Death Threats in the name of “Preserving Life” — The Irony of Facebook Censorship, Hobby Lobby Rage, Costco Censorship, and Media Misinformation

Most of you have heard about the Texas Tech cheerleader who started a controversy over posting her hunting photos from Africa on Facebook. It has been quite an ordeal for the 19 year old, Kendall Jones, who has recently received piles of death threats as the commotion began to pick up steam when Buzzfeed.com ran the story last week.

The irony of someone threatening to kill a 19 year old girl in the name of “preserving life” is just the tip of the contradictory iceberg. This Social media frenzy should show us a lot about who we are and where we are going as a country.

kendall-jones-endangered-animals

Two things you need to know before you jump on the firestorm fueling bandwagon:

#1) People rarely get their facts straight

Buzzfeed.com misrepresented information in their original article about Jones. Captioning a picture of Jones in front of what appears to be a dead Rhino they posted a quote, “’The vet drew blood, took DNA samples, took body and head measurements… I felt very lucky to be part of such a great program and procedure that helps the White Rhino population through conservation,’” she wrote.” The problem? The Rhino was not dead. It had been mauled by a lion and Jones shot it with a tranquilizer dart so the vet could do medical procedures on it to save its life. The Rhino has been micro chipped and is alive right now. Buzzfeed.com conveniently left that out.

The Huffington post celebrated Facebook earlier this week for taking Jones’ photos down, saying that it violated their photo standards by promoting the hunting of endangered animals. The problem is that these animals aren’t “endangered” they way you think they are endangered. Professional hunter Criag Boddington explained to Fox News that the wildlife conservationists encourage people to pay money to hunt these animals legally. There are many levels of endangered animals and none of the ones she hunted were on the critically endangered list except one—the cheetah (which actually wasn’t a cheetah). It was a leopard, and leopards are not endangered the same way and are allowed to be legally hunted. Again the media gave out wrong info, and many people ran with it hook, line, and sinker.

I’ve already explained in length that it’s both LEGAL and IMPORTANT to hunt these animals. Conservationists know how to control populations of the animals over particular areas of land so that the animals do not suffer AND so that the land doesn’t suffer. Take hunting away and you won’t have any conservationist groups left. Why? This is the primary way conservationist groups get money to operate their organizations. Then you will see true eradication of species by poaching or over population.

 

#2 What are you passionate about, and what are you doing about it?

In an article titled, Just Pretend This Dead Lion is a Human Baby and Then You Wont be so Upset, blogger Matt Walsh says, “It’s funny that, of all the filth and depravity online, it takes an image of a dead zebra to really rile people up.”

I agree with Matt. It’s also pretty amazing to me to see so many people getting outraged about the legal killing of animals in Africa but be so nonchalant about the killing of babies through abortion. Then people are so impassioned to preserve animal life that they threaten human life? Hello? Does that make any sense? I’ve recently seen people celebrating on Facebook that we’ve successfully petitioned against the freedom of a human, for the freedom of animals. What’s this world coming to? I think many people would rather hug a tree than hug their neighbor.

If we had as much passion for upholding our constitutional freedoms as we did for animals in Africa, our country would be a very different and BETTER place indeed.

While I wrote this blog I just learned about Costco co-founder and director Jim Senegal, a major Democrat donor and a speaker at the 2012 Democratic National Convention that nominated President Obama, creating a pull order to remove all copies of Dinesh D’Souza’s bestselling book America: Imagine the World Without Her from the shelves of its stores nationwide. Read more HERE. Also it has been reported that the The New York Times will finally put the book on it’s best selling list after “forgetting” to put the book on the list since June 20th. 

I love animals–very much indeed.  But I love my freedom more. I hope more people stand up for our rights and freedoms the way we stand up for banning photos on Facebook, declaring war on Hobby Lobby, and censoring opinions of conservatives.

UPDATE: The Blaze reports about the Costco censorship

UPDATE 2: Costco reverses decision to pull conservative book.

 

 

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16 replies
  1. Stephen B says:

    Is Jim Senegal really ‘censoring Conservative opinions’? I’ve tried reading up on this just now, and just found a few dozen conservative websites ranting about it and quoting each other, such that it’s hard to get to the bottom of it. But if what you’re saying is true, he’s not censoring opinions, merely choosing not to stock one book by a convicting felon. They still sell Bill O’Reilly books, right?

    Reply
  2. Luke says:

    I don’t actually disagree drastically with the author on of the substance (I too love animals, and I try to live my life in a way that I hope minimizes harm to them. I also don’t understand why there’s been a controversy over the young lady’s hunting photos (though I don’t know much about it). I too think death threats for such a case are ridiculous — as they are in pretty much all cases. Though my attitudes on the subject are, I sincerely hope, deeper and more nuanced than the prototypical pro-life person, I advocate policies which I think are more “pro-life” than said person.) But while I may agree with some of the conslusions and opinions of the author, I do not recognize the road he emarked upon to reach them.

    I will say that I have not heard anything about the Texas Tech chearleader aside from seeing a headline that I did not find interesting enough to click. Almost all of my information on the issue comes from this article.

    The I Imagine Dictionary

    In the first section, the author tells us a few things:

    1. Facebook took down the photos because it violated their photo standards.
    2. The photo standards of Facebook do not allow the promotion of hunting endangered animals.
    3. The animals in question are categorized as endangered.

    The author goes on to tell us however, that while the animals may be endangered, they are not “endangered” in “the way you think they are endangered.” Here, the author shows himself quite capable of knowing the understanding of the term endangered among quite a diverse base of readers. Be that as it may, and granting the author such transcendant powers, the logic we are left with is quite lacking. It seems as though the author believes that it’s not important what words actually mean, only what we think of when we hear them.

    Here is what the author is saying.

    1. Facebook bans photos of A.
    2. Facebook user posted photos of A.
    3. When author, like many others, thinks of the word for A, he tends to think of B. (B being “the way you think think they are endangered”. A includes B, but also more.)

    The conclusion reached is basically Facebook was wrong to take action because while they ban A and the user did A, the user did not do B, which is what I think of when I think about A. See how wrong Facebook is?!

    I think the author could make an argument that Facebook’s policies are wrong and too broad. I might even agree with such an argument! That is not what the author chose to do.

    Oh the outrage!
    In section two, the author speaks about outrage over one subject (hunting) in it’s absence of another (abortion). This is a perhaps correct observation. Perhaps.. I do know many, many people who are quite outraged at abortion. Does the author? Either way, this seems like a bit of human nature. We tend to focus on some things while ignoring others. It’s not in our capacity to contemplate everything in this world. I think it’s important to note that it’s not somehow limited to abortion, and that the outrage is not only activated by hunting.

    I always think about drunk driving deaths in the US. Drunk driving kills about 10,000 people a year in the US. It used to kill many more (there were more traffic deaths in general in previous decades). It’s almost 30 people a day, but we almost never hear about it on the news. Think of what would happen if terrorists killed just 10 people a day, every day, for a year.

    We can’t possibly worry and concentrate on everything. We filter. We respond. It’s just life. Is it wrong if we sit back and think about it? Yeah, it seems wrong much of the time. We should worry about the biggest risks first, but the fact is, we’re not going to. Because human nature is what it is, we will respond strongly to one story of single child, with a face we can see, when we easily ignore 1,000 whose trials that are described in print. (Seeing an image is actually a lot of it, we respond to what can see more strongly than to hearing faceless facts.)

    Did you know that you’re some 33 times more likely to be killed by a dog than a shark? (This is according to the Florida Museum of Natural History.) What gets more attention though? (We could say: Just Pretend This Shark Is a Dog and Then You Won’t Be So Scared!)

    This isn’t so much a criticism of the author, as just a general response. I do suppose I fault the author for failing to note that this is just part of a larger picture. (If people uniformly responded to larger tragedies and ignored smaller ones, but did not do so in this case, the author would have a strong point.) It’s as if the author saw a boy pick up a seashell on the beach, and proceeded to tell us that we can know a lot about the boy because he picked this very shell! Most likely that’s just not true. We can think up a million examples just like this. I personally know many people (people who want to be good people, they are not callous or uncaring at all) to whom one could write: “Just Pretend This Clump of Cells Is A Million Malaria Deaths and You Won’t Be So Upset.” Again, I don’t think this makes them bad people. If anything I’m a bad person, because while I do a little (very little) I don’t do nearly enough to help combat malaria and diarrhea and others. And now here I am seemingly complaining about others doing the same thing.

    Again, it’s just human nature. There was a pretty good article at Slate called The White Knight about Nicholas Kristoff which partly discusses the phenomenon of what we respond to and what we don’t and (if I remember correctly) even some research about the phenomenon. It’s worth the quick read, anyway.

    (I would also note that the fact that some of us care about one thing, while others care about another, make the world a much better place. We need both doctors and engineers, and we need people who worry about clean water and those who worry about car safety regulations. It’s easy for us to find examples we don’t like for just about any ideology, but the truth is, it all probably makes the world a better place.)

    The author goes on to say “It’s also pretty amazing to me to see so many people getting outraged about the legal killing of animals in Africa, but be so nonchalant about the killing of babies through abortion.”

    Here I must again say that I largely agree with the author about abortion. But I can’t resist pointing something out:

    To (almost) quote the author: The problem is that these babies aren’t “babies” the way you think they are babies.

    If you ask a million people in a neutral setting (nothing to influence their thinking) to think of a baby, what will appear in their mind is, well, what you just thought of when you read “baby”! I don’t need to describe it to you. I will even say that I firmly believe that not one person out of a million will imagine an embryo or fetus. Does anyone think I’m wrong about that?

    I actually don’t think it matters what people think of when they encounter a word; the facts are what matter! The author however, has already shown us he believes otherwise, at least sometimes.

    Freedom

    The author then comments, without detailed explanation, about freedom. He says: “I’ve recently seen people celebrating on Facebook that we’ve successfully petitioned against the freedom of a human, for the freedom of animals”

    He goes on to say: “If we had as much passion for upholding our constitutional freedoms as we did for animals in Africa, our country would be a very different and BETTER place indeed.

    And: “I love animals very much indeed. But I love my freedom more.

    I wonder what freedoms the author believes have been violated. Unfortunately, there is no detailed explanation. (Given that this is where the article concludes, suggesting this is the main point, one wonders why the exact problem is described so poorly.)

    Let’s start with the first statement “we’ve successfully petitioned against the freedom of a human”. I can only see this referencing the “freedom” of Ms. Jones to post photos to Facebook. I did not think this was a “constitutional freedom” or any kind of freedom at all.

    Is the author saying that posting any kind of photo one likes on Facebook is a freedom we are all entitled to? Is it a constitutional freedom?

    Is the author saying that a private business, providing a free service to customers, who freely choose to join, is not free to make rules for that service and enforce them?

    I can’t say for sure, but it does seem like it. I am only left to ask “what kind of freedom is that?”

    Likewise in the case of a bookseller. Does an author, any author, have the freedom to compell every book seller in the nation to carry their books? Does private business not have the freedom to choose what it will and will not sell?

    Is this just a freedom and right of some authors? Who gets to decide which ones? If it’s not the owner of book shop, is it the government? The public by plebiscite? Dr. Gatch?

    I feel as though I am being hard on the author, and I hope that’s not the case. If I were to write an article, I am quite sure it would be worse. Heck, this response is probably worse! My own writing not withstanding though, there are serious deficiencies here, and I offer a critique of them only in the spirit of constructive criticism, not with any sort of mean spirit.

    Thanks,

    Luke

    Reply
  3. Luke says:

    I hope everyone is impressed by my ability to craft a response much longer than the item responded too. Geeeeez I need to learn to write.

    Reply
  4. Luke says:

    On the outrage side of all of this, I think we saw another great example today. I was looking at photos of Brazil fans reacting to their team’s loss at the World Cup. Many of these photos didn’t look much different from photos of Americans I saw after 9/11. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that millions of people in Brazil literally cried, shed real tears because of this. These people experienced real sadness, stress, and heartbreak.

    Does it make any sense? Of course not. And if you talked to most of them, they would admit as much.

    Does it make them evil people, for crying over this, but not over the countless deaths due to violence, neglect, and disease which occurred today?

    I would say no; I would just say people are weird, G-d love ’em. And hey, we’re all created in the image of G-d, so maybe He’s just weird too. And apparently not Brazilian. 🙂

    Luke

    Reply
  5. Gil Gatch says:

    Luke. This is “the author”.

    I didn’t write the post to explain the animal situation in detail. It should be enough to say that killing a cheetah is not the same as killing an elephant. They are not both equally endangered. They have different designations and conservationists do not allow the killing of cheetahs from what I have read and from what my african friends tell me. Other animals like elephants and the others seen in Jones’ photos are different. That explains my comment that you dissected.

    Facebook refused to take the photos down at first as was reported by those flagging them, but it gave in later stating that it encouraged poaching and that was a violation. First, this was not poaching. Second, if it encourages anything it’s to legally support of the wildlife conservationists and to hunt in Africa legally. No one understands this better than those in and from the region. Talk to one of them.

    But your post has illustrated my point very well. You stated that you’ve never heard anything about this story except from my post, yet you spent quite a bit of time crafting an exhaustive treatment (three responses total) of my article that was more than twice the article’s length! It’s quite interesting how someone with so little knowledge of the actual story can feel so confident in posting such a response on the subject.

    One of my points was that people rarely get their facts straight. A simple google search would have shown that not all endangered species are the same. The “babies” analogy is false.

    The Costco store has every right to pull whatever books they feel. The point is that if it were a book about same-sex marriage, teaching evolution in school, women’s right, gun-control, or any other liberal ideal, there would be a media frenzy and a left wing uproar the size of Armageddon. Just because some censorship is legal doesn’t make it fair or right. I’d be interested to know why the books were pulled. Don’t you think? At least Facebook gave a reason. Costco as of now hasn’t given one.

    A high school has recently censored all conservative websites by blocking their access on computers on campus. All LBGT, planned parenthood, and other liberal sites were not blocked. Are you ok with that? When does it end?

    Reply
  6. Stephen B says:

    “It should be enough to say that killing a cheetah is not the same as killing an elephant. They are not both equally endangered”

    Yes, so it’s strange that Matt Walsh says: “It’s funny that, of all the filth and depravity online, it takes an image of a dead zebra to really rile people up.”

    It’s not the dead zebra people were objecting to, though, was it? It was the big cats.

    “The Costco store has every right to pull whatever books they feel. The point is that if it were a book about same-sex marriage, teaching evolution in school, women’s right, gun-control, or any other liberal ideal, there would be a media frenzy and a left wing uproar the size of Armageddon.”

    Instead we’ve got a media frenzy and RIGHT wing uproar the size of Armageddon.

    Gil, would you be writing your outraged blog here to attack a shop that failed to stock The God Delusion, or a book advocating SSM, gun-control, etc?

    “One of my points was that people rarely get their facts straight.”

    Sure, so we all need to be careful. Do we have all the facts yet on Costco pulling the book? The link you give to D’Souza’s website says: “We’re in the process of finding out what’s happening”. That’s sounds to me like we don’t know yet.

    “The irony of someone threatening to kill a 19 year old girl in the name of “preserving life” is just the tip of the contradictory iceberg.”

    You get idiots posting rubbish on internet comment boards on both sides of the political divide. Trying to google on the Costco controversy took me to numerous websites where the commenters were saying Obama was worse than Hitler. It’s only a small step from there to saying that many people would see it was a moral obligation to kill Hitler if we had the chance, and from there to threatening the President.

    Anyway, it seems that Costco has now reversed their decision.

    “Yet you spent quite a bit of time crafting an exhaustive treatment (three responses total) of my article that was more than twice the article’s length! It’s quite interesting how someone with so little knowledge of the actual story can feel so confident in posting such a response on the subject.”

    To be fair to Luke, one of those ‘three responses’ was just to acknowledge with self-deprecation that his previous response was longer than your article.

    Reply
  7. Jon says:

    The irony: Christians are happy when Hobby Lobby can follow their founder’s beliefs but not when Costco follows their founder’s beliefs

    The irony 2: Blogger advocates freedom but gets upset when Costco uses their freedom to sell what they want

    My local pub stopped selling my favorite beer. I hate how they use censorship against liberals. And they did not even give me reason for this censorship. I’m entitled to know that.

    How about if we can call unborn humans as “babies”, we should also call animals as “humans”. By changing the usage of words we can get more support for our animal activism. Also if we keep on repeating this for a decade or so we can clam then that “humans” is established word for animals.

    Reply
    • Gil Gatch says:

      Jon. You are equivocating “beliefs.” Obviously not all beliefs are constitutional or even legal.

      I never said that Costco couldn’t censor but that what the were censoring and the appearance of why they were censoring was suspect and scary in a way. However there was such an outcry against Costco with people turning in their membership cards etc. that the CFO has announced a reversal of the decision. That’s the free market at work and I encourage that.

      The Hobby Lobby case was about the GOVERNMENT forcing a private business owner to do something (purchase abortifacients for employees) that was against his religious beliefs. If we stay consistent here, we shouldn’t force either business own to do anything that they object to and let the free market work itself out.

      Currently that is what is happening with the exception of the liberal left is STILL trying to make Hobby Lobby do what they feel is wrong in the face of a supreme court ruling.

      Reply
      • Stephen B says:

        “The Hobby Lobby case was about the GOVERNMENT forcing a private business owner to do something (purchase abortifacients for employees) that was against his religious beliefs.”

        To me, providing health insurance that includes things the employer disagrees with is no different from giving staff wages that they might spend on things the employer finds distasteful. A Muslim or Jewish employer can’t complain that staff spend their wages on bacon, after all! Health insurance seems to be the same principle.

        Gil, do you not feel uncomfortable that the ruling allows Jehovah’s Witness employers to refuse staff medical insurance that included blood transfusions?

        ” in the face of a supreme court ruling”

        What, no Conservative ever argued against a Supreme Court Ruling or tried to have the decision overturned?

        Reply
        • Louie says:

          Stephen:
          I think it depends on who is paying for what. If the employee pays the entire premium, I side with the employee. Since at that point it is their money. If the employer pays for any of the premium, then I side with Hobby Lobby, since they would then be funding something that is against their core values. This is a delicate matter, since any business owner anywhere can start claiming almost anything is against their core values. This could get REEEEEALLY ugly.

          Reply
      • Jon says:

        Gil, are Hobby Lobby’s health care beliefs or Costco’s book selling beliefs unconstitutional or illegal? The answer is no, so your comment is irrelevant.

        I’m glad you supported the sacking of Brendan Eich, and Muslims in Muslim countries boycotting Christian businesses. That’s the free market at work and you encourage that.

        Why is it scary if Costco does not what to sell one type of books? Is it scary if your church does not sell Qurans? This is just Christian overreaction again.

        Gil said “If we stay consistent here, we shouldn’t force either business own to do anything that they object to and let the free market work itself out.”
        I guess you are ok with business discriminating based on race, religion and sexual orientation. You can have your religious beliefs but your religious belief should not affect other people’s lives. Are you ok when Muslim businesses decide not to provide health care for Christians? GOVERNMENT forces companies to pay at least minimum wave. Should a private business owner be able to pay less if that was against his religious beliefs? BTW, free market is no magical being sorting all things out.

        You said “The exception of the liberal left is STILL trying to make Hobby Lobby do what they feel is wrong in the face of a Supreme Court ruling.”
        Yes and the conservative right is STILL trying to teach creationism in schools in the face of a supreme court ruling. Such is life. But make no mistake. Liberals don’t want someone else’s religious beliefs affecting them, where conservatives want to impose their beliefs on others. Now who stands for freedom?

        Reply
  8. Luke says:

    The author said: “Luke. This is ‘the author'”

    Hello there “the author”! I hope this reply finds you well.

    The author said: “It should be enough to say that killing a cheetah is not the same as killing an elephant. They are not both equally endangered… That explains my comment that you dissected.”

    To be clear, it doesn’t matter to my response whether or not this is true or not. I honestly don’t know how true your claim is. I simply accepted it as an assumption, and wrote my response based upon the idea that what you say is true.

    So I’m not sure why you seem to think I don’t understand this and felt the need to explain it again. The fact that not all animals are equally endangered is a premise I accepted and I critiqued the conclusions you drew from that. I honestly don’t know how to state my point any more clearly (that’s not to say it can’t be stated more clearly, I just don’t know how), so I’ll shortly repeat it. A in my post refers to all endangered animals, B refers to endangered animals which are “‘endangered’ the way you think they are endangered.” As I said, “A includes B, but is not limited to it”. I’m not sure how I could have said all that and come across as not understanding that you are presenting different levels or kinds of endangerment. (What did you think my A and B referred to, if not different types of endangerment?)

    The author said: “Facebook refused to take the photos down at first as was reported by those flagging them, but it gave in later stating that it encouraged poaching and that was a violation.”

    How do you know that they gave in, rather than say ‘realized’ or ‘learned that the photos did in fact violate the policy they set up’?

    You say facts are important, so I wonder how you verified this one.

    Also, this is a different reason than you gave in the original article!

    You first said that Facebook took down the photos saying (quoting you, not Facebook “that it violated their photo standards by promoting the hunting of endangered animals.”

    Now you say that “it encouraged poaching and that was a violation.”

    Yet you’ve told us that it is not illegal to hunt all endangered animals, just some. This means that hunting of endangered species and poaching are not the same.

    Whether it is legal or important, to use your words, you admit that the photos featured hunting of an animal categorized as endangered (though “not endangered the same way”).

    So whether legal or important, it violates any ban of posting photos of hunting endangered animals. This is what you described in the article. Again saying “that it violated their photo standards by promoting the hunting of endangered animals.”

    In your follow up, you said Facebook’s answer was that “it encouraged poaching”.

    Poaching is by definition illegal hunting (or capture) of an animal. The animal need not be endangered to be poached, just one which is not allowed to be hunted legally. I hope you can see why this is a very different explanation. (Likewise if an animal is endangered, but allowed to be hunted, such a hunt would not be considered poaching.)

    I am honestly a bit curious now which it is. And to be honest, sir, for someone who complains that “people rarely get their facts straight” , it is a serious lack of clarity and congruity of fact.

    The author said: “First, this was not poaching.”

    That may be. You’ve given us two different versions of what Facebook has said, so I’m not sure if it’s even relevant. It seems to me though, that things that are not “X” can still promote “X”. Do you disagree? (The example that comes to mind — simply because I was excited to find a shop that sells them — is candy cigarettes. They are very difficult to buy these days. This is not because they are cigarretes, but because while NOT being cigarettes, they DO promote them. I’m sure you can think of many other examples.)

    The author said: “Second, if it encourages anything it’s to legally support of the wildlife conservationists and to hunt in Africa legally.”

    This is quite tangential to anything I was saying, but since you brought it up… I’m not sure this is true. The hunting rights or permits are auctioned off and the prices can get quite high (and most people believe corruption and money not ending up where it was intended are also problems). It seems quite plausible to me that there are people out there who cannot afford official permits, but still desire to hunt. (If this were not true, poachers wouldn’t exist.) I’m just not sure how you can be so confident that not a single person on earth might see such a photo and say “I want to do that!” then find out they are not able to do so legally and think “I can go do it anyway.” Anyway, just as no man is an island, no market is an island; the legal and black markets are linked. Like I said, I’m not saying this can’t be true, but it does certainly seem implausible. What makes you so confident about this?

    The author said: “But your post has illustrated my point very well. You stated that you’ve never heard anything about this story except from my post, yet you spent quite a bit of time crafting an exhaustive treatment (three responses total) of my article that was more than twice the article’s length! It’s quite interesting how someone with so little knowledge of the actual story can feel so confident in posting such a response on the subject.”

    I would definitely not say that I wrote “on the subject” of the Facebook vs. Ms. Jones story. I did not opine on whether she was right to hunt. I did not opine on whether she was right to post the photos. I did not opine as to whether Facebook should have removed the photos. I did say that I might agree with an argument that Facebook’s policies are too broad, but that’s far from an actual opinion as well. So I’m not really sure what I wrote “on the subject”, but I do know that I wrote a critique of your post.

    Let me offer an example. If I receive an essay about Hootie and the Blowfish to critique and grade, I need not be a Hootie expert to grade it. I can have no opinion of Hootie before reading, and I can still have no opinion after. I will still be able to say whether the arguments offered in said essay are logical and whether the stated conclusion indeed flows from those arguments. Such a critique will probably not say much about Hootie (will not be “on the subject”), because that’s not what matters to me, and that is not my goal. Such was the case here.

    I’ll even go a step further. The essay could contain a factual error (let’s say new Hootie research has come out and superseded something the student cited), but as long as the argument works within the essay, I’m not too concerned about that. I might point it out, for the student’s benefit, but if the arguments are logical and consistent, and the conclusion flows from them, the student has done a good job. This is where your article failed, facts of the story aside. Just as I need not know about Hootie to recognize this, I need not know about Facebook to see such failures in your article. (And I don’t know and did not check some of your claims, like the fact that the hunting of certain legally endangered species is encouraged. I simply accepted them as true for purposes of my response.)

    So I find your response a bit odd. It’s as though I wrote an essay about A Farewell to Arms and you patted me on the back saying “man, you must really be into World War I!” (By the way, if you did this in real life, I would totally love you. I love people that think this way, but precisely because it makes no sense. The only people for me are the mad ones…)

    Anyway, to be fair to you, the fact that you thought my 2nd response, regarding only my overly long post was “on the subject” suggests you may have not read my posts too carefully. I would not fault you for that, but it may have prompted some misunderstandings.

    The author said: “One of my points was that people rarely get their facts straight. A simple google search would have shown that not all endangered species are the same.”

    Sir, for my own benefit I ask you with the utmost sincerity to please, please tell me what I wrote that made you believe that I did not recognize or accept this premise. I intended to build the first section of my response on this very fact. What I wrote would (to me) make no sense if I didn’t accept this. In my argument, I substituted A for all animals categorized as endangered and B for animals that are endangered “the way you think they are endangered”. I see that something about this wasn’t clear. So I ask again, what in what I wrote made you beleive that I did not recognize or accept the premise that “not all endangered species are the same”? I thank you very kindly in advance for the answer.

    The author said: “The “babies” analogy is false.

    Okay. I might be convinced of this if I saw your reasons!

    The author said: “The Costco store has every right to pull whatever books they feel. The point is that if it were a book about same-sex marriage, teaching evolution in school, women’s right, gun-control, or any other liberal ideal, there would be a media frenzy and a left wing uproar the size of Armageddon.”

    Like lots of people writing blog posts expressing outrage? 🙂

    The author said: “Just because some censorship is legal doesn’t make it fair or right. I’d be interested to know why the books were pulled. Don’t you think?”

    Yes, I agree, just because censorship is legal doesn’t make it fair or right. I would say however, that if something is legal, then it’s also not infringing on a “constitutional freedom”. That just can’t work logically, being that the constitution is the supreme law of the land. And that was your claim, was it not?

    I’d like to answer your question, but I’m not sure what you’re asking. I do think you’d be interested to know why the books were pulled. Are you asking if I’m interested? At best slightly, I’d say. I’d feel the same way if they pulled President Obama’s books. It’s just not that interesting to me.

    The author said:”A high school has recently censored all conservative websites by blocking their access on computers on campus. All LBGT, planned parenthood, and other liberal sites were not blocked. Are you ok with that? When does it end?”

    I’m not really okay with that. I think a school is a much more powerful censoring entity than a private store (for many, schools are a de facto monopoly), with far less right to make such decisions. In general, I believe in academic freedom, and don’t think schools should censor any kind of information.

    I am curious about the determination that “all” (to use your word) conservative websites were blocked. Who determines which websites are conservative within this formulation? Did the school block all of the sites they deemed conservative, or did they block a certain number of sites and that list included every single website which you, the author, consider conservative?

    I am not sure when it ends. I’m not sure I understand the question, sorry.

    Also, I asked some direct questions about freedom and what exactly you meant in your article. Perhaps you didn’t see them, but I really was curious about your answers. The questions were not rhetorical.

    Thanks,

    Luke

    Reply
    • Stephen B says:

      Luke, I found Gil’s response to you odd too, as it did feel like he was responding to a much more combative post than you actually wrote, and didn’t really address your actual points.

      Anyway, facts are important, as a man said, so here’s a bit more background on Facebook’s removal of the pics. The pictures were deemed to break a rule about “graphic images shared for sadistic effect or to celebrate or glorify violence,” as outlined in Facebook Community Standards.

      “We remove reported content that promotes poaching of endangered species, the sale of animals for organized fight or content that includes extreme acts of animal abuse,” said a Facebook spokesperson.

      “The number of reports does not influence whether a piece of content is removed.”

      Not all offensive pictures are automatically removed, the spokesperson added: “Certain content, which some may find offensive, can be used to spread awareness, and we welcome dialogue about animal abuse, hunting, and other animal-rights issues.”

      The photo of Jones next to the immobilized rhino is still on Facebook now.

      Reply
  9. Stephen B says:

    I read an interview with the author Judy Blume at the weekend. She said every time she does talks on behalf of Planned Parenthood she gets hate-mail warnings – seven hundred on one occasion. “We know where you are going to be and we’ll be waiting for you” etc. So there’s another irony for you – the ‘pro-life’ side threatening a 76-year-old woman with physical violence and death.

    Reply

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