(c) Copyright 1999 Daphne Xu

This is not a story.  It is a reply I started on, then
eventually gave up on, in response to a flame war on
ASSD a year ago, where everyone ganged up on me.  I
don't need to mention names; you know who you are.


Random Old Skewerage (no-sex, no-plot, flame,language)
Daphne Xu -- daphne@nym.alias.net

Joe and Grampa are out walking.  Someone horribly
offends Joe's Grampa.

Furious, the teenage boy Joe picks up the brick and is
about to throw it when Grampa says, "Now, now, boy.
Count to ten."

The boy stops, slowly counts to ten in his mind, and
discovers that he has calmed down dramatically.

Grampa continues, "Now throw the brick.  You'll aim

No.  I have the right to say that that's a damn lie,
and you don't have the right to force false beliefs on
your child.  The law may disregard my right; the law
may routinely violate my right, but I still have my
right.  You threaten to get a court order to keep me
from speaking to your child.  Fine, get one.  I won't
stop until you do.

The injunction will violate my right, and I will fight
it tooth and nail, on every ground I can think of: Free
speech, freedom of thought (the child's of course),
public policy (education, scientific literacy, truth),
abuse of legal process, etc.  I will treat it as a
SLAPP lawsuit.  The threat of jail alone would give me
every incentive to fight it to the limit.

I will implead your child as a necessary party if
possible, or at the very least have her to the witness
stand and inquire about her views of being censored and
lied to.  I'd explore her knowledge of academics such
as physics, astronomy, and geology.  If the issue is
whether the earth is flat, I will have the court take
judicial notice that the earth is round.  (I've heard
that if you say that the earth is round in a legal
brief or memo, you have to cite a geological
reference.)  I would also call you (as the parent) to
the witness stand and explore your own knowledge of the
subjects.  Hopefully, you will come across as a
loudmouthed, bigotted know-nothing.

Of course, this might not overturn the injunction.  But
at the very least it will make sure the judge knows
precisely what he is ordering.  After all appeals fail,
I suppose I would have to quit my job, move to another
city, etc.  The injunction WILL work.  It will work the
way a mugging works.  And it will be as wrong as any
mugging.  But you can be sure that I will publicize
this case widely.  Your child will learn far better
through this process than she could ever learn from me
personally, that her parents' views are worthless, that
she has every right to rebel against them.  You will
have won the battle but lost the war.

So every time a public-school science teacher tries to
teach evolution, do you take her to court for
interfering with the parents' beliefs?  No wonder
teachers are so afraid to teach evolution these days.
No wonder textbook publishers put the subject at the
end of the textbook where few classes reach.  No wonder
that scientific illiteracy dominates the US.

And if a public librarian suggests books to children or
teenagers that...

Of course, we all know that, as a lawyer, you don't
give a damn about truth, don't give a damn about
accuracy.  Lawyers are trained and paid to argue
whatever position they take with smooth-tongued
rhetoric, regardless of logic, regardless of the
accuracy of the position.  I wouldn't be surprised if
you were among those family lawyers who falsely and
maliciously allege sexual abuse of children in divorce

Lawyers are paid to be creative and argue new theories.
Here's a creative new theory for you: the cops and
prosecutors who worked closely with the murderer of a
police officer in Dallas to frame Randall Adams for the
murder are guilty of Capital Murder as parties to the

My first version of this response had me calling you
"Fuckhead" at your talk of throwing me in jail.  Now,
of course, had I continued with that, most of the
readers would have blanked out on what you wrote as
provocation (namely, the jail threat) and berated me
for not responding with eloquent, rational argument.

[Of course, I'm not allowed to be mad...  furious...
frightened at the prospect of receiving a court order
and the threat of jail.  It doesn't matter how I

If I am ever jailed, Fuckhead, you will have made an
enemy for life.  If I can't get you for false
imprisonment, I will get you some other way.  At the
very least, I will cause you public embarrassment and

As I said, you have every right to tell your views to
your child.  I have no obligation to respect or
reinforce them, and I have every right to give my own

I must also reply to the inanity that analogizes the
Internet (as "Information Superhighway") to actually
driving a car.  A car is a dangerous weapon.  One can

Those of you who replied to my paragraph constrasting
cars and computers need to brush up on your reading
comprehension and knowledge of computers and cars.
Better yet, learn to see what's right in front of your
nose.  Computers have none of the major dangers cars
have.  A major collison on the Information Superhighway
very rarely if ever injures someone badly enough to
send him to the hospital.

You seem to have forgotten the law of self-defense and
defense of third persons.  If I see anyone, including a
parent, beating a child, I have every right to

Someone sarcastically asked me to give him the codes to
launch the missiles.  The problem is that if it proves
anything, it proves too much.  Censorship of those
missile codes is justified regardless of the age or
maturity of the person censored.  Those codes (or any
private encryption key) contain no ideas whatsoever.
Knowledge of the codes proves the person has the right
to set the missiles off.  Therefore, persons who don't
have the right to set the missiles off must not know
the codes.

Remember: "Substance is nothing; procedure is
everything."  I will make the procedure sufficiently
nasty...  Remember how companies settle lawsuits not
because they were in the wrong, but because it would be
a long drawn-out, expensive mess to litigate.

The basis behind opposing Brian for giving the
technical information to a minor is that the minor will
see something that SOMEONE doesn't want her to see.  I
have no reason to silence myself in favor of someone
who I think is totally wrong, whom I have no respect

Calling it "Indoctrination" was a masterful case of
psychological projection, as if it were indoctrination
to provide information that subverts one's own
indoctrination.  Baloney.  Providing information isn't
indoctrination.  Indoctrination is a form of
non-rational persuasion of an idea, irrespective of the
truth of that idea.