“The US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit rejected a public-school district’s decision to ban pink wristbands featuring the phrase ‘I ♥ Boobies!’ as part of a breast cancer awareness month fund raiser and educational project. The public-school district’s rationale was that the speech was indecent and, under Morse [Morse v. Frederick, US 2007] and Fraser [Bethel School District No. 403 v. Fraser, US 1986], indecent speech is presumptively disruptive regardless of its actual effects on the school’s operations. The 9-5 en banc Third Circuit did not disagree with the school’s district legal claim that indecent speech is inherently disruptive but rejected the school district’s characterization of the bracelets as indecent. Had the judges found the speech to be indecent, the school district would have prevailed over the students.
“One should also keep in mind that five members of the en banc court disagreed with this characterization – finding the message to be indecent and therefore proscribable. As much as one would like to dismiss the dissenting judges’ views on this point as complete and utter nonsense, the Fraser/Morse framework makes the characterization of the speech as ‘lewd’ outcome determinative. The problem with this analysis is that a student wearing a breast cancer awareness wristband featuring this phrase simply does not present a serious risk of disruption to a middle school’s core pedagogical mission.”
Ronald J. Krotoszynski, Jr. (University of Alabama School of Law), The Disappearing First Amendment, Cambridge University Press, 2019, p.115.
The decision here discussed is BH ex rel. Hawk v. Easton Area School District, 3rd Cir. 2013. The US Supreme Court declined to take the case. – I will explain why the “complete and utter nonsense” of the five dissenting judges is actually the correct point of view in this case.
The reader has understood at this stage that the point on which I will dwell is not the main issue discussed by Prof. Krotoszynski. The point he makes is that lewdness in the context of students wearing wristbands on their campus should not be “outcome determinative” in deciding a free speech issue, because the regulatory powers of school authorities aim at preventing disruption inside the educational context and such behavior is not disruptive whether one construes the message on the wristbands as lewd or not.
Therefore, when Prof. Krotoszynski calls the dissenting judges’ view “complete and utter nonsense,” it is only a side comment. That is, to begin with, a singular rhetorical figure to reserve one’s most pungent and bellicose remarks to alleged side aspects of a problem. Compare the sharply dismissive “complete and utter nonsense” with the rest of the passage and you’ll find the phrase is isolated in the argument. It is as if Prof. K. were willing to go out of his mind for a problem he alleges not even to be discussing. Far for being a rhetorical figure, it betrays Prof. K.’s true mind: He is incensed that some judges, even in the minority, could have found the speech obscene. Of course, having asserted that the point is only incidental, he does not tell his readers why it is “complete and utter nonsense.” It just goes without saying, seemingly.
Precisely this point will I discuss, leaving aside the question whether that particular speech should be deemed disruptive or not, but at the same time agreeing with Fraser that lewd speech is subject to the regulatory power of school authorities. That this agreement of mine is the consequence of my views on obscenity will become, I think, crystal clear from the reasoning.
“Affirming, the Court held that, under the First Amendment, the students’ bracelets could not be categorically banned by the school district. The bracelets were part of a nationally recognized breast-cancer-awareness campaign and were not plainly lewd and because (sic) they commented on a social issue. The Court also held that the school district failed to show that the bracelets threatened to substantially disrupt the school.” (LexisNexis website on BH ex rel. Hawk v. Easton Area School District)
Contrary to Prof. K., LexisNexis presents the court’s decision as based on two seemingly separate issues: on the one hand, the court found that the bracelets were not “plainly lewd” and on the other hand there was no evidence that the bracelets were disruptive. However, Prof. K. is certainly correct to state that the wristbands would have been disruptive ipso facto if found lewd, because this is the substance of the Fraser precedent. Therefore, the school authorities had intended their claim according to which the wristbands are obscene as proof that the wristbands are disruptive; the issues are not separate (although there may be several possible sources of disruption besides obscenity). The last sentence in LexisNexis’s quote should be, therefore: “The Court also held that the school district failed to show that the bracelets threatened to substantially disrupt the school IN OTHER WAYS,” in order to be quite consistent with Fraser.
Again, it isn’t the articulation between obscenity and disruption in the legal treatment of such free speech cases that I want to discuss primarily, but mainly the claim itself that the bracelets are not obscene.
The bracelets read “I ♥ Boobies!” I love boobies. Where in the world is such an utterance as this not a serious breach of etiquette, is the simple question one must ask from the outset. And the answer is, in sum: Nowhere.
If one male student at that school had told a female student he vaguely knew: “I love your boobies,” that would have been a horrible outrage. This was so before feminism existed, will still be so if feminism ceases to exist, and such as feminist sensitivity now exists it is indeed a horrible outrage. It is more than a gaffe, it is the reprobate endorsement of the womanly body’s sexual objectification. One must simply never utter such words except, perhaps, in the intimacy of one’s sexual life. The normal reaction to such words in a social setting is a slap in the face, and if the woman has a brother the latter may have a few words to say too: “Did you say ‘I love your boobies’ to my sister?” and after the slap comes a punch. Even assuming that such reactions could be somewhat extreme, everybody feels the truth of what I’m saying, and if we don’t hear of such slaps and punches more often it is probably because most people know they must not say such words and avoid saying them. (Among groups of teenage boys and girls, this kind of speech may be more frequent, as boys want to test girls, want to know how much girls can take, with an escalation to be expected for those girls who, in order to remain part of a group, accept to be talked like that; for these, unwanted pregnancies are perhaps the least of various foreseeable evils.)
Even if not addressed to one or some women in particular, the words ‘I love boobies,’ when not merely reported for some purpose, will be found a serious breach of etiquette in about all social settings. The only exceptions I can think of are conversations either (a) between people who are on the most intimate footing or (b) in groups where members agree beforehand they will be talking of those things, namely the members’ sexual tastes. In both cases, the general rules of etiquette are suspended and new ones apply on which all participants in the interaction agree as a result of long acquaintance or accepted intimacy, in a, or of stipulated rules (“we’ll be talking of our sexual tastes”), in b. In other situations, where an idiosyncratic micro-etiquette is not agreed upon tacitly or expressly, the general etiquette of society at large obtains, and let me tell Prof. K. that according to that etiquette neither sexual objectification nor hinting at the underlying impulses toward it as natural therefore normal, is accepted. It is not accepted because it is obscene. In a nutshell no one wants to hear ‘I love boobies’ without prior agreement which cannot be presumed.
One will pass me the use of the word etiquette, which perhaps has an elitist or snobbish flavor about it, even as I deal with customs that I describe as enjoying full recognition in the society at large. The notion that I merely would be talking of upper-class standards that are nothing to the rest of the people, if not a target of endless jokes, is what I will be dealing with now. This notion is entertained by what I shall call ‘advertised minds’ (Du Plessis) and rests on a distorted perception of the real world.
(From Erik Du Plessis’s book, The Advertised Mind: Groundbreaking insights into how our brains respond to advertising [Millward Brown, 2008], an insider’s account of the neuroscience of advertising, I am only borrowing the phrase ‘advertised mind’ –advertised in the sense I figure of shaped by advertisement– as the book has little to say on legal and sociological implications of advertising outside the market researcher’s perspective.)
What I have been describing in i is a taboo. We may, in the western world, fancy ourselves free from taboos and there is in our midst a whole sector of speech agency that has set a rule of making people believe there is no such thing as taboos, a speech agency named commercial speech. It has made this attitude a rule because, short of making us believe this way, it could not use taboos to its own ends. The utterance ‘I love boobies’ is taboo and commercial speech vindicates a right to use taboos as sales pitch. Obviously, the power of such a pitch must be great, it cannot fail to attract people’s attention.
Furthermore, commercial speech cannot do this without a convention that when it, and it alone, makes use of taboos, read obscenity, it is not taboos and obscenity but something quite different. When commercial speech is obscene, by convention it is not obscene. Admittedly, the convention does not extend (yet) over the whole field of possible obscene speech; there are limits.
Whereas common sense has it that taboos are arbitrary conventions, in truth it is the exception for which we make room by waiving to treat obscene commercial speech as taboo like any other public speech, that is the most obvious convention of the two, because it lacks the thinnest link with our essence whereas the reason why we do not want to be reminded daily of our biological processes is self-evident as we see ourselves as free agents only partially determined by natural impulses.
To take an example, the s- and f-words are vulgar precisely because they remind us of our biology. It is only an apparent paradox that they are used all the time – as cursing words. We often curse, true enough, and at the same time these are the words no one wants to hear, vulgar words. Their use has become so widespread in informal speech, anyway, that we have become blind to the actual biological processes they depict when we hear the words, most of the time.
Yet I deny commercial speech the right to use obscene language with people not minding.
I love boobies, therefore I fight breast cancer: What is indecent in this? – It is twice indecent, compounded indecency. (1) Appropriation of obscenity for some social or commercial goal does not cancel the obscenity. Disrespect for a woman’s character is not mitigated by the fact that it comes in a double entendre; on the contrary, it is aggravated by underhandedness. (2) When, therefore, underhandedness is given out as a valid defense, the aggravating factor parading as its opposite is all the more outrageous.
Admitting that ‘I love boobies’ is not proper talk among people, that is to say, will elicit among listeners at best embarrassment and more often than not displeasure and anger (save in the circumstances I described), then considering the usual effect as obviated when and because it comes from commercial speech is to load an illegitimate burden on people at the receiving end. As a matter of fact, this is making people inferiors in an unequal relationship with commercial speech. In an unequal relationship, the inferiors have no choice but to repress their natural reactions when the superiors disregard the inferiors’ feelings. Yet I see no reason why people should be treated as inferior to the agencies entitled to making commercial speech.
Failing to perceive the situation in this way is a sign of being an ‘advertised mind,’ a mind whose general notions are shaped in large part or entirely by pervasive commercial speech.
That it is a nonprofit, such as a “breast-cancer-awareness” organization perhaps, which uses marketing techniques borrowed from private business advertising makes no difference. That would very odd if the law allowed “nationally recognized campaigns” to use methods it considers inappropriate for private pursuits. In fact, as commercial speech is not as fully protected by the First Amendment to the US Constitution as, say, political speech, campaigns, no matter how nationally recognized, relevant and important, that make use of commercial speech methods, are equally limited by the Constitution in the attention-calling, neuroscience techniques they may use. The question, in BH ex rel. Hawk v. Easton Area School District, really boils down to this: Is “I ♥ Boobies!” indecent? Justifying indecency by the goals aimed at (the end justifies the means), namely breast cancer awareness, is a clandestine extension of commercial speech’s constitutional rights.
Same as LexisNexis has, perhaps correctly as to the 3rd cir. court’s reasoning, described Hawk as having two separate issues, (1) lewdness and (2) disruptiveness of speech, whereas Fraser coalesces the two in one lewd-disruptive characterization, it also make separate issues of (1) the national campaign (“The bracelets were part of a nationally recognized breast-cancer-awareness campaign”) and (2) lewdness (“AND were not plainly lewd”), whereas it seems obvious the majority has excused the lewdness on the national campaign: It cannot be obscene because we are talking of breast cancer – not breast grabbing.
When commercial speech makes use of obscenity, by convention we are supposed to take it as a form of irony (au second degré). A nonprofit organization or business has no natural, biological motive to say it loves boobies, therefore it is humor, a humorous, cheeky wink. Well, no. If a business exhibited penises on posters to sell goods, we would find it obscene regardless of whether someone in the advertising agency is a pathological exhibitionist or not. The trick is to attract attention through the intrusive, obstreperous display of what no one wants to see or hear. Find a taboo, usually in the field of the obscene, plaster all walls with it under a conventional label of irony and the jig is up. The deed will be positively valued, as defiance against the constraints of etiquette, usually by the frustrated who believe their natural impulses are held in fetters by inimical, unnatural social forces, and by the young who still have no sex life. For those, commercial speech dons the guise of liberators.
This is how I read the phrase “plainly lewd.” When something is “not plainly lewd,” that means it is lewd (but not plainly so here by virtue of the irony). However, the Fraser precedent does not ask that speech be “plainly lewd” for authorities to step in. I believe the majority in Hawk has found the lewd speech excusable in the context of commercial speech for breast cancer awareness. Yet judges should know that, with obscenity, context is often immaterial, for sometimes courts exclude the public from hearings when the case is too risqué; that is, even sheer reporting, even reporting with the express intention to condemn and contemn what must be condemned, is deemed potentially offensive.
Another problem with such finding is that speech tends to be arbitrarily defined according to the speaker. When it is our good friend Mr. Commercial Speech, best known for his delightful epigram “I love boobies, therefore I fight breast cancer,” it is not obscene, whereas a rap singer who loves boobies is at risk of prosecution (well, maybe not all of them).
In sum, conventions declaring indecency innocuous in the context of commercial speech cannot be valid, they are unacceptable, as is every mental process based on such unwritten conventions. Therefore, the five dissenting justices in BH ex rel. Hawk v. Easton Area School Dist. were in the right.
According to a note in Krotoszynski’s book, one dissenting judge argued the bracelets were lewd because “‘I ♥ Boobies!’ can reasonably be interpreted as inappropriate sexual double entendre.” This, to be sure, borders on “complete and utter nonsense,” however not, as K. would have it, because the message cannot reasonably be interpreted as inappropriate sexual double entendre but because it cannot be interpreted otherwise except by the blind, unreasoned following of a convention. It is true the message can reasonably be interpreted as sexual but this is not the relevant aspect of it, which is, in fact, that it cannot reasonably be interpreted otherwise.
The national breast awareness campaign used the techniques of commercial speech and most certainly contracted with an ad agency that came off with the ‘I love boobies’ pitch. A change of judicial state of mind regarding commercial speech is long overdue. When a double entendre dawns upon one in commercial speech, I suggest not to treat it as a blunder or mistake but as intentional save proof to the contrary, because advertisers are professionals whose task is to design messages and the rational expectation is therefore that the content they produce is intentional; but again this goes against the irrational convention that prevails among us regarding commercial speech, where lewd (or other taboo-ridden content) is not lewd.
Besides, it should be of concern that vindication of student free speech revolves around commercial speech. The media Slate called BH ex rel. Hawk v. Easton Area School Dist. the case that “could decide student free speech” (Aug 9, 2013); that is, student free speech could be decided by a case where students’ speech consists in passively adopting some commercial pitch made by others.
Another group psychology phenomenon might be at play with the wristbands. As they are worn by women, and females are the natural object of lewd remarks on breasts by males, there would be some sexism awareness campaign too about the bracelets. When a group of people is the habitual object of some pejorative image and associated words, members of the group may adopt figures of the stereotype among themselves as a defense mechanism. I think the typical example is the use of the n-word among blacks. More recently we have seen followers of candidate and then President Donald Trump call themselves ‘deplorables’ after Hillary Clinton had used the word in a dismissive comment. Other examples may be found. – Understood in this way the bracelets would be integral speech. However, such message, admitting it were there (which I am willing to grant), is adulterated by its commercial speech origin, and even if it deflected its intrinsic lewdness by being a message from victims, actual or in solidarity, of lewd unwanted remarks about breasts –deflected it as far as the victims themselves are concerned–, it cannot cancel the inherent obscenity of the message save by virtue of an irrational convention forced upon the society by commercial speech.
Furthermore, if male students wore the bracelets, it would be hard to determine if they embraced the same feminist cause or rather intended a reversal to the primary meaning, this time as a reaction to a feminist campaign. The disruptive potential of the wristbands understood in this way is far from negligible, considering the accessory could throw students into a renewed embittered battle of the sexes on campus. Complaints would arise such as: “He flashed his bracelet at me!”, bracelet flashing would become a rampant form of sexist bullying. Even seen in this light, the school authorities were right to step in.
(The dissenting judge quoted in iii may have had such thoughts in mind when he wrote that the message can reasonably be interpreted as sexual double entendre, for instance if the bracelets were worn by male students in reaction to a feminist campaign, in which case I owe the judge an apology.)
English (I) and French (II).
For the title section you must scroll down to the French part of this post, sorry, but you can also google the phrase to know more about this little-known event (from 1815 AD).
Meet the Reactionaries
Texas is First US State to Adopt IHRA Definition of Antisemitism. (i24news June 16, 2021)
This comes after Amawi v. Pflugerville Independent School District (April 2019), “a case in Texas where the plaintiffs had all faced potential or real loss of employment with the State of Texas for being unwilling to sign contracts promising not to participate in boycott activities against Israel.”
The Texan District Court held that “content based laws…are presumptively unconstitutional” and that “viewpoint-based regulations impermissibly ‘license one side of a debate’ and ‘create the possibility that the [government] is seeking to handicap the expression of particular ideas.’ It further asserted that the law the State had relied on, HB 89, was unconstitutional under the First Amendment.” (Wikipedia)
Governor Greg Abbott couldn’t have “his” anti-BDS law stand the judicial test (it was eviscerated) so he “adopts” a new definition of antisemitism. So what? As far as legal value is concerned his adopted definition is nonexistent. He could have repainted the state capitol instead and that would have been exactly as relevant in terms of positive law (with the difference that it would be something useful as buildings need new paint once in a while). Any attempt to give a positive legal value to the definition will be a major infringement on First Amendment rights, just like his anti-BDS law.
As far as the American Jewish Congress’s remarks on … [a social platform beside Twitter and Facebook] in a Newsweek opinion called We need to stop Marjorie Taylor Greene’s online extremism before it gets violent are concerned, the authors examine two solutions.
One –the second discussed by them– is transparency about online fundraising. Why not? Yet do the authors really believe that transparency would be of any use against what they claim is their concern, namely that online speech incite violence? I fail to see how this would work (to be sure I only read the first two paragraphs, which were screenshot, of their paper).
Before looking at their second proposal, let us remember that under the American Constitution even speech that incites violence is protected if it is not “directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and likely to incite or produce such action” (Brandenburg v. Ohio 1969). In my opinion that excludes all online speech to begin with, since then the people get the message through electronic devices, mostly sitting in a room with a computer, so the imminence criterion is lacking altogether (although with smartphones things could change in the future, if for instance we could see such a thing as a mob where individuals are both absorbed in their smartphones’ content and committing violence at the same time, which would be peculiar still).
The authors’ second proposal is to ban the platform. They write: “There are precedents in law where exceptions to the First Amendment regarding hate speech exist. ” I have no idea what precedents they have in mind (they do not name them here, if at all) but I know the current state of the law is Brandenburg v. Ohio, which does not support the idea of a ban. In fact there are no currently valid precedents at all. They would have to resort to the Espionage Act, as has been done with Julian Assange, but this is not even credible.
What they call for, then, is reviving precedents long fallen into disuse, in the spirit of the Sedition Act. I can see no other alternative. This is the most reactionary stuff I have read in a long time.
As to the Anti Defamation League’s call to investigate … [same platform as above] “for possible criminal liability in Capitol attack,” it is preposterous. A platform cannot be held responsible for the content its users publish: this is SECTION 230 (as if people had not been talking at length about it recently!) (the section “provides immunity for website platforms from third-party content”: “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider”). So even if some people on … had posted content that was “directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and likely to incite or produce such action” (the Brandenburg v. Ohio requirement for prosecuting speech), which must be what ADL has in mind, with the “lawless action” being the Capitol attack, Section 230 prevents the Justice Department from even considering to investigate … The slightest step in that direction would be a civil liberties case against the state.
This being said besides the fact that platform content cannot even be fancied to be “directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and likely to incite or produce such action.” The Justice Department would have to prove that an internet post was likely to produce the Capitol attack by a crowd of people gathered on the spot. In any world with stable judicial rules of evidence this is not conceivable.
Coloradans Not Wanted
Many Companies Want Remote Workers—Except From Colorado. After a new state law that requires employers to disclose salaries for open positions, some are advertising jobs available anywhere in the U.S. but Colorado. (Wall Street Journal, June 17, 2021)
Companies must reveal salary information in job ads if Coloradans are eligible, so they now advertise their job positions in this way:
“This position may be done in NYC or Remote (but not in CO due to local CO job posting requirements” (DigitalOcean’s online post)
Yet seven states (unnamed in my source below) have laws that prohibit advertising discrimination based on “race, color, or creed”:
“Jews were denied welcome at hotels, resorts, public accommodations, and schools. In 1907 a hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey, declined accommodations to an American Jewish woman. She complained to Louis Marshall, a lawyer and president of the American Jewish Committee. Marshall drafted a law that barred the printed advertising of discrimination in public accommodations on the basis of race, color, or creed. Enacted in 1913, this statute did not require hoteliers to rent rooms to all comers but prohibited the publication and dissemination of statements that advocated discriminatory exclusion. By 1930 seven states had adopted versions of the New York statute, making group rights a nascent category [nascent or rather stillborn] in First Amendment law.” (mtsu.edu First Amendment Encyclopedia: Group Libel [nonexistent])
This means in all other states you can advertise your business’s discriminatory choices legally. How common is this? And, in fact, why is this not more common? Is it ignorance of the law? Do people mistakenly believe they cannot make such advertisements?
What about the constitutionality of these laws?
Here the author is quite obscure. She says: “Throughout the 1930s the laws remained untested in the courts. Marshall apparently preferred to field inquiries from resort owners about the legalities of their advertisements than to file lawsuits.”
In her first sentence “throughout the 1930s” seems to be saying that the laws were tested by courts but later, otherwise why limit the talk to the thirties? However the author says nothing about results of later constitutional challenges.
The second sentence seems to be saying, correct me if I’m wrong, that there never was any lawsuit based on one of these 7 (or 8, actually, the New York state law plus seven copycats, I’m not sure how to read “By 1930 seven states had adopted versions of the New York statute,” if that means 7 or 8 in total) and notwithstanding the fact there was not a single challenge in courts this man managed to have all such advertisements removed forever. Quite a feat indeed…
At that time commercial speech was not protected by the First Amendment, so constitutional challenges were bound to fail, the laws would have stood the test. This could explain why the hoteliers etc did not care to go to courts to defend their advertising and instead complied with the “inquiries” fielded by said lawyer. Today it is different: commercial speech is protected speech (at least it receives partial protection, not as broad as political speech but still) so, assuming these laws are still around (and this is more likely than the reverse, isn’t it?), challenging their constitutionality is more open-ended today.
American Child Labor
Conservatives would legalize child labor again if they could.
Child labor is legal in the U.S. at the date of this post.
“These regulations do not apply to agricultural labor because of outdated exemptions”: “Estimates by the Association of Farmworker Opportunity programs, based on figures gathered by the Department of Labor, suggest that there are approximately 500,000 child farmworkers in the United States. Many of these children start working as young as age 8, and 72-hour work weeks (more than 10 hours per day) are not uncommon. … Today’s farmworker children are largely migrant workers” (American Federation of Teachers, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO)
Besides, “Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), workers under the age of 16 cannot work between 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., except during the summer. From June 1 to Labor Day, the prohibited hours are from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. Once you’re 16, federal law no longer restricts what hours you can work.” Only the night shift is illegal for child workers.
“Today’s farmworker children [estimated 500,000] are largely migrant workers.” Conservatives don’t have to legalize child labor again, they’ll keep crying about the border crisis while overworking Mexican children on their farms.
They legally work children below 14 in farms, family businesses, private homes for “minor chores,” newspaper delivery, and more sectors undisclosed in the sources I quoted.
A 14-year old is not a child according to U.S. labor law, while the International Labour Organization (ILO) has a 15-year old threshold.
While the federal minimum wage for adults is $7.25 per hour, for children it is $4.25 per hour. (See also prison inmates work, given the rates of inmates in the states: “By law, incarcerated workers do not have to be paid. Some states take this to heart. Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Texas do not pay incarcerated workers for most regular jobs performed within the prison. Inmates in other states are not much better off, as most state prisoners earn between $0.12 and $0.40 per hour of work. Even if an inmate secures a higher-paying correctional industries job – which about 6% of people incarcerated in state prisons do – they still only earn between $0.33 and $1.41 per hour.” (Corporate Accountability Lab, Aug 2020)
American companies outsource a large part of their industrial activity to China where “About 7.74 percent of children between the ages of 10-15 are laborers.” (The Borgen Project, Aug 2019) American law prevents Americans from knowing the figures of American companies’ job outsourcing.
Erasure of History Forum
Who remembers the Anti-Masonic Party?
The Wikipedia page lists more than 40 Congress members, including earlier President of the United States John Quincy Adams (MA)†, 2 state governors, William Palmer (VT) and Joseph Ritner (PA), and a host of other officials such as lieutenant governors.
†John Quincy Adams belonged to the Anti-Masonic Party from 1830 to 1834, he was a member of the Congress’s House of Representatives from Massachusetts from 1831 to 1848, and President of the United States from 1825 to 1829.
Collectivisation : L’exemple de la santé
L’État français a un argument en béton pour rendre la vaccination contre le covid obligatoire : c’est que la sécurité sociale est collectivisée. En admettant (par hypothèse) que le vaccin est efficace, ce sont ceux qui refusent de se vacciner qui continueront de tomber malades. Ils représentent un coût pour le système collectivisé.
L’individu dont les dépenses de santé sont prises en charge par un régime collectivisé n’est pas libre de refuser un vaccin. La pandémie pourrait donc ouvrir le débat sur le démantèlement intégral de la sécurité sociale.
Dans un État libéral, quand quelqu’un tombe malade, il n’attend rien de l’État. S’il est assuré, c’est auprès d’une compagnie privée, et s’il ne l’est pas (et n’a donc rien prélevé sur ses revenus entre deux dépenses de santé nécessitées par la situation), il a intérêt à avoir des économies ou bien il faut qu’il s’endette (comme quand il a acheté une voiture et un écran plasma).
Dès lors, on ne comprendrait pas qu’il y ait des obligations vaccinales dans un tel pays, les dépenses de santé étant privées. En effet, quand les dépenses de santé sont privées, les choix sont forcément individuels et on ne voit pas de quel droit l’État imposerait le vaccin puisque ceux qui le refusent en seront pour leurs seuls frais s’ils tombent malades tandis que ceux qui sont vaccinés sont immunisés par hypothèse. Si mon voisin est vacciné, il ne peut pas moralement me demander de l’être aussi puisqu’il ne risque plus rien et que mon refus n’emporte aucune conséquence pour lui.
L’obligation vaccinale est un pur produit de l’étatisation. Je souhaite que l’on reconsidère de manière très approfondie le principe même de la sécurité sociale au regard de cette collectivisation rampante.
(Je ne parle pas spécifiquement ici des vaccins anti-covid, dont certains dénoncent la supposée nocivité, mais de la question de l’obligation vaccinale en général, et ma conclusion est que, même en admettant que tous les vaccins sont toujours efficaces, l’obligation ne peut se justifier que dans des systèmes étatisés de sécurité sociale collectivisée.)
Objection : Les caisses primaires d’assurance maladie (CPAM) ne sont pas des organismes d’État.
Réponse : Les CPAM remplissent « une mission de service public définie par l’État, telle que par exemple les services d’immatriculation et d’affiliation. » Ce qui est défini par l’État est étatisé.
O. Le droit des contrats est défini par l’État. Donc, selon cette logique, les contrats entre personnes privées seraient étatisés?
R. Le droit des contrats repose aussi sur la coutume commerciale et la définition de mon interlocuteur (« le droit des contrats est défini par l’État ») est en soi de l’étatisme pur.
« Le projet de loi de financement de la Sécurité sociale (LFSS) est déposé par le gouvernement au plus tard le 15 octobre à l’Assemblée nationale. » La question ici porte sur les raisons qui font qu’un régime « paritaire » a son centre opérationnel dans un texte de loi (la LFSS annuelle). La réponse ne peut être que la suivante : c’est parce que le régime est étatisé.
D’ailleurs, la Caisse nationale qui chapeaute les CPAM est un établissement public administratif (« définissant au niveau national la politique de l’assurance maladie en France »).
Mais je pourrais en réalité me passer d’introduire la moindre considération sur la LFSS. La comparaison de mon interlocuteur avec le droit des contrats est tout simplement fautive car ce droit a bien des origines tandis qu’une mission de service public est entièrement définie par l’État.
Que les CPAM aient une certaine latitude de gestion va de soi, de même qu’un particulier chasseur mandaté par la préfecture pour exterminer des renards et autres « nuisibles » (mission de service public) s’y prend comme bon lui semble (dans le cadre des lois). Cela ne change rien à la question.
Un délit réservé aux Arabes et aux Noirs
Le délit d’incitation à la consommation de stupéfiants continue d’être poursuivi et condamné en justice. Mais seulement pour les rappeurs (Mister You, affaire de Villeurbanne 2020, affaire de Grenoble 2020, etc).
On pensait que ça n’existait plus, au moins depuis le non-lieu dans les années 90 pour le groupe (blanc) Billy Ze Kick et les Gamins en Folie, dénoncé pour sa chanson Mangez-moi ! (2e place du Top 50, explicitement sur les champignons hallucinogènes : « la chanson du psylo »). Mais non.
Montrez-moi un seul Blanc puni de ce crime ! –
Inspiré par l’achat du recueil Déplacements Dégagements du grand poète Henri Michaux, dont la présentation se lit : « Ses livres, proches du surréalisme, et cependant tout à fait singuliers, sont des poèmes, des descriptions de mondes imaginaires, des inventaires de rêves, une exploration des infinis créés par les substances hallucinogènes » (Présentation anonyme, Collection L’Imaginaire/Gallimard).
Qui d’entre nous, marchant au crépuscule sur la Colline du Crack et ressentant la mélancolie de sa finitude humaine, peut dire qu’il n’a jamais rêvé d’explorer les infinis ?
La référence à la Colline du Crack doit être comprise à la lumière des précédents billets, où j’en ai déjà parlé (Law 9 et suivantes, en anglais).
Alors que la justice condamne l’incitation à la consommation, condamne des artistes, devant le problème de la Colline du Crack à Stalingrad (Paris 19), les autorités ne trouvent rien de mieux que de distribuer des pipes à crack et de payer des chambres d’hôtel.
Un interlocuteur me transmet un jugement de la Cour d’appel de Niort.
À supposer que ce Nicolas R., condamné pour avoir mis à la vente à Niort des tee-shirts Cannabis Legalize It (c’est-à-dire un message reprenant l’un des points du programme d’au moins un parti politique représenté à l’Assemblée nationale et dans divers exécutifs locaux, cette condamnation signifiant en réalité qu’il n’est pas permis de demander de changer la loi, car c’est le sens des mots Legalize It, or aucune loi ne peut comporter une clause prévoyant l’impossibilité de son abrogation et par conséquent le jugement doit être cassé car c’est de l’instrumentalisation politique de la justice), soit Blanc, mon interlocuteur apporterait un démenti au titre de cette section. – Je répondrais que c’est l’exception qui confirme la règle. (Il faudrait demander à l’expert judiciaire Gabriel Matzneff ce qu’il en pense. Mais Nicolas R. ayant en fait été relaxé en appel, mon titre reste sans démenti pour ce qui est des condamnations.)
Mon interlocuteur évoquant par la même occasion le climat actuel, il m’offre l’opportunité d’évoquer une certaine affaire, pour un autre abus de procédure, bien que ce climat soit précisément opposé à toute forme d’expression telle que celle que je vais à présent oser.
Il s’agit de la condamnation d’un rappeur noir, Maka, à 15 mois de prison pour apologie de terrorisme, pour une chanson appelée Samuel Paty.
Le journal La Marne du 27 nov. 2020 (x) indique que la chanson « cherche selon eux [selon les juges] à ‘surfer sur la vague pour faire du buzz’ ». Il est donc totalement incompréhensible que cette personne soit condamnée pour apologie de terrorisme, les juges faisant eux-mêmes remarquer que la finalité de la chanson est tout autre, à savoir « faire du buzz ». L’incohérence est redoutable.
Or demander de légaliser le cannabis, ce qui est forcément légal comme je l’ai souligné et comme la Cour d’appel l’a reconnu (la condamnation en première instance reste très choquante, tout comme l’étaient les poursuites), est une façon indirecte de promouvoir sa consommation. Car il n’y a eu que l’Église nationale danoise pour promouvoir en 1969 la légalisation de la pornographie (premier pays au monde) au prétexte que c’est parce qu’elle était interdite qu’elle attirait les gens et que donc ceux qui étaient contre la pornographie devaient demander sa légalisation.
Ainsi, la promotion de la légalisation ne pouvant s’exclure d’une forme de promotion de la consommation, la loi est d’une abominable stupidité car elle interdit et autorise en même temps la même chose. À bas toutes ces lois.
Au temps des manifestations #GiletsJaunes, le gouvernement cherchait à lancer des débats sur qui est journaliste. Je propose la définition suivante, d’une imparable logique interne :
Est journaliste toute personne condamnée en droit de la presse.
Histoire d’un mariole
Je reproche à Victor Hugo d’avoir écrit Napoléon-le-Petit. Je veux dire ce titre qui, en appelant Napoléon III le petit, laisse entendre que Napoléon Ier était grand. Non.
Il est certain que vous n’avez jamais entendu parler des guerres américano-barbaresques. Elles furent au nombre de deux : la première de 1801 à 1805 et la seconde, également appelée guerre américano-algérienne, en 1815. Dans la première les États-Unis d’Amérique et la Suède et dans la seconde les États-Unis seuls combattirent les États barbaresques d’Afrique du Nord (nos futures ex-colonies).
Les États-Unis d’Amérique et la Suède luttaient ainsi contre la piraterie en Méditerranée pendant que l’autre fou, qui avait causé la perte de notre flotte à Aboukir (1798), courait dans tous les sens en Europe et cherchait à faire un « blocus continental » pour empêcher les navires anglais d’aborder sur le continent.
Les États-Unis d’Amérique (!) – et la Suède (!) – devaient lutter contre des pirates maghrébins en Méditerranée, la mer qui borde nos côtes (!), pendant que nous avions un EMPIRE.
Si demain la France et les États-Unis se faisaient la guerre, je pense que l’on pourrait dire à l’avance en combien de minutes l’armée française serait anéantie. C’est pareil pour le droit. #FirstAmendment