Oct 26 2008

What free expression? The Left suppresses free speech on Prop 8

Category: election 2008,freedom,leftharmonicminer @ 9:00 am

I am voting YES on Proposition 8 in California.  It is the Proposition to define marriage as existing only between one man and one woman.

I have several gay friends, including some who are in lifetime committed relationships, as far as I can tell.   I have been friends with some of them for 20 years.  I am no kind of bigot.   Nevertheless, I am FOR Proposition 8.  Many others have made the case for this, on a variety of grounds, and that isn’t my point right now.

I have put up signs in several places, “YES on 8” signs that simply contain a graphic of a man, a women and couple of kids.  That’s all the sign says.

One of the signs was stolen right off my lot.  One was stolen from near my child’s elementary school (on public land where several other political signs were on display, including signs promoting particular candidates for school board, etc.).  It was replaced, and was stolen again within 24 hours.  I put up another one and it stayed unmolested for a day, then someone decided to rip the word “YES” out of the sign, but left it standing there.

Many of my friends in the area where I live have had similar experiences, with signs stolen right out of their front yards, signs on public property vandalized (while all the OTHER political signs in the same place are untouched), even cars “keyed” that have YES ON 8 stickers, etc.  And, it appears to be a statewide phenomenon, so common that the YES ON 8 website has a link for people to report stolen and vandalized signs, and order new ones.

Our local newspaper has made several reports of similar events.  This is not the work of only a few, it is the work of a great many people, to cover so much territory, and do it so fast.  I don’t know if it’s “organized”, or is just Lefty people behaving naturally, or both.  And I’m not sure which would be worse.

It is the Left, of course, that prides itself on tolerance, free expression, etc.  It is the Left that will claim that free speech is one of their values.  It is the Left that babbles incoherently about “speaking truth to power”.

In California, the people with the power (and the money) are large corporations, the teacher’s union, some other public employee unions, and some public/private utilities, etc.  THEY have come out against Proposition 8, and have spent hugely more money to defeat Prop 8 than the YES ON 8 people could ever raise.

The fellow travelers of the “no on 8” crowd are the ones who have no moral compunction about denying free speech to people who can’t afford to buy lots of expensive advertising time in the media, and can’t afford to buy lots of huge billboard advertising, but CAN put up signs in their yards and communities.

It is very clear exactly who is speaking truth to power.

In the meantime, California isn’t the only state having trouble with Lefties who are not in favor of free political discourse.

To those of you who are stealing the signs off my lot, don’t worry, I won’t shoot.  But I might let the dogs loose next time, and since I only have one eye, and it isn’t very good, you might be in more danger from that.

In another post, I’ll make the case that the Left fundamentally cares only about results, and has no direct moral moorings that preclude any particular method that realizes them.  But right now I have to go get the dogs.

UPDATE:  After composing this on Friday eve, and scheduling it to come up on the blog on Sunday morning, I went for a nice long walk on Saturday morning.  When I came back, the sign I put on the corner of my property was gone, again.  I will never, never let any person from the Left tell me about how the Left is about tolerance of diverse viewpoints.   I have observed many instances of the Left shouting down the (very) rare speaker from the Right on college campuses, while the reverse virtually never occurs.  This is my first experience with it happening on my own property, and in my own relatively rural community, however.  Bottom line:  the Left is about shutting up the opposition, not merely about winning the argument.  The Left is not in favor of diversity, the Left uses diversity-speak as a tool, plain and simple.   Pay attention.  You will hear this material again.

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26 Responses to “What free expression? The Left suppresses free speech on Prop 8”

  1. Reverend Joe BAYTZIM says:

    The issue is now settled! Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has spoken

  2. dave says:

    I think it is foolish and idiotic to steal signs and the like.

    But don’t pretend that the Right doesn’t do the same thing. I know many people who live in conservative areas who continually have their Obama signs stolen or trashed.

    And it is all idiotic – on both sides.

    Also… are you really saying that the Yes on 8 campaign doesn’t have money behind it?

  3. dave says:

    The issue is now settled! Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has spoken

    Hehe. That made me laugh, not because it was funny, but because of how absurd and ridiculous it was.

  4. harmonicminer says:

    Dave, there is an enormous funding mismatch, as you know, I’m sure.

    The money for NO on 8 is coming mostly from very large donors, including the large corps, unions, utilities, etc., to which I referred. It is, of course, disgusting that the teacher’s union is one of the large donors, and that money is coming straight from the union, partly paid with dues from individual teachers who would not agree.

    It would be interesting to compare vandalism on both sides. Since the Left does not believe in absolute right and wrong, but only in results/outcomes, the Left is not really going against its own ideology in stealing the signs. On the other hand, when the Right does it (and I REALLY doubt it is nearly as common), the perp is clearly going against fundamental, bedrock principles of the Right. No one could defend such a thing by referring to any Right-oriented principle, while the Left can easily do it (and does) with babble about “the greater good” blah blah blah. There are no anarchist/terrorists on the Right who are accepted into mainstream society, but there are on the Left. It’s pretty simple.

  5. harmonicminer says:

    Dave, NO on Prop 8 has about twice the money as YES on Prop 8, and most donations to YES on 8 are much smaller than the average of NO donations.

    4 large donors make up nearly one half of NO on 8 funding.

    And I repeat, it is the Right speaking truth to power on this one.

  6. harmonicminer says:

    And Dave, I’m convinced the link in the first comment here is simply a gag or put up “straw man”. There are many serious religious sites where the case is made reasonably and succinctly. This strikes me as a “seminar website” designed to distract and mock. So go ahead an laugh, but laugh at the people who put it up, thinking anyone would take them seriously, or be fooled into thinking they were serious.

  7. dave says:

    On the gag/straw man link… yea – I know what it is. I am not stupid. And I still think it is absurd, serious or not.

  8. dave says:

    NO on Prop 8 has about twice the money as YES on Prop 8, and most donations to YES on 8 are much smaller than the average of NO donations.

    According to the LA Times, the money for/against Prop 8 is basically even – $31.2M against, $27.5M for.

  9. Caleb Linton says:

    And somehow, I still see about 15 “Yes on Prop 8” signs for every one “No on Prop 8” signs.

    Is that because there are that many more supporters for “Yes on Prop 8?” No; the polls show close to even.

    Is that because “Yes on Prop 8” supporters are more adamant? Possibly, but I doubt it.

    Is that because supporters of “No on Prop 8” realize that putting signs up is not the best form of political persuasion? Possibly.

    Is that because every person I have heard of putting up a “No on Prop 8” sign, several on APU’s evangelical campus, has had their sign stolen? That could have something to do with it.

    The tactics are coming from both sides here; if you say that the left does not support the right to free speech here, you must acknowledge that the right is not supporting it, either.

    And your assertion here may apply to secular universities, but not the one where you have spent the last several years: “I have observed many instances of the Left shouting down the (very) rare speaker from the Right on college campuses, while the reverse virtually never occurs.”

  10. harmonicminer says:

    For the record, I haven’t observed much shouting down on APU’s campus in either direction, though I have observed people trying to silence dissent on multiple occasions, and that seems more often to be the work of the Left (when someone from the Right disagrees with a Left oriented presenter) than vice versa. I do not know of occasions, for example, where speakers of the Left have caused hyper-active, negative student reactions, sit ins, complaints to the president of APU, etc., but I certainly know of those in response to speakers from the Right.

    Of course, the Left at APU is not as extreme as the Left at secular institutions, and it is the experience of Right-leaning speakers at such places that caused my comment on who is shouted down. Generally speaking, Iranian dictators are received better than Right-leaning speakers at secular schools, which are virtually all quite far Left, and may be presumed to reflect common Left attitudes and responses.

  11. harmonicminer says:

    Dave… I simply don’t believe ANYTHING in the LATimes anymore. I don’t DISBELIEVE it because it’s in the Times, I just don’t believe it. It as if it was never printed. It is neutral, content-free information, equivalent to finding a piece of paper blowing in the wind that says, “Jane is nice,” without being able to verify who Jane is, who wrote the paper, and what they mean by nice, and whether they were being serious or sarcastic.

  12. harmonicminer says:

    AFter checking again, it appears that the numbers I linked to are from late July or early August. I’m still looking for current numbers that come from a credible source.

  13. harmonicminer says:

    Caleb, re: tearing down signs, I’ll say it again. People from “the Right” who tear down legally posted signs are sinning. Simple as that. And that would be the common perspective of people on “the Right”. On the other hand, people from “the Left” who are tearing down signs are just being, maybe, over-enthusiastic, or not using good judgment, or some similar weasel phrase. That would be the most condemning thing most Left folk would say, and most wouldn’t even say that, and would privately agree and cheer.

    I’ve been here before.

  14. harmonicminer says:

    From Wikipedia as of 10-26-08

    Analysis of Contributions [44] Proponents Opponents
    Contributions Oct. 1 to Oct. 18 $2,436,346 $10,763,600
    Number of donations 5,784 17,006
    Average donation amount $818 $593
    Share of donations from outside CA 12% 21%
    Large donors ($1,000+) since Oct. 18 $871,396 $3,229,628
    Total contributions Jan. 1 to Oct. 18 $27,931,045 $26,683,255

  15. harmonicminer says:

    I apologize that the chart above is hard to read: Let me summarize, and you can make sense of it. According to Wikipedia, the current donations are roughly even.

    Since Oct 1, about four times as much donor money is OPPOSED to 8
    There are about 3 times as many opponent donors as proponent donors.
    Average donations for proponents are about 50% higher than opponents.
    Almost twice as many donations come from out of state OPPOSING as come from out of state IN FAVOR of Prop 8.
    Since Oct 1, nearly four times as much money has come from LARGE DONORS OPPOSING than LARGE DONORS IN FAVOR.

    And I have a refinement of that last observation: while Wikipedia lists large donors as $1,000+, I know that a few VERY LARGE donations have been made OPPOSING since Oct 1, including $1 million from the teacher’s union, $100,000 from Apple, $140,000 from Google founders, and several six figure donations from actors, directors, film studios, etc. That’s the reason for the enormous fund-raising mismatch since Oct 1.

    File this in the whatever it’s worth department: the usual suspects are behaving in the usual ways.

  16. dave says:

    though I have observed people trying to silence dissent on multiple occasions, and that seems more often to be the work of the Left (when someone from the Right disagrees with a Left oriented presenter) than vice versa.

    FWIW, I know of “Left oriented professors” who have had their “free speech” stifled at APU, though not necessarily by the tactics that you speak of.

    You numbers that you list show that the proponents have more total money and larger per donation amounts in the October period. Again, this backs up what I said about the Yes side having just as much money behind it.

    And really? Wikipedia is a more reliable source than the LA Times?

  17. harmonicminer says:

    Sadly, yes, Wikipedia is more reliable than the LATimes, for this simple reason. Errors get flagged, and corrected, eventually, and the correction happens right at the site of the error. The LATimes, on those very rare occasions when it corrects page one errors, puts the correction page Z31, at the lower right, just below the massage parlor ads.

    And Dave (gently), see, the reason I posted the information is because I am committed to telling the truth about things. Thank you for your observation that it backs your point about both sides having similar money. That’s why I posted it. OK?

    It does not, however, undo my observation that huge money from a few very large donors has very recently come into the campaign.

    I assume you’re familiar with “mean, mode, median and standard deviation”? My reading of the data is that the standard deviation of the OPPOSED donations since Oct 1 is HUGE, even though the mean of the PROPONENT donations is a little bigger. Further, it is the size of a comparative handful of OPPOSED donations that has resulted in the current rough balance.

    Not sure how much all this matters: the Lefties usually behave this way. I am more concerned by the statewide trends reported about sign vandalism… and I’ve seen very little of that going the other way, reported statewide. Have you?

  18. harmonicminer says:

    Re: “Left oriented professors” at APU having their “free speech stifled”, I’d be fascinated to know the details. Fill me in. Change names/details to protect the innocent, if you wish.

    But cards on table: I go to a good many faculty meetings, am on a number of councils and committees that involve exposure to a wide number of faculty in various areas across the university, and of course I get email announcements of all kinds in the “APU Everyone” list, etc. The point: I am DEEPLY wired in to exactly what goes on at APU. I don’t just have a couple of data points here and there.

    And APU is NOT moving Right. The current APU professoriate, taken as a whole, is moving Left. Not a “slippery slope”, more of a large slow moving ship with low velocity but great momentum due to its mass.

    I have noticed some Left leaning profs who say inappropriate things at inappropriate times, and perhaps they get some push-back, but in general, I am constantly witness to Left leaning commentary in meetings, and it goes largely unrebutted. And I know several more Right-leaning faculty who are reluctant to speak up much about it, precisely because of how much push-back they can expect from the Left. Some campus academic departments are almost ENTIRELY Left. The same cannot be said the other way.

    So, fill me in, if you wish. I’m curious.

  19. prop8discussion says:

    Children have a right to a mom and a dad. The state of California allowing same-gender marriage may seem progressive to some– –but what it says to me is that the state of California sanctions a relationship that does not best serve children.

    While no heterosexual parents are perfect, and some situations are down right abusive and traumatic, the response is not to eliminate a child’s right to a mom and a dad. The response is to better educate, better encourage, better help parents be better.

    While a lesbian couple or a gay couple may provide a stable home, love, and support to a child. By definition, a same-gender marriage cannot provide them a mom and a dad. Every child has the right to a mom and a dad.


    Society should sacrifice for the health and well being of its children.

    This is why I am voting “yes” on prop 8 (on my absentee ballot).


    yes on prop 8!

  20. dave says:

    I’ve seen very little of that going the other way, reported statewide. Have you?

    I have heard many reports of it around the country, on both sides.

    And APU is NOT moving Right.

    I never said it was moving right, and didn’t mean to imply that if I did. I am not sure it is moving left (I haven’t been there for a few years).

    Some campus academic departments are almost ENTIRELY Left.

    Yea, I know. The good departments. 🙂

    So, fill me in, if you wish. I’m curious.

    I would rather not. I know it has happened, and I will leave it at that.

  21. harmonicminer says:

    Dave, I was really asking specifically about Prop 8, not the national election. I have heard of a LOT of theft and vandalism apparently done by Prop 8 opponents. What have you heard/read in the other direction?

    Virtually everyone I know personally, who has put up a Prop 8 sign in the their front yard, has had it removed or vandalized. REALLY. And this is in the presumably somewhat more conservative high desert area, which normally elects Repub congress critters, etc. It isn’t just a few, it seems to be very wide and deep, if statewide accounts are to be believed, even including some arrests, where people did it to the same place so many times that they were caught on “stakeouts”.

    I’m interested if you have counter examples of widespread theft/vandalism of Anti-Prop 8 signs.

  22. Mary DeMelo says:

    Have u heard Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me. i think ur blowing up this by vandilzm free speech u just had ur opinion with in reason

  23. dave says:

    I have heard of a LOT of theft and vandalism apparently done by Prop 8 opponents. What have you heard/read in the other direction?

    I am not in California. I have not heard of anything on either side before this post.

    My point is that it happens on all sides, regardless of the issue/candidate.

  24. dave says:

    Heh… I do find it funny that you don’t trust the LA Times, and then throw out Wikipedia and LGF as sources. Nice.

  25. harmonicminer » The Left is still stealing Yes on 8 signs says:

    […] I reported on all the Yes on Prop 8 signs that are being stolen and defaced. (More at the link.) When I came back, the sign I put on the corner of my property was gone, again. […]

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