Greatest Hits: The Utility of Free Speech

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The Utility of Free Speech:  While the left only allows speech that completely agrees with their own opinions, actual free speech has great value…

As we all know, freedom of speech is under attack.  Mark Lloyd proposes to replace privately owned media with a government approved and moderated PBS.  Cass Sustein and Henry Waxman have both floated the idea of regulating Internet content.  Speech codes on campus restrict the free flows of ideas on college campuses.  The ACLU threatens to sue kids that pray at graduation ceremonies.  People are threatened if they pray in public.  Conversely, the left is able to engage in whatever outrageous activity they choose, and even do what they accuse the right of doing.  The double standard is sometimes astounding.

Following Marxist concepts like “tolerant repression,” the left seeks to limit or eliminate dissent. We understand that this is part of their effort to obtain power by silencing all opposition, or making said opposition ineffective, and unable to reach the people.  Their allies in the media do not cover stories critical of the left, or distorts them into a one sided attack on the opposition.  The government ignores mass protests and accuses the protesters of “racism, terrorism,” and being paid by special interests.  What they cannot ban, or cover up, they will discredit.  They attempt to cloud genuine dissent with hate, all in order to attack the messenger, and to ignore the message.

Our Constitution guarantees freedom of speech, this is certain.  And we know that in a Constitutional Republic, free speech is vital for debate and the free flow of ideas.  Without free speech, the Republic that so many bled and died for would take a short trip into tyranny. All these are true, but I would submit that there is an additional benefit for freedom of speech.

Every nation has fringe groups; racists, religious extremists of every type, anarchists, communist revolutionaries, national socialists, and probably a huge number of others.  It is tempting to deny these people a public forum, as they are repugnant to most all Democrats, Independents, and Republicans. But there are benefits to allowing them speak and function in the open:

  1. If they are public, we know who they are.  Putting a face to the hate allows us to confront it.
  2. If they speak openly, we can know what they believe, and what they want.  Knowing this allows us all to confront them.
  3. If they operate openly, we know what they are doing.  We can keep track of them, and monitor their activities.

If we ban free speech, even the speech that we find disgusting, we lose some things:

  1. We will have no idea who the extremists are, as they won’t go away, they’ll go underground.
  2. We will have no idea what they believe or plan to do.
  3. By banning their speech, the government will prove most of their beliefs about their ideas being a threat to power.
  4. Being banned makes them more attractive to “recruits.” They will have the “truth those in power don’t want you to know.”
  5. They become dangerous and more likely to take violent action.

Freedom of speech means that you might be offended by something that is said or written.  We have to take hate for what it is, and confront it, or just let if fail under the weight of it’s own stupidity.  We have to allow all of it, or face tyranny.  No party or group should have the ability to eliminate freedom of speech, or our Republic is doomed.

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Obama’s FEC Plans To Regulate Blogs, And Dictate What We Can, And Cannot, Say Online

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Censorship is coming to the WyBlog. Obama’s FEC commissars are going to regulate political blogs and websites, subjecting us to their byzantine campaign finance regulations.

Liberals on the Federal Election Commission are discussing new rules to regulate websites and blogs. The new regulations would require websites to disclose their political donors.

The better for Lois Lerner to harass those donors, of course.

So, nonwithstanding the First Amendment, I can have opinions, just so long as they’re the approvedopinions.

I’m pretty sure the Founding Fathers wouldn’t approve. Can you imagine the absurdity of Thomas Paine reporting to King George on the sources of his funding for Common Sense? Yeah, me neither.

The fact that so many liberals do approve speaks volumes about their mentality. They want to be told what to think; it frees them from having to take responsibility for their actions. They want to be insulated from contrary opinions; it relieves them from contemplating right vs wrong.

Welcome to communist America. Where the government controls the media. And citizens aren’t free to speak their minds.

Noting the 32,000 public comments that came into the FEC in advance of the hearing, Democratic Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub said, “75 percent thought that we need to do more about money in politics, particularly in the area of disclosure. And I think that’s something that we can’t ignore.”

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But a former Republican FEC chairman said in his testimony that if the agency moves to regulate the Internet, including news voices like the Drudge Report as GOP commissioners have warned, many thousands more comments will flood in in opposition of regulation.

“If you produce a rule that says we are going to start regulating this stuff, including the internet and so on, I think you will see a lot more than 32,000 comments come in and I don’t think staff will analyze them and find that 75 percent are favorable to more regulation,” said Bradley Smith, now with the Center for Competitive Politics.

They don’t care what we want. They’re going to impose their will. They’re going to shut us up. They’re going to shut me up.

This isn’t America anymore. And if you voted for Obama, then you don’t deserve to call yourself an American. You’re a communist. Move to Cuba or North Korea already. Because I am not going to stand idly by and let you and this power-mad president destroy the last vestiges of my freedom.

I have a RIGHT to speak my mind. And Barack Obama can go to hell.

Wolverines!

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Barack Obama, FEC, Censorship, First Amendment, Blogs

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Obama White House Warns The Press To Stop Publishing Stuff That Offends Muslims

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Perhaps here’s one reason why President Golf Pants didn’t attend that Paris anti-terrorism rally — he doesn’t want the media publishing stuff that offends Muslims. It’s too dangerous.

President Barack Obama has a moral responsibility to push back on the nation’s journalism community when it is planning to publish anti-jihadi articles that might cause a jihadi attack against the nation’s defenses forces, the White House’s press secretary said Jan. 12.

“The president … will not now be shy about expressing a view or taking the steps that are necessary to try to advocate for the safety and security of our men and women in uniform” whenever journalists’ work may provoke jihadist attacks, spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters at the White House s daily briefing.

The unprecedented reversal of Americans’ civil-military relations, and of the president’s duty to protect the First Amendment, was pushed by Earnest as he tried to excuse the administration’s opposition in 2012 to the publication of anti-jihadi cartoons by the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

The White House voiced its objections in 2012 after the magazine’s office were burned by jihadis, followings its publication of anti-jihadi cartoons.

Earnest’s defense of the 2012 objections came just five days after the magazine’s office was attacked by additional jihadis. Eight journalists, two policeman and a visitor were murdered by two French-born Muslims who objected to the magazine’s criticism of Islam’s final prophet.

In other words, shut up or you’ll make the Muzzies angry. Because if you make them angry, they’ll hurt you. And, stunningly, if they hurt you, your president won’t do anything about that.

Throughout the press conference, Earnest repeatedly said the media would be able to decide on its own whether to publish pictures, articles or facts that could prompt another murderous jihad attack by Muslim against journalists.

But he did not say that his government has a constitutional and moral duty to use the nation’s huge military to protect journalists from armed jihadis, but instead hinted strongly that journalists should submit to jihadi threats.

Submit, Dhimmis!

Nice little newspaper you got there. Be a shame if anything happened to it.

Barack Obama is a traitor to our Constitution. Every president’s first “moral responsibility” is to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, where free speech and freedom of the press are sacrosanct. But Obama’s highly questionable morality sends him in the opposite direction, into the arms of freedom’s enemies.

He’s a coward, spineless in the face of murderous thugs. Unwilling to stand up for what’s right. Committed to appeasement in the name of expediency.

Hey President Quisling, Fuck You. And the camel you rode in on.

charliehebdo 006

One more thing Barry. Here’s a Muslim with more balls than you.

Mayor Aboutaleb
Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb

Mayor Aboutaleb said: “It is incomprehensible that you can turn against freedom… But if you don’t like freedom, for heaven’s sake pack your bags and leave.”

“There may be a place in the world where you can be yourself, be honest with yourself and do not go and kill innocent journalists. And if you do not like it here because humorists you do not like make a newspaper, may I then say you can f*** off.”

“This is stupid, this so incomprehensible. Vanish from the Netherlands if you cannot find your place here. All those well-meaning Muslims here will now be stared at.”

Islam is a virus. Freedom is the only cure.

It disgusts me that a majority of the people in this country voted for a gutless so-called “leader.” America used to be better than that.

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Facebook And The Next Landmark Free Speech Battle

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“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

While that quote is often misattributed to Voltaire, it’s not that far off. In fact, the words come from a biography of the French philosopher written by Evelyn Beatrice Hall wherein the author tried to encapsulate Voltaire’s beliefs.

Though a Frenchman, Voltaire’s beliefs certainly influenced the American Revolutionand helped shape the United States as we know it. In fact, his influence on the formation of the country is immediately apparent: “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech,” reads the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights.

Of course, over the years, the Supreme Court has abridged that amendment, if not the spirit behind it. Some highlights include:

  • Schenck v. United States – In 1919, the court ruled that speech could be limited if that speech resulted in a “clear and a present danger” that encouraged the use of force. (That ruling was augmented 50 years later in Brandenburg v. Ohio when the court decided such threats had to be imminent.)
  • Chaplinksy v. New Hampshire – In 1942, the court ruled that “fighting words” – i.e., words that are cause a breach of the peace – were not protected.
  • Virginia v. Black In 2003, the court ruled that speech directed at people that ostensibly results in putting them at risk for bodily harm is not protected. However, in Watts v. United States (1969), the court ruled that if the party the speech was directed at understood the hyperbole in the speech, it is protected as it’s not a real threat, per se.

So while we enjoy a freedom of speech in America, we certainly do have limitations to that speech. You can’t yell “BOMB!” in a movie theater, for example.

Freedom of Speech in the Digital Age

It appears as though we’re on the precipice of the court weighing in on another monumental case that will almost certainly redefine our First Amendment once again.

The question before the court is simple: When does an instant message or a tweet become a threat? Better yet, does it even become a threat at all?

Meet Anthony Elonis, a Pennsylvania man who took to his Facebook page to vent about his estranged wife. Of course, that venting could certainly be interpreted to be scary, and even violent, by some. Case in point? Here’s a snippet from one of the posts:

There’s one way to love ya, but a thousand ways to kill ya,

And I’m not going to rest until your body is a mess,

Soaked in blood and dying from all the little cuts.

Hurry up and die, bitch.

If you can believe it, that’s actually among the less graphic excerpts, but you get the point.

Elonis’ wife eventually got scared and obtained a restraining order against him. But Elonis’ digital abuse didn’t stop there. In fact, he kept going and going and going, reciting rap lyrics written in the same vein as Eminem on his Facebook page. It’s important to note, however, that Elonis sprinkled in disclaimers on his Facebook page, telling friends that he was just venting and not to take anything seriously.

A jury of his peers, however, didn’t agree that Elonis was just playing around; he was sentenced to 44 months in prison under a federal threat statute.

But the case is under appeal, so we’ll soon find out whether the Supreme Court feels that Elonis was operating within his constitutionally protected rights when he took to social media to “vent.”

So, What’s Next?

What would happen if Elonis wrote his words down in a notebook and gave that notebook to friends to read? Chances are there wouldn’t be anywhere near the uproar we’ve seen.

Yet that’s essentially what he did – just in the digital world. His wife, after all, never has to go to his Facebook page to see what he’s saying about her. Sure, there’s curiosity there – either on her part or on the part of her friends – which is certainly why she ended up finding out about his postings in the first place.

But the fact that Elonis was arrested and put in jail makes you wonder how people like Eminem get away with it, rapping about killing his ex-wife and just about anyone else, for that matter. Eminem’s lyrics are shared publicly, so an argument can be made that both of these men vented their demons in the same exact manner.

People are idiots. There are endless stories of people posting stupid statements on social media and regretting them almost instantly. There are also instances of people posting unfounded threats, and at the end of the day, being embarrassed and remorseful.

Elonis should certainly have been investigated because of his posts and actions. But at the end of the day, after that investigation didn’t uncover any nefarious plots to actually murder his estranged wife, the police should have washed their hands and been done with it.

So long as someone’s speaking in the comfort of their own home without any plans of committing any crimes, no crimes have been committed.

Sure – maybe it’s unfortunate that we can’t throw idiots in jail. But if we start arresting everyone for saying stupid things on the Internet, you and I and everyone we know would almost certainly end up behind bars.

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Journalism in the Age of Obama: All the News The White House Lets Them Print

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To be fair, the First Amendment enjoins Congress from restricting freedom of the press. I just never expected to see our legions of wannabe Woodwards and Bernsteins acquiesce so easily to White House censorship.

White House press-pool reports are supposed to be the news media’s eyes and ears on the president, an independent chronicle of his public activities. They are written by reporters for other reporters, who incorporate them into news articles about President Obama almost every day.

Sometimes, however, the White House plays an unseen role in shaping the story.

Journalists who cover the White House say Obama’s press aides have demanded — and received — changes in press-pool reports before the reports have been disseminated to other journalists. They say the White House has used its unusual role as the distributor of the reports as leverage to steer coverage in a more favorable direction.

The system is set up to incorporate censorship. Reporters send their stories to the White House Press Office, and the White House sends them on to the national and international media.

After careful vetting by the Ministry of Propaganda, of course.

So when Instapundit calls reporters “Democratic Party operatives with bylines” he’s hitting pretty close to the mark. The media goes along because everybody is on the same team.

And it’s easy to understand why CBS ditched Sharyl Attkisson, because she didn’t toe the Obama Administration line on Benghazi. CBS News President David Rhodes has a brother named Ben. Ben Rhodes is Obama’s Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communication, ie, Director of the Ministry of Propaganda.

Did you know that it was Ben Rhodes who rewrote the Benghazi “talking points” given to Susan Rice, deleting all references to al Qaeda and to the security warnings in Benghazi prior to the attack?

Gee, I wonder why you never read about that in the papers.

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Illinois State Trooper Blows His Top at ‘Safety’ Checkpoint: Must See Video

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Ryan S. Taylor – Recorded His Run-in With Furious State Trooper

Ryan Taylor was driving in Illinois recently and recorded his interaction with some State Troopers at a Safety Check. Now some are accusing Mr. Taylor of ‘watching too many YouTube videos’ or ‘being rude to the police.’ We at Conservative Hideout 2.0 don’t pretend to make that judgement. We simply highlight the news of the day that we think our readership will find interesting.

Editor’s Note: We do not condone police violence or the overstepping of authority by the police. Nor do we condemn all police officers with the same broad brush. As a whole, CH2.0 supports Law Enforcement Officers and other Emergency and First Responder personnel. They provide a service that is vital to the Social Compact. However, that being said, we also support citizen vigilance, where citizens know their God-given Constitutional Rights and stand up for them. As Ronald Reagan said:

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.

 

 

Here is the posting and the video in its entirety, followed by some related stories to the original posting of Mr. Taylor’s video:

 

In subsequent postings to his Facebook page, Taylor has linked a local newspaper article which references the event and for some reason mentions that he is facing charges on unrelated issues, a podcast of his interview on a talk radio station and another video of him discussing the original video and the reactions to it.

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DeKalb man behind viral video of Illinois State trooper’s outburst faces criminal charges

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He was also interviewed over this incident at a local news-talk radio station, News Talk 970 WMAY.

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U.S. Supreme Court Struck Down “Buffer Zone” Law

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The U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously struck down a “buffer zone” law in Massachusetts which restricted where the pro-life advocates could counsel women outside of abortion mills.  The Court ruled that the Massachusetts law violates the First Amendment.

 

From Zenit:

 

The briefs demonstrated that the Massachusetts law violated the First Amendment rights of 40 Days for Life by establishing a 35-foot “no-pro-life” speech zone outside abortion facilities where no alternatives to abortion could be offered. AUL attorneys argued that the unconstitutional law impermissibly forced pro-life speakers to either “shout or be silent” and effectively prohibited speech by those who engage in personal, direct, and peaceful counseling with women considering abortion. 

Importantly, the 2007 law discriminated against peaceful pro-life activists by prohibiting them from “enter[ing] or remain[ing] on a public way or sidewalk adjacent” to a stand-alone abortion facility. But this did not apply equally to everyone. Abortion clinic employees or agents acting within their scope of employment were free to enter the “zone” and speak with women including encouraging them to have abortions. 

This discriminatory “no-enter zone” only targeted those opposed to abortion and permitted police to arrest and charge any person engaged in pro-life advocacy. Prohibited conduct under the law included speaking, praying, wearing t-shirts, hats, or buttons, displaying signs, leafleting, and making consented approaches with women or others entering the abortion clinic.
The law effectively sought to prohibit all methods of communicating a pro-life message on public sidewalks—a venue which the Supreme Court has called “a prototypical public forum” where the First Amendment is “at its most protected.”

Thank you Supreme Court for upholding pro-lifers right to free speech.

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No Religious Freedoms for Businesses?

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In a recent Op-Ed, Mr. Leonard Pitts, Jr. tried to make the case that violating someone’s 1st Amendment rights is the same as the idea that one’s personal liberty ends where the next person’s begins.

Let me also use a quote to make my point.  “Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it.” A direct quote correctly attributed to President Abraham Lincoln in a letter to Henry L. Pierce, April, 1859. In this letter, he was declining an invitation to speak at an event in Boston, honoring Thomas Jefferson’s birthday. Lincoln explained that Jefferson gave us, as a nation, a great gift which was the idea that all men are created equal in the eyes of their Creator. He said that Jefferson, “had the coolness, forecast, and capacity to introduce into a merely revolutionary document, an abstract truth, applicable to all men and all times, and so to embalm it there, that to-day, and in all coming days, it shall be a rebuke and a stumbling-block to the very harbingers of re-appearing tyranny and oppression.”
Hobby Lobby

That is precisely what those who propose that Hobby Lobby and other businesses forgo their 1st Amendment right to freedom of religion due to the onerous regulations of the Affordable Care Act are asking.

Mr. Pitts says that the “crazy part” is that under the ACA, those businesses can just opt out of offering their employees any insurance at all. So in his eyes, and in the eyes of many on the left, it is either kowtow to our wishes or just stop offering health benefits to your workers.

I say the “crazy part” is just what Lincoln said, that “those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves,” and this is exactly what the government is asking the Supreme Court to do. Uncle Sam wants the court to take away Hobby Lobby’s freedom of religion, yet what happened to Mr. Pitts’ quote about swinging your fist, but not hitting my nose?

Just saying that “If a Hobby Lobby executive has no interest in contraceptive care, good for her,” is on the face of it a rather crass statement and not germane at all to the discussion. The case before the court has nothing to do with personal preferences. That is why his argument that this creates a slippery slope where some future company can decide, for religious purposes not to hire women or persons of a particular faith, etc… doesn’t fly. The idea that adhering to the Constitution will lead to violations of the Civil Rights Act of 1965 is a straw man argument, at best.

If I were to obtain a job at the store of a Hasidic gem merchant, should I be upset that there’s no bacon in the cafeteria?

If I am a Mormon and there is tea and coffee in the break room, do I have the right to demand my employer removes them because in my faith, I abstain from those beverages?

Hobby Lobby’various birth control methodss owners believe that life begins at conception and that adhering to the regulations in the ACA violates their religious beliefs or forces them to either pay millions of dollars in fines or stop offering health benefits entirely.

The ironic part of this story is that Hobby Lobby offers SIXTEEN other forms of birth control listed in Obamacare.

While Mr. Pitts is absolutely entitled to his opinion, he damages his credibility when he calls Hobby Lobby’s desire to remain true to their religious tenets, “faintly Talibanesque,” and that allowing them to decline to cover certain contraceptives and abortifacients is “anathema to our ideals of individual liberty and yes, religious freedom.”

Really? So telling a business what they can and cannot do as it relates to their 1st Amendment rights is “faintly Talibanesque,” yet allowing the wishes of a few employees to be forced upon all businesses upholds the ideals of religious freedom?

Let us not forget that the right to swing a fist ending where someone else’s nose begins is a two way street.

To read Mr. Pitts’ article, click here.

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Intolerance by the Tolerant

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Lawrence Torcello, a professor of philosophy from Rochester Institute of Technology, has called for ‘deniers’ of anthropomorphic climate change to be imprisoned.  He said ‘science misinformation’ should be considered a crime.  Professor Torcello is spouting intolerant, opinionated declarations as if man-made climate change has been proven scientifically.  It hasn’t.  Man-made climate change (global warming) is a theory which has been politically propagandized to the point of putting undue pressure on the scientific community.  Torcello admits that his proposal would violate the first amendment. Well what a reasonable guy he is. Wait!! Wait!! Just when I thought there was a glimmer of sensibility the professor said “We must make the critical distinction between the protected voicing of one’s unpopular beliefs, and the funding of a strategically organised campaign to undermine the public’s ability to develop and voice informed opinions.”  He believes governments need to update their free speech laws.  No man has the authority to take away free speech!

It looks like a good many Americans disagree with the professor.

The atheist group Freedom From Religion Foundation is demanding that Gov. Scott Walker delete a tweet.  On Sunday Scott Walker tweeted “Philippians 4:13.”  In a letter the co-presidents wrote: “This braggadocio verse coming from a public official is rather disturbing,”wrote Gaylor and Barker to Walker.  You know what is disturbing?  Atheists with hutzpah who are clueless about free speech. Atheists who try to stifle free speech. These intolerant atheists need to take a course on the first amendment.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation strikes again.  The radical atheist Gestapo-like organization sent a letter demanding the removal of The Ten Commandments monument on public property in Idaho.  Around 500 people gathered in Sandpoint, Idaho to protest the monument’s pending removal, to support the Ten Commandments display staying right where it is. 

“I don’t like this at all,” said Gladys Larson to the Bonner County Daily Bee, “There’s no way someone can come into our town and dictate what goes on here.”

“The Ten Commandments monument was donated to Sandpoint in 1972 by a local chapter of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, and was placed in Farmin Park.”

I am sick of spineless city officials giving into the offended while not giving a damn about local citizens constitutional rights. I am highly offended by this atheist supremacy that is happening all across our country.

Original Post:  TeresAmerica

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Court Finds That Bloggers Have Same Rights as Journalists: Important Repercussions

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govt-censorshipProgressives, or as I like to call them, regressives, no matter of which party, hate the fact that new media is threatening their information monopoly.  Bloggers are among their chief targets. John Kerry notes a few months ago…

Steve, from America’s Watchtower, has more…

Yesterday at the U.S. Embassy in Brazil John Kerry said the following:

I’m a student of history, and I love to go back and read a particularly great book like [Henry] Kissinger’s book about diplomacy where you think about the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and the balance of power and how difficult it was for countries to advance their interests and years and years of wars,” Kerry said to a gathering of State Department employees and their families.

“And we sometimes say to ourselves, boy, aren’t we lucky

  Okay, nothing wrong there, we are lucky to live in a world where it is much easier for countries to communicate with each other. But apparently the Secretary of State does not see it that way for he continued:

Well, folks,” he said, “ever since the end of the Cold War, forces have been unleashed that were tamped down for centuries by dictators, and that was complicated further by this little thing called the internet and the ability of people everywhere to communicate instantaneously and to have more information coming at them in one day than most people can process in months or a year.

“It makes it much harder to govern, makes it much harder to organize people, much harder to find the common interest. (emphasis added)

Just remember folks, you are too dumb to make your own decisions.  You should be like the low information voters that do what they are told.

We’ve broke so many stories, and kept the pressure on with so many others, that the Democrats in Congress were working on a means to silence us.

Dianne Feinstein wants to regulate who can and cannot be a reporter.  The Internet’s largest disseminator of news, Matt Drudge, called her a “Fascist”.

Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted for a “Reporter Shield Bill” which would determine who is and who isn’t a journalist.

Here’s Senator Feinstein at the hearing:

Senator Feinstein proposed language that she said,”effectively sets up a test for establishing bona fide credentials that make one a legitimate journalist.”  Legitimate journalists will be protected.  Non-legitimate journalists, like blogs, will not.

As you might guess, this legislation would have created a situation in which the only “bona fide” journalists would be the ones who repeat their regressive talking points like good little sheep.  Remember when the White House said that FOX News wasn’t a “real” news outlet?  That would then extend to any source of information that did not tow the Democratic party line.  They would be no longer “bona fide.”  Then, Democratic operatives would target those sources.

Thankfully, a court has decided that the First Amendment applies to all Americans, and not just the organized liars at MSNBC.  Steve, at America’s Watchtower has more…

Today a Federal Appeals Court ruled that bloggers do indeed have protection under the First Amendment of the Constitution:

A federal appeals court ruled Friday that bloggers and the public have the same First Amendment protections as journalists when sued for defamation: If the issue is of public concern, plaintiffs have to prove negligence to win damages.

So, the Democrat’s efforts to create a “playing field” where bloggers can be sued out of existence for writing an opinion, or citing facts, has failed-for now.  However, they will be back.  As John Kerry points out, the regressives think we are far too stupid to be trusted with factual information, so sources of information outside of the government must be eliminated.  After all, how are we supposed to believe that global warming causes it to be cold?  How are we supposed to believe that a YouTube video caused Benghazi when it was so clearly a planned attack!  How are we supposed to blindly believe that ObamaCare is the best thing since sliced bread when the bloggers show how many people are losing hours, or their jobs, or their plans?

You get the idea.  We are dealing with a totalitarian government that is busy consolidating power.  To accomplish that, information must be controlled.  Bloggers are an obstacle to that, so we have to go.

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Federal Lawsuit Filed After Public School Banned Meet You at the Pole Flyers, Allowed Obscene Lyrics Instead

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If you ask liberals, there is no effort to ban Christianity and remove it from public life.  At Robert E. Clark Middle School in Bonner Springs Kansas, they most certainly confiscated flyers containing Bible verses!   For a non-existent phenomena, there sure is a lot of it going on…

This week, a middle school in Kansas is in the news for preventing a student from organizing a “See You at the Pole” prayer time. Fliers she posted in the school contained “illegal” Bible verses. An attorney filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of this girl who was penalized for posting John 3:16 and Romans 5:8.

Objectively, which of the following quotes is most offensive:

– “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotton Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. “- John 3:16

or

The Lyrics to Lil’ Wayne’s “Good Kush & Alcohol” – I actually can’t post the lyrics here because they are so sexually explicit, every line would pretty much be all astericks *********.

This middle school actually allowed the Lil’ Wayne lyrics to be posted, but not the Bible verses.

The first amendment protects free speech for all American citizens, students included. Now, I can understand a school punishing a kid and taking down a poster with sexually explicit lyrics, but a Bible verse about God’s love? Really?

Hit the link to read the rest.  But hey, let’s be secure in the fact that this really isn’t happening, after all, liberals say it isn’t happening while they’re doing it.

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Senator Feintein’s Attack on Free Speech

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I guess, if she wants to wipe out the Second Amendment, show might as well go after the First as well, right?

I have often said that liberals don’t necessarily ban something outright, they just make it a practical impossibility to practice said right.  That appears to be what Diane Feinstein (Douche-Nozzle, California) is up to.  Here is some video via Gateway Pundit…

OK, here is the my take…

1.  According to Feinstein, the only people protected by the law are “legitimate journalists.” How much you want to bet only people that tow the regressive line will be recognized?  It may not happen immediately, but it will get there.

2.  They want bloggers out of business.  Remember how John Kerry remarked how all of this “information”, “makes it harder to govern?”

“Well, folks,” he said, “ever since the end of the Cold War, forces have been unleashed that were tamped down for centuries by dictators, and that was complicated further by this little thing called the internet and the ability of people everywhere to communicate instantaneously and to have more information coming at them in one day than most people can process in months or a year.

“It makes it much harder to govern, makes it much harder to organize people, much harder to find the common interest,” said Kerry, “and that is complicated by a rise of sectarianism and religious extremism that is prepared to employ violent means to impose on other people a way of thinking and a way of living that is completely contrary to everything the United States of America has ever stood for. So we need to keep in mind what our goals are and how complicated this world is that we’re operating in.”

You see, in the eyes of our would-be regressive overlords, an informed public is an unruly public.  And, if only MSNBC was the only source of news, the sheeple would be far more compliant.  Getting rid of bloggers would go a long way towards achieving this.  In the end, big brother really hates competition.

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May 30, 2012 Brett Kimberlin Update: It’s Not Over Yet, and FOX News Has Coverage

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As we’ve been covering the Brett Kimberlin story, one thing has emerged as a certainty-it’s not over.   From the best analysis that I’ve been able to ingest, Aaron Walker was arrested for “incitement” yesterday.  Apparently, a judge, who had little to know about the internet in any capacity, deemed blogging about the attempts of a public figure to damage another’s life, while including legal documents, is “incitement” to harm the person that was doing harm in the first place.  And,  as Patterico observes, they aren’t done  yet. 

As Glenn Reynolds says:

If I read this correctly, Aaron Walker is in trouble because Kimberlin claims that his blogging has somehow led to other people making death threats. That doesn’t seem to pass the First Amendment smell test. Only if Walker were inciting those threats in a way that passed Brandenburg scrutiny would that work, and I don’t believe that’s the case at all. At any rate, under this approach George Zimmerman ought to be able to jail any number of journalists. . . .

I am told that Aaron raised the Brandenburg case (that’s U.S. Supreme Court precedent on incitement, folks) and the judge said he didn’t care about Brandenburg.

That’s what I’m told.

So Brett Kimberlin, knowing that Aaron was coming to court to defend against a civil “peace order,” lay in ambush with a criminal charge, so that Aaron would be arrested.

One wonders if this is his new strategy: he sues  you for  your blogging, and simultaneously obtains a peace order saying you harassed him. If you blog about him again, he gets a judge to rubber stamp a criminal complaint for violating the peace order.

Now, if you don’t show up for the lawsuit, he gets a default judgment. If you do, you get arrested for blogging.

Catch 22. And a nice scam if you can get judges gullible enough to go along with it.

This is, I had thought, the United States of America. I thought we had freedom of speech here.

It will take a few days to nail down with precision what happened. But if the account I have given here turns out to be correct — if the basis of the arrest today was that Aaron incited others by blogging about a public figure — I want all lovers of the First Amendment to stand tall and ride to Aaron’s defense.

Because they’re not done. They claim they’re just getting started:

So, in other words, the hypothetical plan is as follows; use the legal system to harass or detain anyone who discusses the criminal past of a public figure, who, by the way, is involved in at least two different non-profits.

This, however, leads to some rather interesting observations and questions…

  1. It is estimated that some 150 blogs, from large to small, covered this story.  Will they attempt to harass and intimidate each and every one of us, using the same techniques that they claim that Walker used against Kimberlin?  (In other words, what the left uses against dissent as a matter of course?)
  2. Will the MSM, who avoids covering leftists and their activities like the plague, get involved in the least?  I think we all know the answer to that?
  3. Since it has been pointed out that intimidation to deprive people of their Constitutional Rights is against Federal Law, can we rely on the DOJ to protect us?  Again, probably a question that does not need asking.
  4. This is going to be a long-term action, and it will help expose the activities of not only Kimberlin and associates, but of the organized left as a whole.   They cannot rely on truth to make their points, so they use intimidation tactics to silence anyone who opposes them.  The longer this goes on, the more that they expose themselves.
  5. The Conservative Blogosphere is an important source of information as an alternative to the MSM, and it’s bias.  We’ve broken stories, covered stories that the MSM has tried to cover up, and have made a general nuisance of ourselves.  As long as we present information that runs contrary to the narrative, we will be targeted.  This is the latest effort.  More will come.
For a bright spot, FOX News have covered the incident.  (via Michelle Malkin)

As I have been saying, this is going to get very interesting.

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Chicago Police Officer “Terminates” the First Amendment?

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At least, that’s what he thought.  According to reports, two news reporters were arrested for causing a scene.  The Blaze has more coverage, plus video…

Chicago police arrested WGN reporter Dan Ponce and WMAQ photographer Donte Williams Saturday, saying that they were “creating a scene” outside of Mount Sinai hospital.

The two were covering the fatal shooting of a six-year old girl and, though they were already across the street, the officer demanded they go another street over.

“F*** news affairs, I don’t care about news affairs.  Forget news affairs,” he said.

The first thing that comes to my mind is that there wasn’t anyone else around. The street outside the hospital was mostly empty. No one seemed to be upset, or at all disturbed, except, that is, the officer.

Maybe we ought to listen to The Classic Liberal when he talks about “the police state?”

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While we were distracted did we lose free speech? (H.R. 347)

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While we were being distracted by the Sandra Fluke-Rush Limbaugh debacle last week somehow we lost some more of our liberties; liberties that are protected by OUR constitution. This time the target is free speech. Yes you heard right we may have lost our ability to express ourselves through the act of protesting the government and it sneaked in right under our radar.  Yesterday morning while I was getting ready for work I caught Judge Napolitano on Fox and Friends talking about how last week President Obama had signed into law H.R. 347. Below is the Fox and Friends clip of this interview.

How I missed this, I don’t know.  What I do know is that since the turn of the year our President has violated the constitution three times.  First back in January when he bypassed congress and made four appointments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the National Labor Relations Board while congress was still in proforma session. We did not hear a peep from the left and those illegal appointments still stand.  The second violation came when he signed into law the NDAA which has a provision in it that authorizes the government to detain American citizens indefinitely if suspected of ties to terrorist organizations.  And now we have H.R. 347 the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act.  Below is the congressional summary of the law.

2/6/2012–Passed Senate amended. (This measure has not been amended since it was reported to the Senate on November 17, 2011. The summary of that version is repeated here.) Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011 – Amends the federal criminal code to revise the prohibition against entering restricted federal buildings or grounds to impose criminal penalties on anyone who knowingly enters any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority. Defines “restricted buildings or grounds” as a posted, cordoned off, or otherwise restricted area of: (1) the White House or its grounds or the Vice President’s official residence or its grounds, (2) a building or grounds where the President or other person protected by the Secret Service is or will be temporarily visiting, or (3) a building or grounds so restricted due to a special event of national significance.

I’m not a fan of the progressive group called The Young Turks; however in the below video they even seem a bit concerned that an environment has been created to limit free speech. Just skip the ad.

This is not good folks and what’s worse yet is 224 House Republicans supported this unconstitutional act.Michele Bachmann who claims to be a staunch supporter of the constitution voted yes along with Allen West.  I’m sure their intentions were to diminish the ability of the disorderly and loud OWS protestors to disrupt the workings of government; however this is a net that has the power to snare all types of potential protests to include the orderly and patriotic tea party protests. Folks this is wrong on so many levels I don’t even know where to begin.  And my guess is our elected representatives know in their hearts this is wrong.  This is why they quietly passed this terrible bill.  You can see how your representative voted here>>

Three times since the turn of the year our constitution has clearly been violated and there has been zero consequences for these actions. I wrote my elected representative (Rick Berg) when the President made his proforma appointments and all I got was lip service.  This is the same guy who wants me to vote for him as a candidate for the Senate.  Why should I?  He also supported H.R. 347 and voted yes.  This tells me I have an elected representative who really doesn’t care about or takes the constitution very seriously.  The only time we get overwhelming bi-partisan support on bills these days is when they somehow curb our liberties.  Funny how that works.  Based on my readings about the type of men the founders were, I believe I know what they would do about these bills and acts.  First off, bills like the NDAA and H.R. 347 would never had made it through the Senate or House. Red flags would have went up all over the place and these bills would have been easily defeated.  So what does this tell about the men and women who represent us.  It tells me just how much they’re missing the mark in regards to our founding fathers.  They’re 180 degrees out.  Secondly our founders would have immediately began impeachment proceedings against any President for signing these bills into law.  The President is required to act in a manner that does not violate the law of the land and in these instances he has failed.

How many more liberties do we need to lose before we finally wake up and realize that the men and women who are supposed to serve us believe they are our masters with a blank check to do whatever they want?  How much longer are we going to stand by and watch our constitution shredded with each bill/act signed into law.  How much more can America take before we lose her?  I say again how much more…

You can read more about this topic at Bunkerville.

Liberty forever, freedom for all.

Original Post:  The Sentry Journal

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Does Freedom of Religion Constitute Bullying? Some in Tennessee Think so

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We all know what the First Amendment states regarding religion.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…

According to the regressives it ends right there, but there is more.

 or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

We see the establishment clause cited quite a bit.  For example, when I covered the Elwood City Nativity display, it was never proven that Congress had passed a law to put it up, and the critics of it certainly didn’t know about the “free exercise thereof.”   But, then again, the current “Separation of Church and State” has nothing to do with the  the intent of the Founders, which was to deny the Federal Government the power to create a National Church, as the monarchies had in Europe.

Here is the latest example of the separation between the Establishment Clause, and the Free Exercise Clause.  Apparently, the state legislature in Tennessee is trying to pass a bill protecting the free speech rights of Christian students, as quoting the Bible has been declared “bulling.”  Culture News has more…

Pro-family advocates and lawmakers are advancing language for Senate Bill 0760 (House Bill 1153) to ensure freedom of speech and religion regarding public school anti-bullying, but critics say that allowing Christian students to cite Bible verses is bullying and should be outlawed.

From “Christian activist questions scope of anti-bullying law” by Andy Sher, Chattanooga Times Free Press 1/4/12

. . . leaders of the Tennessee Equality Project, a gay-rights group, charge the [religious liberty] legislation “would give students a ‘license to bully’ that allows them to hide their irrational biases behind an extreme religious belief.”

The Fowler-backed bill says anti-bullying programs and measures can’t use materials or training that “explicitly or implicitly promote a political agenda [and] make the characteristics of the victim the focus rather than the conduct of the person engaged in harassment, intimidation, or bullying.”

FACT said it “is wrong to bully people because of their sexual practices. But it’s wrong to bully people period. The larger lesson here is that these tragedies are often the rotten fruit of the all-about-me individualistic culture that comes when we deny the existence of God and his image in us. When life and people become cheap, tragedy becomes the result.”

In the interview, Fowler said gays are “not the only people who get insulted. The thing we need to concentrate on is not whether the characteristics of the victim justify being protected but on the conduct of the person engaging in the bullying while respecting constitutional rights.”

OK then, it’s “bad” to quote the Bible, as it might be bullying, but the Tennessee Equality Project stated, “…allows them to hide their irrational biases behind an extreme religious belief.”

Er, by their own standards, would that not be categorized as “bullying?”  Of course not! Bullying isn’t bullying when Christians are being bullied.

But on a less sarcastic note, this is typical regressive behavior.   They seek to make disagreement with them a crime, yet approve of the same exact behavior that they decry-providing that said behavior is is directed at those with whom they disagree.  I would have to add that if they are willing to effectively ban the Bible, what would be next, and where would it stop?

 

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The Utility of Free Speech Redux

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If you read the recent post, From The Front Lines of the Culture Wars: Student Disciplined for Thinking Homosexuality is Wrong, you would have seen an interesting exchange between Harrison, of  Capitol Commentary, and myself.  While we happen to disagree on that topic, I consider him to be a good blogger, who often asks us to question some core beliefs.  Our exchange reminded me of the following, which was originally posted on September 29, 2009.  

As we all know, freedom of speech is under attack.  Mark Lloyd proposes to replace privately owned media with a government approved and moderated PBS.  Cass Sustein and Henry Waxman have both floated the idea of regulating Internet content.  Speech codes on campus restrict the free flows of ideas on college campuses.  The ACLU threatens to sue kids that pray at graduation ceremonies.  People are threatened if they pray in public.  Conversely, the left is able to engage in whatever outrageous activity they choose, and even do what they accuse the right of doing.  The double standard is sometimes astounding.

Following Marxist concepts like “tolerant repression,” the left seeks to limit or eliminate dissent. We understand that this is part of their effort to obtain power by silencing all opposition, or making said opposition ineffective, and unable to reach the people.  Their allies in the media do not cover stories critical of the left, or distorts them into a one sided attack on the opposition.  The government ignores mass protests and accuses the protesters of “racism, terrorism,” and being paid by special interests.  What they cannot ban, or cover up, they will discredit.  They attempt to cloud genuine dissent with hate, all in order to attack the messenger, and thereby cause the actual message to be ignored.

Our Constitution guarantees freedom of speech, this is certain.  And we know that in a Constitutional Republic, free speech is vital for debate and the free flow of ideas.  Without free speech, the Republic that so many bled and died for would take a short trip into tyranny. All these are true, but I would submit that there are additional benefits to  freedom of speech.

Every nation has fringe groups; racists, religious extremists of every type, anarchists, communist revolutionaries, national socialists, and probably a huge number of others.  It is tempting to deny these people a public forum, as they are repugnant to most all Americans, irregardless of  political affiliation. But, I would submit that there are benefits to allowing them speak and function in the open:

  1. If they are public, we know who they are.  Putting a face to the hate allows us to confront it.
  2. If they speak openly, we can know what they believe, and what they want.  Knowing this allows us all to confront them.
  3. If they operate openly, we know what they are doing.  We can keep track of them, and monitor their activities.

If we ban free speech,or  even “only” the speech that we find disgusting, we lose some things:

  1. We will have no idea who the extremists are, as they won’t go away, they’ll go underground.
  2. We will have no idea what they believe or plan to do.
  3. By banning their speech, the government will prove most of their beliefs about their ideas being a threat to power.
  4. Being banned makes them more attractive to “recruits.” They will have the “truth that those in power don’t want you to know.”
  5. They become dangerous and more likely to take violent action.

Freedom of speech means that you might be offended by something that is said or written.  We can’t run and cry to government every time something upsets us.  We have to take hate for what it is, and confront it, or just let if fail under the weight of it’s own stupidity.  We have to allow all of it, or face tyranny, as when the state is given the power to ban some speech, it will eventually seek to ban more and more of it.   Then, one should not be surprised when it is their own  speech that is banned . The State is a hungry beast, and it always seeks more and more power upon which to feed.  Elimiating dissent is a fine way to accomplish that end.

In the end, no party or group should have the ability to eliminate freedom of speech, or our Republic is doomed.

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