Tech News

Apple Fights Discrimination, Europe Fights Geo-Blocking, and More… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 30-03-2015

Apple chooses a side, Europe chooses freedom, banning selfie sticks, Ford slows drivers, Super Mario 64 in your browser, and Ricky Gervais advertises Netflix in Australia and New Zealand.


Tim Cook Hates Discrimination


Apple CEO Tim Cook has strongly condemned the new rash of laws being passed to protect businesses which discriminate against gay people. Cook wrote the opinion piece for The Washington Post after Indiana passed a bill suggesting religious beliefs trump everything else.

Cook stated, “These bills rationalize injustice by pretending to defend something many of us hold dear. They go against the very principles our nation was founded on, and they have the potential to undo decades of progress toward greater equality.” He continued, “That’s why, on behalf of Apple, I’m standing up to oppose this new wave of legislation — wherever it emerges.

This is a strong stance to take, especially when it means speaking on behalf of a company that’s the size and scale of Apple. There are likely to be people working for Apple who don’t share Cook’s feelings, but Cook, who is himself openly gay, is making it clear that the company he runs is totally opposed to such pro-discrimination laws.

No More Geo-Blocking for Europe

The European Commission has announced the Digital Single Market Strategy, a plan to extend the idea of the Single Market to digital goods and services. One area being eyed for reform is access through changes to copyright laws Confused About Copyright Law? These Online Resources Can Help It's a confusing subject, yes, but it's important that you wrap your head around it. If you're involved in any sort of creative work, these resources will help you do just that. Read More and the practice of geo-blocking 2 Effective Ways to Access Region-Blocked Videos Without a VPN Internet users outside of the United States are blocked from accessing the wealth of streaming video and music content available to Americans. Even Americans are deprived of international services like BBC iPlayer. Faced with this,... Read More .


The press release suggests that “too many Europeans cannot use online services that are available in other EU countries, often without any justification; or they are re-routed to a local store with different prices. Such discrimination cannot exist in a Single Market.

This led to a comical back-and-forth between Julia Reda and a fellow MEP who suggested that geo-blocking is absolutely fine by saying, “After all, I can’t buy Finnish bread in any German supermarket or bakery. Far too few people here would buy it, so the market doesn’t offer it to me. And you don’t see me demanding that the European Commission bloody-well make that product available to me!” Reda responded by buying Finnish bread online, saying, “One tweet and a few hours later I was the fortunate owner of an artisanal loaf of bread from Finland.

The Digital Single Market Strategy doesn’t guarantee geo-blocking will be banned in Europe, but it does suggest a groundswell of support for such a move. The Internet has changed the way we all consume content, but content creators seem resistant to changing their rules to help rather than hinder consumers.

Music Festivals Ban Selfie Sticks

Selfie sticks are increasingly under attack from anyone who doesn’t use them. Earlier this month, The Smithsonian banned the use of selfie sticks HBO Now Set to Launch in April, Apple Delays iPad Pro Until September [Tech News Digest] HBO Now is coming soon, Apple delays the iPad Pro, EA closes Maxis, Chromebook battery killers, The Smithsonian bans selfie sticks, and Chappie explores artificial intelligence. Read More in all its museums, and now two huge music festivals have followed suit.


Both Coachella (which takes place in California), and Lollapalooza (which takes place in Chicago) have officially banned selfie sticks. The reasons are unclear, but it’s likely to be with regards to safety concerns or preventing causing nuisance to other attendees. Still, it seems a little OTT, despite the fact that most people agree selfie sticks need to die.

Ford Eyes Intelligent Speed Limiter

Ford has developed technology that prevents you from speeding, which offers a viable solution to the problem unless and until self-driving cars become a reality How Self-Driving Cars Will Change Transportation Forever As we move into 2015, the question is no longer whether self-driving cars will replace manually driven cars, but how quickly they'll take over. Read More . The Intelligent Speed Limiter has been developed by Ford’s European arm, and will be available from August on the new S-Max range.

The system combines the Adjustable Speed Limiter and Traffic Sign Recognition technologies to detect speed limits and adjust speeds accordingly. The idea is to prevent drivers from exceeding maximum speed limits, which endangers other road users and leads to millions of dollars in fines being issued each year.

Play Super Mario 64 in Your Browser

You can now play Super Mario 64 in your Web browser, with computer science student and Unity developer Erik Roystan Ross having recreated the game using Unity. Unfortunately, it’s only the first level of Super Mario 64, but it IS presented in glorious HD. Which is a bonus.


Ross recreated the game (minus a few minor details) to demonstrate his Super Character Controller project, and he has no plans to either fix any bugs or recreate any more of the game. Still, provided you have the Unity Web Player installed, this should provide a few hours of fun.

Ricky Gervais Undersells Netflix

And finally, telecoms company Optus has chosen Ricky Gervais to introduce Netflix to Australians and New Zealanders Google Glass Will Return, Woz Predicts The Singularity, and More... [Tech News Digest] Google Glass will return, Woz warns humanity, Twitch gets hacked, Netflix has arrived down under, embedding Reddit comment threads, and Siri and Netflix clash. Read More . Unfortunately, Gervais is too lazy to actually put any effort in, so the television commercials for the streaming service feature him doing as little as possible.

Gervais can be seen literally lazing on a chaise longue telling people how he got the gig. Oh, and briefly mentioning how new and returning customers can get six months of Netflix for free. Ironically, it’s this uncaring attitude that has led to the videos going viral. [H/T AdWeek]

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Is Tim Cook right to opine on behalf of Apple on such a contentious issue? Should geo-blocking be outlawed in Europe and beyond? Should selfie sticks be banned at public events?


Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.

Image Credit: RecycledStarDust via Flickr

Related topics: Apple, Georestriction, Netflix.

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  1. A41202813GMAIL
    April 7, 2015 at 11:04 am

    Because Of Stupid EU Laws, GOOGLE Is Acting *Evilly*.

    I Do Not Want To Use GOOGLE.PT - I Want To Use GOOGLE.COM.

    Manually I Can Do That, But It Is Always A Stupid Music Chairs Dance Every Time I Want To Change.

    The More Technology We Have, The More Stupid We Become ?


  2. Howard Pearce
    April 3, 2015 at 12:48 am

    When freedom of association guaranteed you the right to choose with whom you wished to associate, it also guaranteed you the right to discriminate (in those associations).

    And people like Dave Parrack who wish to suppress your civil liberty of freedom of association for some greater political end are the real dangers because they wish to use the physical force of the state to do those suppressions.

  3. Mori
    April 2, 2015 at 2:18 pm


    You really hit the nerve in all this roller coaster... $$$ will always come first. The rest is hypocrisy.
    Your post reminded me a TV episode of one of the dumbest duo ever : Penn and Teller when they perforated a Bible with an electric make their statement.
    Why didn't they make their point doing that to the
    a) Torah
    b) the Koran????
    a) the ADL will be all over them or simply because their program would be shutdown in less that a week and they will be banned forever from a media controlled by jews.
    b) Your house, car and yourself would probably be burned with your family inside.

    @ Tim Cook (in case there is a slim chance you read this site)
    If you want to make a statement, specially if you need to defend whatever position you think needs to to be defended.. do it on a PERSONAL basis.. leave Apple out of this.. If this turns out bad, you may be messing with many Apple employee's jobs that will need to be fired in the future, just to keep the stock from plundering.
    Man.. please check your ego ASAP!! What an egotistical statement to say the least.
    Keep your future causes religion, race, global warming, dolphin massacres, etc. on a personal basis, leave Apple out of this.. YOU ARE NOT APPLE.!!!

    @ the rest of posters:
    Don't bother to reply to this because I'm about to unsubscribe from Makeuseof.
    I don't hate any religious or ethnic group (They're all the same s.. to me)
    I don't have or will have Apple products.
    I have just realised what kind of people reads this site and if I wanted controversy there are thousands of sites everywhere.
    Makeuseof (or David Parrack by himself) failed completely posting this article, not related at all with IT, Technology, etc

  4. Michael Kennedy
    March 31, 2015 at 11:01 pm

    I unsubsidized from your service. Too bad you couldn't stick to technology . At least with that you knew what you were talking about. the whole subject is out of place for what I thought make use of was about.

    • Guy
      April 1, 2015 at 1:27 am

      One could argue you made use of the knowledge gained here to make technology related decisions about the sites you visit and the companies you patronize. ;)

    • Dave Parrack
      April 1, 2015 at 6:19 am

      I think you mean you unsubscribed, not unsubsidized. I'm sorry you felt the need to do so, but that is your right.

      I'm not sure how the CEO of the biggest technology company in the world opining about a controversial state law isn't in our remit. If you don't agree with Tim Cook then by all means don't buy any more Apple products, but by punishing us you're merely shooting the messenger.

  5. Michael Kennedy
    March 31, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    Dave Patrick , it is clear you just don't get it, or more likely just faking. Typically liberal comment . . You can only see discrimination flowing one way. I leave you with your bigotry .

    • Dave Parrack
      April 1, 2015 at 6:16 am

      I'm not sure who this Dave Patrick fellow is, but I for one agree with him.

  6. Matt
    March 31, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    I don't think AdWeek understands Ricky Gervais...

  7. Michael Kennedy
    March 31, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    Tim loves discrimination ! As long as it is against Christians ! Such typical liberal hate speech and biogtry!

    • Dave Parrack
      March 31, 2015 at 4:15 pm

      I'm pretty sure Apple sells its products to Christians.

  8. Jim
    March 31, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    Why did MUO feel it necessary to report on Tim Cook's views? You should have known that this would start a flame war.

    • Howard Pearce
      March 31, 2015 at 2:46 pm

      Perhaps one that was needed before we loose all our civil liberties to the state for "good" reasons.

  9. Yochanon
    March 31, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    What the hell is a 'selfie stick'?

    Oh, and Howard Pearce is right in his original post.

    • Dave Parrack
      April 1, 2015 at 12:47 pm

      You don't know what a selfie stick is? Where have you been?

    • Yochanon
      April 1, 2015 at 4:57 pm

      Well, Dave, you're a hell of a lot of help aren't ya. Tell me something, oh know-it-all...can you rebuild a Chevy 283? How about an EVO or 96" HD motor? Dumba** is sometimes funny and akin to ignorance at times, smarta** is just useless.

    • Dave Parrack
      April 1, 2015 at 5:20 pm

      Woah, there's no need for that. My comment was very light-hearted, I didn't know you wanted me to actually explain what a selfie stick is. It's a telescopic stick you attach your smartphone to for taking selfies. I honestly thought you'd Google it if you really wanted to know.

  10. dragonmouth
    March 31, 2015 at 11:49 am

    Freedom of expression means ALL expression, not just the one you agree with or is palatable to you. Every one holds opinions and ideas that are anathema or objectionable to somebody else. Freedom of expression is like being pregnant, either you are or you are not. You cannot be a little bit pregnant. Similarly we cannot have just a little bit of freedom of expression. Either we are free to express ourselves or we are muzzled by the Thought Police.

    • Guy
      April 1, 2015 at 1:25 am

      Wow, dragonmouth, I did not expect you to fall for that line! You're way smarter than that.

      The destruction of the World Trade Center towers was an expression of how some misguided Muslims feel. Is that cool with you?

      The lynching and hanging of some people in the U.S. of A. was an expression of some people's beliefs that some people are inferior and disposable.

      Shall I carry on?

      As Walter B. Hill, Chancellor of the University of Georgia wrote, "Children learn at an early age the principle of the limitation of individual liberty. It can usually be fixed in the mind by the epigrammatic statement, “My right to swing my arm ends where your nose begins.”

      Children, dragonmouth, children knew this in 1902. For shame!

    • Howard Pearce
      April 1, 2015 at 1:02 pm


      The disticntion which you apparently didn't see was that dragonmouth said "freedom of expression". Note the "freedom" part. Of course it doesn't cover terrorist acts or other acts of violence.
      I thought you might know what freedom means ... but I guess not. You confuse it with the word "free" which doesn't respect others rights.

    • dragonmouth
      April 1, 2015 at 1:28 pm

      “My right to swing my arm ends where your nose begins.”
      Quite right. The government's right to legislate my beliefs ends at the doors to the legislative chambers.

  11. Anthony Butler
    March 31, 2015 at 8:47 am

    VAT in the EU for physical goods is charged based on the sellers location. For digital goods it is based on the buyers location. This applies wherever the seller may be located. So a US seller now has to collect VAT and pass it onto their buyers countries even though the US doesn't actually charge VAT. If the sale is via a platform, the the platform is liable. The EU are actively chasing down the platform to make them comply.
    Also each country in the EU sets a threshold on when a seller has to collect VAT (some have a zero threshold). With digital goods there is an EU wide zero threshold meaning all sellers have to collect VAT no matter how small the value of sales. They have to keep all records for 10 years and they have to collect legally binding proof of where the buyer lives as well. The big players who used clever but legal means to avoid (not evade, which is a crime) VAT rules can afford this extra burden. The smaller sellers cannot. Even the platforms are having to increase seller fees to accommodate these costs, which leads to less profit for sellers or increased costs to buyers. By only selling within a sellers own country can these burdensome VAT issues be avoided. The EU enacted the new rules with very little investigation of the size and scope of the problems they have caused, they are now having to investigate the issue properly after the knitting community caused uproar.
    Yes, the whole thing was done to get money from Amazon and apple. The side effect is to seriously hurt smaller, home based, businesses. Perhaps the person who defended the VAT on digital goods should do like the EU are now doing, and check these facts properly instead of simply thinking it is all fair because the big fish now have to collect and pay VAT a bit more fairly?

  12. Anthony Butler
    March 31, 2015 at 6:47 am

    Geoblocking in the EU is entirely the fault of the EU itself with the imposition of VAT on all digital goods as of January 1st this year when such good are sold outside of the sellers country. Many sellers of things such as knitting patterns now will not sell to customers in the EU or in another EU country because of the anti common sense VAT rules imposed.

    • Andrew Evans
      March 31, 2015 at 7:25 am

      Why should online retailers be treated any different from shops? VAT is chargeable on all goods sold in a shop to whoever you sell it to - customers from outside of the EU can claim this back. I am sure this is in response to VAT avoidance by some companies. Whilst everyone would like to pay as little as possible VAT should be paid where it is applicable - and regardless of where you live in the EU you should pay the VAT on goods bought in any EU country as it is a single market and to avoid VAT is to give unfair advantage. Your example is such a poor one because since the EU became a single market VAT has always applied.

  13. James
    March 31, 2015 at 6:33 am

    "religious beliefs trump everything else"

    When worded like this, it technically makes religious extremism acceptable by law. Good one Indianna

    • Dave Parrack
      March 31, 2015 at 6:36 am

      In Indiana, following a religion is now an excuse for intolerance and discrimination. Well, as long as that religion is Christianity.

    • Howard Pearce
      March 31, 2015 at 12:30 pm

      So Dave,

      Did you have sexual relationships with both men and women? Or did you discriminate showing your intolerance ?

    • Guy
      April 1, 2015 at 1:18 am

      Unless Dave was doing it for pay, it appears he has a right to do so.
      You weren't being paid, were you Dave? Were you!?

    • Howard Pearce
      April 1, 2015 at 12:58 pm


      So you be honest with us then. Did you have sexual relationships with both men and women equally ? Or did you discriminate against one sex entirely showing your sexist real-self ?

    • Dave Parrack
      April 1, 2015 at 1:01 pm

      You must be trolling at this point, Howard. No one with even half a brain would actually ask such a wrongheaded question.

    • Howard Pearce
      April 1, 2015 at 1:27 pm


      What I understand is that you are incapable of or don't want to answer because it might upset your beliefs.

    • Dave Parrack
      April 1, 2015 at 1:33 pm

      So, that question was serious? And you actually believe that not having sex with anyone and everyone means you're being discriminatory? Wow.

      You're comparing apples to oranges, and I think you know that in your heart.

    • Howard Pearce
      April 1, 2015 at 1:45 pm

      You are the one who seems to be claiming not doing business with blacks or gays is a violation of rights to be corrected by the state. I am simply giving you a different circumstance of not having sex with one sex or the other. I assume you would want your friend the state to come in and correct the situation, no ?

    • Dave Parrack
      April 1, 2015 at 2:05 pm

      Well, yeah, I for one am glad governments around the world made it illegal to not serve black people purely because they were black. If that makes me a liberal then I'll happily own that assignation.

      As for your question, it makes no sense. Refusing to serve someone because they're gay is very different than refusing to have sex with them. because you're not gay. You must be able to see they're different. If not then there is really no hope for you.

    • Howard Pearce
      April 1, 2015 at 2:24 pm


      Does that make you a liberal ? haha No, like I said elsewhere, your support for state -mandated associations over freedom of association makes you closer to a fascist.

      The fact that those fake left-wing "liberals" call themselves liberal certainly doesn't prove it.

      Then only thing anyone has to know is that your don't support freedom of association.
      Of course you aren't a liberal.

    • Howard Pearce
      April 1, 2015 at 3:17 pm

      BTW, Dave

      Would you be glad if governments around the world made it illegal not have sex with one sex or the other purely because of their sex ?

    • Scott Hedrick
      April 1, 2015 at 8:41 pm

      The intent of the law is correct: a reduction in government interference in the Constitutional right of association. The error was in attaching religion to the issue.

    • Howard Pearce
      April 1, 2015 at 9:17 pm

      Indeed ! Unfortunately many conservatives are what I call constitutionalists who are only concerned about the wording in the constitution like freedom of religion.

      What they failed to grasp is that this was but an instance of the general right to freedom of belief which becomes clearer when one reads the entire section.

      Here was the discrimination.

  14. Mark Campbell
    March 31, 2015 at 6:09 am

    Apple has no problem selling $$billions of their products in Muslim countries where Mr. Cook would be put to death for his lifestyle. Now they are going to boycott little old harmless Indiana? Ooh- Apple is sooo brave! Do something that really takes guts- tell Islam to stop throwing Gays off tall buildings! Don't sell your product to them. Naw- it won't happen- much safer to pick on harmless Christians. I just unsubscribed to "makeuseof" because they have joined Apple in the hypocrisy.

  15. Sledge Tiberius Sparrow
    March 31, 2015 at 12:58 am

    "Still, it seems a little OTT, despite the fact that most people agree selfie sticks need to die."

    Really? Because I'm totally ok with saying that people shouldn't be carrying nightsticks to pop concerts and museums.

  16. DaveGalt
    March 30, 2015 at 11:48 pm

    I'm sure Tim Cook would be ok with arresting a black baker for refusing to decorate a cake with a KKK message, or a Jew for refusing to decorate a cake with a swastika on it.

    • Dave Parrack
      March 31, 2015 at 6:38 am

      So, you're equating gay people to Nazis and members of the Ku Klux Klan? Your analogy doesn't work, and I hope you'll see why without me having to point it out.

    • Howard Pearce
      March 31, 2015 at 12:51 pm

      I'm sure DaveGalt is trying to point out that people can have all sorts of "valid" reasons for not wanting to do business with other people. The fact that their concept of a "valid" reason can be totally different from yours is irrelevant.

      Dave, if you are trying to say you want your friend the state to force/coerce some people to do business with those you yourself approve of, just come out and say so.

    • DaveGalt
      March 31, 2015 at 2:37 pm

      I'm sorry for not making it simpler. I think the state should not force people to either supply (or buy) products. If you support the state forcing a baker to make a gay cake, then what could you do if the state decided to support making cakes for a group you oppose? Please make your own decisions and stop running to the state. I'm pretty sure Mr Cook can find someone to make his gay cake.

    • Guy
      April 1, 2015 at 1:16 am

      The examples given are not comparable.

      The KKK and Nazi's are hate groups with considerable crimes against humanity based on their beliefs. I have yet to see a gay pride parade turn into a massacre - except maybe in the fashion sense.

      Disliking someone or something is personal preference, hating them and wanting to maim or kill them is illegal. No human right protects that.

      I also wonder why Dave and Howard keep referring to this as being the state doing it and not the people. Perhaps you misunderstand democracy. This wasn't an arbitrary and capricious decision. You know, like the kind your Grand Dragon's and Fuhrer's like to make.

    • DaveGalt
      April 1, 2015 at 1:37 am

      Sometimes it can be tricky to follow analogies. So let me just ask if you want to live in a nation which imprisons people for refusing to bake a cake!

      And yes Guy, it IS the state, not the "people." Whether you are calling it the "people" in order to fool others, or to fool yourself; when the people ask for a law, they are asking the "state" to force others to do their bidding.

      I have nothing else to add here. There is no way to simplify this any further.

  17. Scott Hedrick
    March 30, 2015 at 11:33 pm

    Howard Pearce, when the liberals want to kill babies it's called "choice", but when you decide who you want to do business with it becomes "discrimination".

    It's a mistake to couch this in religious terms- we have a right to decide who we want to hang out with. My family makes money by flipping properties and holding the note. We get interest on the mortgage. Interest is also against Islamic law. Does that mean I should be forced to change how I do business and loan money without charging interest if a Muslim wants to buy one of my properties?

    • Howard Pearce
      April 1, 2015 at 8:01 pm


      It's called freedom of association ..... I refer you to the wiki if you fail to understand the concept.

      It's inherent in the concept that it allows discrimination.

      You can either support laws forbidding discrimination when people associate OR you can support freedom of association where individuals rather than some authoritarian state decide whom they want to associate with.

  18. MikeB
    March 30, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    A business' function is to serve the public (usually to make money from the public). There are no "personal rights" for a business (even of it is a corporation) -- whose will would a business speak for? The board of directors, if it has one? It's employees? management? Its customers? Unless it is a recognized religious institution, everything it does should be regulated in the interest of the public. If you want to force your beliefs on others, don't run a public business.

    • Scott Hedrick
      April 1, 2015 at 8:37 pm

      If a business is a partnership or a sole proprietorship, the business *is* the owner. Moreover, even if a corporation, it's still a *private* business, *even if it sells stock to the public*. Being open to the public does not make a private business public. This is why you can be tossed out of a mall for being obnoxious, even though the mall is open to the public and you are exercising your freedom of speech. It's still private property. Nobody should be forced to do business with anyone, or punished for failing to do business, absent a contract between specific parties (so the "social contract" does not apply). Discrimination is something all of us do every day, and society could not function otherwise. If you disagree, then I expect you to come to me next time you need medical care. I have no qualifications, but that would only matter to you if you choose to discriminate on the basis of qualification. I also find it interesting that some of the same folks that support abortion- insisting that it is a choice- call the right to refuse service discrimination. *Both are choices*. Bad choices, but in a free country, we are permitted to make bad choices. The state should have no say at all in what competent, consenting adults do between themselves.

  19. Cody
    March 30, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    You and I are on the same page Howard. The state has no authority to force any belief on any citizen, nor discriminate against anyone for their personal beliefs. The country cannot have it both ways. To say that consumers have more rights than businesses is idiotic. Businesses are run by consumers. You cannot force business owners against their personal beliefs simply because they run a business. Businesses are a private affair open to the public on the business owner's terms. If corporations are people, which is ridiculous, aren't businesses as well? People have a right to their beliefs.

    This is just another obvious sign that there is not such thing as a free market. If there was and the general population didn't appreciate a business, they would not buy, and the business would fail. Which does not violate the non-aggression principle. Anytime the state gets involved and forces the hand of the people, we have a problem in a Constitutional Republic.

    • Howard Pearce
      March 30, 2015 at 2:03 pm

      One thing I have learned well is that the concept of freedom of association will do you well in arguments. All those fake "liberals" out there will have a tough time defending it and their state-mandated fascism at the same time.

  20. Howard Pearce
    March 30, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    Indiana's law fails because it only protects religious beliefs and not beliefs in general.

    As for discrimination, freedom of association gives one the right to associate with whomever one wishes .... the fact that those associations may be based upon one's racist or sexist beliefs is irrelevant .

    Lastly, ALL anti-discrimination laws are a violation of freedom of belief as they attack people for their motives for actions .... and not the actions themselves. Anytime a state starts attacking its citizens for their beliefs or motives you have Animal Farm Two.

    In others words, as a summary, discrimination is a right. Those that disagree , I wonder if they had sexual relations with both men and women equally .. Or did they discriminate and prove themselves sexists by not having sex with one or the other sex entirely.

    • Dave Parrack
      March 31, 2015 at 6:40 am

      You were doing so well until that last paragraph, Howard.

    • SB
      March 31, 2015 at 7:59 am

      Wow! Did you actually put a lot of thought into typing that dumb statement? If I was your father, I would so be disappointed in you.

    • Howard Pearce
      March 31, 2015 at 12:18 pm

      If you object to some of the civil liberties I mentioned, please say so rather than make comments showing you have nothing to say at all .

    • Guy
      April 1, 2015 at 1:07 am

      Hi Howard,

      The right to associate freely does not equate to a right to discriminate. Free association only goes so far as to peaceful acts and acts without criminal intent.

      If a group is meeting to conspire to a criminal act, that is not protected by the right to associate freely. In fact, conspiring to commit a crime, is a crime. Discrimination in the sense of racism or gender inequality is a crime in many jurisdictions worldwide.

      Hate speech is also a crime, and so is uttering threats, regardless of whether the intended victim hears it or not.

      Putting responsibilities in tandem and tension with rights is not an objection to the right itself. It is the method by which rights can become entrenched and protected from those that would abuse them, misinterpret them, and thus see the rights rendered ineffectual.

      We all have a right to like or dislike whomever we wish, for any reason really. What we don't have is the right to suspend someone else's rights because we don't like them.

    • Howard Pearce
      April 1, 2015 at 12:43 pm

      Of course it does. Check the wiki yourself ..... "Freedom of association is the right to join or leave groups of a person's own choosing, and for the group to take collective action to pursue the interests of members." Your freedom to associate means just what it says.. The fact those associations may be based upon racist or sexist beliefs is irrelevant.

      What is sad is that people like you support state-mandated associations (fascism) over our civil liberties .

      And your example fails because no one's rights give that person a right to violate the rights of others .... although I am sure you would like to discredit as many civil liberties as possible to validate state coercion.

    • Dave Parrack
      April 1, 2015 at 12:52 pm

      So, taking your desire for personal freedom to its ultimate conclusion, do you think colleges should be allowed to bar African-Americans from entry? Or bus drivers to insist African-Americans sit at the back? Or perhaps the KKK should be allowed to hang African-Americans from trees? After all, these things are only illegal because the government said so.

    • Howard Pearce
      April 1, 2015 at 1:17 pm

      If they are private colleges or buses , ABSOLUTELY. I may not approve of everyones' associations but I will defend to the end their right to associate . Does that sound familiar, Dave ?

      Do you, Dave , instead support the right of the state to dictate to private entities whom they have to associate with ? That borders on fascism.

      And no one ever said that one's rights entitled one to violate the rights of others like hanging people or raping people , or stealing from people.

    • dragonmouth
      April 1, 2015 at 7:46 pm

      @Dave Parrack:
      "do you think colleges should be allowed to bar African-Americans from entry?"
      Since you brought it up, Dave. Should colleges be allowed to give African-Americans preference in admission over Caucasians and Asian-Americans just to achieve someone's idea of a "racial balance" or "diversity" ? In other words, does discrimination justify reverse discrimination?

      I had a front row seat when Open Admissions came to City University of New York, a public university system run by the City of New York. (Open Admission policy - in effect any minority member will be admitted to a college/university whether or not (s)he is academically qualified) It was a blood bath. The vast majority of the students admitted under Open Admissions lasted only a semester or two. They quit or flunked out. The civil rights activists started claiming that the professors discriminated against the minority students by demanding that they meet the same standards as the other students; standards such as handing in the homework in on time, showing up for class and taking part in class discussions, etc.

      The question/problem of discrimination has not been resolved in the 50 years since the Civil Rights Act was passed so I doubt that we will come to any meaningful conclusions in this discussion. There will be knee-jerk, Politically Correct liberal answers and opinions offered but whether they are meaningful is open to discussion.

    • Dave Parrack
      April 1, 2015 at 8:12 pm

      I'm actually against positive discrimination, as it's referred to in the UK. I don't think race, gender, or sexuality should be an issue, and people should be hired or admitted based on ability alone.

      My point to Howard was that without government interference then we'd still have all-white colleges, and, going even further back, it would still be legal for white people to own black slaves, and women wouldn't be able to vote. It just so happens that the current struggle is for gay people to be afforded equal standing in society. And supporting that makes me a fascist, apparently.

    • Howard Pearce
      April 1, 2015 at 8:52 pm


      The freedom to associate with whom we please doesn't mean we can have associations that violate the rights of others like slavery.. Don't be idiotic.

      Take your choice, dave. Do you support anti-discrimination laws or freedom of association ..... you can't have both.

      And yes, people who support state-mandated associations over freedom of association I consider fascist regardless of how much they prove their love to gays, or blacks, or anyone else.