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Posts Tagged ‘free speech’

Academics Are Really, Really Worried About Their Freedom

Posted by M. C. on September 3, 2020

One professor committed the sin of “privileging the white male perspective” in giving a lecture on the philosophy of one of the Founding Fathers, even though Frederick Douglass sang that Founder’s praises. The administration tried to make him sit in a “listening circle,” in which his job was to stay silent while students explained how he had hurt them—in other words, a 21st-century-American version of a struggle session straight out of the Cultural Revolution.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/09/academics-are-really-really-worried-about-their-freedom/615724/

Our national reckoning on race has brought to the fore a loose but committed assemblage of people given to the idea that social justice must be pursued via attempts to banish from the public sphere, as much as possible, all opinions that they interpret as insufficiently opposed to power differentials. Valid intellectual and artistic endeavor must hold the battle against white supremacy front and center, white people are to identify and expunge their complicity in this white supremacy with the assumption that this task can never be completed, and statements questioning this program constitute a form of “violence” that merits shaming and expulsion.

Skeptics have labeled this undertaking “cancel culture,” which of late has occasioned a pushback from its representatives. The goal, they suggest, is less to eliminate all signs of a person’s existence—which tends to be impractical anyway— than to supplement critique with punishment of some kind. Thus a group of linguists in July submitted to the Linguistic Society of America a petition not only to criticize the linguist and psychologist Steven Pinker for views they considered racist and sexist, but to have him stripped of his Linguistic Society of America fellow status and removed from the organization’s website listing linguist consultants available to the media. An indication of how deeply this frame of mind has penetrated many of our movers and shakers is that they tend to see this punishment clause as self-evidently just, as opposed to the novel, censorious addendum that it is.

Another defense of sorts has been to claim that even this cancel-culture lite is not dangerous, because it has no real effect. When, for instance, 153 intellectuals signed an open letter in Harper’s arguing for the value of free speech (I was one of them), we were told that we were comfortable bigwigs chafing at mere criticism, as if all that has been happening is certain people being taken to task, as opposed to being shamed and stripped of honors.

To the extent that the new progressives acknowledge that some prominent people have been unfairly tarred—including the food columnist Alison Roman, the data analyst David Shor, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art senior curator Gary Garrels—they often insist that these are mere one-off detours rather than symptoms of a general cultural sea change.

For example, in July I tweeted that I (as well as my Bloggingheads sparring partner Glenn Loury) have been receiving missives since May almost daily from professors living in constant fear for their career because their opinions are incompatible with the current woke playbook. Then various people insisted that I was, essentially, lying; they simply do not believe that anyone remotely reasonable has anything to worry about.

However, hard evidence points to a different reality. This year, the Heterodox Academy conducted an internal member survey of 445 academics. “Imagine expressing your views about a controversial issue while at work, at a time when faculty, staff, and/or other colleagues were present. To what extent would you worry about the following consequences?” To the hypothetical “My reputation would be tarnished,” 32.68 percent answered “very concerned” and 27.27 percent answered “extremely concerned.” To the hypothetical “My career would be hurt,” 24.75 percent answered “very concerned” and 28.68 percent answered “extremely concerned.” In other words, more than half the respondents consider expressing views beyond a certain consensus in an academic setting quite dangerous to their career trajectory.

So no one should feign surprise or disbelief that academics write to me with great frequency to share their anxieties. In a three-week period early this summer, I counted some 150 of these messages. And what they reveal is a very rational culture of fear among those who dissent, even slightly, with the tenets of the woke left.

The degree of sheer worry among the people writing to me is poignant, and not just among nontenured faculty. (They write to me privately, and for that reason I will not share names.) One professor notes, “Even with tenure and authority, I worry that students could file spurious Title IX complaints … or that students could boycott me or remove me as Chair.” I have no reason to suppose that he is being dramatic, because exactly this, he says, happened to his predecessor.

A statistics professor says:

I routinely discuss the fallacy of assuming that disparity implies discrimination, which is just a specific way of confusing correlation for causality. Frankly, I’m now somewhat afraid to broach these topics … since according to the new faith, disparity actually is conclusive evidence of discrimination.

The new mood has even reached medieval studies; an assistant professor reports having recently just survived an attack by a cadre of scholars who are “unspeakably mean and disingenuous once they have you in their sights,” regularly “mounting PR campaigns to get academics and grad students fired, removed from programs, expelled from scholarly groups, or simply to cease speaking.”

Being nonwhite leaves one protected in this environment only to the extent that one toes the ideological line. An assistant professor of color who cannot quite get with the program writes, “At the moment, I’m more anxious about this problem than anything else in my career,” noting that “the truth is that over the last few years, this new norm of intolerance and cult of social justice has marginalized me more than all racism I have ever faced in my life.”

The charges levied against many of these professors are rooted in a fanatical worldview, one devoted to spraying for any utterances possibly interpretable as “supremacist,” although the accusers sincerely think they have access to higher wisdom. A white professor read a passage from an interview with a well-known Black public intellectual who mentions the rap group NWA, and because few of the students knew of the group’s work at this late date, the professor parenthetically noted what the initials stand for. None of the Black students batted an eye, according to my correspondent, but a few white students demanded a humiliating public apology.

This episode represents a pattern in the letters, wherein it is white students who are “woker” than their Black classmates, neatly demonstrating the degree to which this new religion is more about virtue signaling than social justice. From the same well is this same professor finding that the gay men in his class had no problem with his assigning a book with a gay slur in its title, a layered, ironic title for a book taking issue with traditional concepts of masculinity—but that a group of straight white women did, and reported him to his superiors.

Overall I found it alarming how many of the letters sound as if they were written from Stalinist Russia or Maoist China. A history professor reports that at his school, the administration is seriously considering setting up an anonymous reporting system for students and professors to report “bias” that they have perceived. One professor committed the sin of “privileging the white male perspective” in giving a lecture on the philosophy of one of the Founding Fathers, even though Frederick Douglass sang that Founder’s praises. The administration tried to make him sit in a “listening circle,” in which his job was to stay silent while students explained how he had hurt them—in other words, a 21st-century-American version of a struggle session straight out of the Cultural Revolution.

The result is academics living out loud only in whispers. A creative-writing instructor:

The majority of my fellow instructors and staff constantly self-censor themselves in fear of being fired for expressing the “wrong opinions.” It’s gotten to the point where many are too terrified to even like or retweet a tweet, lest it lead to some kind of disciplinary measure … They are supporters of free speech, scientific data, and healthy debate, but they are too fearful today to publicly declare such support. However, they’ll tell it to a sympathetic ear in the back corner booth of a quiet bar after two or three pints. These ideas have been reduced to lurking in the shadows now.

Some will process this as a kind of whining, supposing that all we should really be concerned about is whether people are outright dismissed. However, elsewhere a hostile work environment is considered a breach of civil rights, and as one correspondent wrote, “It isn’t just fear of firing that motivates professors and grad students to be quiet. It is a desire to have friends, to be part of a community. This is a fundamental part of human psychology. Indeed, experiments examining the effects of ostracism highlight what a powerful existential threat it is to be ignored, excluded, or rejected. This has been documented at the neurological level. Ostracism is a form of social death. It is a very potent threat.”

Especially sad is the extent to which this new Maoism can dilute the richness of a curriculum and discourage people from becoming professors at all. One professor has stopped teaching James Baldwin’s “Going to Meet the Man” after Black students claimed that it forced them to “re-live intergenerational trauma.” I have heard from not one but two philosophy doctorates who left academia. One explained that he was driven out by the “accelerating creep of what felt to me a pretty stifling orthodoxy. The hiring market was dominated by a concern for diversity statements, the ability to teach fairly ideologically-slanted courses on philosophy and critical race theory or philosophy and gender, etc.; and more generally it felt progressively less like a profession where I could opt out of those trends while still being a competitive job applicant.”

Very few of the people who wrote to me are of conservative political orientation. Rather, a main thread in the missives is people left-of-center wondering why, suddenly, to be anything but radical is to be treated as a retrograde heretic. Thus the issue is not the age-old one of left against right, but what one letter writer calls the “circular firing squad” of the left: It is now no longer “Why aren’t you on the left?” but “How dare you not be as left as we are.”

To some, the evidence of Heterodox Academy’s member survey plus my correspondents will still qualify as mere “anecdata”—after all, both groups are self-selecting—such that only a long-term academic study carefully interviewing at length a good 3,000 professors and submitting their responses to statistical analysis would qualify as empirically compelling. But let’s face it: Half a dozen reports of teachers grading Black students more harshly than white students would be accepted by many as demonstrating a stain on our entire national fabric. These 150 missives stand as an articulate demonstration of something general—and deeply disturbing—as well.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.

John McWhorter is a contributing writer at The Atlantic. He teaches linguistics at Columbia University, hosts the podcast Lexicon Valley, and is the author, most recently, of Words on the Move.
Be seeing you

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6 Reasons Franklin D. Roosevelt was the WORST

Posted by M. C. on July 22, 2020

Joe left a few out.

Goading the Japanese into declaring war, leaving the Pacific fleet unprepared and refused to fight his “Uncle Joe” for Eastern Europe, particularly Poland.

England entered WWII to save Poland and Churchill and FDR ended up letting Stalin take it. It defeats the point.

https://www.thedailybell.com/all-articles/news-analysis/5-reasons-franklin-d-roosevelt-was-the-worst/

By Joe Jarvis – July 22, 2020

 

Can you believe that there are at least three statues of Franklin D. Roosevelt in Washington DC? There is one in South Dakota too, another in Virginia, and even more in London.

It appears all these places are overrun by racists and fascist sympathizers. How can people celebrate a man who:

1. Literally Rounded Up 120,000 Japanese Americans, and put them in Concentration Camps.

Executive order 9066 authorized the arrest and detention, without charges, or American citizens of Japanese ancestry. Franklin D. Roosevelt signed it into law on February 19, 1942.

Two reports which Roosevelt commissioned in the years prior to their internment found that Japanese Americans posed little to no risk to the government. But FDR ignored the reports’ recommendations.

70,000 of those arrested and detained, sometimes for years, were American citizens. And a simple executive order–no due process– allowed them to be arrested for no reason other than their race and nationality.

How is FDR not widely accepted as the biggest American racist of the last century?

2. FDR Outlawed Private Ownership of Gold.

With Executive Order 6102, signed on April 5, 1933, everyone living in America was given 25 days to turn in their gold. Their property–gold coins and bullion–was confiscated. It became a criminal offense for any American to own or trade gold anywhere in the world– except for some exceptions like jewelry and collector’s coins.

The government paid about $20 per ounce for the gold they forced citizens to sell them. Shortly after, the government set the price of gold to $35 per ounce.

They could do that, because at that point, a dollar was still backed by a set amount of gold. Increasing the dollar value of gold, allowed them to print more money. That is even easier today, unhindered by a gold standard.

The law wasn’t repealed until 1974. Only then was private ownership of gold once again fully legal in the US.

3. FDR was Pen Pals With Mussolini, Whom he Admired.

Benito Mussolini was the fascist Dictator of Italy in league with Adolf Hitler during World War II.

The book, Three New Deals, shows how similar the movements of the 1930’s were in America, Italy, and Germany.

It also recounts how Roosevelt said:

‘I don’t mind telling you in confidence,’ FDR remarked to a White House correspondent, ‘that I am keeping in fairly close touch with that admirable Italian gentleman,’

And Mussolini reviewed FDR’s book Looking Forward.

“Reminiscent of Fascism is the principle that the state no longer leaves the economy to its own devices.… Without question, the mood accompanying this sea change resembles that of Fascism.”

Mussolini and FDR were two peas in a pod.

4. The Roosevelt Administration was Infested with Soviet-Russian Spies.

Diana West describes in her book, American Betrayal, just how well the Soviet Union infiltrated the White House. Top officials close to the President were supportive of the Soviet Regime. Some were almost certainly actual Soviet spies.

In one sketchy encounter, soldiers were told to stand down when they witnessed American secrets being smuggled out of America on a plane bound for Russia, guarded by Soviet soldiers. This may be how the Soviet Union was able to make nuclear weapons.

Many other policies were directly influenced by socialist sympathizers and possibly outright spies in the government appointed by FDR. For instance, Soviet troops were given American supplies during World War II through the “Lend-Lease” program, while American troops went without.

5. FDR Hated the Press and Suppressed Free Speech.

Reason Magazine describes FDR’s War Against the Press:

Roosevelt warned in 1938 that “our newspapers cannot be edited in the interests of the general public, from the counting room. And I wish we could have a national symposium on that question, particularly in relation to the freedom of the press. How many bogies are conjured up by invoking that greatly overworked phrase?”

He’s basically saying he wishes he could shut down “fake news”.

Roosevelt also started the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) and limited licenses for radio broadcasting to six months. That way the government could revoke a license, and silence critics of FDR.

It did not take long for broadcasters to get the message. NBC, for example, announced that it was limiting broadcasts “contrary to the policies of the United States government.” CBS Vice President Henry A. Bellows said that “no broadcast would be permitted over the Columbia Broadcasting System that in any way was critical of any policy of the Administration.” He elaborated “that the Columbia system was at the disposal of President Roosevelt and his administration and they would permit no broadcast that did not have his approval.” Local station owners and network executives alike took it for granted, as Editor and Publisher observed, that each station had “to dance to Government tunes because it is under Government license.”

FDR’s government illegally intercepted telegraphs and used the ill-begotten information to subpoena journalists, chilling any dissent, and drying up the flow of information to reporters. A law was even proposed to give prison sentences to anyone who knowingly published fake news.

6. The Roosevelt administration seized and destroyed crops while Americans starved

The Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933, reauthorized in 1938, was allegedly to help struggling farmers. The point was to raise the prices of crops, to keep farmers from going broke and abandoning their farms.

Of course if farmers were abandoning their farms because prices were too low to make a living, that would have naturally decreased supply…

Instead, power-hungry leaders like FDR just had to intervene. And the consequences were disastrous.

Remember this was during the Great Depression, which meant already struggling families had to pay more for food.

Then when not enough crops were grown in the US, America had to import crops, making the country more dependent and less self sufficient.

There are plenty more reasons to despise Franklin D. Roosevelt. But if we are putting in requests to destroy racist, fascist statues, FDR should top the list.

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Despicable Behavior of Today’s Academicians – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on July 15, 2020

Evidence of how stupid college ideas find their way into the public arena can be seen on our daily news. Don Lemon, a CNN anchorman, said, “We have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them.”

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/07/walter-e-williams/despicable-behavior-of-todays-academicians/

By

The Michigan State University administration pressured professor Stephen Hsu to resign from his position as vice president of research and innovation because he touted research that found police are not more likely to shoot black Americans. The study found: “The race of a police officer did not predict the race of the citizen shot. In other words, black officers were just as likely to shoot black citizens as white officers were.” For political reasons, the authors of the study sought its retraction.

The U.S. Department of Education warned UCLA that it may impose fines for improperly and abusively targeting white professor Lt. Col. W. Ajax Peris for disciplinary action over his use of the n-word while reading to his class Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” that contained the expressions “when your first name becomes “n——r,” your middle name becomes “boy” (however old you are). Referring to white civil rights activists King wrote, “They have languished in filthy, roach-infested jails, suffering the abuse and brutality of policemen who view them as ‘dirty n——r-lovers.’”

Boston University is considering changing the name of its mascot Rhett because of his link to “Gone with the Wind.” Almost 4,000 Rutgers University students signed a petition to rename campus buildings Hardenbergh Hall, Frelinghuysen Hall and Milledoler Hall because these men were slave owners. University of Arkansas students petitioned to remove a statue of J. William Fulbright because he was a segregationist who opposed the Brown v. Board of Education that ruled against school segregation.

The suppression of free speech and ideas by the elite is nothing new. It has a long ugly history. Galileo Galilei was a 17th-century Italian astronomer, physicist and engineer, sometimes called “father of modern physics.” The Catholic Church and other scientists of his day believed that the Earth was the center of the universe. Galileo offered evidence that the Earth traveled around the sun — heliocentrism. That made him “vehemently suspect of heresy” and was forced to recant and sentenced to formal imprisonment at the pleasure of the Inquisition and was later commuted to house arrest for the rest of his life.

Much of today’s totalitarianism, promotion of hate and not to mention outright stupidity, has its roots on college campuses. Sources that report on some of the more egregious forms of the abandonment of free inquiry, hate and stupidity at our colleges are: College Reform and College Fix.

Prof. William S. Penn, who was a Distinguished Faculty Award recipient at Michigan State University in 2003, and a two-time winner of the prestigious Stephen Crane Prize for Fiction, explained to his students, “This country still is full of closet racists.” He said: “Republicans are not a majority in this country anymore. They are a bunch of dead white people. Or dying white people.”

The public has recently been treated to the term — white privilege. Colleges have long held courses and seminars on “whiteness.” One college even has a course titled “Abolition of Whiteness.” According to some academic intellectuals, whites enjoy advantages that nonwhites do not. They earn higher income and reside in better housing, and their children go to better schools and achieve more. Based on that idea, Asian Americans have more white privilege than white people. And, on a personal note, my daughter has more white privilege than probably 95% of white Americans.

Evidence of how stupid college ideas find their way into the public arena can be seen on our daily news. Don Lemon, a CNN anchorman, said, “We have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them.” Steven Clifford, former King Broadcasting CEO, said, “I will be leading a great movement to prohibit straight white males, who I believe supported Donald Trump by about 85 percent, from exercising the franchise (to vote), and I think that will save our democracy.”

As George Orwell said, “Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them.” If the stupid ideas of academic intellectuals remained on college campuses and did not infect the rest of society, they might be a source of entertainment — much like a circus.

 

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The Woke Revolution – PaulCraigRoberts.org

Posted by M. C. on July 13, 2020

The signatories to the letter do not understand that time has passed them by. Free speech is no longer a value.  Free speach is an ally of oppression because it permits charges against Western civilization and the white racist oppressors to be answered, and facts are not welcome.  The purpose of the woke revolution is to overthrow a liberal society and impose conformity with wokeness in its place.  Whiteness has been declared evil. There is nothing to debate.

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2020/07/12/the-woke-revolution/

Paul Craig Roberts

150 prominent intellectuals and Ivy League academics of leftish persuasion have signed a letter in Harper’s protesting the breakdown in civilized debate and imposition of ideological conformity.  The signatories made the obligatory bow to denouncing Trump as “a real threat to democracy” and called for “greater equality and inclusion across our society.”  But this wasn’t enough to save them from denunciation for stating these truthful facts:

“The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted. While we have come to expect this on the radical right, censoriousness is also spreading more widely in our culture: an intolerance of opposing views, a vogue for public shaming and ostracism, and the tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty. We uphold the value of robust and even caustic counter-speech from all quarters. But it is now all too common to hear calls for swift and severe retribution in response to perceived transgressions of speech and thought. More troubling still, institutional leaders, in a spirit of panicked damage control, are delivering hasty and disproportionate punishments instead of considered reforms. Editors are fired for running controversial pieces; books are withdrawn for alleged inauthenticity; journalists are barred from writing on certain topics; professors are investigated for quoting works of literature in class; a researcher is fired for circulating a peer-reviewed academic study; and the heads of organizations are ousted for what are sometimes just clumsy mistakes. Whatever the arguments around each particular incident, the result has been to steadily narrow the boundaries of what can be said without the threat of reprisal. We are already paying the price in greater risk aversion among writers, artists, and journalists who fear for their livelihoods if they depart from the consensus, or even lack sufficient zeal in agreement.”

https://harpers.org/a-letter-on-justice-and-open-debate/

The signatories to the letter do not understand that time has passed them by. Free speech is no longer a value.  Free speach is an ally of oppression because it permits charges against Western civilization and the white racist oppressors to be answered, and facts are not welcome.  The purpose of the woke revolution is to overthrow a liberal society and impose conformity with wokeness in its place.  Whiteness has been declared evil. There is nothing to debate.

The signatories do not understand that today there is only one side.  In place of debate there is denunciation, the purpose of which is to impose ideological conformity.  It is pointless to search for truth when truth has been revealed: Western civilization and all its works are a white racist construct and must be destroyed.  There is nothing to debate.

To make clear that in these revolutionary times not even prominent people of accomplishment such as Noam Chomsky are entitled to a voice different from woke-imposed conformity, the letter was answered by a condescending statement signed by a long list of woke journalists of no distinction or achievement, people no one has ever heard of. The 150 prominent defenders of free speech were simply dismissed as no longer relevant. https://theobjective.substack.com/p/a-more-specific-letter-on-justice

Noam Chomsky and the other prominent signatories were dismissed as irrelevant just as the prominent historians were who took exception to the New York Times 1619 project, a packet of lies and anti-white propaganda. The famous historians found that they weren’t relevant. The New York Times has an agenda that is independent of the facts.

The message is clear: shutup “white, wealthy” people and you also Thomas Chatterton Williams, a black person with a white name.  Your voices of oppression have been cancelled.

The “oppressed” and “marginalized” voices of woke revolutionaries, who have imposed tyranny in universities, the work place, and via social media, are the ones that now control explanations. No one is permitted to disagree with them.

Lining up on the woke side are CNN, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Slate, and other presstitute organizations desperately trying to remain relevant. Everyone of these institutions quickly took the side of the woke revolution against facts and free speech.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/10/opinions/the-letter-harpers-cancel-culture-open-debate-yang/index.html

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/story/2020-07-09/cancel-culture-harpers-letter

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/10/arts/open-letter-debate.html

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/07/harpers-letter-reality-debate.html

The revolution is over unless the guillotine is next. Academic freedom no longer exists. Free speech no longer exists. The media is a propaganda ministry. Without free speech there can be no answer to denunciation.  White people are guilty. Period.

 

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Farage to Breitbart: ‘I Have Never Seen so Many People Scared to Say What They Think’

Posted by M. C. on June 16, 2020

“This did not just spark after George Floyd. This has been long-planned, and they were simply waiting for an opportunity. If we lose free speech to this degree, then the world is going to be a pretty dangerous and unpleasant place.”

Farage: Poor History Teaching Means Young Don’t Know Britain Stamped Out Slavery Worldwide https://t.co/hGLR0MD5Q3

— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 12, 2020

https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2020/06/15/farage-to-breitbart-i-have-never-seen-so-many-people-scared-to-say-what-they-think/

by Oliver JJ Lane

Brexit leader Nigel Farage has spoken to Breitbart about the “Marxist, Anarchic” threat to free speech and free thought in the United Kingdom, saying that fear is “dominating absolutely everything”.

Mr Farage made the remarks to Alex Marlow on the Breitbart News Daily Show on Sirius XM Patriot on Monday, when he was asked about his recent break with Global Radio’s LBC, where until last week he had a daily political talk show.

While Mr Farage declined to comment on the specifics of the change, a position of silence has has taken since the surprise announcement on Thursday, he did offer his thoughts on the broader move to suppress freedom of thought and speech in the United Kingdom, implying those developments may have had something to do with his ouster.

Making clear present developments were historic in scale, the Brexit leader told Marlow and the Breitbart News Daily audience that: “It seems that the real threat we face now is a genuine threat to free speech. I have never known a time when, in the United Kingdom — which is famed for its huge breadth of media commentary and views — I have never seen so many people so scared to write and say and speak and broadcast what they think. It really is very disturbing.”

Mr Farage explained that while it was clear the simple and face-value idea that black lives matter was unarguable and widely supported, the organisation that calls itself Black Lives Matter hid a radical agenda behind its agreeable sounding name, but used the title to accuse anyone who dared disagree with its hard-left views of being racist. He continued: “the truth of it, of course, is that Black Lives Matters the organisation is open Marxist, Anarchic, wants to abolish our police forces, and is doing its best culturally to literally destroy and erase every piece of symbolism of our long and complex history.

“We’re at a point where if you criticise ‘Black Lives Matter’ the accusation is you don’t support equality and you think there should be a huge racial divide. And that is where we are. I am just not somebody who is prepared to go along with that, and I won’t support mob rule.”

On how the woke-left police the new orthodoxy of thought, Farage said “Fear is what dominating absolutely everything”, pointing out political activists would vilify dissenters online, in the street, and agitate against businesses to deprive funding. On the organised campaigning networks that perpetrate this enforcement, Farage told Breitbart News that ordinary peoiple increasingly felt: “…the fear knowing that the Soros-funded organisations will go directly to the advertisers who advertise on radio shows and TV shows and in newspapers and all the rest of it. And this is very much the way in which the cancel-mob works. They try to put the advertisers under pressure.

“This did not just spark after George Floyd. This has been long-planned, and they were simply waiting for an opportunity. If we lose free speech to this degree, then the world is going to be a pretty dangerous and unpleasant place.”

Mr Farage has been extremely outspoken on this new Puritanism in recent weeks, leading to speculation that his pointing out that Black Lives Matter UK openly campaign for the abolition of police and that smashing statues was uncomfortably similar to the behaviour of radical religious extremist groups in the Middle East contributed to his sudden departure from his radio talk show. Last week, the Brexit party leader condemned the announcement that London’s Royal Holloway university was going to purge its own library collection to combat “structural racism”, noting dryly that the “book-burning” had now started.

Offering an explanation of how it could be that young British people caught up in the growing Black Lives Matter protest could be ignorant of the fact that it was the British Empire that did so much to stamp out slavery worldwide in the 19th century, Farage said “we’ve got to start teaching history properly” and it was time to make “positive arguments” to the nation’s youth.

 

 

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DOJ Drooling Over Likely Assange Extradition | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on February 26, 2020

Let’s make this clear, there has never been any evidence presented in the decade since those cables were released, that anyone was ever harmed. This is a baldfaced canard deployed by Washington from the start and it is now being used to attempt to drag Assange back to the U.S. where he faces 18 federal charges of espionage, including theft and hacking, and for that, up to 175 years in prison.

Because the UK has no constitutional guarantee of a free press and its free speech rights are practically non-existent today, which means his pleas for both won’t buy him a basket of fish and chips from the local pub.

In other words, putting trust in the British system of law is a gamble. The British establishment hated Assange from the beginning too. And why not? Former PM Tony Blair was President George Bush’s poodle, and dragged his country into the war in Iraq against the majority of his countrymen’s wishes. They were right there with us as the lies played out in real time.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/state-of-the-union/doj-drooling-over-likely-assange-extradition/

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The Death Of Free Speech: Zuckerberg Asks Governments For Instructions On “What Discourse Should Be Allowed” – JONATHAN TURLEY

Posted by M. C. on February 22, 2020

Zuckerberg told an assembly of Western leaders Saturday at the Munich Security Conference that “There should be more guidance and regulation from the states on basically — take political advertising as an example — what discourse should be allowed?” He did add: “Or, on the balance of free expression and some things that people call harmful expression, where do you draw the line?” The problem is that his comments were received as accepting that government will now dictate the range of free speech.

Why not just restart COINTELPRO? Did it ever go away? And…

The government will tell him-what to tell them-about US.

https://jonathanturley.org/2020/02/17/the-death-of-free-speech-zuckerberg-asks-governments-for-instructions-on-what-discourse-should-be-allowed/

I have written for years on the effort of European countries to expand their crackdown on free speech globally through restrictions on social media and Internet speech. It appears that Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has relented in what may prove the death knell for free speech in the West. Zuckerberg seems to relent in asking governments for regulations stipulating what speech will be permitted on Facebook and other platforms. It is the ultimate victory of France, Germany, and England in their continuing attack on free expression though hate speech laws and speech regulation.

Zuckerberg told an assembly of Western leaders Saturday at the Munich Security Conference that “There should be more guidance and regulation from the states on basically — take political advertising as an example — what discourse should be allowed?” He did add: “Or, on the balance of free expression and some things that people call harmful expression, where do you draw the line?” The problem is that his comments were received as accepting that government will now dictate the range of free speech. What is missing is the bright line rule long maintained by the free speech community.

As tragically demonstrated in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, speech regulations inevitably expand with time. The desire to silence one’s critics becomes insatiable for both governments and individuals.

Zuckerberg is facing great pressure, including from Democratic leaders in the United States, to regulate political speech and he seems to be moving away from the bright-line position against such regulation as a principle. Instead, he is accepting the fluid concept of “balanced” regulations that has always preceded expanding speech codes and criminalization:

“There are a lot of decisions in these areas that are really just balances between different social values. It’s about coming up with an answer that society feels is legitimate and that they can get behind and understand that you drew the line here on the balance of free expression and safety. It’s not just that there’s one right answer. People need to feel like, ‘OK, enough people weighed in, and that’s why the answer should be this, and we can get behind that.’”

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Cointelpro Continued In 2017:

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A Hard Rain – Kunstler

Posted by M. C. on October 8, 2019

https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/a-hard-rain/

by James Howard Kunstler

A lot of readers (some of them former readers now) have been angrily twanging me by email for writing about the three-year Resistance effort to un-do the 2016 election. I did not vote for Mr. Trump (or Mrs. Clinton) but I resent the coup mounted to overthrow him. I object to the bad faith and dishonesty of the Resistance. I object to the criminal misconduct among the federal bureaucracy, and the mendacity of its partners in the news media, and the hysteria they continue to generate — at the expense of other matters that concern our future.

The political disorder spooling out is the political expression of the long emergency that the nation faces as it finally encounters the limits to growth we were warned about decades ago. The techno-industrial phase of history is ending, and we are left only with inadequate fantasies for coming to terms with it and moving forward. The dynamic relationship between affordable energy supplies and the operations of money roils at the core of this predicament. They are undoing each other and the result will be a contraction of human activity. The big question we refuse to face is how to cope with contraction.

Beyond the ongoing orchestrated coup stands a reality-optional political Left consumed by serial hysterias, uninterested in truth, steeped in social despotism, and apparently willing to do anything to gain power. We should be very concerned with what they intend to do with that power. As they attempt to redistribute wealth, they will make the unhappy discovery that the wealth itself is subject to the wholesale contraction underway. The overvalued “assets” representing “money” hoarded by the “wealthy” will turn out to be figments of a runaway debt crisis. We have already debased the operations of banking, and the tokens that banks issue — currencies and securities — levitate over an abyss.

We already have plenty of evidence for what the Left will do to the principle of political liberty. Their shibboleths of “diversity” and “inclusion” really mean shutting down free speech and telling everybody how to think. They are less interested in “social justice” than in plain coercion, the pleasure they take in pushing people around. What’s worse is that they want to use government as the instrument for enforcing their will. I object to that not just on principle but because government itself will be subject to the same contraction affecting everything else. It simply won’t be able to compensate for all the other losses. Can we downscale its activities coherently, or will we make that journey violently, in some sort of civil war?

The Left seems to be opting for civil war. It is surely underway among branches of government and the administrative bureaucracy I call the Deep State. Barack Obama, John Brennan and others set the intel and police apparatus against Mr. Trump and the war goes on in the latest reckless campaign of “whistleblowers” who are no such thing, but rather agents provocateurs of the Central Intelligence Agency.

The Democrats in congress play a dangerous game with this as they attempt to engineer a non-impeachment impeachment — that is, without a vote by the whole House. To allow that vote would be a move to allow the opposition to participate in issuing subpoenas and seeing evidence, and the Democrats are bent on to preventing that. That ploy will provoke the White House to ignore their subpoenas and demands for documents on the principle that this mode of “Impeachment” is not legitimate.

The machinations of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Adam Schiff in this latest “whistleblower” affair pulsate with skullduggery. Are we to suppose that they will march out one “whistleblower” after another whose identity — or very reality — will remain secret through these proceedings? This is the sort of thing you get in Spanish inquisitions and soviet show trials. Until recently, all Americans had very firm objections to kangaroo courts and star chambers where the common-law safeguards of due process are thrown out the window. If the standoff goes to the Supreme Court, we’ll surely get yet another crusade to disqualify Justice Kavanaugh.

The Democratic Party is doing everything possible to destroy the legitimacy of these institutions — starting with elections themselves. The origins of the RussiaGate hoax will demonstrate that the party itself was behind “interference” in the 2016 election, and enlisted the help of several foreign governments in doing so. That is why they are so desperate to keep the level of hysteria amped to the max. The day may be not far off when a great and chilling silence falls over this mob as they look to the sky and see the indictments raining down.

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Baby The Rain Must Fall movie posters at movie poster ...

 

 

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The Rutherford Institute :: Martial Law Masquerading as Law and Order: The Police State’s Language of Force | By John W. Whitehead |

Posted by M. C. on September 18, 2019

https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/martial_law_masquerading_as_law_and_order_the_police_states_language_of_force

By John W. Whitehead

“Since when have we Americans been expected to bow submissively to authority and speak with awe and reverence to those who represent us? The constitutional theory is that we the people are the sovereigns, the state and federal officials only our agents. We who have the final word can speak softly or angrily. We can seek to challenge and annoy, as we need not stay docile and quiet.”—Justice William O. Douglas, dissenting, Colten v. Kentucky, 407 U.S. 104 (1972)

Forget everything you’ve ever been taught about free speech in America.

It’s all a lie.

There can be no free speech for the citizenry when the government speaks in a language of force.

What is this language of force?

Militarized police. Riot squads. Camouflage gear. Black uniforms. Armored vehicles. Mass arrests. Pepper spray. Tear gas. Batons. Strip searches. Surveillance cameras. Kevlar vests. Drones. Lethal weapons. Less-than-lethal weapons unleashed with deadly force. Rubber bullets. Water cannons. Stun grenades. Arrests of journalists. Crowd control tactics. Intimidation tactics. Brutality.

This is not the language of freedom.

This is not even the language of law and order.

This is the language of force.

Unfortunately, this is how the government at all levels—federal, state and local—now responds to those who choose to exercise their First Amendment right to peacefully assemble in public and challenge the status quo.

This police overkill isn’t just happening in troubled hot spots such as Ferguson, Mo., and Baltimore, Md., where police brutality gave rise to civil unrest, which was met with a militarized show of force that caused the whole stew of discontent to bubble over into violence.

A decade earlier, the NYPD engaged in mass arrests of peaceful protesters, bystanders, legal observers and journalists who had gathered for the 2004 Republican National Convention. The protesters were subjected to blanket fingerprinting and detained for more than 24 hours at a “filthy, toxic pier that had been a bus depot.” That particular exercise in police intimidation tactics cost New York City taxpayers nearly $18 million for what would become the largest protest settlement in history.

Demonstrators, journalists and legal observers who had gathered in North Dakota to peacefully protest the Dakota Access Pipeline reported being pepper sprayed, beaten with batons, and strip searched by police.

In the college town of Charlottesville, Va., protesters who took to the streets to peacefully express their disapproval of a planned KKK rally were held at bay by implacable lines of gun-wielding riot police. Only after a motley crew of Klansmen had been safely escorted to and from the rally by black-garbed police did the assembled army of city, county and state police declare the public gathering unlawful and proceed to unleash canisters of tear gas on the few remaining protesters to force them to disperse.

More recently, this militarized exercise in intimidation—complete with an armored vehicle and an army of police drones—reared its ugly head in the small town of Dahlonega, Ga., where 600 state and local militarized police clad in full riot gear vastly outnumbered the 50 protesters and 150 counterprotesters who had gathered to voice their approval/disapproval of the Trump administration’s policies.

To be clear, this is the treatment being meted out to protesters across the political spectrum.

The police state does not discriminate.

As a USA Today article notes, “Federally arming police with weapons of war silences protesters across all justice movements… People demanding justice, demanding accountability or demanding basic human rights without resorting to violence, should not be greeted with machine guns and tanks. Peaceful protest is democracy in action. It is a forum for those who feel disempowered or disenfranchised. Protesters should not have to face intimidation by weapons of war.”

A militarized police response to protesters poses a danger to all those involved, protesters and police alike. In fact, militarization makes police more likely to turn to violence to solve problems.

As a study by researchers at Stanford University makes clear, “When law enforcement receives more military materials — weapons, vehicles and tools — it becomes … more likely to jump into high-risk situations. Militarization makes every problem — even a car of teenagers driving away from a party — look like a nail that should be hit with an AR-15 hammer.”

Even the color of a police officer’s uniform adds to the tension. As the Department of Justice reports, “Some research has suggested that the uniform color can influence the wearer—with black producing aggressive tendencies, tendencies that may produce unnecessary conflict between police and the very people they serve.”

You want to turn a peaceful protest into a riot?

Bring in the militarized police with their guns and black uniforms and warzone tactics and “comply or die” mindset. Ratchet up the tension across the board. Take what should be a healthy exercise in constitutional principles (free speech, assembly and protest) and turn it into a lesson in authoritarianism…

This emphasis on nonviolence goes both ways. Somehow, the government keeps overlooking this important element in the equation.

There is nothing safe or secure or free about exercising your rights with a rifle pointed at you.

The police officer who has been trained to shoot first and ask questions later, oftentimes based only on their highly subjective “feeling” of being threatened, is just as much of a danger—if not more—as any violence that might erupt from a protest rally.

Compliance is no guarantee of safety.

Then again, as I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, if we just cower before government agents and meekly obey, we may find ourselves following in the footsteps of those nations that eventually fell to tyranny.

The alternative involves standing up and speaking truth to power. Jesus Christ walked that road. So did Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and countless other freedom fighters whose actions changed the course of history.

Indeed, had Christ merely complied with the Roman police state, there would have been no crucifixion and no Christian religion. Had Gandhi meekly fallen in line with the British Empire’s dictates, the Indian people would never have won their independence.

Had Martin Luther King Jr. obeyed the laws of his day, there would have been no civil rights movement. And if the founding fathers had marched in lockstep with royal decrees, there would have been no American Revolution.

We must adopt a different mindset and follow a different path if we are to alter the outcome of these interactions with police.

The American dream was built on the idea that no one is above the law, that our rights are inalienable and cannot be taken away, and that our government and its appointed agents exist to serve us.

It may be that things are too far gone to save, but still we must try.

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gun_control3

 

 

 

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Opinion  – Judge’s ruling throws huge spanner into US extradition proceedings against Assange

Posted by M. C. on August 3, 2019

News Flash: Doing what the New York Times and Washington Post do on a regular basis is not a crime.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/52021.htm

By Tom Coburg

August 01, 2019 “Information Clearing House” –  A US judge has ruled that WikiLeaks was fully entitled to publish the Democratic National Congress (DNC) emails, which means no law was broken. The ruling is highly significant as it could impact upon the US extradition proceedings against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, as well as the ongoing imprisonment of whistleblower Chelsea Manning.

The ruling

On 30 July, federal judge John G. Koeltl ruled on a case brought against WikiLeaks and other parties in regard to the alleged hacking of DNC emails and concluded that:

If WikiLeaks could be held liable for publishing documents concerning the DNC’s political financial and voter-engagement strategies simply because the DNC labels them ‘secret’ and trade secrets, then so could any newspaper or other media outlet.

In other words, if WikiLeaks is subject to prosecution, then every media outlet in the world would be. The judge argued that:

[T]he First Amendment prevents such liability in the same way it would preclude liability for press outlets that publish materials of public interest despite defects in the way the materials were obtained so long as the disseminator did not participate in any wrongdoing in obtaining the materials in the first place.

Significantly, the judge added that it’s not criminal to solicit or “welcome” stolen documents, and how:

A person is entitled to publish stolen documents that the publisher requested from a source so long as the publisher did not participate in the theft.

Important win

Jen Robinson, a member of Assange’s legal team, described the judge’s ruling as an “important win for free speech”:

And US WikiLeaks lawyer Joshua Dratel said he was:

very gratified with the result, which reaffirms First Amendment principles that apply to journalists across the board, whether they work for large institutions or small independent operations.

Legal precedents

Prior to the ruling, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) was party to a briefing to the court.

The ACLU summarised some of the legal precedents listed in the briefing. For example, the First Amendment of the US Constitution is a:

legal principle, articulated most clearly in the 2001 Supreme Court decision Bartnicki v. Vopper, [and] is a bedrock protection for the press. It is particularly important for national security reporters, who often rely on information that was illegally acquired by a source in publishing stories of considerable public concern. Indeed, this principle animated the court’s famous Pentagon Papers decision, protecting the right to publish stories based on a secret government account of official misconduct during the origins of the Vietnam War...

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