MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Independent’

MSM calls for “new definition of free speech” – OffGuardian

Posted by M. C. on January 18, 2021

Ives clearly thinks he’s enlightened and liberal and educated, after all he drops references to Kant AND Mills (that’s right TWO famous philosophers), but he’s really not. He’s just an elitist arguing working class people are too dumb to be allowed to speak, or even hear ideas that might get them all riled-up and distract them from their menial labour.

https://off-guardian.org/2021/01/16/a-new-definition-of-free-speech/

Kit Knightly

Part of the main duty of OffGuardian is to troll through the masses of media output and try and pick up patterns. Sometimes the patterns are subtle, a gentle urging behind the paragraphs. Sometimes they’re more like a sledgehammer to the face.

This has been face-hammer week. In fact, it’s been a face-hammer year.

From “flatten the curve” to “the new normal” to “the great reset”, it’s not been hard to spot the messaging going on since the start of the “pandemic”. And that distinct lack of disguise has carried over into other topics, too.

We pointed out, a few days ago, the sudden over-use of the phrase “domestic terrorism” preparing us for what is, almost certainly, going to be a truly horrendous piece of new legislation once Biden is in office.

Well, the buzz-phrase doing the rounds in the wake of Donald Trump being banned from the internet is “the new definition of free speech”…and variations on that theme.

Firstly, and papers on both sides of the Atlantic want to be very clear about this, Donald Trump being banned simultaneously from every major social network is not in any way inhibiting his free speech.

Indeed none of the tens of thousands of people banned from twitter et al. have had their free speech infringed either. Neither have any of the proprietors – or users – of the Parler app which the tech giants bullied out of existence.

Free Speech is totally intact no matter how many people are banned or deplatformed, the media all agree on that (even the allegedly pro-free speech think tanks).

They also agree that maybe…it shouldn’t be. Maybe “free speech” is too dangerous in our modern era, and needs a “new definition”.

That’s what Ian Dunt writing in Politics.co.uk thinks, anyway, arguing it’s time to have a “grown-up debate” about free speech.

The Financial Times agrees, asking about the “limits of free-speech in the internet era”.

Thomas Edsall, in the New York Times, wonders aloud if Trump’s “lies” have made free speech a “threat to democracy”.

The Conversation, a UK-based journal often at the cutting edge of the truly terrifying ideas, has three different articles about redefining or limiting free speech, all published within 4 days of each other.

There’s Free speech is not guaranteed if it harms others, a drab piece of dishonest apologia which argues Trump wasn’t silenced, because he could make a speech which the media would cover…without also mentioning that the media has, en masse, literally refused to broadcast several of Trump’s speeches in the last couple of months.

The conclusion could have been written by an algorithm analysing The Guardian’s twitter feed:

the suggestion Trump has been censored is simply wrong. It misleads the public into believing all “free speech” claims have equal merit. They do not. We must work to ensure harmful speech is regulated in order to ensure broad participation in the public discourse that is essential to our lives — and to our democracy.

Then there’s Free speech in America: is the US approach fit for purpose in the age of social media?, a virtual carbon copy of the first, which states:

The attack on the Capitol exposed, in stark terms, the dangers of disinformation in the digital age. It provides an opportunity to reflect on the extent to which certain elements of America’s free speech tradition may no longer be fit for purpose.

And finally, my personal favourite, Why ‘free speech’ needs a new definition in the age of the internet and Trump tweets in which author Peter Ives warns of the “weaponising of free speech” and concludes:

Trump’s angry mob was not just incited by his single speech on Jan. 6, but had been fomenting for a long time online. The faith in reason held by Mill and Kant was premised on the printing press; free speech should be re-examined in the context of the internet and social media.

Ives clearly thinks he’s enlightened and liberal and educated, after all he drops references to Kant AND Mills (that’s right TWO famous philosophers), but he’s really not. He’s just an elitist arguing working class people are too dumb to be allowed to speak, or even hear ideas that might get them all riled-up and distract them from their menial labour.

To season these stale ideas with a sprinkling of fear-porn, NBC News is reporting that the FBI didn’t report their “concerns” over possible violence at the Capitol, because they were worried about free speech. (See, if the FBI hadn’t been protecting people’s free speech, that riot may not have happened!)

And on top of all of that, there’s the emotional manipulation angle, where authors pretend to be sad or exasperated or any of the emotions they used to have.

In the Irish Independent, Emma Kelly says that “free speech” doesn’t include “hate speech” (she’s never exactly clear what part of “go home in peace love” was hate speech though).

In The Hill, Joe Ferullo is almost in tears that the first amendment has been ruined by the right-wing press continuously “shouting fire in a crowded theatre”, citing the famous Oliver Wendell Holmes quote, which so many use to “qualify” the idea of free speech, without realising it hands over power to destroy it completely.

Up until you can show me the hard-and-fast legal definitions of “shout”, “fire”, “crowded” and “theatre”, this open-ended qualification is nothing but a blank canvas, free to be interpreted as loosely – or stringently – as any lawmaker or judiciary feels is necessary.

As an example:

Twitter is certainly bigger and more populated than a theatre, and spreading anti-vaccination/anti-war/pro-Russia/”Covid denial” news [delete as appropriate] is certainly going to cause more panic than one single building being on fire. Isn’t it?

It’s this potential abuse of incredibly loose terminologies which will be used to “redefine” free speech.

“Offensive”, “misinformation”, “hate speech” and others will be repeated. A lot.

Expressions which have no solid definition under law, and are already being shown to mean nothing to the media talking heads who repeat them ad nauseum.

If “go home in peace and love”, can become “inciting violence”, absolutely everything can be made to mean absolutely anything.

The more they “redefine” words, the further we move into an Orwellian world where all meaning is entirely lost.

And what would our newly defined “free speech” really mean in such a world?

Be seeing you

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Justin Amash

Posted by M. C. on August 18, 2019

Because congressional leaders live in terror of spontaneity among the led, hearings designed to generate publicity are tightly scripted, which is why, Amash says, such hearings are “an elaborate form of performance art” and members “often look as though they are asking questions they do not understand.

Savior this moment. George Will blesses a close approximation of an antiwar, Libertarian.

Follow the link below to view the article.
Amash’s independence shows voters they have choices
http://erietimes.pa.newsmemory.com/?publink=1f428afab

George Will

It is difficult to discourage and impossible to manage Justin Amash because he, unusual among politicians, does not want much and wants nothing inordinately.

He would like to win a sixth term as congressman from this culturally distinctive slice of the Midwest. He does not, however, want it enough to remain in today’s Republican Party, which he has left because that neighborhood has become blighted. Amash, 39, a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus, also has left that  faction because he does not define freedom as it now does, as devotion to the 45th president.

He is running as an independent, which might accomplish two admirable things: It might demonstrate that voters need not invariably settle for a sterile binary choice. And it might complicate President Donald Trump’s task of again winning Michigan’s 16 electoral votes, which he did in 2016 by just 0.2 percentage points.

With a city named Holland and a college named for John Calvin, West Michigan’s culture reflects its settlement by Dutch Americans, who set about vindicating Max Weber’s connection between the “Protestant ethic” and the “spirit of capitalism,” a spirit incubated in 17th and 18th century Amsterdam.

Distinguished Michigan denizens of Dutch descent have included Peter De Vries, America’s wittiest novelist.

Local Christian schools drummed into Amash and other young sinners fear of a particular moral failing: pride. His one-word description of his constituents — “modest” — suggests an aversion to vanity, vulgarity and ostentation that has an obvious pertinence to the leader of Amash’s former party. Amash compares West Michiganders — culturally, not theologically — to Mormons. Trump carried 16 states by larger margins than he carried Utah, and won only 51.6 percent in Amash’s district, which traditionally has been the epicenter of Michigan Republicanism. “I think,” Amash says dryly, “the Trump people are confounded by this area,” where Trump held his final 2016 rally.

A few hours after Amash declared his independence from the husk of the Republican Party, he marched in several Independence Day parades where “I got an overwhelmingly positive feeling.” This might indicate increased negative feelings about Trump, who carried Michigan by just 10,704 votes out of 4,799,284.

In Amash’s single term in the state legislature, he cast the only “no” vote on more than 70 measures. In 2013, he had the gumption to vote against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act for no better reason than that there was no reason for it, and it was inimical to federalism: It “created new federal crimes to mirror crimes already on the books in every state.” His average margin of victory in four reelection contests has been 15.1 percentage points.

Amash, the son of a Palestinian refugee who arrived in West Michigan in 1956, is philosophically unlike Grand Rapids’ most famous son, whose philosophic interests were few and did not include Amash’s favorite Austrian economists (Von Mises, Hayek). Amash, however, shares Gerald Ford’s devotion to the idea, if not the actuality, of Congress. Ford’s pipe, loud sport coats, decency and legislative seriousness validate a famous judgment: “The past is a foreign country: They do things differently there.”

Presently, Congress is rarely a legislative, let alone a deliberative, body. Two years ago, when Republicans controlled the House, a Republican congressman defended a committee chairman accused of excessive subservience to the president by saying: “You’ve got to keep in mind who he works for. He works for the president. He answers to the president.” Pathetic.

Because congressional leaders live in terror of spontaneity among the led, hearings designed to generate publicity are tightly scripted, which is why, Amash says, such hearings are “an elaborate form of performance art” and members “often look as though they are asking questions they do not understand.” Congressional leaders’ stern message to potentially unmanageable members is to pipe down and “live to fight (for spending restraint, entitlement reform, open House processes, etc.) another day.” Amash’s campaign slogan should be: “Vote for someone who is as disgusted with Congress as you are.”

The Libertarian Party might ask Amash to take his — actually, it’s the founders’ — message to the nation as the party’s presidential nominee. He does not seek this — he has three young children — but does not summarily spurn the idea of offering temperate voters a choice of something other than a choice between bossy progressivism and populist Caesarism.

Or he could become the first non-Republican the Grand Rapids area has sent to Congress since 1974.

Be seeing you

Libertarians have the highest IQ's - Mad In America

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A Personal Declaration of Independence – The Organic Prepper

Posted by M. C. on July 8, 2019

As Albert Camus, a French philosopher and author said, “The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.”

https://www.theorganicprepper.com/personal-declaration-of-independence/

Some time between throwing some burgers on the grill and shooting off fireworks with a beer in one hand and a lighter in the other, ask yourself this question:

How free and independent are you?

How independent are any of us, really? We like to think we live in the “free-est” nation in the world, but do we really?  Think about it.

  • You never own your home outright, even when the mortgage is paid off. Every year, you must make your extortion payment to the city or trust me, you won’t be living in that house for long.
  • The same thing with your car. If you don’t pay your annual extortion payment on your vehicle and pay a hundred bucks for a tiny sticker that gives you permission to drive it, it will be promptly towed away by the city with the government’s blessing. Then, like a hostage negotiation gone wrong, you’ll have to pay even more money to cover their theft and storage of YOUR vehicle.
  • On a regular basis, you must pay a fee and ask the government for permission to do any number of things, such as driving a car, traveling outside the country, running a business, adding another bathroom to your home, or even catching a fish for dinner.
  • Permits and licenses are big revenue generators from start to finish – and if you proceed without asking permission, they will extort more money from you in the form of fines. If you refuse to pay the fines (or if you can’t) they’ll kidnap you and lock you in a cage, where you’ll be forced to perform manual labor for 10 cents an hour for whatever length of time the legal authorities feel is sufficient to teach you a lesson.
  • There are places in our nation where you can’t use your property the way you want. There are areas where you cannot collect the water that falls on your land. There are places where you aren’t allowed to detach your home from the grid. There are places that dictate where your vegetable garden can grow (or even if you’re allowed to have one), places that won’t allow you to hang your clothes out to dry, and places that make it illegal to sleep in your car.

The bottom line is, some places in the United States are freer than others, but we’re all still serfs paying fealty to lords…

As well, the supposed watchdog entities, like the Food and Drug Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the United States Department of Agriculture are populated and led by those who have been hand-picked to support corporations, no matter what the detriment to the American people whom they pretend to protect. If Congress was like Nascar, the members would have to wear uniforms emblazoned with their sponsors. However, Washington DC does not have the transparency of professional car racing, so we must guess at the sponsors of our “representatives.”…

But some of us have seen the corporate government for what it is: a bully that reigns through fear of reprisal and grievous harm. They hold over us these fears:

  • We will die if we don’t eat things that were inspected and approved by them.
  • We will be jailed, fined, or have our children taken from us if we don’t toe the line, vaccinate them as ordered, medicate them as recommended.
  • We are unable to figure things out for ourselves because we are not “experts” and therefore we must suppress our own judgments and bow to their far greater knowledge.
  • We will die if we don’t follow their expert health and nutrition advice.
  • We’ll be murdered by scary foreign terrorists if we don’t allow the TSA to fondle our private parts and perform x-rays that show us naked before we fly.

Some people fear these things and believe these tales so thoroughly, they allow the government to enforce ridiculous, unconstitutional laws “for our own safety.” They say, “Better that I give up my rights as a human being and save the world from a terrorist.”…

You have a natural human right to be free.

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Sanders: I’m Declining Dem Nomination and Running as an Independent

Posted by M. C. on August 15, 2018

Good for the Republicans…until Bernie is told decides to change his mind.

https://www.breitbart.com/video/2018/08/14/sanders-im-declining-dem-nomination-and-running-as-an-independent/

by Ian Hanchett

On Tuesday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “All In,” Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) stated that, despite winning the Democratic primary, he will run for re-election in 2018 as an Independent…

Be seeing you

Bernie

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