Conservatives need to defend others in free speech battle

By John Ruberry

Free speech is under harsh attack in America courtesy of wokeism. Such warnings about free speech are nothing new–but in the past much of the danger has been imagined. For instance I was in college when The Clash released Combat Rock. On the opening track, “Know Your Rights,” Joe Strummer sings of those rights, “all three of them.” The third right is “free speech,” with a caveat. That right could be used if “you’re not dumb enough to actually try it.” Assuming that Strummer was addressing his core audience, American and British youths of the early 1980s, what he said was at best a gross exaggeration.

Not so in 2021.

I received the inspiration for this post by listenening to Ben Shapiro’s December 24 podcast, Goodbye, 2020.

Shapiro is among the many commentators who predict a purge–my word, not his–of dissident voices, meaning conservative ones, on social media such as Twitter, beginning with Donald Trump as soon as he’s not president.

Absurdly, people like Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, still claim that social media is a neutral conduit of information. Twitter for a while prevented the posting and distribution of the New York Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story on the microblogging platform claiming that the laptop details were hacked and illegally obtained. Wrong on both counts. Twitter had no problem with Tweets linking to the New York Times story about Trump’s income tax returns–those returns may have been obtained by hacking. Regardless how those returns were accessed the person who did so broke the law.

What to do?

Forge alliances.

“Well first of all we’re going to have to rely on people, believe or not, who are moderate liberals,” Shapiro said in that podcast, “who are sick of watching the Overton window shut.”

And that means conservative have to defend those liberals who cross the cancel culture.

An incident on Twitter comes to mind. Three years ago in this space I reviewed the documentary XTC-This Is Pop, which was about the spectacular rock back that emerged in England in the late 1970s. That post got a lot of retweets, including one from the XTC Fans Twitter page, run by the now-dissolved group’s former leader, Andy Partridge. A committed liberal, Partridge’s Tweets, although often sarcastic, were entertaining and usually well-thought out, whether it was about music, religion, or politics.

In 2019 some people with too much time on their hands accused Partridge of anti-Semitism after a series of Tweets–not well-thought out this time–about American Middle East policy that devolved into an online shouting match about Israel and religion. Partridge, a strident atheist, went a little too far, I admit, but taken into context with his overall sardonic attitude, those Tweets weren’t a big deal to me. I planned to write a blog post on Marathon Pundit defending him, but then Partridge cancelled himself on Twitter by deleting the XTC Fans account and I moved on to other things.

One of those Twitter accounts Partridge engaged with was “Jon Devin Nunes’ Prostate.”

You know, some people take Twitter too seriously.

Back to Partridge. No one knows why he deleted his account–perhaps he decided that he was spending too much time on social media. He certainly broke a Twitter rule of mine: Never feed online trolls.

I believe if Partridge wasn’t an older white male a Twitter mob would not have bothered to object to those controversial Tweets. For instance the media, with a few exceptions, have not called to task Georgia US Senate candidate Raphael Warnock for his anti-Israel comments.

There will be other efforts to silence dissidents on social media. Mostly against conservatives. But against liberals too.

Conservatism must embrace free speech. And that means relying on for allies, not just the moderate liberals that Shapiro spoke of, but also center-line liberals too in order to fight this crucial battle. And keep in mind no political ideology is always correct.

As for the fundamentalist far-left, the tiny tail wagging the cultural dog these days, I believe they’ve already isolated themselves, as Isaac Asimov said of the 1960s radicals, into a “no-man’s land of the spirit.” Think of the bleating sheep in George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

But right now in the culture wars the far-left is winning.

Fight back.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Futility league and SD Jones League 1/3 and needs for alternates in Face to face league

Here is the state of the 2nd season of my Dynasty Baseball All Futility League (all teams lost 96 + games). Teams available for those interested are listed. If you click on the link for the various teams you get to their home page and can see their stats, leaders, injuries etc. Can you hold an existing lead or take a trailing team to the top?

Teams AL Division AWinsLossesPCTGBAvailable
1970 Milwaukee Brewers2724.529—–No
1970 Chicago White Sox2724.529—–No
2002 Tampa Bay DevilRays2130.4126Yes
2003 Detroit Tigers2031.3927No
Teams AL Division BWinsLossesPCTGBAvailable
1970 Kansas City Royals3021.588—–No
2012 Minnesota Twins2724.5293No
2008 Seattle Mariners2625.5104Yes
1973 Texas Rangers 2229.4318No
Teams AL Division C Wins Losses PCT GB Available
2009 Cleveland Indians 30 21 .588 —– No
1957 Washington Senators 26 25 .510 4 No
1967 Kansas City A’s 23 28 .451 7 No
2019 Baltimore Orioles 22 29 .431 8 No
Teams NL Division A Wins Losses PCT GB Available
1998 Montreal Expos 33 18 .647 —– No
2001 Pittsburgh Pirates 26 22 .542 5 1/2 Yes
2009 Washington Nats 25 26 .490 8 Yes
1998 Florida Marlins 25 26 .490 8 Yes
Teams NL Division B Wins Losses PCT GB Available
2015 Atlanta Braves 19 20 .487 —– No
2000 Philadelphia Phillies 23 28 .451 1 Yes
2012 Houston Astros 23 28 .451 1 Yes
2017 SF Giants 23 28 .451 1 No
Teams NL Division C Wins Losses PCT GB Available
1993 New York Mets 22 14 .611 —– No
1982 Cincinnati Reds 21 18 .538 2 1/2 No
1993 San Diego Padres 20 19 .513 3 1/2 Yes
1974 Chicago Cubs 15 21 .417 7 No

I am also running an all average team league called the SD Jones memorial .500 teams league. All teams were no better than 2 games over .500 or no worse than 2 games under. Here are the current standings. Teams still available are listed. This is our initial season.

Teams AL East Wins Losses PCT GB Available
1993 Boston 13 11 .543 —– No
1967 Washington 10 11 .476 1 1/2 Yes
1973 New York (A) 10 14 .417 3 Yes
1957 Baltimore 9 15 .375 4 Yes
Teams AL Central Wins Losses PCT GB Available
2010 Detroit 14 8 .583 —– Yes
1975 Cleveland 11 10 .524 1 1/2 No
1998 Chicago (A) 11 13 .458 3 No
1973 Minnesota 9 15 .375 5 No
Teams AL West Wins Losses PCT GB Available
2017 Kansas City 18 6 .750 —– Yes
 2010 Oakland 14 13 .519 5 1/2 No
2018 Los Angeles (A) 11 13 .458 7 Yes
2005 Toronto 11 16 .407 8 1/2 Yes
Teams NL East Wins Losses PCT GB Available
1967 Pittsburgh 20 7 .741 —– No
2018 Washington 16 8 .667 2 1/2 No
 1957 Philadelphia 10 14 .417 8 1/2 Yes
1975 New York (N) 10 14 .417 8 1/2 Yes
Teams NL Central Wins Losses PCT GB Available
2000 Colorado 13 11 .667 —– Yes
1975 St. Louis   12 12 .500 1 Yes
1996 Cincinnati 11 13 .458 2 Yes
1973 Houston 10 17 .370 4 1/2 Yes
Teams NL West Wins Losses PCT GB Available
1975 San Francisco 18 6 .750 —– Yes
2007 Los Angeles (N) 12 12 .500 6 Yes
2012 Arizona 10 14 .333 8 Yes
1982 San Diego 8 16 .333 10 Yes

The invite for the 3rd season of our great teams league. Last season the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers repeated as world champs defeating the 2010 Texas Rangers 4 games to two. Can they three peat? And what team would YOU like to manage to try and stop them? We will be starting this league within two weeks.

Finally in our face to face league one player will be having a medical issue and a 2nd might also needing him to take some time off. We have one alternate available but he has already taken a team. If you had an interest in joining our league that plays every other Saturday in Fitchburg MA (1 pm EST) leave a comment here and I’ll give you details.