I don’t usually address a blog post to one commenter, but I am going to make an exception here.
Baxterboy was very busy over a seven-hour period late last night, chipping in with twenty separate comments totalling over 1,600 words. Rather than try to answer each one individually on the thread, I think it best to write this separate post, and in doing so to make some general suggestions regarding the site and its comments.
If Baxterboy chooses to respond, as he is entitled to do, then I would be grateful if it is done in the form of a single post or comment.
For the avoidance of doubt, as regular readers will know, most comments submitted to this blog are posted. It takes a lot for them not to be approved, and despite the suggestion of one commenter on Rangers Media (good morning to you) I do not eliminate posts because they get lots of thumbs down. Have a look through the site, and I am sure that you will find lots of thumbed down comments – they are all still there!
I will start with some general comments prompted by Baxterboy.
Most things are allowed here. However gratuitous insults to my Church, simply thrown in without any relevance to the topic at hand, will generally not get through. Why? It is my site.
For the avoidance of any doubt, I believe in one holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
If anyone wants to write a post about the Inquisition, for example, please feel free to do so and send it to me, especially if it has a legal background or relevance.
As far as editing comments goes, then one can call it censorship, if you want to. I do not edit them to change their sense, to ridicule the commenter, or even to correct spelling or grammar! It is rare that a comment is edited by me. I will try, but cannot guarantee, that I will note that in every piece.
What I do try to do is to email people where I block or edit a comment. Surprisingly few of the recipients ever reply, and it is amazing how many people list non-existent email addresses when registering for the site!
Free speech is not an absolute right.
As Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes described it in the US Supreme Court case of Schenk v US in 1919:-
The character of every act depends upon the circumstances in which it is done. Aikens v. Wisconsin, 195 U.S. 194, 205, 206. The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic. It does not even protect a man from an injunction against uttering words that may have all the effect of force. Gompers v. Bucks Stove & Range Co., 221 U.S. 418, 439. The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent. It is a question of proximity and degree. When a nation is at war many things that might be said in time of peace are such a hindrance to its effort that their utterance will not be endured so long as men fight and that no Court could regard them as protected by any constitutional right. It seems to be admitted that if an actual obstruction of the recruiting service were proved, liability for words that produced that effect might be enforced. The statute of 1917 in § 4 punishes conspiracies to obstruct as well as actual obstruction. If the act, (speaking, or circulating a paper,) its tendency and the intent with which it is done are the same, we perceive no ground for saying that success alone warrants making the act a crime. Goldman v. United States, 245 U.S. 474, 477. Indeed that case might be said to dispose of the present contention if the precedent covers all media concludendi. But as the right to free speech was not referred to specially, we have thought fit to add a few words.
That case relates to the US Constitution’s First Amendment Rights, but is a succinct statement of the law as it exists throughout the legally developed world.
Baxterboy brought up lots of topics, many of which had nothing really to do with what the threads related to. I do not mind the discussion heading down highways and byways, but it does make things difficult to keep track of! Try to hold on to the point, and if there is a burning desire to start a separate discussion here, then feel free to email me and I might start a new thread. However, this is a blog and not a message board.
Pennsylvania State University
I will repeat again what I posted last night, and several weeks ago.
Please feel free to write a piece regarding this, if you wish, and if I am happy to put it on site, then I will. However, it’s my site, and I will post what I want to.
As my comment said, I think the use of this allegation in some way to mitigate RFC’s alleged guilt re totally unrelated matters, is a gross dis-service, and indeed an insult, to the victims of the crimes in question.
I fail to see what relevance the matter has to the present issues facing the Rangers FC.
As I said, write a piece if you want, and even if I do not post it, then I am sure there are websites which would.
Am I a “Celtic Blogger”?
I have mentioned from time to time that my favoured football team is that from my home town of Coatbridge, Albion Rovers. People can choose to believe that or not.
I think it is fair to say that a lot of Celtic fans read this, and comment here. Fans of other teams do so too. And even there are some commenters interested in law rather than football!
If people want to label me as a Celtic blogger, then they are free to do so, although that would be wrong. In answer to a blog by Chris Graham, a prominent Rangers supporting writer, many months ago, I said that, if offered a choice between Rangers and Celtic, then I would choose Celtic. He decided that made me a Celtic fan. That is up to him.
I think the frantic desire to classify people as Celtic or Rangers bloggers is a symptom of the “if not with us you are against us” syndrome. It is possible to write negatively about Celtic, and not be a Rangers fan, as indeed Phil Mac Giolla Bhain has done from time to time. It is possible to write negatively about what the owners of Rangers have done or are doing, and not be a Celtic fan. There are forty two senior football teams in Scotland, and there are even some people with no interest in the sport at all, but who are interested in matters of law and economics related to it.
The Scottish Education System
As with the Penn State issue and the Spanish Inquisition (which no one expects), feel free to write me a piece about it. Comments that the education system = apartheid = bigotry won’t do. As a brief comment, and I can do brief comments, rather than brief analysis, I am a firm believer in and supporter of the education system in Scotland. The ills attributed to it are done so incorrectly, in my view.
Now for some specifics for Baxterboy.
Celtic – Shame, Contempt and Derision
You accused Phil Mac Giolla Bhain (see, it is not hard to spell it correctly) and his “kind” of succeeding “in making Celtic FC a byword for mindless thuggery and foul mouthed obscenity. You have turned the name of the club you profess to love into an object of shame, contempt and derision.”
That may be the case in the circles within which you move. I suspect that, in the wider world, there are other football teams to whom those descriptions could be applied. By the way, please do not take that comment as a veiled reference to Rangers, unless you want to, of course. I can run off a list of clubs to which those epithets could be applied, but I won’t.
Is there evidence for what you are saying?
I will try to resist any comment upon a proud poster from Rangers Media condemning someone else for “foul mouthed obscenity” as that would be a tu quoque argument.
Sectarian Signing Policies
The general public perception is that, for many years, Rangers would not sign Roman Catholics, as a matter of policy. Are you saying that that is wrong? Can you point me in the direction of evidence to suggest that was not the case? (and if you turn it round by saying it is for me to make the case, then touché! However, I am sure many writers far better than me have made the case over the years.)
Did Celtic have a deliberate policy of excluding non-Catholics from the Boardroom? You tell me. In what way did Celtic practise a “racist” Boardroom policy? Which race or races were barred from the Boardroom?
If they did have a “sectarian” policy, does that excuse a religious element in Rangers signing policies? I do not think so. Do you?
If you are correct, and as a regular on Rangers Media you would know better than me, that “Rangers supporters on the site abuse their own a lot more than they do Celtic”, then I am speechless. I have seen some of the things written about Celtic, about Neil Lennon, about Anthony Stokes and Paddy McCourt, and about Phil Mac Giolla Bhain, Alex Thomson and even myself. If you are writing worse things about each other…
Words fail me…
You are entitled to your belief that Rangers Media is a great site. I am sure many agree with you. I suspect many would not.
Is Charles Green In It for the Money?
You suggest that he is not, as shown by his signings. He is a businessman. There is nothing wrong with him being in Rangers for the money. That is what businessmen do.
Are you suggesting that he, who has never claimed to be a Rangers fan previously, is doing what he is doing out of love for the club?
I assume that is a reference to Celtic. I know some people get annoyed by that. Not a problem here. It is a far more complimentary name than many applied to that club on Rangers Media.
I think Allyjambo answered that comment of yours perfectly well.
Pots and Kettles
Show me where my argument falls down, rather than having a crack at me. See my lengthy definition of ad hominem.
I take it you were being satirical suggesting that Phil bribed the editor of the Sun to cancel the serialisation? Because if that is a serious suggestion, then it is clearly defamatory of both men.
I posted about the Streisand Effect. I am sure that the Sun cancellation was not part of some fiendish Opus Dei-sponsored plot, for example, to make Phil’s book number one in the charts. If it was…
“Old” and “New” Rangers
As you would know from reading this site, the existence and status of Rangers new and old has been analysed at great length. I do not propose to do so again just now. Making light of someone who says he is an unsatisfied creditor of Rangers FC PLC (as it then was) seems heartless and unnecessary.
So, to recap.
Baxterboy, I do not agree with much that you write, or the manner in which you do so, but generally I am prepared to post it on here. 20 comments and over 1,600 words in seven hours is proof of that, I think.
If you want to come back re this, then please do so in a single piece. Thank you.
If anyone wants to talk about the Inquisition, Mr Sandusky, the education system in Scotland or similar topics, then feel free to pen a piece about it and email it to me at scotslawthoughts at aol dot com (formatted that way to defeat the spambots).
If it meets my standards I will post it, and if it does not, then I will tell you why in an email. (Unlike the Rangers Standard, who did not come back to me directly regarding a piece I submitted there, but I understand that it was not published because I lacked sufficient “moral fibre”. It is their right to publish and not to publish. However, one wonders if making the moral rectitude of the writers a criterion for publication might not cause them problems at some stage. However, that is a problem for them, and not for me.)
Try to keep the “mindless abuse” as referred to in the Sun for elsewhere.
Thank you for reading.
Posted by Paul McConville
NB If you want to read Baxterboy’s comments collated together, you can do so by clicking here. Baxterboy