Dave Rubin speech at USC postponed indefinitely over “safety concerns”

Dave Rubin may have been criticized for not challenging some of his “problematic” guests (e.g., Milo Yiannopoulos), but I think that criticism is largely unfair, for Rubin’s brief is to just let guests talk on the premise that unfiltered, un-reactive speech is useful in letting viewers see someone’s true opinion. And you may object to some of Rubin’s views, like his libertarianism. But one thing you can’t accuse him of is being mean, abrasive, or promulgating “hate speech”. He has one aim: to promote discourse between people separated on the political spectrum, hoping it will bring them together. Maybe that’s a vain hope, but it’s a noble one.

And having met Rubin, and been on his show, I can vouch for the fact that he’s a really nice guy (everyone agrees on this, from right to left), and is mild mannered and calm. Say what you will about Rubin, his talks are not going to incite violence. (Well, given today’s students, I may be wrong!)

So it’s especially galling that, according to The Tab, Rubin’s upcoming talk at the University of Southern California (USC) has been postponed indefinitely by safety concerns—by the Department of Public Safety (DPS). Rubin was invited to speak by the Young Americans for Liberty (YAL):

According to an email provided by USC YAL President Chad Lonski, DPS said that they would need to have two armed guards “trained in dealing with potential disruptions or protests.” YAL would have to front the costs as well. For two DPS officers, it would cost $67.50 and they would have to work a minimum of four hours. That’s a total of $540.


DPS’s Threat Assessment Detective determined that Rubin’s controversial history “may present security issues,” that a bag checker would not be able to solve. Rubin says he is a classical liberal thinker, though he has recently distanced himself from progressive liberals, who he refers to as regressive. In a recent PragerU video called “Why I Left the Left,” Rubin said that “the regressive left ranks minorities in a pecking order to compete in a kind of oppression Olympics.”

. . . At USC, Rubin will discuss how Democrats allowed Trump to win if YAL are allowed to follow through with the event or receive enough funding to pay for armed guards, Lonski said.

The Tab notes as well that Rubin, unlike Yiannopoulos, has no history of inciting violence or strident protest at his talks: Rubin’s recent talk at UCLA drew only a handful of protestors.

Here’s the 4½-minute Prager University video in which Rubin classifies himself as a “classical liberal”. You probably won’t agree with all of Dave’s sentiments, nor do I: I think that if you can’t force a baker to bake a cake for a gay wedding (and Rubin thinks that bakers should have that “freedom of religion”), then why can you force a baker to bake a cake for a Muslim, or a black person? He presumably agrees with the Hobby Lobby decision as well, and I don’t. (Note, though, that gay activist Peter Tatchell agrees with Rubin on the cake issue, though he objects to the messages sometimes put on the cakes, not that they’re ordered by gays.)

Regardless of whether you agree, though, can you really make the case that Rubin’s purveying “hate speech,” or that his appearances should be postponed or canceled? After all, he is raising questions that impugn not people but ideas, and his own ideas are surely worth discussing. It’s galling that today’s generation of students would find sentiments like those in the video above so disturbing that they would engage in violent or uncontrollable disruptions.

Apparently even the mildest criticism of today’s Left is considered “hate speech,” and that’s a sad state of affairs.


  1. Cindy
    Posted March 1, 2017 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    The real fascists are the folks who are accusing everyone who disagrees with them of fascism.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted March 1, 2017 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      You got it in one.

  2. Carl Morano
    Posted March 1, 2017 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Jerry must evolve. The use of force or coercion us immoral to make private citizens provide services against their will for any reason. Obviously government and laws can’t discriminate whatsoever. Let private entitinsurance suffer and go yonder for irrational beliefs and actions. Dave is right. Jerry is sadly dead wrong.

    • Posted March 1, 2017 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      So we should be able to deny service to black people if it offends us (“for any reason”), like they did in the Jim Crow south? Sorry, but I don’t agree, and I don’t think I’m wrong.

      But you are wrong with your snark, so just make your argument and lay off the comments like “Jerry must evolve”.

    • eric
      Posted March 1, 2017 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      So, your ISP should be allowed to deny you access to the internet if you don’t like your politics?

      The local restaurant should be allowed to deny you food if they don’t like that you came in with a kid but no spouse?

      How about volunteer fire deparments? They are not getting paid to work for the state. Are they allowed to stand by and say “burn, baby, burn” if they don’t like your skin color?

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted March 1, 2017 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

        Exactly. It frustrates me that people are not able to see the logical extension of their position re forcing right-wing Christians to deal with LGBT people. Doesn’t anybody ever think beyond the surface anymore?

        In fact, not thinking beyond the surface is something I have accused Dave Rubin of before in a post. It was in relation to his Libertarianism.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted March 1, 2017 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      That issue was resolved by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. “Public accommodation” businesses benefit in innumerable ways from government services. There’s no reason the government should suffer such businesses to discriminate invidiously among potential customers.

      Are you suggesting the CRA be repealed?

      • Posted March 1, 2017 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

        “Are you suggesting the CRA be repealed?”

        I could be entirely wrong, but I suspect that was sarcasm on Carl’s part. Dave has implied that CRA be repealed when defending, for example, the right of the religious not to serve homosexuals.

        • BJ
          Posted March 1, 2017 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

          He has implied no such thing, and it is incredibly intellectually dishonest to say he has.

          Dave has noted that there is a distinction (as courts have also found) between providing a service (say, making a cake), and forcing someone to explicitly endorse a political or religious view with which they don’t agree by providing a service.

          Dave has never — not once — talked about appealing the CRA in certain circumstances. The only thing one could even say he has implied is that we are encountering cases we didn’t think of when the bill was first signed, and those things will have to be decided by courts. Dave is of the opinion they should be decided a particular way.

          To say he implied that is, as I said, unbelievably dishonest.

  3. Dire Lobo
    Posted March 1, 2017 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    A post like this without commenting on the pernicious and vile nature of Dennis Prager (Prager University) is seriously lacking. Jerry is usually up front about identifying the sources of the content he posts, especially when they come from one of these fake/faith “universities” – perhaps Jerry is not aware of the total lack of credibility and legitimacy of Prager University? See here (http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/2/19/1635270/-Prager-University-How-Billionaires-Proselytize-Rightwing-Ignorance-to-Children) and here (http://www.theblaze.com/news/2013/10/02/intellectual-dishonesty-dennis-prager-unloads-on-richard-dawkins/)

    • Cindy
      Posted March 1, 2017 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      The fact that someone or some entity disagrees with me ideologically does not mean that they are incorrect on all things all of the time.

      I come across this argument a lot. The RWNJs that I used to debate would *only* accept ‘science’ and ‘facts’ from Foxnews, as everything else, from any other source, regardless of veracity, was deemed to be false based on nothing but the labels that were attached to said entity. If Foxnews says that the sky is pink, well that has to be true, because FoxNews says it. However, if the USGS says that the sky is blue, that is automatically false, because governmental agencies are all commies.

      This is a clear logical fallacy.

      Critique the message, don’t disregard it entirely because you dislike the messenger.

      • Posted March 1, 2017 at 11:50 am | Permalink

        You are right to a degree, but Jerry has a problem with scientists or philosophers taking money from Templeton and it seems to me he should also have a problem with Rubin taking money from Prager. Ever since Rubin accepted Prager as a sponsor of his show, there has been a noticeable right-ward shift of content. He now almost exclusively attacks the left. He says he is all about free speech, but he has been damnably silent about the single greatest threat to free speech facing us today – namely, Trump declaring media outlets he disagrees with as Enemies of the People and limiting their access to the White House. He will speak out to defend homophobic bakeries in the name of religious freedom, but has nothing to say about “Muslim bans.” His Twitter account has become a mouthpiece for the Alt-Right. His audience has largely shed the “Sam Harris-type” left leaning atheists, and picked up hordes of Milo fanboys. He has clear financial incentives to promote conservative and Alt-right positions, and that is exactly what he is doing.

        • Posted March 1, 2017 at 11:53 am | Permalink

          Of course, this is only tangentially related to the original post above. Of course, he should be allowed to speak at USC. He is not a danger to anyone.

        • Posted March 1, 2017 at 11:59 am | Permalink

          “His audience has largely shed the “Sam Harris-type” left leaning atheists, and picked up hordes of Milo fanboys.”

          And whether he entirely believes what he says or not, he clearly panders to them. The $24,000 a month he gets through Patreon would be at risk if he did otherwise.

          • Frederic Thomas
            Posted March 1, 2017 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

            How do you know the political affiliation of the Patreon supporters? Only alt-right people would pay for content, true leftists would expect somebody else to pay?

          • BJ
            Posted March 1, 2017 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

            I’m a Patreon supporter of his. Stop trying to put everyone you don’t like in convenient boxes to justify your conspiracy theories.

            • Posted March 1, 2017 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

              “I’m a Patreon supporter of his. Stop trying to put everyone you don’t like in convenient boxes to justify your conspiracy theories.”

              And how exactly is you being a supporter of his contrary to my point? Are you saying you don’t support Milo? And I never said ALL his supporters are Milo supporters, I said, or implied that his support had increased substantially as he “picked up hordes of Milo fanboys”.

              • BJ
                Posted March 2, 2017 at 5:48 am | Permalink

                My point is that you have absolutely no evidence that this perceived (by you) shift happened because most of his Patreon supporters are right-wing (a claim for which you have no evidence).

                And, as far as I can tell and remember, his Patreon dollars slowly rose as people saw he was interviewing interesting people from both sides and supporting speech and dialogue between opposing sides. It also rose when he announced that he was leaving his network and using his channel as his own individual news station.

                The ultimate point is that there is no support for your claims.

        • BJ
          Posted March 1, 2017 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

          Dave has been talking to and about the same people long before Prager showed up.

        • Posted March 1, 2017 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

          Well, yes, if Prager is a sponsor of his show, which I didn’t know, then I do have a problem with that! But surely you’re not telling me that I shouldn’t criticize his arguments and should use the sponsorship ad hom. Those are two different issues, and I’ve kept them pretty much separate when I deal with Templeton-sponsored science (see, for instance, my comments on the work of Nowak, Tarnita and Wilson).

          It is a bit irksome to have readers remind me that I have to do this or that all the time or I’m somehow “impure”. This is the first time I saw Rubin have any connection with Prager. Okay?

          I don’t know if those who make videos for Prager get paid. Maybe they do, but I’m clueless about that.

          • Posted March 1, 2017 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

            I never said (or ever would say) that you’re “impure.” I was mentioning a perceived inconsistency. I don’t think it’s offensive or insulting to point out an inconsistency in someone else’s thinking, and I did not mean to offend or insult you by mentioning it. And your reply that if it’s true, then “I do have a problem with that!” shows that I was not off-base. I was replying to Cindy about judging “sources” rather than content. I brought up your opposition to scientists taking money from Templeton as an example of how it tarnishes them as “sources.” And then made the analogy to Rubin and Prager. I wasn’t trying to imply anything more than the fact that the two situations are analogous. And that there is a difference (which Cindy doesn’t address) between just publishing/promoting your ideas in a particular venue versus “being on the payroll.”

        • Frederic Thomas
          Posted March 1, 2017 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

          Having a look at the recent guest list, I hardly see “hordes of Milo fanboys”. Margaret Cho? Jerry Coyne? Yanis Varoufakis? To me, he seems fairly balanced.

          • Posted March 1, 2017 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

            I agree that his guest list seems fairly balanced. I was assuming his Twitter followers are a reasonable representation of his overall audience. If you look at the replies to his Tweets, it reads like a pro-Trump rally. The Twitter handle @DaveRubinLogic is one of a few that document his frequent hypocrisy and rightward bend. Dave Rubin on Twitter comes across very differently than Dave Rubin on The Rubin Report.

          • Posted March 1, 2017 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

            “Having a look at the recent guest list, I hardly see “hordes of Milo fanboys”. Margaret Cho? Jerry Coyne? Yanis Varoufakis? To me, he seems fairly balanced.”

            Having a “balanced” guest list is pointless if you only ask them about things you know they’ll agree with you about.

    • Posted March 1, 2017 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      I am perfectly well aware of the conservative nature of Prager University, and I’ve mentioned it before. But what on Earth does the sponsorship of this video have to do with the rightness or wrongness of what Rubin says? Are you saying that everything in every one of their videos (which include Ayaan Hirsi Ali) has to be wrong because the site is “pernicious and vile”? Certainly the video is in line with Prager’s philosophy, but so what? They wouldn’t put it up otherwise.

      That’s ridiculous, I’m sorry to say. Even you must surely realize that Rubin’s video can and should be judged on its own merits, regardless of who sponsors it.

      And I’m sorry, but to imply that I don’t know what the University is shows a lack of familiarity with this site, and to say that my post is seriously lacking for no good reason is risible. We judge content here, not sources.

      After all, the Left is loath to write about violations of Freedom of Speech when they don’t like the “speech”: those reports come from right-wing sites, but I always verify them.

      I do not buy the argument that a piece is discredited depending on where it appears; that argument pisses me off, and you’d best not make it here, as it’s not a credible argument.

    • wardaword
      Posted March 1, 2017 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      Yes. I am confused. Scientists who take money from Templeton are tainted. However, someone taking money from a fake “University”, what on Earth does that have to do with anything?

      • Posted March 1, 2017 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

        I’m sorry, but I’ve always criticized Templeton-funded projects on their own merits, and haven’t dismissed them simply because they’ve been funded by Templeton. I have objected to Templeton’s agenda separately, as I have to Prager’s.

        You are unable to make the distinction between criticizing a project or an idea and criticizing the sponsor. Bye!

        • Posted March 1, 2017 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

          Maybe I’ve been misunderstanding you, but I thought you were against scientists taking Templeton money because, even if it doesn’t impact their work, the appearance of the possibility of its influence tarnishes the scientists. Otherwise, why not take their money? Wouldn’t it be better for scientists to take all that money for themselves and do good work with it? Of course, every study and every paper needs to be critiqued on its own merits, but if not for “tarnishing reputations,” what is your objection to taking their money?

          • Posted March 1, 2017 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

            Because it diverts the practice of science into following the agenda Templeton wants rather than what other scientists want (who do most of the evaluation of grants). It’s the skewing of research toward what Templeton wants that I object to, much more than any tarnishing of reputations (with some exceptions, like the execrable Elaine Ecklund, but whose research I still criticize on its own merits.)

            Templeton, for instance, funds overblown critiques of Darwinism–the “Extended Evolutionary Synthesis”, which bends research in directions that wouldn’t be so prominent were scientists rather than private organizations were to decide what research is worthwhile.

    • Kevin
      Posted March 1, 2017 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      Regular readers know who Prager is and his repulsive aesthetics, but that does not need any explaining. There are reasonable videos out of Prager University, just like the one from Dave.

      Maybe we take this lesson to all worry about the legitimacy of many worlds interpretation in quantum mechanics. Or the legitimacy of extraterrestrial live on exoplanets. These are more interesting problems.

  4. Randy schenck
    Posted March 1, 2017 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Yes, Rubin is just a little upside down on his freedom of religion. When you rate religion and religious believe as priority over the health insurance offered to your employees – it is your religion that has interrupted freedom. But I don’t think that is reason for anything but peaceful demonstration. If this comment offends any students, sorry about that.

    • Kevin
      Posted March 1, 2017 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      I agree with Rubin. It is short sighted to not make nuns pay for stuff they don’t want.

      Better to make little girls educated enough that they do not choose to be nuns, or, for that matter, Christians. And long term, everyone wins.

      • Randy schenck
        Posted March 1, 2017 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

        It’s not a matter of the nuns wanting or not wanting. They are simple the proprietors. The insurance is for the employees and they should get whatever is offered including contraceptive health. Religious freedom is about you, not your employees. If you want to treat your employees a certain way because of your religious believe and that believe contradicts law, guess what…the law wins.

  5. Posted March 1, 2017 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Who is the “Department of Public Safety”, and what is their specific justification for preventing Rubin from speaking?

    • Posted March 1, 2017 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      Unicops probably. And it’s pretty clear that their reason is purely $$$$. If he puts up the fees for security, it sounds to me like he’s good to go. I think that was the reason for the comment quoted from Lonski.

    • BJ
      Posted March 1, 2017 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      This has happened to several speakers invited by what are considered conservative student organizations at multiple campuses across the country. When they try to invite certain speakers or have lectures on certain subjects, the college administration suddenly tells them they’ll need to pony up several hundreds and sometimes even thousands of dollars for “security” (something which the school itself should be providing, I should noted).

      It should be noted that I know of no case where this has happened to liberal student organizations. It seems to be a way to stop or put up obstacles against certain speakers coming to campuses and certain issues being discussed.

      • Posted March 1, 2017 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

        This is interesting and, to me, looks similar to the methods of conservatives to restrict abortions.

        • Cindy
          Posted March 1, 2017 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

          A pro-life group actually came up with what they thought was a clever plan.

          1) protest abortion clinics
          2) create a disturbance/violence
          3) appeal to the city to shut down the abortion clinic as it incites violence

          This actually happened only I can’t find the link atm. Doing any search on ‘abortion clinic + violence’ leads to thousands of links.

          • Posted March 1, 2017 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

            Except that abortion is violence which results in death. What might you do to save someone from execution?

            However, I don’t condone violence at abortion clinics. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

            To that end, speaking at a college campus therefore especially shouldn’t warrant violence.

            • Cindy
              Posted March 1, 2017 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

              Except that abortion is violence which results in death. What might you do to save someone from execution?

              That’s a great point. You’d think that if literal babies were being literally tortured and killed for literal fun and profit, that the people who claim to believe that this was literally happening wouldn’t spend most of their time making gory signs and arguing about it on the internet..

              I mean, if a business in my city was torturing toddlers for fun and profit, I wouldn’t go online and whine about it. I’d take immediate action, as would many others, and that would probably involve some form of rescuing those toddlers immediately.

              *Apologies to anyone who is triggered by my excessive used of ‘literally’

              • Posted March 1, 2017 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

                I’m literally shaking.

              • BJ
                Posted March 2, 2017 at 5:54 am | Permalink

                I personally take what I believe to be the most scientific and objective view of abortion: it should be allowed until the fetus is at the point of viability (that is, it can survive outside the womb if labor occurs or is induced). Once you can survive in the real world, I think you should be considered a person with rights, and I think this is a fair balance between “abortion always” and “abortion never.”

                Of course, the “personhood begins at conception” people will never accept this definition completely, but this is my personal line.

                One difference I have between assessing pro-life people and activists and those for other issues: I do believe that, deep down in their hearts, they truly think that abortion is the murder of babies. I can respect that this is their position, and why such a belief makes them so passionate. I disagree with them and think they’re wrong (ok, I know they’re wrong), but I don’t look down upon people who feel so strongly against abortion because they have such a sincerely held belief. I try to put myself in their shoes: if I thought literal baby murder was happening in the millions every year, I would probably be fanatical too.

                I’m just saying that I sympathize with their position, even if I’ll never stop fighting it. It’s not like arguing over any other political policy.

              • Posted March 2, 2017 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

                “[Abortion] should be allowed until the fetus is at the point of viability (that is, it can survive outside the womb if labor occurs or is induced). Once you can survive in the real world, I think you should be considered a person with rights. . . .”

                Viability is a reasonable benchmark, BJ. Problem is, it’s a moving target, so that what wasn’t a human being just a short time ago is one today, and what isn’t one today will be one a few years from now. The ground is shifting fast. What exactly is the point of viability these days? I don’t even know, but I’m guessing it will one day be so close to the point of conception that the whole issue will be moot. In short, the viability argument doesn’t have a long shelf-life.

              • rickflick
                Posted March 2, 2017 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

                “20 to 35 percent of babies born at 23 weeks of gestation survive”

                Viability seems to be an overly restrictive rule. A fetus can be discovered to suffer from serious genetic and developmental illnesses after 23 weeks. To expect parents to carry that kind of heavy burden seems harsh.

              • Cindy
                Posted March 3, 2017 at 9:53 am | Permalink

                To respond to the comments regarding viability:

                In the past 30 years, medical science has improved such that *more* extreme neonates are surviving birth. However, rates of severe cognitive and physical disability have remained the same. We are talking severe mental handicaps, blindness, deafness – in some cases these children spend their lives strapped to a chair and fed through a tube because they are unable eat without choking themselves to death.

                A very very small percentage of extreme neonates will go on to live a normal life. This is why many hospitals will not resuscitate 23 weekers if that is what the parents want.

                Furthermore, its is highly unlikely that it will be possible, if not for a very very long time, to keep extreme neonates alive the closer we get to 20 weeks gestation. The problem is the lungs at that age are *nearly solid*. They lack the structures that facilitate gas exchange – which means the neonate, once born, cannot have oxygen delivered through the lungs – a new method will have to be developed.

                I also don’t see artificial wombs as a viable alternative except in maybe China or something. Let’s say it’s possible – it will have to involve human experimentation, and people will *not* go for that in the Western world. Some braindead pro-lifers have suggested that artificial wombs will ‘end all abortion’ but that is just pie in the sky talk, totally unconnected to reality, as it isn’t possible to disconnect the placenta from the uterus and then safely reconnect it to an artificial womb in time to preserve the life of the embryo/fetus. There is also the issue of cost, invasiveness of the procedure and so on. Not gonna happen!

                And lastly, a fetus prior to 25 weeks is non-sentient. The hypothalamus and the cerebral cortex are not yet functionally mature prior to 25 weeks, which means basic awareness…basic consciousness, does not exist in these neonates. A 22 week neonate will feel no pain when born,as it is mindless.

              • rickflick
                Posted March 3, 2017 at 10:56 am | Permalink

                Thanks Cindy. Good info.

              • BJ
                Posted March 3, 2017 at 11:23 am | Permalink

                Exactly, Cindy. The time of true viability isn’t going to change in the coming few decades because earlier fetuses just aren’t developed enough. That’s why I think viability is a good line to draw. I also think it’s the morally right one: at the point that the child can survive and has a developed brain, I would say it is, indeed, a person.

              • Posted March 3, 2017 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

                idk why I couldn’t respond to BJ’s post down below but here’s my response to it anyway lol..

                I just want to throw out here… that even a full-term infant won’t be able to survive on its own. Even a 1 year old cannot survive if left alone. Very possibly a 7 year old would be unable to provide for him/herself if left to their own devices.

                Viability is therefore, to me, somewhat of an abstract concept.

              • Cindy
                Posted March 3, 2017 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

                There is a difference between ‘being dependent on someone for food and water’ vs ‘being unable to sustain one’s own life because one’s organs are non-functional’

              • Posted March 3, 2017 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

                There is a difference of course, but I would be interested to flesh out exactly how much that difference matters. I believe it has a place for discussion as a mental exercise. (i.e. not just trying to come up with it to be annoying or “but what about this?!”) But yes, we could do so somewhere else I suppose out of respect for this off-topicality.

              • Cindy
                Posted March 3, 2017 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

                The difference matters. In fact, the difference is at the very heart of why abortion even exists.

                Your child will die if you do not feed it milk and pureed food.

                Your child will die if you do not offer up your organs, tissues and undergo invasive and painful medical and surgical trauma to save it’s life if it is incapable of autnomously sustaining it’s own life.

                See the difference?

                There is a difference between a 4th degree perineal tear (google it) and having to take pureed peaches out of the fridge and play airplane.

              • BJ
                Posted March 3, 2017 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

                Timiny, that’s a rather absurd idea. We all know what we mean when we use the word “viability” in this context. If we were going by your definition, and the laws said anyone who doesn’t possess viability can be aborted, we could literally just murder the entire human race. We’re all dependent to some extent. I know you are aware of this distinction. You’re just playing a semantic game at this point.

            • rickflick
              Posted March 1, 2017 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

              It’s clear you think a fetus is a “someone”. This definition is confusing. It means you think fetus is the same for purposes of rights as a child in school or an adult in the workplace. This is a large part of the cultural divide.

              • Cindy
                Posted March 1, 2017 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

                Except that abortion is violence which results in death

                I was not going to comment on this statement made by timiny (as it’s off topic), but the ‘abortion is violence’ thing is nothing more than an emotional appeal – to the grotesque. I believe it’s the ‘argument from ewww’ fallacy or somesuch. In the majority of abortions, the embryo (which is the size of a grape and mindless) dies because it is disconnected from the pregnant person’s blood supply, causing it to expire because it can no longer force her body to act as a biological life support machine.

                Now, what is violent about disconnecting someone or something from your body? They die because they are incapable of sustaining their own lives. If you are incapable of sustaining your own life, does that entitle to you other people’s bodies and/or property? (By property I mean, if you are about to die if you don’t pay the Mafia 100k, are you then entitled to steal that money from a bank).

                The pro-lifer will then make the argument that disconnection = active killing, and is therefore murder. But the distinction between active/inactive killing is really irrelevant, and the following example shows why: suppose a pregnant woman has a medical condition which makes it necessary for her to eat a half-pound of racist pumpkin spiced lattes every day; if she doesn’t, then her pregnancy will miscarry. Suppose she decides that she doesn’t want to complete her pregnancy – should she be allowed to stop eating the racist pumpkin spiced lattes, or does she bear a binding obligation to keep eating racist pumpkin spiced lattes until childbirth? (Almost) every pro-lifer would say, she must eat the racist pumpkin spiced lattes; if she stops eating them, then she would be guilty of murdering her fetus by neglect,just as if she had stopped feeding a newborn and let it starve to death. BUT if she stops eating the racist pumpkin spiced lattes, then she is killing by INaction, like someone who refuses to donate blood, NOT by action, like someone who shoots someone.

                The Perilous Whiteness of Pumpkins:

                Apologies for the off-topic, but I wanted to address that part of timiny’s comment.

              • rickflick
                Posted March 1, 2017 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

                Good points Cindy. I’d also mention that heart surgery is violent. Also, miscarriage is death, as is, I suppose, periodic discharge and excess sperm. I think Monty Python said it best. Every Sperm is Sacred:


              • Posted March 2, 2017 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

                Exactly, it is a major crux of the issue. I am totally willing to discuss it amiably. Where would you draw the line for the moment when a fetus becomes a “someone”? Upon exiting the birth canal?

                Where is the line drawn for you?

              • Cindy
                Posted March 2, 2017 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

                Upon exiting the birth canal?

                I really like this one because it’s a common pro-life trope. That women have abortions at 9 months for recreational purposes.

                I guess it’s hard to humanize a brainless single cell embryo. Gotta pretend that it’s literal baby-killing for pleasure and profit.

              • Posted March 3, 2017 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

                No no.. I’m seriously just wondering where you or others would draw the line. It’s important to draw a line somewhere, because otherwise no discussion can take place.

              • Cindy
                Posted March 3, 2017 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

                I think that drawing the line at viability is reasonable. Canada, btw, does not have *any* abortion laws and women are not rushing out at 9.5 months to have abortions for fun. See, when women do *not* want to be pregnant, they are not going to stay pregnant until the very end (and spend up to 30k out of pocket and travel halfway across the country and then undergo a dangerous and painful procedure) and then decide that they need to fit in a new dress as the fetus is 30 minutes from being born. I mean, that’s the pro-life talking point – women have abortions at 9 months on a whim because they are all stupid sluts!

                Anyway, if there *are* going to be laws, they need to be thought out comprehensively. Doctors should NOT be looking over their shoulders, wondering if they will be charged with murder if they abort a fetus that some Bishop thinks could have survived (this is why Savita Halappanavar died in Ireland – she was septic, the fetus was dying but still had a heartbeat, so they let it kill her)

                Here is an example of the complexities involved, which I copied from a pro life messageboard. BTW, some of the replies, by hardcore pro-lifers, were utterly sadistic ‘being truly pro life means saving the baby and letting the woman suffer and/or die’.

                Pre-emptive apologies for going over the word limit PCC, but it’s the only way I can print the story:


                I am a 57-year-old Christian conservative grandmother who lives in NY State and has until recently been solidly a pro-life supporter. A few months ago my daughter and son-in-law became pregnant with their second child. At 24 weeks, a sonogram showed that the baby has no chance of survival. He is afflicted with a genetic disease of the kidneys. His kidneys are covered with cysts and no longer function. His lungs cannot develop. Due to a lack of fluid around him in the womb, he is becoming severely deformed with the condition known as Potter’s Syndrome.
                The doctors at the hospital agreed that my grandchild has 0% chance of survival. My daughter and her husband were told that they could either carry the child full-term, or they could have labor induced and deliver the baby then. They were both devastated by the fact that this child will not survive, but since the outcome will be the same however long they carry on the pregnancy, they decided to have labor induced and the child delivered. The procedure needed first to be approved by the hospital’s ethics committee, and after several days their approval was given and plans were being finalized to go ahead. Unfortunately, for some reason, lawyers became involved at this point. They made the decision that, according to NY State law, labor could not be induced because the mother’s life is not at risk. This medical procedure, which was being done for the good of both mother and child, had suddenly become an “abortion” under NY State law, and could not be done.
                Since then, my daughter has suffered more than any person should be forced to. She is at 31 weeks and in pain much of the time. With no fluid around the baby, he rests against the walls of the uterus and on very sensitive nerve endings. He is very active and the pain is at times severe. Little can be done for this. Taking strong pain-killers is not an option. My daughter refuses to spend her pregnancy in a drug-induced fog and unable to function as a mother. She is now also having contractions every day for at least an hour or two — more pain which might well have been avoided. Add to this the grief, not only of my daughter and her husband in carrying full-term a child they have had to make burial plans for, but the grief and confusion of their 3-year-old daughter.
                The baby, who has already been named Sam, is no doubt in considerable discomfort as well. He is crowded into a small area with no fluid around him. He has developed club feet and deformed hands. His face is shoved up against his body and becoming misshapen. His obvious discomfort is as painful to his parents as their own. He is loved beyond words by all of us. His being forced to suffer like this is inhumane at best. In my opinion, it is exceedingly cruel. His mom and dad talk to him, read to him, play music for him – anything to ease his distress at least a little.
                As I stated at the start of this letter, I have always been pro-life. Watching my kids and grandkids suffer due to a “pro-life” law has changed that. Induced labor in a case such as this should be a medical decision, not a legal one. A law written with the assumption that ANYONE getting an abortion in the third trimester is doing it for the heck of it, is ridiculous. I am totally against abortion in the case of women doing it because the baby is a “mistake” or “inconvenience”. But the laws need to be changed to differentiate between those cases and those of a pregnancy where the baby has absolutely NO chance of survival.
                I would ask if you can see the need for a change in this law, and what you will consider doing to prevent other women and families from going through this nightmare. Until the pro-life movement shows some common sense concerning situations such as this, I can no longer be a supporter.

              • Posted March 3, 2017 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

                “I mean, that’s the pro-life talking point.”

                I agree that some folks use this point, and I agree that it is a VERY WEAK talking point. It’s not one that I would try to make, because I think you are correct in saying that women who want an abortion (the vast majority, I would assume) aren’t getting it because of malice, for “fun”, or any other sick reasoning like that. There might be 1 or 2 of those, but they’re not right in the head and I think you would agree with me in that case, actually.

                “Anyway, if there *are* going to be laws, they need to be thought out comprehensively. Doctors should NOT be looking over their shoulders…”

                I totally agree!

                “BTW, some of the replies, by hardcore pro-lifers, were utterly sadistic ‘being truly pro life means saving the baby and letting the woman suffer and/or die’. “

                I totally agree that this is sick and disgusting. I wouldn’t describe myself as ‘hardcore pro-life’, but I would say that I am pro-life because there is an impression I have where to be ‘hardcore pro-choice’ means a person believes that abortions should be fine for any reason, at any stage of the pregnancy, they should be paid by the gov’t / free to the mother, and there should be zero social stigma surrounding it… in fact, they should be applauded as a gold star feminist.
                I wouldn’t want anyone to assume that I am “hardcore pro life” so I won’t assume that you are “hardcore pro-choice”.
                That’s why I believe it’s valuable to engage in friendly, open-minded discussion about where a line could/should be drawn.
                I read that horrible story about Sam that you typed out. It is ridiculously inhumane. I am glad that you and I can rationally see how that situation isn’t the super questionable one.

                I am typically against abortion… that said, I am open to the exceptions of rape/incest/life of mother / child.
                Hopefully you see my stance as being an open-minded and reasonable version of pro-life and are able to continue the discussion amiably (As you have been so far. Thank you, Cindy).
                I have always been more pro-life than otherwise… however recently (July ’16) my wife and I had a miscarriage. Aiden was 18.5 weeks along, he was perfect. My wife had “cervical insufficiency” and her body simply went into labor long before the baby would be viable. Sparing you all the details… she delivered him stillborn… and after Aiden was cleaned up, we got to hold him. I’m tearing up just thinking about it. (I have pictures, if you’d care to see. He was a perfect, much too small, baby.) The hospital teamed up with a local funeral home and, after my in laws arrived from out of town, we got to spend a couple hours with Aiden in a viewing room at the funeral home (decorated like a baby nursery room) so that we could grieve and properly say “goodbye” to our son. He was beautiful, albeit way too small.
                The experience further cemented my reasoning for being pro-life. Nobody can convince me that Aiden wasn’t human even at that stage in his growth. I don’t think it’s right for people to use the “it’s just a fetus” and trying to invalidate one’s “personhood” status for the purpose of clearing their conscience. So… where do we draw the line, though? I think there should be a line … maybe not all the way up at conception… but there should be a line. AND, there should be humane caveats for special situations (especially for situations like Karen’s as you mentioned).

              • Cindy
                Posted March 3, 2017 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

                That’s why I believe it’s valuable to engage in friendly, open-minded discussion about where a line could/should be drawn.

                I agree with you Mr.Cricket, and that is one reason why, the majority of the time, I now avoid such contentious issues. People are often *not* in the mood to have a friendly discussion in which they can educate each other, and perchance come to a mutual understanding. Too many such conversations are instead about signalling moral superiority and virtue. You can replace ‘abortion’ with any other contentious issue (Islam, trans bathroom rights, gay rights, feminism, Donald Trump) and you will find that the arguments generally go down the same. I tend to prefer to avoid getting into debates these days, as it is just plain stressful. I thank you for your sincere, relaxed conversational style.

                but I would say that I am pro-life because there is an impression I have where to be ‘hardcore pro-choice’ means a person believes that abortions should be fine for any reason, at any stage

                I know what you mean. I think that, in many cases, their goal is to remove abortion stigma (only sluts have abortions) except they end up coming across really really aggressive and, frankly, sociopathic. A fetus might not be sentient until 25 weeks, but it is still a potential thinking feeling human, and treating it callously is not only insensitive (especially to folks who have suffered a loss as you have) it is just plain dumbass public relations.

                The experience further cemented my reasoning for being pro-life. Nobody can convince me that Aiden wasn’t human even at that stage in his growth.

                I am deeply sorry for your loss. It must have been terribly difficult, and no doubt it does indeed hurt when the more extreme pro-choicers are so callous. I can see how that would affect you. I will point out, however, that when it comes to individual rights – to where those rights begin and end, to what we can ask of other people – we need to use logic, and not emotions. There are pro choice women who have miscarried, and though they felt with all of their heart that their embryo was a baby, their personal subjective feelings on the subject are not a good guide to base laws on. I prefer logic and reason over emotion.

                I don’t think it’s right for people to use the “it’s just a fetus” and trying to invalidate one’s “personhood” status for the purpose of clearing their conscience

                Well, as I said, it can come across harsh when they treat fetuses and embryos as mere trash, to be discarded. However, personhood *is* actually quite relevant, since the seat of personhood is in the mind, not the body. If your mind is dead, but your body is still living, it is not murder to unplug that body from life support. *You* exist in your mind. We all do.

                If you would like to discuss these issues more (in another venue), I would be open to it, however I don’t want to dominate this thread as this subject is REALLY off topic and we have already gone on long enough.

                I am happy to have met you timiny, talking with you here has been very pleasant!

              • rickflick
                Posted March 2, 2017 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

                In an appendix to one of Carl Sagan’s books he did an analysis of the question of latest abortion. He wanted to balance the various points of view and settled on the end of the second trimester. I think this is very reasonable. But, another factor would be that our ability to determine if the fetus has any serious problems has improved. If you have an 8 month old fetus and just discovered it had irreparable brain damage which would render it a vegetable, would you expect the parents to accept that they must by law give birth?

              • Posted March 3, 2017 at 11:47 am | Permalink

                “. . .causing it to expire because it can no longer force her body to act as a biological life support machine.”

                So the fetuses of the world are conspiring to force their mothers to act as biological life-support systems and therefore deserve to have their plugs pulled. Wow!

              • Cindy
                Posted March 3, 2017 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

                Conspiring? No, as they are non-sentient aka mindless.

                However, embryos actually do *force* women’s bodies to act as life support systems.

                First they drill into the woman’s blood supply. Then they inject her body full of hormones in order to extract nutrients from her blood. They also use her blood as a method to dispose of biological waste.

                Once the embryo implants, it gets full, unfettered access to the contents of her body. To her very tissues – such that it will extract calcium from her bones – why do you think so many women lose teeth from pregnancy and/or develop osteoperosis. This is why pregnancy is so dangerous for teenaged girls – calcium meant for the development of their own skeleton is *taken* by the fetus in order to build it’s skeleton.

                Those hormones that the fetus releases force the woman’s body to ramp up the supply of blood sugar and other nutrients, which is good for the fetus, as it needs energy to grow. Not so good for the woman (this is one reason why pregnant women develop gestational diabetes, which can be permanent, along with hypertension).

                It suppresses her immune system, and increases her blood pressure to get even more nutrients. The woman has no way of stopping this.

                Pregnancy is metabolically intense, and one possible reason that babies are born when they are is that further growth would become so metabolically expensive such that the fetus would kill the woman.

                The fetus will also release feel-good hormones, which are supposed to result in the mother bonding with the child after birth. This can backfire, however, and lead to post-partum psychosis and depression. Oh, and auto-immune diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis can also develop when the immune system rebounds after being depressed by the fetus.

                Pregnancy is not all unicorns and glitter rainbows, as you apparently think.

                Embryos *have* to be aggressive in order to grow and survive to be healthy babies. But, this aggressiveness comes at a cost to the pregnant person.

              • Posted March 3, 2017 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

                “Pregnancy is not all unicorns and glitter rainbows, as you apparently think.”

                Not sure how you came to this conclusion, but you make pregnancy sound like “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” I hardly think we need to demonize fetuses in order to justify doing away with them.

              • Cindy
                Posted March 3, 2017 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

                I am sorry if the objective biolgical realities of pregnancy hurt your delicate feelings.

                It is what it is.

              • rickflick
                Posted March 3, 2017 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

                The objective biological realities of pregnancy is not a trivial matter. Before birth control and abortion was legal, women typically had as many children as nature would allow. Sometimes 10 or 20 pregnancies. These women had no choice and their physical condition at the end of life could attest to that. Modern law grants women choice which sometimes results in women deciding to have only one or two or zero children. Who, other that the zombies lurking through the damp cellars of primeval cathedrals, would find that a bad thing.

              • Cindy
                Posted March 3, 2017 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

                And excess, unwanted children were disposed through what is known as ‘infanticide’.

                A friend of mine pointed out to me the other day that the story of Moses being put in the little basket is actually a story of attempted infanticide. They left babies out to die of exposure, as they had very few ways to prevent pregnancy.

                There is also this thing called ‘carrying capacity’ and like SJWS, many pro-lifers live in a fantasy world where reality is a social construct and magical things will happen if they just think happy thoughts about them.

              • Posted March 3, 2017 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

                “Who, other that the zombies lurking through the damp cellars of primeval cathedrals, would find that a bad thing.”

                Actually, rickflick, anyone who believes that fetuses are human beings, and that abortion therefore constitutes murder, would find it a bad thing. And while it may be convenient to dismiss this as an inherently religious position, as your reference to “primeval cathedrals” suggests, it’s not. The Bible says “Thou shalt not kill,” but this is not why the majority of people in this country—including atheists and, I would hope, you—think murder is wrong. So it all comes down to whether fetuses are human beings, which is a philosophical and moral issue that clearly hasn’t been resolved to everyone’s satisfaction.

                What the law does or doesn’t grant in this regard has little bearing on the moral issue involved. Time was when the law allowed slavery—this on the same grounds that it allows abortion today—namely, that the injured parties were not not human beings and therefore had no human rights. One differences is that fetuses are not in any position to rebel or hold protest marches. Another is that killing human beings is worse than enslaving them.

                Not taking any position here on the central issue, just trying to clarify what it is.

              • Cindy
                Posted March 3, 2017 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

                Please define ‘murder’

                Are cats ‘cat beings?’ or does this only apply to humans? Can a carrot be a ‘carrot being?’

                And it’s ‘thou shall not murder’, if it was ‘thou shall not kill’, there would not have been so many genocides and animal sacrifices in the bible, let alone cow eating by Christians today.

              • Cindy
                Posted March 3, 2017 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

                Oops, I forgot this one.

                Time was when the law allowed slavery—this on the same grounds that it allows abortion today—namely, that the injured parties were not not human beings and therefore had no human rights.

                During Antebellum slavery black slave women were forcibly impregnated and forced to give birth against their will. Over and over again. From the age of menarche until they died or entered menopause.

                Slaveowners were pro-forced birth.

                I suggest you ruminate on this.

                Oh, btw, slavewomen often aborted their pregnancies, as they objected to being forcibly impregnated OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN.

              • Posted March 4, 2017 at 1:10 am | Permalink

                “Slaveowners were pro-forced birth. I suggest you ruminate on this.”

                OK, I’ve ruminated. Of course slave-owners were pro-forced birth: the more slaves the better. It certainly wasn’t out of respect for the sanctity of human life; they didn’t even consider slaves human.

                Are you really suggesting that the slave-owners’ motives are somehow comparable to those of pro-lifers today who oppose abortion because they believe it’s murder? If so, that’s a stretch. If not, I don’t get your point.

              • Posted March 4, 2017 at 1:14 am | Permalink

                “I am sorry if the objective biolgical realities of pregnancy hurt your delicate feelings.”

                Actually, I’m genuinely impressed by your knowledge of the gestation process. If anything offends my delicate feelings it’s your tortured logic.

  6. Posted March 1, 2017 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Excellent post. This kind of thing used to drive me crazy when I was teaching at Reed College.

    Perhaps the best gloss on all this remains John Milton’s Areopagitica (1644). Can’t help wondering if they even teach it in colleges any more. It should be required reading. A couple of quotes:

    “Let Truth and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worse in a free and open encounter? Her confuting is the best and surest suppressing.”

    “Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.”

    • Posted March 1, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      One of my professors from UBC years ago wrote an important piece using this bit as a starting point.

      It is a good piece, but I am not sure I can easily find an accessible reference.

      “Let Truth and Falsehood Grapple”, University of Toronto Quarterly, vol. 67 (1998), no. 2, pp. 549-566. is the full reference.

  7. Posted March 1, 2017 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    “classical liberal” is often used by people claiming that they are the heirs of people like Mill and Locke who had very different views, so I’m not sure I understand it very well.

    • Kevin
      Posted March 1, 2017 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      Didn’t Mill write this:

      “If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.”

      Dave may not be stretching that far, but he certainly advocating it better than most of the left.

      • Posted March 2, 2017 at 11:39 am | Permalink

        Yes, Mill did. But Mill also praised socialism, which is often conveniently forgotten for those who say “classical liberal”. (I think he’s right to – he had in mind the libertarian varieties – Fourier seems to have been an influence, not the authoritarian like the later Marx, never mind [per impossibile] Stalinism)

  8. eric
    Posted March 1, 2017 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    (Note, though, that gay activist Peter Tatchell agrees with Rubin on the cake issue, though he objects to the messages sometimes put on the cakes, not that they’re ordered by gays.)

    IANAL but I think there have been several cases recently that supported the notion that cake-bakers can reject messages if they are outside the scope of the typical messaging they provide. Just because you write “Happy Birthday” on cakes every day doesn’t mean you are obligated to write “Kill all Jews” on a cake. AIUI courts have found that bakeries are perfectly within their rights to deny a request for a racist or bigoted political messages if they don’t normally write any sort of political messaging on their cakes.

    The issue really comes down to religious conservatives wanting to deny equivalent services to a gay customer based on the fact that they are gay. They don’t want to write ‘Happy Birthday’ on their cakes. They don’t want to bake a message-free wedding cake, if the customers are gay. That sort of discrimination, the courts have found to be illegal. So while I don’t know much about Tatchell’s position, on its face he seems to have gotten the issue wrong; the courts already take the position he seems to want, that they are free to reject classes of messaging but aren’t free to reject classes of customers.

    • BJ
      Posted March 1, 2017 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      Essentially, what it comes down to is that there is a difference between making a cake, and expressly endorsing a certain political or religious view through providing a service.

      One should have to provide a service like baking to any type of person. One should not be forced to write a message like, “hooray for gay marriage,” as that would be speech. Nobody should be forced to make speech, and that’s where I make the distinction.

      • eric
        Posted March 2, 2017 at 9:24 am | Permalink

        One should not be forced to write a message like, “hooray for gay marriage,” as that would be speech. Nobody should be forced to make speech, and that’s where I make the distinction.

        A small quibble, but if you are regularly writing “hooray for X” messages for X’s you don’t endorse, then you shouldn’t be allowed to selectively deny gay customers using the logic that you don’t endorse their message. A shopowner can take the stance that they don’t write certain types of messages for anyone. Or they can take the more ‘for profit job’ stance that they write messages they don’t personally endorse. But they shouldn’t legally be allowed to take the ‘for profit’ stance that they’ll write messages about race, religion, age, creed, etc. that they don’t endorse, but they won’t write messages about gays or gay rights that they don’t endorse. That’s IMO illegal discrimination.

        Put another way, if you typically write “Congratulations Adam and Eve” on a cake even when you don’t know Adam or Eve, don’t care about them, they aren’t your religion, or your friends, etc… then yes you are legally obligated to serve a customer who wants “Congratulations Adam and Steve.” Because at that point you’ve shown you write congratulatory messages for customers regardless of whether you, personally, want to congratulate them. And if you do that, you must do it for all your customers not just your straight ones.

    • Posted March 1, 2017 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

      I’m not sure there is such a thing as a “message-free wedding cake.” How, then, would you know it was a wedding cake?

      In the case in question, customers were turned away not because they were gay but because the occasion was not, according to the bakers’ definition of marriage, a wedding. Legality aside, the Christian thing for the bakers to do would have been to bake the damn cake; the humane thing for the gay couple to do, when the bakers refused, would have been to take their business elsewhere.

      So all parties failed in humanity. Of the two failures, refusing to bake a cake for someone because you disagree with their definition of marriage seems to me less egregious than driving someone out of business on the same grounds.

      • eric
        Posted March 2, 2017 at 9:30 am | Permalink

        the humane thing for the gay couple to do, when the bakers refused, would have been to take their business elsewhere.

        I somewhat disagree. Do you think that the “humane thing” for blacks in the civil right era to do, when a lunch counter refused to let them sit and eat, would have been to take their business elsewhere?

        Personally I think the sit-ins were a very positive and effective way of non-violent protesting against discrimination. And I think a “sit-in” type response to a discriminatory baker is equally valid.

        • Cindy
          Posted March 2, 2017 at 9:32 am | Permalink

          Heck, a sit in response to Milo at Berkeley would have been more effective than violence.

        • BJ
          Posted March 2, 2017 at 11:22 am | Permalink

          Except it’s not like this is a widespread practice/epidemic across the country. We’ve heard of one, maybe two cases in the entire country since gay marriage was legalized. The humane thing for all involved would have been to let it go. But one party wanted to exact vengeance, social shame, and the destruction of a business over it.

          It’s a bit insulting to compare this to what black people had to do when they were being discriminated against every day, in every single place of business in many areas, across the country and for decades.

    • jay
      Posted March 2, 2017 at 5:42 am | Permalink

      Forcing a baker to make a gay themed cake is no differend from forcing a deli owner to make a ham sandwich, or forcing a Catholic (or atheist) book seller to sell Korans.

      They are simply NOT OFFERING A PROTUCT. With VERY few exceptions, no one should ever be required to offer a product.

      Now if a baker refused to sell donuts to a gay person because of his orientation… THAT would be a form descrimination because it’s a product they already produce.

      • eric
        Posted March 2, 2017 at 9:37 am | Permalink

        Well first, IIRC your second example has already happened. There was a case where a religious conservative baker wanted to refuse to make a birthday cake with a simple “happy birthday” message on it, because the customer was gay.

        Second, if a for-profit business offers things for sale that don’t comport with the owner’s ideology to start with, I don’t think they should be allowed to discriminate against gay themed sales products using the logic that they disagree with it. You either don’t sell stuff you disagree with to anyone, or you sell stuff you disagree with to everyone equally. You can’t sell stuff you disagree with to Catholics, old people, single mothers, Asians, what have you, but not to gays. At that point, your claim to be making a stand on ‘messages I don’t agree with’ has had the legs kicked out from under it; it’s very clear in such a case that the shop owner has no problem writing messages they disagree with – they just won’t give that same service to gay customers.

        • jay
          Posted March 2, 2017 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

          In your argument, how would you differentiate between a ham sandwich type of cake? They both boil down to conscientious beliefs on the part of the owner.

          Personal freedom of conscience should prevail unless there were an overriding critical issue (like critical services). In the case of cakes, there is NO such problem, plenty of bakers are more than happy to produce the product. Indeed, INTENTIONALLY targeting Christins (as has happened multiple times) is hardly what I would consider tolerant behavior. It’s rigid, self righteous and mean spirited.

          On the other side of the fence, an atheist web designer should have a complete and perfect right to turn down designing a religious website.

          There is, or should be, a more realistic limit to the interpretation of ‘equal treatment under the law. In the early days of the civil rights movment I suspect the lawmakers had to be a bit over the top because of the segregation laws (yes these were laws that required segregation… places without those laws had much less of a problem). How far the government should go in micromanaging every component of peoples’ interaction when the constitutional requirements were obviously aimed at the government’s own behavior is an are that I seriously question. This extreme interventionism, trampling some rights to defend others has created an incredible mess.

          It’s time to get rid of the training wheels.

        • Posted March 2, 2017 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

          “. . .they just won’t give that same service to gay customers.”

          Actually, they just won’t provide a wedding cake for an occasion that is not a wedding according to the definition of marriage (a union between one man and one woman) that they had in mind when they opened business. I assume that, using the same standard, they might refuse to make a cake for a polygamist, regardless of sexual orientation. I don’t see that this constitutes discrimination against polygamists in any civil rights sense of the word.

  9. Historian
    Posted March 1, 2017 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    My reaction to the video is that you can say that Rubin is honest when, in effect, he implicitly admits he is nothing more than a mouthpiece for the libertarian wing of the Republican Party. He favors legalized discrimination, at least in the private sector, by any person or business who doesn’t like what another person looks like or, for example, her/his sexual identity. Since Rubin is gay, I have to credit him for a principled stand, but one that I do not agree with. I do not want to go back to an America when signs in store windows said “No blacks allowed.” Of course, the sign today would add “No gays or Muslims allowed.”

    Do anti-discrimination laws restrict to a degree personal freedom? Yes they do and I don’t care. That is a good thing. If Rubin wants total personal freedom, he should buy a deserted island, declare it an independent country and make sure no one else lives on it. In a complex society consisting of many groups that vary greatly in terms of race, ethnicity, sexual identity, etc., all vying for certain goals, then for all of them to live together in relative harmony, compromises with “personal freedom” are indispensable. The trick is to avoid the erosion of personal freedom to such an extent that individuals become slaves of the state. I think that in the United States we are nowhere near that point, although with Trump I am not totally free of anxiety. Rubin’s libertarian fantasy will never be realized and the country is better off for that.

    • Posted March 1, 2017 at 11:55 am | Permalink


    • Brujo Feo
      Posted March 1, 2017 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      Historian: as the former nominal NGC of the Republican Liberty Caucus, I’m curious as to what you mean by “the libertarian wing of the Republican Party.” As one who left the LP in ’08 for the GOP to support Ron Paul (and left the GOP for the Dems in ’16 to support Sanders), I have to say that I find these putative GOP libertarians to be in awful short supply these days.

      And if the notion of a libertarian supporting Sanders surprises you, perhaps we might have a discussion about that off-list.

      BTW, I will volunteer to contribute $100 toward the security costs, if that will facilitate the event.

      • Historian
        Posted March 1, 2017 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

        I am thinking of people who support the views of Rand Paul.

        • BJ
          Posted March 1, 2017 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

          As someone who voted for Bernie Sanders in the primary (because, believe it or not, I’m a registered democrat), I would have voted for Rand Paul over Hillary Clinton in a general election.

          People do not just fall into your easily built boxes and labels. They’re more complex than you might want them to be, or is convenient.

      • BJ
        Posted March 1, 2017 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

        I am also a left-libertarian. I’m sick of people thinking all libertarians are somehow just republicans in disguise.

        • Cindy
          Posted March 1, 2017 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

          I used to think that all libertarians were selfish asshats who were all about ‘I’ve got mine, F U’

          After having listened to some libertarians, I have since changed my mind. One man explained, simply, that he believes in ‘liberty and freedom’ and that he will criticize any and all political parties equally should they choose to infringe on liberty and freedom.

          He also explained that he doesn’t believe in labels. That actions count, not political affiliations. That a Democrat can behave in illiberal ways, and that a Republican can behave like a neocon (which = conservative in name only). And that he is accused by Dems of being a Republican when he criticizes their illiberal *actions* and that Republicans accuse him of being a Dem when he criticizes their actions.

          Actions matter. Evidence matters. Not labels. Labels are largely meaningless. What counts is, as PCC stated in this very comment thread, ideas should be judged on their own merits, not on the identity of the speaker.

          The Nazis were bad *because of what they did*, not because they called themselves Nazis.

          I am a leftist. However, I am not a fan of the TPP just because our Liberal PM supports it. The fact that he calls himself a Liberal doesn’t magically make the TPP a good idea.

          • rickflick
            Posted March 1, 2017 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

            “One man explained, simply, that he believes in ‘liberty and freedom’ ”

            Doesn’t everyone? That’s such a broad definition of libertarianism, I can’t really attribute any significance to it. Does he believe in fire departments? Maybe only volunteer and private ones.

            • Cindy
              Posted March 1, 2017 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

              Yeah, I recognise that it’s a bit broad, but no, he’s not one of those ‘every highway should be privatized’ and other arguments that you hear from a lot of libertarians. He supports the ACA in a limited fashion, and he has even argued in favour of a guaranteed income…

              In this particular context, he was railing against authoritarianism in government, mainly restrictions on free speech, amongst other things.

              I agree with him on some things, but not on others. He argued in favour of people having the right to forego wearing a seatbelt or a motorcycle helmet, which I think is asinine. His reasoning is that ‘if you don’t want to wear a seatbelt, and you die, that’s your problem’. The issue of course, is, what if the people who don’t wear seatbelts leave children behind? Then it becomes the responsibility of the taxpayer to raise them. Also, EMT crews tend to help first, and ask questions later. I can only imagine absurd scenarios in which an EMT crew has to ascertain whether or not every accident victim has essentially ‘asked for it’ before offering their services!

              At any rate, I am glad that I *did* get to hear his arguments, and that I was able to agree with some and reject others. If illiberal leftists had their way, he’d have been silenced.

              • eric
                Posted March 2, 2017 at 9:54 am | Permalink

                He argued in favor of people having the right to forego wearing a seatbelt or a motorcycle helmet, which I think is asinine.

                They actually have that right, in the case of helmets. The federal government doesn’t constitutionally mandate them – it’s a state-by-state decision.*

                I guess one could argue that it should be a constitutionally protected right, rather than a decision left up to state and local collective self-governing. But that seems a bit of a stretch to me. Road safety laws seems to me the sort of laws that are perfectly reasonably located in the realm of “state and local self-government,” neither constitutionally mandated nor constitutionally forbidden.

            • Posted March 1, 2017 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

              Liberty and freedom are not the same things. They are not synonyms.

              Liberty can be generally thought to be freedom granted to people by an external factor. Freedom is being able to make decisions without the external factor’s influence. Liberty is a subset of freedom to some extent.

          • BJ
            Posted March 2, 2017 at 11:27 am | Permalink

            You’re right, actions matter. And even though I’ve never voted for anyone but Democrats until this past election (don’t worry, I didn’t vote for Trump, and I live in NY so there was no chance of my protest having any effect on the election), I would have voted for Rand Paul over Clinton if he had been the Republican nominee.

            Rand Paul has shown me through his actions and his unwavering political stances that he cares about curtailing the spy network that has been perpetuated by the past two administrations; about letting people make their own choices; about curtailing government overreach on things like e.g. forfeiture; freedom of speech; not starting wars in other countries; sensible drug policy, and many other issues.

            The letter next to some politicians name is far less important than what that politician does and stands for. Rand Paul is one of the few people on either side of the isle that I believe when he says he stands for something, and most of the things he stands for are things with which I agree (and which Hillary has opposed or not talked about).

        • Posted March 2, 2017 at 11:41 am | Permalink

          “Libertarian” originally as far as I can tell modified “socialist” (like “utopian” and “authoritarian” and “anarchist”), and then was borrowed (without seeming irony) by the Randites and other “free enterprise” sorts.

    • Kevin
      Posted March 1, 2017 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      The more educated a society, the more secular the society, and more plural the society, the more tolerant it will be.

      Fix the people and there won’t be shops with ‘Whites only’.

      In the long run, society will shun inequality, especially when it’s privatized. Openness always, in the end, reveals bigotry, sexism, and racism as less attractive alternatives.

  10. Billy Bl.
    Posted March 1, 2017 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Rubin Reports are interviews, not debates. Sometimes I wish that he would challenge his guests more, but that’s not his purpose. Why anyone would want to do him harm or think that he is controversial enough to instigate violence is beyond me.

  11. Scote
    Posted March 1, 2017 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    “You probably won’t agree with all of Dave’s sentiments, nor do I: I think that if you can’t force a baker to bake a cake for a gay wedding (and Rubin thinks that bakers should have that “freedom of religion”), then why can you force a baker to bake a cake for a Muslim, or a black person?”

    I think that requiring public accommodations (which includes private businesses such as restaurants and bakeries) to not discriminate has been vital to desegregating the US.

    But I’m a bit torn when it comes to conflicting rights where the commissioned, creative speech of a person or business is involved. If I’m a writer, should I have to accept a job from a Christian Nazi extolling how God wants to kill the Jews? To refuse could be called

    No business should be able to refuse to sell off the shelf items – including birth control sold at a pharmacy. And companies should be allowed to game this concept by claiming all of their actually off the shelf items are “custom” by leaving off some trivial thing until ordered. But actual artistry is very personal, so I’m less sure that writers and artists should have to create works for people whom they disagree with. Not really sure how to resolve these competing rights.

  12. Ken Kukec
    Posted March 1, 2017 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    I see no evidence that anything Dave Rubin has done has ever caused a public disturbance of any kind. It’s possible this is simply an effort by the USC Department of Public Safety to take advantage of the publicity generated by other California campus disruptions to score its officers some overtime pay.

    • BJ
      Posted March 1, 2017 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      Multiple times on multiple campuses over the past couple of years, certain conservative student organizations have tried to invite speakers or have lectures on subjects, only to be told by the college administration that they would have to pay a hefty “security fee” if they wanted to have their event. As far as I know, this hasn’t happened to any left-wing student organizations. It seems that (1) the violence that far-left protesters have used is having its intended effect, and (2) this might be a new way of more surreptitiously shutting down speech the college doesn’t like.

      And shouldn’t it be the college’s responsibility to protect students and the speakers they invite? And to control any students using violence in an attempt to shut down events?

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted March 1, 2017 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

        Whether the school or the student organization should bear the costs of added security for a controversial speaker is, I think, a matter that turns on the agreement by which the university charters student organizations — particularly at a private university like USC.

        But security costs should never be permitted to be used as a pretext for a de facto shut down of controversial speakers. That practice has an ignoble history, particularly as it was used in the Jim Crow south to prevent civil rights demonstrations. It’s how Martin Luther King, Jr., wound up in the Birmingham City Jail whence he wrote his famous letter.

        • BJ
          Posted March 2, 2017 at 5:57 am | Permalink

          Well, they are costs that the school “predicts” and then forces the student organizations to pay. And I do think it has been adequately shown that it’s being used as an administrative tactic to shut down events they don’t like.

          And I think it is the school’s job to protect students from violence on campus, especially when that violence is coming from other students. It’s the job of the school to control its students when they become riotous and violent.

  13. Posted March 1, 2017 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Inability to speak calmly or listen quietly to others or to ban and protest those with whom we disagree is evil. Would that we all could be calm

  14. David Duncan
    Posted March 1, 2017 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    I wonder why the guards would be armed. Is there any chance that they would use their guns?

    And as a libertarian, I think bakers shouldn’t have to put messages on cakes that they don’t agree with. Don’t like that? Go somewhere else.

  15. Posted March 1, 2017 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    I disagree with most of what Dave Rubin says in the video, though I am subscribed to his show and we — of course — share the disdain towards the “Regressives”.

    RE: Liberalism
    I consider myself on the left, and am not a liberal — classical or otherwise — in the European sense. Though I probably count for one in the US. Liberalism is associated in Europe with Neo-Aristocrats who usually don’t lift a finger, know nothing, but carry the heavy burden of responsibility until they fail again. The taxpayer pays everything and they move on, richer than before. That sums it up.

    They’re the lawyer and banker types with manager hair. Their one trick pony is to defund public services, then complain that things don’t work well and the state shouldn’t run it. Once privatized, they don’t care anymore. Some of that money goes into their pockets, or that of their friends, and they use it to furnish themselves a “consultant” role after they left politics. Services usually degrade, but in the hands of corporations it’s no longer a concern. Because free market magic somehow corrects it.

    They are also fond of using the gains from the sellout to veneer their financial failures, and manage to convince voters they are the economics and money people. They are often a smaller third party (e.g. in Germany, and the US) that tends to support the conservatives, even if they infringe on personal freedoms, thereby showed many times that the only thing that matters in “liberalism” is getting rich quick at the expense of others, or the environment. If somebody wanted to catch bankruptsters, fraudsters and con-artist, they should just jail the liberal/libertarians and will always succeed with little effort.

    RE: Bakery
    I agree with Rubin on the bakery issue, with provisions. A private company can refuse services (1) if they make their rules known clearly and beforehand, i.e. they must place a plaquard, (2) they cannot discrimminate against customers (3) their service is not deemed vital, i.e. there are alternatives (e.g. other baker nearby). In other words, they must print party invitation cards for a Muslim, but they can declare upfront they won’t print Islamic texts. The state should not force particular content on someone, but there’s no reason at all to refuse a customers who makes use of generic services.

    RE: Rubin as a host
    I largely had the impression of Dave Rubin that he’s become more of a Trojan horse, like many other formerly (allegedly) leftist YouTubers, who now peddle Trump’s narrative, even if they occasionally throw in a disclaimer that they don’t support him.

    RE: Leaving the Left
    You cannot leave the Left. It is not a club. You can change your opinions, and no longer be considered on the left, no longer identify as left (if you are one to identify with labels in the first place, and I don’t) or abandon a party and no longer care what it does. But Rubin seems to play more with the label rather than the content.

    Conservatism is about making the rich richer, and defending a status quo that was forced on conservatives in the previous turn. Liberalism, see above, is not really a thing, but more a get-rich-quick-Ponzy scheme in politics or a deluded utopist view wherein the Hand of God Free Market is somehow producing fair outcomes — imagine a laugh track.

    Secondly, “American Left” is almost an oxymoron. The USA is one of the most conservative, religious, right wing democracies on the planet. Though Democrats can compete in “leftism” in some issues with left politicians in other democratic countries, the leading (and to us foreigners most visible) politicians are frequently far rightwards of centre-right parties in Europe. Merkel, for instance, is known to be quite left for a Christian conservative, but she still represented solidly a christian Conservative party. Obama or Clinton are overall easily rigthwards of her. Or as Jonathan Pie said in one of his rants, Hillary Clinton is right of liberal conservative Tory Theresa May. That means, US Democrats are frequently right of European conservatives — overall.

    Thirdly, Regressive Left, Social Justice Warriors or “Academic Left” are only arguably left. And this can be disputed. They are not necessarily left under the Horseshoe Theory, and they don’t really care for minorities or the small person, or people subject to hate speech. See their strong anti-semtic streak, for instance, and their disdain for workers (who are not properly “woke” as a demographic).

    Further, they are largely in the tradition of postmodernism, and came about via the Critical Race Theorist of Harvard Law school — not exactly what is recognized as a stronghold of leftism.

    Noam Chomsky, sometimes incorrectly lumped into the faction, made sure he inserted a “so-called” before every mention of “Academic Left” in some interviews, and he’s entirely correct. The Postmodern Rot simply annointed itself as the Left, to the chagrin of Levitt, Sokal and others already twenty years ago. They always did it with bully tactics. But the impetus is largely self-serving “on the right side of history” rather than genuine content.

    The crowd today can be considered puritan, and like conservatives of old, are concerned about their standing and reputation. Like conservatives, they drive on outrage, have a largely misanthropic outlook on the world, from which they seek shelter in “safe spaces”. They want a form of law and order, enforced by peer pressure and moral authorities. It all resembles religion in many ways. That’s remarkably conservative!

    Even if you don’t like Chomsky, and even if one aspect (US imperialism critique) seems superficially similar his take is wholly different from SJW viewpoints. This is especially apparent as Chomsky has strong anti-authoritarian or socialist/anarchist leanings, whereas Regressive “Leftism” or SJWism is overwhelmingly authoritarian.

    Dave Rubin is an alright guy, but he probably never was a leftist. Anyway, he and many others uncritically accept (and perpetuate) right wing narratives. That’s unfortunate.

    • Posted March 1, 2017 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      I broke the roolz, probably. I apologize, and try to watch wordcount next time. 🙂

      • Posted March 2, 2017 at 8:49 am | Permalink

        If there are rules for word count, I’m glad you broke them.

        As you have spoken for me on much, I’ll simply add this:

        I think more and more the problem with the horseshoe thesis is the gap.


    • kelskye
      Posted March 1, 2017 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      “You cannot leave the Left. It is not a club. You can change your opinions, and no longer be considered on the left, no longer identify as left (if you are one to identify with labels in the first place, and I don’t) or abandon a party and no longer care what it does. But Rubin seems to play more with the label rather than the content.”
      I’ve considered myself a lefty all my life, but I more and more can’t stand political leftism. To me it would make sense that people would want to disassociate with the political movement while maintaining the values.

  16. Posted March 1, 2017 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    I like Rubin’s show, but his libertarianism continues to baffle me. That Prager video is a perfect example. He continually conflates speech with action. Denying service because someone is homosexual is exactly analogous to denying service to someone because their skin colour is dark. The government prohibiting this kind of action is not “violating a person’s conscience”, as they are free to speak out against a person’s sexuality or skin colour on their own time. A government is certainly entitled to mandate that people cannot *discriminate for services* based on one’s conscience. That is not the same thing as a government prohibiting people from speaking or writing or thinking discriminatory ideas. But if you follow Rubin’s logic through, it seems anyone could deny service to anyone else based on their “conscience” alone. I suppose he would say this only applies to private entities, but then would a private security guard be justified in ignoring someone’s complaint about being harassed because said guard doesn’t think the dark-skinned complainant deserves his services?

    • Dan
      Posted March 1, 2017 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

      Don’t worry. You will grow up eventually. Kids can enjoy liberalism. But maturity should temper such unreflective philosophy.

      • Posted March 1, 2017 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

        I am not sure if you are being sarcastic. I sincerely hope so.

    • BJ
      Posted March 2, 2017 at 6:01 am | Permalink

      It depends on what service is being denied. There is a line to which one eventually comes where providing a service suddenly becomes an act of expression, and this should never be forced. As I explained in a previous comment, one should have to provide bakery services to anyone, but one should not be forced to write “hooray, gay marriage!” on a cake, as that would be an expression of a position, and people shouldn’t be forced to express things in which they don’t believe.

      Just as an artist, in being one whose job entails expression (through art), can choose to whom they wish to take commissions and/or make their art, a person should be able to choose not to take certain expressive acts in which they don’t’ believe. It would take a significant body of new case law, but I hope (and it seems, from what little case law there is so far) that this is the direction and distinction towards which the judicial system is moving.

  17. kelskye
    Posted March 1, 2017 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    The services issue is a tricky one, because it means that one’s freedoms can be violated by the freedoms of another. If you have one bakery in town, and the baker is a misogynist and refuses to serve black people, you don’t get the luxury of going to another baker. It just says that one person’s beliefs are sufficient to deny another person’s needs.

    This was a real case in Australia where the sole pharmacist in a small town refused to stock condoms on grounds that he’s a Catholic. That town had the highest teen pregnancy rate. The person who provided the service’s belief impacted on others irrespective of their own.

    I think there’s got to be some distinction between discrimination of service and discrimination of thought. If a baker can refuse to bake for certain people, then individual rights can get denied. A baker in providing a public service needs to provide that service discrimination-free. The government can’t compel the baker, though, to confront their prejudices in their private life.

  18. Posted March 1, 2017 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Curious sine there have been several comments on this. If I ordered a wedding cake, classic, no writing of any kind but with two men or two women in the cake topper, would people consider that a deal breaker?

  19. Richard Sanderson
    Posted March 1, 2017 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Would Dan Arel be banned?

    He is someone who now endorses and justifies violence.

  20. Posted March 1, 2017 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    A core principle of libertarianism is free association. So yes, anyone should be able to deny his or her services to anyone.

    Just as any other ideological framework, there are a bunch of examples that can challenge this core idea. But they mostly involve highly hypothetical situations which should happen rarely in real life.

    A standard libertarian response to the cake/condom/(any other service) denial from a service provider is assuming that free markets would drive other players to provide those services for their own benefit.

    Another standard response would be for the people to migrate to other locations where they can buy their desired service freely.

    Both of these solutions have their own difficulties in our world. But that is not necessarily a failure for libertarianism.

    Another issue is “public action” is not necessarily “better” than private action. Forcing bakeries to bake cake for gays might feel good. But public power never stops there. Then it is about crime and punishment and keeping the community safe and keeping the outsiders out and go to war to fully ensure those outsiders remain out (of the worldly life) and approve this law and enforce that law. It never stops! So libertarians are understandably cautious about giving too much power to the government. How much is too much? That is whole another debate.

    Now Rubin is not a pure libertarian in my view. He is one of those “libertarianish” types who admire (at least in rhetoric) some libertarian principles, but almost always endorse non-libertarian policies or actions because “reality”!

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted March 1, 2017 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      My comment at #22 is in response to yours here.

      • Posted March 1, 2017 at 10:21 pm | Permalink


        As the Wikipedia article explains, Jim Crow laws had strong backing from the federal government. It stands to reason that some white rent seekers used the opportunity provided to them for personal gain at the expense of economically weak freed men and women. This does not mean free market solutions could not have led to less discrimination.

        In the end, most people will follow the moral zeitgeist of their times. In the first half of the twentieth century, racial discrimination was supposedly backed by “science”. Government people were still people and they probably thought they were doing the right thing by separating races from each other. As far as I can tell, it was not like the government was constantly fighting to end Jim Crow laws while facing stiff resistance from the private sector.

  21. Dan
    Posted March 1, 2017 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    I am bothered by the continued abuse of the heckler’s veto by the leftists.

    I like Dave Rubin. I subscribe to his show on youtube. Politically, I am close to him, since I am also a former pinko treehugger that is drifting to the center because the left has become a joke. Libertarianism or “classical liberalism” is a better alternative to those who prefer freedom over the tyranny of SJWs and their identity politics.

    I hope that more of my fellow displaced liberals move on to classical liberalism. We all know that liberalism is pollyanna-ish. I knew that when I was a socialist in college. It’s a pie-in-the-sky.

    • Michael Waterhouse
      Posted March 2, 2017 at 8:17 pm | Permalink


  22. Ken Kukec
    Posted March 1, 2017 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    The market-place solution to private discrimination doesn’t work for an economically deprived minority — as a century’s worth of Jim Crow in the south demonstrated. It took government intervention to rectify the American apartheid.

    • darrelle
      Posted March 1, 2017 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

      Yes. It isn’t as if there isn’t any real data on this.

  23. Posted March 1, 2017 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    Ive never seen Milo incite violence in any of his college talks. Why do people keep making this statement?

  24. goodgrief
    Posted March 2, 2017 at 12:28 am | Permalink

    When, exactly, has Milo “incited violence”?

  25. jay
    Posted March 2, 2017 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    What we learn from this is:

    VIOLENCE WORKS, and it’s very effective politically.

  26. Posted March 2, 2017 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    A quick review of Rubin’s tweets over the past few days show that he does not think Jeff Sessions lied to Congress about Russia discussions and that the Democrats’ demand that he recuse himself from any Russia investigations is a “witch hunt.” There are a few more criticisms of Democrats and no criticism of Republicans. His only criticism of Trump has to do with the fact that he orders steak cooked well done and eats it with ketchup. He quotes a tweet from Sarah Silverman showing graffiti including swastikas, racist epithets, and pro-KKK messaging, which Silverman says is representative of how Trump supporters want to Make America Great Again with the comment, “Any evidence of who did this or nah?” Taking his cue from Trump, he is not so subtly suggesting that this is a false flag situation.

    And here is a decent article about how Rubin’s “Why I left the Left” commentary is naive and misguided: http://www.cracked.com/blog/cracked-destroys-meme-dave-rubins-anti-progressive-video/

  27. Curt Nelson
    Posted March 2, 2017 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Regarding Rubin’s belief that businesses should be free to refuse service, don’t we live in a democratically built society with shared values and laws to promote and protect those values?

    We aren’t free to kill or rob or pollute either. We’ve decided against such things, and against discrimination based on sexual orientation. I guess, as some commenters have indicated, he’s expressing Libertarian philosophy. He should say so instead of trying to frame it in Liberal terms.

  28. Michael Waterhouse
    Posted March 2, 2017 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t read all the comments yet so someone has probably already pointed out that given all the punching talk lately, it is only a small step away from advocating punching Dave, or excusing it if he was punched.

  29. Nicholas
    Posted March 2, 2017 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    Rubin just had some Ann Coulter wannabe right-wing cheerleader endorsing European nationalism and people like La Pen and Wilders on his show, while the guy just goofily nodded along as always. I wonder what La Pen would think about Rubin’s weed habit. That’s “Libertarian” and “New Centrist” values for ya, European fascist style. I gave the guy a chance but I’m done with him. I’ll stick with people like Sam Harris.

    • rickflick
      Posted March 3, 2017 at 6:13 am | Permalink

      Speaking of Sam,(I agree he’s usually very good), a week ago he had someone on his podcast who said something right out of the gate that Sam just had to resolve before moving on. It turns out it took the rest of the hour and the discussion was stuck on that disagreement and never was resolved. So, just the opposite of a goofy nod along. Later he recognized that this was not good interview technique and promised to have the guy back again for another attempt.

    • Cindy
      Posted March 3, 2017 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      I keep hearing that La Pen is ‘far right’.

      Before I studied radfems and third wave intersectional feminists, I spent some time with the far-right-wingers on Canada’s version of the FreeRepublic.

      Far right wingers are, quite frankly, scary.

      What I learned from spending over a year reading their sorry excuse for a forum:

      We need a theocracy now! God will punish the West, namely, America, if we don’t institute a Christian theocracy.

      Ban all abortion, contraceptives, even the right of women to vote, because women vote for socialism, and socialism bad.

      Abolish welfare, any and all social programs, environmental regulations, food safety regulations, work safety regulations. Abolish it all and let the free market decide!

      Make being gay illegal again.

      Guns! Guns for everyone!

      The word ‘degenerate’ was thrown around a lot. Liberals are *degenerate* people who need to be wiped from the face of the earth.


      So, is that what Marine La Pen is all about?

      I had a look at a rundown of her platform:
      http://www.euronews.com/2017/02/09/what-do-we-know-about-marine-le-pen-s-policies and I actually agree with a lot of it. We *should* be vetting dangerous Islamists. We *should* punish companies that prefer to pay slave wages to workers in Bangladesh and so on. They keep calling her ‘far right’ in the article, but as a lifelong leftist, and someone who is wary of violent Islam, I agree with many aspects of her position.

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