first asked Dr. D. a few years ago if I could turn one one his comments at the Automatic Earth into an essay. The following illustrates why I asked. Not sure he understands why some of his rants stand out while others do not, but they certainly do. Go to the Automatic Earth comments section to figure that one out. He’s there every day.

And you’re free to disagree of course. And I myself am good, have an essay on the same topic waiting but love the view from over there. Nothing not to like.



It USED to be that when a newspaper catastrophically screwed the pooch as we Yanks say, people would cancel their subscription to such a piece of pure, useless, misleading garbage.

Dr. D.: Legally, the path is pretty clear and incredibly old. It’s always been illegal to slander (in voice) or libel (in print) someone. The Covington kids are following this right now. It’s illegal everywhere, including Britain and New Zealand, and the legal threshold has a couple of bullet points. There has to be provable damage, the facts provided have to wrong, they have to be specific, and so on. Then you sue civilly for compensation in measure with the damage caused. Pretty simple. But if it’s actual libel of the sort anyone actually means, not just “I disagree with you”, then all these elements are absolutely in play. No false accusations, no just getting the facts wrong on accident.

What’s more, the government is never the plaintiff. Although in theory I suppose they could get standing, in practice slander and libel are prosecuted BY private people AGAINST private people, which eliminates a major element of government censorship and repression. …The problem is, now that the entire force of media is resident in 5 corporations the size of most countries, no one has been suing anyone, much less challenging them to pistols at dawn.

That and the marketplace is adjusting to the new reality: It USED to be that when a newspaper catastrophically screwed the pooch as we Yanks say, people would cancel their subscription to such a piece of pure, useless, misleading garbage. …But no one ever pays for news anymore; there’s nothing to cancel. Clicks are free. So even when it’s completely wrong, knowingly, provably wrong in 10 minutes of google, if it gets clicks you get paid, so there is a new OPPOSITE incentive to lie, so long as the lies are salacious. It’s literally impossible to be discredited under this model. Look at Brian Williams on NBC and Donna Brazile on Fox.

However, you can still be sued to penury and be unable to pay your click-bills, and I expect this is a new growth industry, perhaps led by Nunes. Certainly Buzzfeed and Vox haven’t waited, they’re collapsing under their blizzard of nonsense and poor reputation, while so many bloggers who got it right continue to rise despite every repression the algos can throw at them. And that’s the market adjusting, note: without the government.

So that’s how Americans and legal nations with free speech do it and always have. Because legally, there is no such thing as ‘hate speech’. If there were, it would be thought crime, a tyranny so diabolical that even the existence of opinions is illegal. You are allowed to hate. Why? Because you are human, we don’t lock people up for thinking and feeling things, and thank our ever-loving God for that.

You are also allowed to SAY you hate someone. Why? Because it’s both a fact and your opinion. What would be the alternative, universal love enacted by perpetual violent force? If people don’t know you don’t like them, you can’t be forewarned, you can’t work things out, we don’t have an open debate in the marketplace of ideas.

What you CAN’T do – and again, this is the law everywhere and always – is ACTUALLY HARM someone. ‘Cause words are just cheap air, sound and fury, signifying nothing. A world where people are terrified of words alone is a world the weakest man who ever lived could conquer. But that’s the western world now, apparently having never seen or felt violence, actually believes that ‘words are violence.’ …That is until being so weak, such violets, such snowflakes, their total weakness attracts REAL violence which devours their nation in hours, as they see with decadent, falling empires throughout history.

There are a few other things: you are generally liable if your words cause physical or monetary harm. Further, you can’t therefore call for specific harm to a specific person, as is called on my people every day, because being more dangerous, the law wishes to prevent murder rather than punish it. But any rational person can follow these without even knowing the law exists, although, like all laws in the U.S. presently, it isn’t enforced, or only enforced on people they don’t like.

But that’s all terribly simple. The media legally CAN’T tell lies like this without consequences. Thankfully, however, the government isn’t the plaintiff and repressor. We legally can have open discussions where bad ideas, bad beliefs are able to be read openly and refuted, like Jim Jones, like Mein Kampf; as they must be, for the only alternative is to control and erase history, and then we could never learn, never recognize it. To punish people for ideas in their heads and feelings in their hearts, making their very existence a prison.

The media will soon wish they could erase history, and perhaps they will already. I mean, they just erased Patrick Moore from founding Greenpeace yesterday. But without the authorization of legal propaganda against the people and the government cash payments that’s soon going to be revealed — as long-used but signed into law by Obama — CNN, MSNBC and the boys are going to go broke on a business plan that has been totally discredited.

So under market capitalism – and now lacking monetary and legal protection of their lies by government, and under attack for monopoly bias and with executive orders reminding everyone that speech is always free – the liars are about to be sued, go broke, and disappear. Which is a pity, since I doubt they have the competence to clean toilets instead. So that’s what free nations do, and are doing right now, instead of making all news, all facts, and all history verboten.



“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”
– George Orwell, 1984



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    Jan van Eijk The Arnolfini portrait 1434     I first asked Dr. D. a few years ago if I could turn one one his comments at the Automatic Eart
    [See the full post at: Screw the Pooch]

    V. Arnold

    I still maintain Jan van Eijk The Arnolfini portrait 1434, is a strange painting; Putin aside. 😉

    A nation of laws (historically) has become, finally, a nation of men. I say finally, because its been evident for some time the system has been corrupted and it was always just a matter of time. Iraq, a most outstanding recent example. Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Venezuela, just to name a few others.
    What a country does abroad always comes home to the populace; in spades.
    History is being wiped out hither and yon with abandon; Civil war statues no longer tolerable to the snowflake generation, torn down and mosly destroyed.
    Blacks (unarmed for the most part) shot, murdered, legally by police. Citizens being robbed of cash by police, at traffic stops, under clearly illegal guises (no proof of guilt) of due process. Even though many of these incidenses don’t hold up in court they continue unregulated.
    Orwell indeed; I’d say Orwell on steroids.


    I took a closer look at Dr D’s statement: The bit that most interested me (for now) is this:
    “What you CAN’T do – and again, this is the law everywhere and always – is ACTUALLY HARM someone. ‘Cause words are just cheap air, sound and fury, signifying nothing. A world where people are terrified of words alone is a world the weakest man who ever lived could conquer. ”

    (You could have added “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose . . . “. etc.)

    I have to totally disagree that “words, unlike physical harm, do no real harm . . .” If i’ve correctly understood your thesis.

    I rather doubt that Hitler was wasting his time when he wrote “Mein Kampf”. Or that Mao wasted his time writing “The Little Red School Book” . . . or that Churchill’s wartime speeches were just cheap air.

    You are in fact merely raising a straw man when you state that ” A world where people are terrified of words alone is a world the weakest man who ever lived could conquer. ” I say thats a a straw man because words are never spoken or written in a situation that is devoid of CONTEXT. Put simply, there can never be a world ‘in which people are terrified of words ALONE – its a physical impossibility.

    Consider the act of shouting “FIRE” in a crowded cinema where there is no fire versus shouting “FIRE” in a crowded cinema where there really is a fire. The physical context makes one helluva big difference to the meaning, significance, relevance, and in all likelihood the consquent overall harmfulness of the word(s).

    I suspect that your interpretation of the meaning of the word “snowflake” – in its metaphorical extension of course – is very different from mine. As are your notions of “conquest” and “weakness” in terms of their relationship to the spoken word within the context of your thesis. (Which again, I genuinely hope I have not misinterpeted.).

    But anyway, Lewis Carroll probably got it right when he said that “words mean whatever I intend them to mean” (Sorry, can’t remember the exact quote, but you’ll know what I MEAN.)

    Just a couple of initial thoughts; I might get back on this tomorrow after sleeping on it. Or not, as the case may be. (Deliberately ambiguous, as is so often the case with what I seem to end up writing).

    – M


    My misquote – with apologies:

    QUOTATION: “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

    Dr. D

    I guess even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and then.

    “What a country does abroad always comes home to the populace” Or, exactly as you say, once tested or prefected against smaller test groups, Native Americans, Blacks, are then applied to the population at large. Like opiums in Britain, for example? Better example, further away from today’s trigger words.

    I think Thoreau said something about this, where no man can be free unless all men are. While on earth we’ll never all be free, it’s an important point that what we do to them, we do to us; just wait.

    Dr. D

    Zerodollars, now I’m sorry I brought it up, but what can we each do but have our opinions?

    I know the argument. And “sticks and stones” and all that, as it hurts us in grade school. And what if every morning you got up and went out, and everybody just made fun of you with their protected “free speech” all day? Is that okay? Because that’s what’s done to me all day, or Tim Pool, or Raul I daresay, or anyone who ever catches the unblinking eye of Media Sauron.

    But like I said, what’s the alternative? Cry “teacher, teacher, make them like me?” I can make the other kids not HIT you, but I can’t make the other kids LOVE you, and that’s really what we’re asking here, and although well meaning, it’s so diabolically tyrannical, it’s certainly the worst society that could be imagined. It’s the Dolores Umbridge of love and help. Like Winston, we’re not only going to spy on your every action, we’re not only going to review and punish your every word, we’re not only going tell you what to do every minute of the day, public or private, but in the last scene, with the rats eating his face forever, we’re going to make you love it. Love us, love whoever we tell you to, your oppressors.

    And I know that’s not the intent, but as soon as you authorize the enacting of “right opinions”, of “wrong opinions”, backed by censorship and force as is being done happily worldwide, that’s the only possible instant and immediate end. Governments ache to take this power which can never be reversed, for the minute it exists they censor everything. Every time they lie about Iraq, every time they wiretap the opposition candidate, the Quakers, Occupy, the anti-war people, it’s “national security”, for the “good of the people” doncha know. I can’t believe that’s your goal, but if you enact the well-meaning things, that is the certain historical consequence.

    But what’s the alternative? The only alternative is what we have now. We allow documents, even naughty ones to exist so we know how the world works. We can discuss the good and bad in it. We can know if we’re near or far from danger. We can recognize our situation and take measures against it. We can also say “Dick Cheney is a villain and liar and a felon” and camp out in front of Trump Tower and not be arrested by the same state who would love to suppress and deny, and control information and protect itself. Because if I can’t say that to YOU or the guy down the street, you know CERTAINLY I’m not going to be allowed to say that to the local police or to Jacinda. If she’ll have me shot in the street or re-educated for preferring Christianity or discussing awkward passages of the Koran (as has already happened elsewhere) then she’ll CERTAINLY have me shot for opposing HER policies, the policies of Facebook and Google, just as Macron is doing this very minute.

    So that’s the problem: either we have the problems and responsibilities of free speech, or we don’t have free speech at all, which is going to be enforced by governments offering to drone strike cranks, whistleblowers, and inconvenient, undesirable speech and their speakers inside the Ecuadorian embassy in the heart of London. We fought 500 years for the right to speak without fear, millions have died to give you this gift, but we haven’t figured out a way to have free speech with nobody being angry, being mean, or having opinions different from our own.

    The only way to do that is to have all men ACTUALLY love each other, and for all men to be so organically enlightened and filled with truth that their opinions are nearly one, that love and forgiveness breaks out naturally from the hearts of all, and that doesn’t seem to be in the offing right now.

    Maxwell Quest

    I may have said it before, but feel the need to say it again, that I always find Dr. D.’s contributions to this blog thought provoking and often educational. If he were to ever grow weary of sharing his ideas with us it would be a great loss.


    Dr D.

    “ . . . but what can we each do but have our opinions?”

    With that I absoulutely agree. So lets see if I can find anything else . . .

    It seems to me that yours is a “Thin-edge-of-the-wedge” argument. That once we admit any kind of censorhip (e.g. a general ban on snuff videos or a specific ban on circulating the rambing diatribe referred to as our mosque-shooter’s manifesto or a ban on kiddi-porn videos on the internet), then censorship must inevitably escalate from that point (given an additional assumption that all governments have essentially malign intent with an end-goal of total control over their populace).

    I think you might have confused Big American Corporate intent with small NZ Government intent but thats another story.

    A lttle bit of history. When Jacinda was elected, a couple of years ago, she stated that she wanted to run a “government based on kindness” (or words to that effect.). You need to look at the government that she replaced in order to fully understand where she was coming from on this. There were her poltitical critics of course. “Impossible” they said. “It can’t possibly work.”

    Me? Well as in Speilberg’s “Pinky and the Brain”, I thought “Well, Pinky, its wurf a crack”.
    The Jury is still out on that, but we’ll see. She’s off on her first state visit to China this weekend, so that will be interesting.

    “ . . . but I can’t make the other kids LOVE you, and that’s really what we’re asking here, and although well meaning, it’s so diabolically tyrannical, it’s certainly the worst society that could be imagined.”.

    I disagree. Its nothing to do with making the other kids love you. But it might have something to do with teaching kids to have RESPECT for others, whether you agree with them, like or don’t like the colour of their skin, their religion, their food, their culture. Or at very least it might have something to do with teaching the kids to respect the RIGHTS of others to exhibit these little cultural differences while at the same time living alongside you.

    I could go on, but its looking like it would take all day and I had other things planned (and I haven’t even had breakfast yet)..

    However I’ll end with a curious little news item that came out on Radio NZ yesterday: Since the mosque shootings, Immigration NZ has reported a big increase in applications from people applying for residency here. Broken down by countries of origin, the biggest increases were in applications from – wait for it – The United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

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