in a perfect world of yancies: Ouch

27 February 2006


So my prediction for the Texas game was a little off. . . .

If you can handle more basketball, Scott's put up a blog focused on the Jayhawks: feel free to check it out at

In other news . . . well, not much happening--Braxton (and Magen too) is on the way; my goal is to have a small cap knit for him by Thursday; wish me luck--or don't; whatever.

And, Deron, if you're watching, the Economist did a nice job of defending the position on free speech that I was bumbling my way through the other night: click here if you're interested (that offer, of course, is open to any and all interested in a nicely written defense of free speech).



  1. I can't read the Economist piece as I am not a subscriber, nor do I subscribe to their point of view. If you can forward me the text, I'll respond with my own anti-free speech rant.

  2. Huh--I thought that was an article not restricted to subscribers (you might need to click on a 'skip ad' button to get there . . .) . . . ah well. In any case, I've put a pdf version onto my web site: click here and enjoy.
    I, in turn, look forward to enjoying the rant.

  3. OK. You'll be disappointed to learn that I agree with most of it.

    But where it is unconvincing is exactly the issue we were arguing the other night--why publish the cartoons in the first place? The article says this "may" be a case where "protecting free expression" trumps "social harmony" but fails to elaborate. Why is it necessary to incite riots to protect free expression? Whose free expression is being threatened, and how does deliberately offending millions of people fend off that threat?

    When major news outlets give the finger to an entire religious faith it plays right into the jihadists' hands. Obviously they have the RIGHT to print what they want, but I just think they exercised poor editorial judgment.

    Side note: they don't argue, as you did the other night, that self-censorship is JUST as bad as government censorship. Still want to defend that view, or was it mere drunken hyperbole?

  4. hyperbole! well I never

    I would want to stick with the claim that social censorship (through intimidation, etc) is often as objectionable as legal censorship--after all, expression is stifled as effectively through social pressure as through law. If 'self censorship' is a reaction to social pressures, then yes, I suppose I will keep arguing that it's as ugly as state censorship.

    Kind of funny, I suppose, how pleasant it is to discuss this issue: to remind myself of the reasons why free expression might be valuable; to discuss the limits of such freedom and the line between harmony and liberty . . . if nothing else, I'd thank those European papers for giving me opportunity (how selfish! oh well) to review these issues (and especially in a political climate where it's asserted that, for example, the reporters covering the NSA wiretap story are a bigger threat than the illegal wiretaps themselves). . . .

  5. I have to tip my hat--great post.

    I'd agree, needless to say, that the Bushies have no credibility on this issue. You can see a consistent theme of contempt for freedom of the press: the lack of press conferences, the "watch what you say" comment, paying journalists here and in Iraq to propagandize, condemning the Danish cartoons, condemning the release of Abu Ghraib photos, trying to kill the wiretapping story; on and on and on. Has somebody written a book on this yet?

    But I'd still much rather live in this climate, where journalists face "social pressures" and sometimes decide to succumb to them (not always a mistake, I'd argue) than say, China. The implication of what you're saying is that an editor at the NYT killing a story because it's offensive to "society" is just as bad as China jailing dissidents for blogging about democracy. You CAN'T mean that.

  6. I see you switched your blog format to show comments on the page. I think it's better that way too.

    Learned a "web trick" from JayhawkNation, huh. ;)