MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘free speech’

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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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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Colleges Committed to Diversity – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on June 5, 2019

The University of Chicago has set the gold standard on free speech and open inquiry. In 2014, it created its “Statement on Principles of Free Expression” (aka the Chicago Principles).

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/06/walter-e-williams/colleges-committed-to-ideological-diversity/

By

When you send your youngster off to college, you might not mind that they will have to walk on eggshells, respect taboos, snitch on fellow students for politically incorrect jokes and learn to use ad hominem arguments as a means to attack ideas they find “disagreeable.” If that’s your preference, you can choose from a wide variety of America’s top-ranked colleges. If you want to send your youngster to colleges that are seriously committed to civil and diverse debate, pick up a copy of the June 2019 edition of Reason magazine for some guidance.

Professors Debra Mashek and Jonathan Haidt authored “10 Colleges Where You Won’t Have to Walk on Eggshells.” Mashek and Haidt are, respectively, faculty members of Harvey Mudd College and New York University. Haidt is the co-founder of the Heterodox Academy and Mashek is its executive director. Heterodox Academy is nonpartisan and boasts a membership of more than 2,500 faculty and college administrators who advocate for open inquiry and civil disagreement on college campuses and in academic disciplines.

The Mashek and Haidt article discusses 10 colleges in alphabetical order. Among them is Chapman University, whose president, Daniele Struppa, is “an outspoken advocate of academic freedom and freedom of speech.” Struppa has little tolerance for the political correctness so prevalent at most of the nation’s colleges…

Other colleges listed in the Mashek and Haidt article, where students won’t have to walk on eggshells include Arizona State University, Claremont McKenna College, Kansas State University, Kenyon College, Linn-Benton Community College, St. John’s College, University of Richmond and Purdue University. It’s worth noting that Mitch Daniels is president of Purdue University and former two-term governor of the state of Indiana. Daniels and his interim provost Jay Akridge wrote this message to the Purdue community: “At Purdue, we protect and promote the right to free and open inquiry in all matters and guarantee all members of the University community the broadest possible latitude to speak, write, listen challenge and learn.”…

At the end of Professors Mashek’s and Haidt’s article, they come up with a few suggestions for parents. Visit the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education website to find out about a particular college’s agenda to suppress free speech. By all means, check out the Heterodox Academy website. Search the college’s website for terms such as “open inquiry,” “freedom of expression” and “free speech.” Examine the college’s calendar of events to see whether speakers with diverse opinions are invited. Visit the campus. Talk with actual students about their experiences. In this article, Mashek and Haidt give specific questions to ask. I’d add to their list of things to do on a campus visit: Talk to the local police, bartenders and hospital people about the college. They might give you insights that an admissions officer would choose to keep hidden.

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Yale University Under Assault By The Stepford Students ...

 

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snowdenquote-e1464476361819.png (670×335)

Posted by M. C. on May 17, 2019

https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/gender/files/2016/05/snowdenquote-e1464476361819.png

https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/gender/files/2016/05/snowdenquote-e1464476361819.png

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Free Speech Is Dead in Canada: The Persecution of Christian Activist Bill Whatcott

Posted by M. C. on January 15, 2019

https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2019/01/free_speech_is_dead_in_canada_the_persecution_of_christian_activist_bill_whatcott.html

By Amy Contrada

In the past year, I witnessed two frightening assaults on free speech by a kangaroo “justice” system.  This wasn’t in some banana republic, North Korea, or China; it was in Canada.  These were gut-wrenching experiences for me.

These stories from Canada are potent warnings to the U.S.

If Congress and more states pass anti-discrimination “equality” laws giving special protection to LGBTQ identities, “hate speech” prosecutions and compelled speech will surely follow.

There can be no doubt of that, given the LGBT-driven lawsuits we have already seen against florists, bakers, and wedding photographers.  The Civil Rights Commission of Colorado has tried to compel speech from Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop.  We’re seeing numerous battles over bathroom use and forced use of silly pronouns in our mediacolleges, and public schools.  The EEOC already interprets Title VII (employment) to protect employees from “sexual orientation” discrimination.

So, we’re already on that totalitarian road; Canada is just farther along.

An Enemy of the Canadian State

The victim of Canada’s repressive “injustice” system is Bill Whatcott, a pro-family born-again Christian activist.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Exclusive – Brad Parscale: Big Tech Is Meddling with Free Speech… and Elections

Posted by M. C. on October 23, 2018

The company also argues that tech companies should distance themselves from the “American tradition” that “prioritizes free speech for democracy, not civility,” and in its place adopt the suppressive “European tradition” that “favors dignity over liberty and civility over freedom” to create “well-ordered spaces for safety and civility.”

https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2018/10/23/exclusive-brad-parscale-big-tech-is-meddling-with-free-speech-and-elections/

by Brad Parscale

…Unfortunately, Big Tech monsters like Google and Facebook have become nothing less than incubators for far-left liberal ideologies and are doing everything they can to eradicate conservative ideas and their proponents from the internet.

Without any sort of public mandate beyond its own ideological predisposition, the Big Tech leviathan is silencing the silent majority. A leaked internal Google brief with the Orwellian title “The Good Censor” proves this point by laying out the search giant’s plan for controlling the internet.

Google begins the report by echoing the liberal contention that free speech is a “social, economic, and political weapon,” calling it a “utopian” idea that’s no longer practical because internet users are “behaving badly.”…

The company also argues that tech companies should distance themselves from the “American tradition” that “prioritizes free speech for democracy, not civility,” and in its place adopt the suppressive “European tradition” that “favors dignity over liberty and civility over freedom” to create “well-ordered spaces for safety and civility.”

Google wants to “police [the] tone” and provide so-called “positive guidelines” (read: don’t go against our views, or else) to create online safe spaces.

Not wanting to be outdone, Google’s sometime-rival, Facebook, just banned dozens of prominent conservative blogs and pro-Trump pages, including one with more than three million followers, less than a month before the midterm elections.

Facebook justified this purge of conservative voices by slapping them with another Orwellian label: “coordinated inauthentic behavior.” It’s unclear whether Facebook would apply that descriptor to its tech cousin Google for recently listing the ideology of the California Republican Party as “nazism.”…

Last year, Google fired conservative engineer James Damore for challenging the company’s liberal echo chamber. Former colleagues harassed him, with one branding him a “misogynist” and a “terrible human being” before threatening that “I will keep hounding you until one of us is fired. F*ck you.”

Google’s HR department decided that Damore was the greater liability than his liberal tormentors.

Facebook had a similar in-house drama this year. In August, more than 100 conservative Facebook employees expressed their concerns to executives about the company’s left-wing “monoculture” and bias against conservatives. On Friday, that movement’s leader, engineer Brian Amerige, quit the company in protest against Facebook’s latest purge of conservative accounts…

Astonishingly, it was recently revealed that Google has also locked arms with China, an ideological soulmate of sorts, to create a censored search engine in the large Communist-controlled nation. Vice President Pence was right when he called on Google to stop aiding a tyrannical government that has killed and tortured dissidents with electric shock, rape, and brutal attacks.

Facebook, long-reluctant to deliver its service to China for fear of getting caught up in censorship and repression, now appears to be strongly considering joining Google in serving that market, too. No great surprise there…

Don’t listen to conservatives about this threat — read Google’s report and see the actions of Google and Facebook to recognize that when the freedoms of speech and expression are suppressed, impacting the digital public square as well as the outcome of elections, our civil society is at risk.

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Ann Coulter Is Wrong – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on August 26, 2018

If you restrict your notion of speech to what is said over CNN or other branded sites, you may panic at not hearing the views you consider true; but they are by no means the universe of discourse. Anyone who wants to hear or locate opinions or analyses that satisfy them can find them, or can invent them.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2018/08/michael-s-rozeff/ann-coulter-is-wrong-on-controlling-facebook-twitter-and-google/

By 

Ann Coulter says

“We need to apply the First Amendment to social media companies like Twitter, Facebook, and Google, because it is a public square, and there is precedent for that and it’s gotta be done…”

I present arguments against her suggestion. I realize fully that these companies have important connections to government including contracts, data sharing and products being developed that further the surveillance state. My argument against Coulter’s suggestion is pertinent to speech, which was her concern, not these other links. Read the rest of this entry »

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Williams: Why Liberals Have Flip-Flopped on Free Speech

Posted by M. C. on July 2, 2018

“And I’ve gradually changed my mind about it. What I have come to see is that it’s a mistake to think of free speech as an effective means to accomplish a more just society.”

The progressive/socialist/antifa view-free speech is great as long as I agree with what is said.

These are the government school people molding your millennial culture kids.

https://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/07/01/williams-why-liberals-have-flip-flopped-on-free-speech/

by Thomas D. williams, PH.D.

In a remarkably honest exposé, the New York Times acknowledged Saturday that “liberals who once championed expansive First Amendment rights are now uneasy about them” ever since conservatives realized they should apply to them as well.

The Times cites First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams who noted that whereas the left once led support for First Amendment protections, they are now “at least skeptical and sometimes distraught at the level of First Amendment protection which is being afforded in cases brought by litigants on the right.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Patriot’s Lament: The State will gladly protect you from Freedom of Conscience.

Posted by M. C. on June 4, 2018

So what is the State to do? What States always do. Make the people fear their Liberty more than Itself.

http://patriotslament.blogspot.com/2018/05/freedom-of-conscience-will-hurt-you.html

…Today, we have access to information that only 20 years ago was other-worldly. Anyone with a cell phone can post a rant or share information to literally the whole world. Because of this information access, people take the information they get from the State influenced main stream media with a grain of salt, or immediately disbelieve it, and usually, rightfully so.
This is dangerous for the State’s propaganda machine, but the State realizes what is even more dangerous to it, would be for the State to appear to suppress it. Whether on the Left or the Right of the political spectrum, people tend to cherish what we now call, “Free Speech”, and rightfully so. Read the rest of this entry »

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