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Joshua Holland of Alternet doesn't understand fundamental American concepts regarding speech

Joshua Holland of Alternet has previously shown that he doesn't care about illegal aliens taking stimulus jobs and has misled about Napolitano's border comments. Now he's shown that he doesn't support free speech.

Yesterday, the hacker group "Anonymous" (or someone pretending to be them [1]) issued a communique in which they promoted a boycott of the Koch family over the attempt by Wisconsin governor Scott Walker to limit union power. Legal boycotts are a perfectly acceptable form of protest, even if they're rarely successful and sometimes backfire. However, "Anonymous" also stated that they were seeking Koch "vulnerabilities" which, given their history, can only mean that they intend to try to hack Koch computers in some way. That's not legal and it should not be acceptable.

Yet, I have yet to see a self-styled liberal on Twitter or elsewhere [2] opposing such hacking. Such threats are a form of extortion that are no better than the computer equivalent of "do what we say or we'll break your legs." An anonymous group of vigilantes has decided that they don't like one group and threatens them with harm. That's how things are done in other, much more authoritarian countries, and it's not the American way. I'm not going to bother writing a defense of free speech since no doubt hundreds or thousands of better writers have already done that and problems with unaccountable Star Chambers, vigilantes, and the like have been known for centuries. Yet, apparently Joshua Holland and hundreds of other "liberals" missed all that.

Here's a picture of the exchange; read it from bottom to top. Note that Holland finishes with a strawman: this has nothing to do with supporting George W Bush, the Koch family, or any political ideology. It has to do with supporting fundamental American concepts. Since Holland clearly doesn't get our fundamental concepts, perhaps he should leave. I can't force him to leave and wouldn't even if I could, I'm just offering it as a suggestion.

2/28/11 UPDATE: Shortly after posting this, the hackers began a Denial-of-Service attack against the Americans for Prosperity website. That was accompanied not only by childish rationalizations for the attack from the attackers, but by some support from so-called "liberals" on Twitter and in comments at TalkingPointsMemo and DailyKos. In fact, out of all the comments at those sites and dozens of tweets that I saw, only one (1) self-described liberal condemned the attacks. That is, as they might say on the Internet, an example of Civics fail.

It's also a great opportunity for Koch defenders to correctly portray their opponents as lil' fascists and to shame any nationally-known person who supports such attacks. Yet, aside from AFP trying to do that, no Koch defenders seem to have been able to figure that out. They're presented with a perfect example of what might be called "Liberal Fascism", and they're unwilling or unable to use it. And, that's not too surprising.

[1] On a sidenote, if groups like Anonymous didn't exist, people like John Poindexter of "Total Information Awareness" fame would have to invent them. By promoting anarchy, they're making the jobs of those who'd like to "restore order" by cracking down on the Internet in some way easier. They also make the jobs of those who might pretend to be them to push their own agenda easier.

[2] I didn't look through all the comments at dailykos.com/story/2011/02/26/950243/
-Anonymous-to-target-Koch but if anyone can find even a single one opposing "criminal activity for a good cause", leave a comment.

Sun, 02/27/2011 - 15:30 · Importance: 4