No pennies for Tenpenny

Following up on my earlier piece about anti-vaxer Sherri Tenpenny, I’m pleased to report that all the commercial venues that were booked for her potentially lucrative “seminars” have cancelled. It appears the bookings were made by her Australian contact, pro-disease advocate Stephanie Messenger, under the name of a bogus anti-SIDS charity. Apparently, charges of to $200 a head were proposed.

What free speech issues arise here? As I argued previously, I don’t support a ban on Tenpenny visiting Australia, and having come here, she should be free to organize and address public meetings, open to anyone to attend (and heckle!). But there’s no reason to permit her to make money out of her evil lies. As regards potential venues, if they take her money, they are complicit in her activities.

It’s worth observing that this balance only works if there is a substantial public sphere in which freedom of expression is guaranteed, leaving private businesses to make their own choices on matters like venue hire. The privatised world favored by propertarians is one in which freedom of speech and thought is subordinated to the rights of property owners. In the US, for example, the absolutist opposition to government restrictions on free speech goes hand in hand with the right of employers and landlords to sack or evict anyone whose opinions (or even abstinence from favored political organizations) they don’t like.

68 thoughts on “No pennies for Tenpenny

  1. @Collin Street
    Yes Colin. Such statements also deny the very great efforts that people make to agree the means by which statements or ideas can be tested for their veracity. It looks like CM inhabits the back end of the cave, where there are nothing but shadows, lies, trickery and foolishness.

  2. Jungney,

    Tenpenny didn’t come. The Open Society worked. Unless you support something like the Great Wall of Conroy, we are stuck with her net presence.

  3. Lol, jungney. My problem is that i studied the philosophy of science at uni. Your naive objectivist arguments got shot down in week one.

    How could science ever go through a paradigm shift under your system?

    BTW, are you aware that the fool Vandana Shiva blames gmo for autism? Be careful what you wish for.

  4. ” My problem is that i studied the philosophy of science at uni…”. I also studied the same subject but it hasn’t caused me the sort of problem you appear to be experiencing.

    Lets try this: Michael Sandel, while an advocate of free speech, doesn’t treat it as an absolute value; he argues that other democratic values should take precedence – inclusion, for example, of both individuals and groups who can be excluded from participation in the public sphere by the routine administration of cultural humiliation by those who maintain that their right to say what they want trumps other values.

    Your self praise … ” Your naive objectivist arguments got shot down in week one”… puts me in mind of Abbott declaring himself to be a good captain. If you have to say it yourself, it doesn’t count.

  5. @jungney

    Beware, Captain Glibertarian rides again! Wherever the rights of rich white males to plunder and despoil the whole globe are under threat from the evil Greenies and eco-fascisists, Captain Glibertarian will be there! With his searing, indisputable logic he will accuse left-wingers of being “Objectivists” (an extreme right-wing philosophy). He studied the philosophy of science… at “uni”! This is strange for he evinces little knowledge of science or philosophy. But no matter! This will not stand in his way. He will shout out a few remembered slogans of learning like “Open Society” and his awe-struck opponents will topple like ripe fields of (GMO?) wheat under the scythe… er um, under the combine harvester. Verily, Captain Glibertarian will triumph over all! 😉

  6. Lol. This is the ikon whose self-important windbaggery is a daily constant and who wants to ban gm food, in the best traditions of ill-educated pseudoscience and base fearmongering.

  7. 1) I’d probably be regarded as leftwing , although I’d claim politics has shifted so far to the right, that is why I seem left wing nowadays. I have no truck with the old USSR and its “communism”, and personally don’t like the narrow construct of leftwing and rightwing for classifying a person’s political views.
    2) I have nothing against the notion of GM, in fact I think scientists should be making a concerted effort to understand how DNA/RNA encoding works, and to exploit it. That doesn’t prevent me from having concerns in how GM is used commercially, especially where a monopoly is deliberately created.
    3) Who the f**k is Shiva?
    4) I’ve read plenty of philosophy of science, from Aristotle, Lucretius, Euclid, through to Newton, Descartes, Hume, Popper, Russell, Kuhn, Feyerabend, Hofstadter, Park, Feynman, and many others.
    5) I mean, really, who the f**k is Shiva?

    CM’s crudely oblique characterisation of others who post on this blog really bemuses me.

  8. I think GM should be outlawed. But this is because I think it is morally wrong not anything to do with the philosophy of science. I would point out however that in the practicality rather than philosophy of applied science lots of scientific inventions and interventions turn out badly – climate change, cane toads, nuclear weapons etc etc

  9. @captain moonlight
    In fact I think your language is offensive, deliberately so, because there’s not much else going on but an abusive temperament enjoying the anonymity of the netz.

    Ikonoklast, I also noted the passing reference to Popper and have concluded that Captain Glib is lost in a stew of falsificationism. Long may he wander the swamps of confusion. He might even bump into George Soros while he’s there.

  10. Lol jt, adults don’t want to ban the discussion of science no matter how silly the discussion sometimes gets. John Quiggin understands this, many of his camp followers apparently don’t.

    And yeah, Julie Thomas, i do well recall your sob story about your junkie past. I suppose i should be more forgiving.

  11. captain midnight or the moonlight kid or whatever is Mel trying – again – to impress somebody, anybody – that he is an intellectual and can see things that other lesser beings can’t see.

    Mel you have a problem – seek some professional help and then you may be able to rise above this poisonous hatred you have for these people who have done you wrong.

    Seriously… this obsession of yours is not ‘normal’ and you, like me, could become a socially acceptable person, no forgiveness necessary – did you not know that? – but you gotta get some help. Get some help Mel. It will be worth it!

  12. Strewth. I didn’t know how right I was when I described CM as an abuser @ 10. I couldn’t care less what the personal histories are of other contributors.

    This incident goes to evidence of my theory that the libertarian far right are at least as ideologically driven as Stalin and just as poisonous. These people, like all totalitarians, finding that the world doesn’t conform to their view of how it ought to be then set about ripping apart all existing social relations until little is left but rubble. This rubble, wherein people are reduced to meeting their most basic needs, they think can provide the stuff with which to build their mad empires in which they can be seen, finally, to have been right all along.

  13. > I also studied the same subject

    So did I! Small world.

    [I don’t have a historian’s temperament, so I dropped it and majored in linguistics… which is where — to drag it back on topic — I got my knowledge of pragmatics from, and learned how to spot pragmatics disturbances.]

  14. I’m sorry but it was ikon at #5 who took this into the sewer after which cowards like Thomas decided to pile on. I can’t see why people are assuming i’m right wing simply because i have supported Quiggin’s position on free speech. There was a time when the broader left was with Quiggin on the importance of free speech in a free society. What happened?

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