Then It Wrote a Moral Panic Article About Chatbot Compelled Speech

This is pretty brilliant:

Briefly noted:

  • At Minding the Campus, Louis K. Bonham awards The 2022 MTC Lysenko Award. Named for Trofim Lysenko, whose academic "ideas and practices contributed to the famines that killed millions of Soviet people."

    To be honest, such results are probably unlikely for this year's winner, Leah Terranova, Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs, at the University of Kansas Law School. When the school's chapter of the Federalist Society invited a speaker, Jordan Lorence, from the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF)…

    [B]ecause the ADF takes positions (often quite successfully) that the LGBT community disagrees with, it is not uncommon for activists to try and cancel or disrupt such presentations. When the Lorence seminar was announced at the law school in question, the usual cadre of activists went nuts, shrilly asserting that the ADF was a “hate group,” and that the seminar would promote “hate speech.” Aware of the tactics such activists have employed elsewhere, the Federalist Society chapter prudently asked the law school’s administration to provide event security.

    Now, one might expect the “Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs” to be the adult in the room and to deal with this situation accordingly: arrange for security and remind protesters that there are rules against disrupting school events (and actually enforce such rules against violators). She might counsel law students upset with the ADF that dealing with positions (or people) you disagree with is a critical skill every lawyer must develop, that listening to such positions might better equip you to become an effective advocate for the opposing position, or even that free speech and debate is an essential part of higher education. (UCLA Law Professor Eugene Volokh has some excellent thoughts on how law school administrators should handle situations like this.)

    But no…

    Dean Terranova proceeded to unleash some hate speech of her own.

    By the way, if you want to see examples of Big Website bias, as I type:

    • A Google search for "Alliance Defending Freedom" will provide a couple ADF-paid ads at the top. No doubt their self-defense against the first non-paid link, which goes to a smear against the ADF by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

      If you'd like to see ADF's counter to the SPLC: Setting the Record Straight.

    • Below the SPLC link is a link to the relevant Wikipedia article, which begins by claiming that the ADF is a "legal advocacy group that works to curtail rights for LGBTQ people".

      I'm pretty sure the ADF wouldn't agree to that characterization.

    … follow the links, and make up your own mind.

    By the way, nobody at the University Near Here was even nominated for the Lysenko Award. Well, there's always next year…

  • Charles C. W. Cooke writes on a matter we discussed the other day: When Trump Promises to Be a Tyrant, Take Him at His Word.

    Once again, Donald Trump has proposed dismantling the United States Constitution. “Do you throw the Presidential Election Results of 2020 OUT and declare the RIGHTFUL WINNER, or do you have a NEW ELECTION?” Trump asked on TruthSocial Saturday. “A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution.”

    The answer to Trump’s question is “neither.” The response to his declaration is, “No, it does not.” The conclusion one must draw is that the 45th president of the United States has lost whatever was left of his mind.

    And then there's Ilya Somin, writing at the Volokh Conspiracy: Trump Defines Constitutional Deviancy Down.

    This is just the latest in a long line of reprehensible norm-breaking statements and actions by Trump. Just within the last few weeks, he also had a congenial meeting with neo-Nazi Nick Fuentes and anti-Semite Kanye West, and called for instituting the death penalty for drug dealers. Even if you support the War on Drugs (which I obviously do not), this would be barbarically excessive punishment.

    The usual excuse for for such behavior by Trump is to claim it's all just words and/or that he doesn't really mean it. If nothing else, Trump's effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election and the resulting attack on the Capitol should give the lie to the notion that he doesn't really mean what he says, and that his abhorrent statements won't lead to action. He and his most committed supporters are more than happy to undermine the Constitution if it gets in their way.

    I suppose there are some diehard Trump sycophants out there who, when given the choice between Trump and the Constitution, will enthusiastically line up with Trump. If so, I've managed to scrub their sites from my feed. The Trump supporters I do still read are real quiet about this.

    I would hope they'd say something like "Hey, you know when we derided all the NeverTrumpers? Guess what, they were right all along!"

    But I suppose that's too much to hope for.

  • And (as usual) Jacob Sullum's syndicated column headline threatens to be longer than the column itself: Colorado's Anti-Discrimination Law Forces Artists to Echo the State's Message: A Website Designer Asks SCOTUS to Let Her Eschew Work That Contradicts Her Opposition to Gay Marriage.

    Colorado and [website designer Lori] Smith agree that she is happy to serve any customer, regardless of sexual orientation, provided the work is consistent with biblical values as she understands them. In practice, both parties say, that means Smith "will decline any request to design, create, or promote content" that "contradicts biblical truth," "demeans or disparages others," "promotes sexual immorality," "supports the destruction of unborn children," "incites violence," or "promotes any conception of marriage other than marriage between one man and one woman."

    Note that she does not turn away gay people at her virtual door. Which leads Cato's David Boaz to wonder: What Is the Issue in the Supreme Court's Web Designer Case, and Why Do So Many People Misstate It? Including people who should know much, much better:

    In the New York Times, David Cole — who taught for 26 years at Georgetown Law School before becoming national legal director of the ACLU — writes, “The right question is whether someone who chooses to open a business to the public should have the right to turn away gay customers.” But Lorie Smith doesn’t want to turn away gay customers. She only wants to decline requests to create websites for gay weddings. She says she happily serves LGBTQ customers who come to her for other sorts of websites.

    Boaz offers other prominent examples of people misstating the legal issue: the LA Times and the WaPo.