A Disturbing Trend On College Campuses

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Basically that means that even people you disagree with have the right to speak. However, that principle is not being taught on many of our college campuses.

The Daily Signal posted an article today about some recent events at Williams College.

The article reports:

At Williams College in Massachusetts, biology professor Dr. Luana Maroja wrote online last year that she was concerned about student and administrator attitudes regarding free speech. She gathered more than 100 faculty signatures on a petition calling for the school to adopt what is known as the “Chicago Principles,” a statement in favor of free expression developed by the University of Chicago.

More than 60 schools have endorsed this statement, a welcome response to the disrupted events and other nonsense that have plagued universities around the country.

Some Williams students will have none of it. Maroja says that more than a dozen of them barged into a faculty meeting last November holding signs such as “free speech harms” and saying faculty were trying to “kill” the students.

After that, tensions escalated. The College Fix reports that a professor subsequently “threatened violence” if Williams adopted the Chicago statement. All this, because Maroja dared to promote the idea that Williams should maintain a “climate of mutual respect.”

If that isn’t troubling enough, a poll of the students is even more troubling:

A recent survey of college students found that more than half of respondents say shouting down speakers is “always” or “sometimes” acceptable. Sixteen percent of respondents say it is “always” or “sometimes” acceptable to use violence to stop a speech protest or rally.

These responses are disturbing. Civil society – life in the office, in your neighborhood, at your child’s soccer game – depends on people tolerating those who do not share their beliefs, not trying to silence them through intimidation or violence. The American Dream dies if we live in fear of persecution.

Williams officials should take seriously the threats posed to the next generation of adults that come from limiting the ideas that can be considered on campus. The school should require students to attend sessions on free speech during freshman orientation – and explain that hiding from ideas with which you disagree is a poor strategy for life.

New policies for public universities in Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, and Wisconsin now serve as examples of how to protect everyone’s freedom of expression in a campus community.

These policies affirm the idea that anyone should be allowed to protest or demonstrate in public areas as long as they do not prevent others from doing the same. Moreover, they stipulate that their public universities must be prepared to penalize individuals who silence others.

The article notes that Williams is a private college and can set its own policies regarding free speech. However, it is troubling that the First Amendment is no longer appreciated or practiced on some college campuses.

The Growing Contempt For Freedom Of Speech

Walter E. Williams posted an article at Newsbusters today about the attack on free speech.

The Professor notes:

The First Amendment to our Constitution was proposed by the 1788 Virginia ratification convention during its narrow 89 to 79 vote to ratify the Constitution. Virginia’s resolution held that the free exercise of religion, right to assembly and free speech could not be canceled, abridged or restrained. These Madisonian principles were eventually ratified by the states on March 1, 1792.

Gettysburg College professor Allen C. Guelzo, in his article “Free Speech and Its Present Crisis,” appearing in the autumn 2018 edition of City Journal, explores the trials and tribulations associated with the First Amendment. The early attempts to suppress free speech were signed into law by President John Adams and became known as the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798. Later attempts to suppress free speech came during the Civil War, when President Abraham Lincoln and his generals attacked newspapers and suspended habeas corpus. It wasn’t until 1919, in the case of Abrams v. United States, when the U.S. Supreme Court finally and unambiguously prohibited any kind of censorship.

Unfortunately many of our college campuses have lost the concept of free speech and open debate.

The article reports:

Today, there is growing contempt for free speech, most of which is found on the nation’s college and university campuses. Guelzo cites the free speech vision of Princeton University professor Carolyn Rouse, who is chairperson of the department of Anthropology. Rouse shared her vision on speech during last year’s Constitution Day lecture. She called free speech a political illusion, a baseless ruse to enable people to “say whatever they want, in any context, with no social, economic, legal or political repercussions.” As an example, she says that a climate change skeptic has no right to make “claims about climate change, as if all the science discovered over the last X-number of centuries were irrelevant.”

Rouse is by no means unique in her contempt for our First Amendment rights. Faculty leaders of the University of California consider certain statements racist microagressions: “America is a melting pot”; “America is the land of opportunity”; “Everyone can succeed in this society, if they work hard enough”; and “There is only one race, the human race.” The latter statement is seen as denying the individual as a racial/cultural being. Then there’s “I believe the most qualified person should get the job.” That’s “racist” speech because it gives the impression that “people of color are given extra unfair benefits because of their race.” Other seemingly innocuous statements deemed unacceptable are: “When I look at you, I don’t see color,” or “Affirmative action is racist.” Perhaps worst of all is, “Where are you from, or where were you born?”

We should reject any restriction on free speech. We might ask ourselves, “What’s the true test of one’s commitment to free speech?” It does not come when people permit others to say or publish ideas with which they agree. The true test of one’s commitment to free speech comes when others are permitted to say and publish ideas they deem offensive.

I hated it when the neo-Nazis were allowed to march in Skokie, Illinois, but that is what free speech means. The concept of hate speech is the antithesis of free speech–it is an excuse for censorship. If you are not comfortable enough in your own ideas to be willing to let others who do not share those ideas speak, then maybe living in a free country isn’t your cup of tea.

When Perspective Is Missing

All of us have our sensitive spots. Sometimes we react to comments we find offensive that were not meant to be offensive at all. Sometimes we read meanings that were never intended into things based on our own experience. Some recent local events illustrate that point.

A local weekly newspaper called The County Compass (which I would consider a conservative news outlet) publishes a page written by members of the Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association (CCTA). The CCTA is composed of ordinary citizens who are concerned about the rapid growth of government and increase in taxes in recent years. Members attend local board meetings of various kinds and attempt to hold our elected officials accountable. They also post vetting reports of candidates on their website during elections to provide voters with information. The group is made of up people of all ages from different professional backgrounds and personal experiences. Recently the CCTA page dealt with the issue of bringing those to justice who have engaged in a soft coup attempt to undo the 2016 election. The writer of the article stated that she hoped those guilty would be held accountable for their violations of the civil rights of Americans and their attempted coup. At the top of the article was a picture of a noose, which to many Americans represents an old fashioned concept of justice. Unfortunately, for some people a noose, even in a totally non-racial context, represents racism. The professionally outraged saw the picture and swung into action.

A local young black woman chose to post that graphic on her Facebook page with a remark about the paper’s being racist for having published it; she chose to disregard the subject matter of the article entirely; therefore, her post was completely out of context.

The NAACP got involved, and a local TV station interviewed Jeff Aydelette, the publisher of The County Compass, and the NAACP on the subject.  Then this past Wednesday, about 120 members of the NAACP staged a protest rally outside the offices of the Compass.  Jeff offered them chairs, went around and shook hands, and behaved in his usual gentlemanly way.  Again, a report was featured on local TV.

Now The County Compass is getting calls from advertisers who are cancelling their ads.  They are saying that the NAACP is telling them that their businesses will be boycotted if they continue to advertise in the Compass.

Although I am willing to concede that the picture may represent different things to different people, I think it needs to be viewed in context. I believe that this protest is simply an effort by the political left and its allies to shut down a conservative news outlet. This should be a wake-up call to all Americans who value free speech and freedom of the press that our First Amendment rights are under attack.

 

When People Claiming To Be Anti-Fascists Act Like Fascists

Andy Ngo was beaten up at an Antifa protest in Portland, Oregon. The Washington Times reported the following:

Mr. Ngo, a right-leaning journalist who regularly films Portland’s protest activity, has written for the Wall Street Journal, National Review, RealClearPolitics and other publications.

Before the protest, Rose City Antifa had singled out Mr. Ngo in an online post promoting the “Community Self Defense Against Proud Boy Attack,” calling him a “[l]ocal far-right Islamophobic journalist.”

Video posts of Saturday’s clash showed a few dozen right-wing activists holding a rally while hundreds of counter-protesters marched in the street amid a heavy police presence.

Portland police, who urged protesters to clear the streets and stay on the sidewalks, tweeted that officers had been hit with eggs and milkshakes.

Police later declared the event a “civil disturbance and unlawful assembly,” warning that those who failed to disperse would be subject to arrest.

The Oregonian reported the following:

Police were lined up along the perimeter of the park before the attack, but no one intervened to break up the fight. Late Saturday, police reported that three people had been arrested, including one for assault, but it was unclear if that person had anything to do with the attack on Ngo.

Within hours, the footage of Ngo’s beating had spread far and wide on the internet, racking up more than a million views on Twitter alone. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas weighed in, calling for a federal investigation into the actions of both the mayor and the police.

…Assistant Police Chief Chris Davis said in a statement Saturday that the protests were difficult to handle due to their size and geographically-disparate nature, but did not comment on any of the violent incidents specifically.

“Demonstration events are very fluid in nature and the management of these events is complex,” Davis said. “There are hundreds of peaceful free speech events in the City in a given year that do not result in violence. Unfortunately, today some community members and officers were injured. We are actively investigating these incidents to hold those responsible accountable.”

I call shenanigans.

This is not the first time we have seen this. Police in other cities have been told to stand down as riots ensued. It seems that there are Americans who believe it is their right to destroy things and harm people they disagree with. Those Americans need to be in jail. The municipal authorities who are looking the other way when this sort of behavior occurs need to be voted out of office.

Free Speech In America?

Conservative speech is under attack in America. Facebook has banned Alex Jones and Milo Yiannopoulos. Admittedly, those two are not necessarily mainstream conservatives, but you get my point. David Horowitz is routinely suspended or banned from Twitter for telling the truth about radical Islam.

In case you haven’t noticed, there will be an election next year. If Twitter and Facebook can effectively squelch conservative speech on their platforms, how much will that impact the election? Right now more than 50 percent of Americans believe President Trump is guilty of Russian collusion. Those of us who don’t depend on the mainstream media for our news know that this is not true. The Mueller Report found no evidence of either collusion or obstruction of justice, but the mainstream media has somehow avoided making that clear. If conservatives don’t either stand up for their rights on social media or create an equally powerful social media network, our message will not get out. It’s that simple. Those who want to change America into something our Founding Fathers would not recognize can do it by controlling social media. That effort has already begun.

The Equality Act of 2019

One thing most of us have learned over the years is that the better the name of the bill introduced in Congress sounds, the farther from the truth the title is. We saw that with the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) which should have been named the lose your insurance and your doctor and pay more act.

Last month the Democrats in the U. S. House of Representatives introduced The Equality Act of 2019. It should have been named the anti-free speech and anti-religion act of 2019.

On March 14th, The Heritage Foundation posted an article listing seven reasons why the law would not encourage equality.

The article lists the reasons:

1. It would penalize Americans who don’t affirm new sexual norms or gender ideology.

We have already seen this attempted in the case of Jack Phillips’ battle with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. He is only one example.

2. It would compel speech.

Both federal and private employers could face costly lawsuits if they fail to implement strict preferred pronoun policies. Employees could be disciplined if they fail to comply, regardless of their scientific or moral objections.

3. It could shut down charities.

Adoption agencies that hold to a Biblical definition of marriage have been shut down because of their beliefs.

4. It would allow more biological males to defeat girls in sports.

5. It could be used to coerce medical professionals.

Under state sexual orientation and gender identity laws, individuals who identify as transgender have sued Catholic hospitals in California and New Jersey for declining to perform hysterectomies on otherwise healthy women who wanted to pursue gender transition. 

If these lawsuits succeed, medical professionals would be pressured to treat patients according to ideology rather than their best medical judgment.

6. It could lead to more parents losing custody of their children.

This has already happened. In Ohio, a judge removed a biological girl from her parents’ custody after they declined to help her “transition” to male with testosterone supplements.

After the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital’s Transgender Health Clinic recommended these treatments for the girl’s gender dysphoria, the parents wanted to pursue counseling instead. Then the county’s family services agency charged the parents with abuse and neglect, and the judge terminated their custody.

7. It would enable sexual assault. 

A federal sexual orientation and gender identity law would give male sexual predators who self-identify as females access to private facilities, increasing the likelihood of these tragic incidents. 

It could also make victims less likely to report sexual misconduct and police less likely to get involved, for fear of being accused of discrimination

The proposed Equality Act could impose a nationwide bathroom policy that would leave women and children in particular vulnerable to predators. It actually would promote inequality by elevating the ideologies of special-interest groups to the level of protected groups in civil rights law. 

This is not a law that I want to see passed. It does not do anything to promote equality. In fact, it creates the kind of inequality that the ruling class pigs created in George Orwell’s Animal Farm where “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

At Some Point We Need To Realize That The Abortion Industry Is A Very Powerful Industry

Abortion is a million-dollar industry. That is sad, but it is true. It is not as well regulated as other areas of the medical industry, and it is a cash industry that is extremely profitable. The industry also receives large sums of money from the federal government. In this case, money equals the power to pressure various politicians and business people to support their cause.

Breitbart posted an article today that illustrates how much power the abortion industry has.

The article states:

Conservative figures reacted with outrage earlier today as Twitter suspended the official account of Unplanned during the pro-life movie’s week of release. The account was restored shortly after its suspension, which Twitter said was related to the ban of a different account.

Unplanned, directed by Chuck Konzelman and Cary Solomon and starring Ashley Bratcher, tells the true-life story of Abby Johnson, a Planned Parenthood director who becomes a pro-life activist after witnessing a fetus struggling for life during an abortion at thirteen weeks gestation.

The film was released in U.S. theaters yesterday with a R-rating, which drew accusations of political bias against the MPAA, which assigns movie age ratings.

Unplanned is a true story. It is not fake; it is real. It is no coincidence that Twitter banned the account during the movie’s week of release.

Twitter claimed the banning was a mistake:

In a comment to Breitbart News, Twitter said that the suspension of Unplanned was an error related to the ban of a different account.

“It wasn’t directly about this account” said Twitter. “When an account violates the Twitter Rules, the system looks for linked accounts to mitigate things like ban evasion. In this case, on a second review, it was clear the account should not be affected by the other account’s suspension.”

I have an idea–why doesn’t Twitter simply stop banning accounts other than those that directly advocate violence and let free speech rule?

Still Playing The Game

The Washington Free Beacon posted an article yesterday that explains why many people are moving away from Google as a search engine. Other than the fact that Google tracks your searches (DuckDuckGo.com does not), Google is not an unbiased search engine. It has a political agenda despite claims to the contrary.

The news of the day Friday was that there would be no further indictments in the Mueller investigation. If you went looking for that news on Google, it would not be immediately obvious.

The article illustrates:

Using Google search on multiple browsers and on private-browsing mode, the Free Beacon found Google search had an aversion to the search term “indictment.”

Using either “Trump” or “Mueller” as the subject, the following word “indictment” was not suggested even after spelling out most of it. For example, putting “Trump indi” into Google’s search bar does not lead to “Trump indictment” but rather to “Trump India,” “Trump India Pakistan,” Trump India tariffs,” and “Trump Indiana.”

Seems like Google might have overlooked the obvious. When “Mueller ind” was entered, the results were similar. The article also includes screenshots of Yahoo and Bing when the letters “Trump ind” and “Mueller ind” were entered. The first entries that came up were “Trump indictment” and “Mueller indictments”.

The article concludes:

Google was previously accused of pushing positive stories about Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai has denied this kind of bias occurs in its search results, saying so repeatedly in a congressional hearing last year. Democrats, however, seemed to undermine Pichai’s message by arguing in that hearing that Google is free to suppress conservatives in its search results if it so desires. Pichai said such suppression of different views would violate the company’s “core principles,” although an executive was caught emailing about making sure Google services helped Hillary Clinton in 2016.

The company’s fidelity to principles of free expression has also come under scrutiny as it has continued to work with Xi Jinping’s autocratic regime in China. Because of severe free speech restrictions in that country, Google had been developing a special search engine “Dragonfly” that would block topics disapproved by the regime, including history about China and the Communist Party. Dragonfly was put on hold after it spawned an outcry against Google, but employees have expressed concern that it’s being developed in secret.

Domestically, the Silicon Valley giant is also dealing with pressure to have its products more strictly regulated. Democratic presidential candidate and Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren (D.) has called for breaking up major tech companies on anti-trust grounds.

On a somewhat related personal note, when I began this blog in 2008, Facebook was a good source of articles posted by conservative friends and conservative sources. Blogging was very easy. That has changed in recent years–many friends have spent time in Facebook jail, and many conservative sources have been blocked. Social media in its freest state is a wonderful thing, but gradually those in charge of social media have been removing our freedom. All Americans need to be vigilant about what they read on social media and also about what search engine they use. That is sad, but necessary.

 

 

When The Media Decides To Attack

Last night when I saw articles about the incident at the Lincoln Memorial, I ignored them because something didn’t quite make sense. This morning as more information has come to light, it seems that my instincts were right.

The American Thinker posted an article today that I think best explains exactly what happened. Basically the only things the boys from the Catholic high school were guilty of was being pro-life and wearing MAGA hats.

Yesterday the Northern Kentucky Tribune posted the following statement by Nick Sandmann, a Covington Catholic High School Junior:

I am providing this factual account of what happened on Friday afternoon at the Lincoln Memorial to correct misinformation and outright lies being spread about my family and me.

I am the student in the video who was confronted by the Native American protestor. I arrived at the Lincoln Memorial at 4:30 p.m. I was told to be there by 5:30 p.m., when our busses were due to leave Washington for the trip back to Kentucky. We had been attending the March for Life rally and then had split up into small groups to do sightseeing.

When we arrived, we noticed four African American protestors who were also on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. I am not sure what they were protesting, and I did not interact with them. I did hear them direct derogatory insults at our school group.

The protestors said hateful things. They called us “racists,” “bigots,” “white crackers,” “faggots,” and “incest kids.” They also taunted an African American student from my school by telling him that we would “harvest his organs.” I have no idea what that insult means, but it was startling to hear.

Because we were being loudly attacked and taunted in public, a student in our group asked one of our teacher chaperones for permission to begin our school spirit chants to counter the hateful things that were being shouted at our group. The chants are commonly used at sporting events. They are all positive in nature and sound like what you would hear at any high school. Our chaperone gave us permission to use our school chants. We would not have done that without obtaining permission from the adults in charge of our group.

At no time did I hear any student chant anything other than the school spirit chants. I did not witness or hear any students chant “build that wall” or anything hateful or racist at any time. Assertions to the contrary are simply false. Our chants were loud because we wanted to drown out the hateful comments that were being shouted at us by the protestors.

After a few minutes of chanting, the Native American protestors, who I hadn’t previously noticed, approached our group. The Native American protestors had drums and were accompanied by at least one person with a camera.

The protestor everyone has seen in the video began playing his drum as he waded into the crowd, which parted for him. I did not see anyone try to block his path. He locked eyes with me and approached me, coming within inches of my face. He played his drum the entire time he was in my face.

I never interacted with this protestor. I did not speak to him. I did not make any hand gestures or other aggressive moves. To be honest, I was startled and confused as to why he had approached me. We had already been yelled at by another group of protestors, and when the second group approached I was worried that a situation was getting out of control where adults were attempting to provoke teenagers.

I believed that by remaining motionless and calm, I was helping to diffuse the situation. I realized everyone had cameras and that perhaps a group of adults was trying to provoke a group of teenagers into a larger conflict. I said a silent prayer that the situation would not get out of hand.

During the period of the drumming, a member of the protestor’s entourage began yelling at a fellow student that we “stole our land” and that we should “go back to Europe.” I heard one of my fellow students begin to respond. I motioned to my classmate and tried to get him to stop engaging with the protestor, as I was still in the mindset that we needed to calm down tensions.

I never felt like I was blocking the Native American protestor. He did not make any attempt to go around me. It was clear to me that he had singled me out for a confrontation, although I am not sure why.

The engagement ended when one of our teachers told me the busses had arrived and it was time to go. I obeyed my teacher and simply walked to the busses. At that moment, I thought I had diffused the situation by remaining calm, and I was thankful nothing physical had occurred.

I never understood why either of the two groups of protestors were engaging with us, or exactly what they were protesting at the Lincoln Memorial. We were simply there to meet a bus, not become central players in a media spectacle. This is the first time in my life I’ve ever encountered any sort of public protest, let alone this kind of confrontation or demonstration.

I was not intentionally making faces at the protestor. I did smile at one point because I wanted him to know that I was not going to become angry, intimidated or be provoked into a larger confrontation. I am a faithful Christian and practicing Catholic, and I always try to live up to the ideals my faith teaches me – to remain respectful of others, and to take no action that would lead to conflict or violence.

I harbor no ill will for this person. I respect this person’s right to protest and engage in free speech activities, and I support his chanting on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial any day of the week. I believe he should re-think his tactics of invading the personal space of others, but that is his choice to make.

I am being called every name in the book, including a racist, and I will not stand for this mob-like character assassination of my family’s name. My parents were not on the trip, and I strive to represent my family in a respectful way in all public settings.

I have received physical and death threats via social media, as well as hateful insults. One person threatened to harm me at school, and one person claims to live in my neighborhood. My parents are receiving death and professional threats because of the social media mob that has formed over this issue.

I love my school, my teachers and my classmates. I work hard to achieve good grades and to participate in several extracurricular activities. I am mortified that so many people have come to believe something that did not happen – that students from my school were chanting or acting in a racist fashion toward African Americans or Native Americans. I did not do that, do not have hateful feelings in my heart, and did not witness any of my classmates doing that.

I cannot speak for everyone, only for myself. But I can tell you my experience with Covington Catholic is that students are respectful of all races and cultures. We also support everyone’s right to free speech.

I am not going to comment on the words or account of Mr. Phillips, as I don’t know him and would not presume to know what is in his heart or mind. Nor am I going to comment further on the other protestors, as I don’t know their hearts or minds, either.

I have read that Mr. Phillips is a veteran of the United States Marines. I thank him for his service and am grateful to anyone who puts on the uniform to defend our nation. If anyone has earned the right to speak freely, it is a U.S. Marine veteran.

I can only speak for myself and what I observed and felt at the time. But I would caution everyone passing judgment based on a few seconds of video to watch the longer video clips that are on the internet, as they show a much different story than is being portrayed by people with agendas.

I provided this account of events to the Diocese of Covington so they may know exactly what happened, and I stand ready and willing to cooperate with any investigation they are conducting.

Note: This is the only statement that has been made by the Sandmann family. Any comments attributed to any member of the family that are not contained here are fabricated. The family will not be answering individual media inquiries.

This student has more maturity than most of our mainstream media.

 

There Are Some People Who Just Don’t Want A Level Playing Field

We live in a culture where money talks. People give to politicians to support them (and sometimes to gain access), corporations and unions give to politicians, corporations and organizations buy ads on television and radio to support their cause. Consumers have the option of believing or dismissing these ads. Public relations has become a major part of most businesses, politicians, and charities. Well, not everyone is happy with the idea of equal access to the playing field.

The County Compass posted an article today about two groups attempting to limit the free speech of a company they disagree with. NC WARN and Friends of the Earth have begun legal action to ban what the groups allege is pervasive influence spending by Duke Energy.

The article reports:

The petition calls for the NC Utilities Commission to prohibit the use of customers’ money for influence spending by Duke’s two Carolinas-based utilities and the parent corporation. It details how virtually all the spending for political and civic influence originates from customer bills, and how Duke Energy uses an “accounting fiction” to claim that its stockholders or employees pay for image-polishing propaganda, targeted philanthropy, political giveaways and other efforts to buy favor.

The article includes the reply by Duke Energy:

Reached Wednesday afternoon at Duke Energy headquarters, Meredith Archie with the Corporate Communications department released the following statement:

The claims by this organization about our company are patently false and misleading. Duke Energy is proud to make charitable contributions in the communities where we live, work and serve, as well as to participate in public discourse on important policy matters that affect our customers and our company. The dollars used to fund these efforts are funded by shareholders in accordance with the law.

The article concludes:

Chan (Michelle Chan), the V.P. of Programs at Friends of the Earth, echoed Bradford’s (Peter Bradford, a former chairman of the New York Utilities Commission) statements.

“Adequately responding to the climate crisis means not just tackling the technical question of transitioning to renewable energy,” said Chan. “It also means stopping corporate monopolies like Duke from corroding our democracy and standing in the way of the change we need to protect people and the planet.”

First of all, there is no evidence that man’s behavior is responsible for climate change. Secondly, Solar energy may seem like a wonderful thing, but what is the carbon footprint of manufacturing the panels and how can they be safely disposed of since they have a limited life span?

I am not really surprised that two liberal organizations are attempting to shut down the free speech rights of an organization they have decided to demonize. I just wonder what they would do if Duke Energy went out of business–do they use electricity?

Europe’s War On Free Speech

Many years ago I met Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff at a dinner in Stoughton, Massachusetts (story here). She told her story of being charged with hate speech for teaching a course about Mohammad that included identifying him as a pedophile (story here).

Today, Reason posted an article about a decision by the European Court of Human Rights that most knowledgeable observers recognize as the case of Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff. The title of the article is, “European Court: OK to Criminalize Calling Mohammed a Pedophile.”

The article reports:

The case, decided yesterday by the European Court of Human Rights, is E.S. v. Austria — I assume from the facts and from the initials that this is the Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff case. Here’s the court’s own summary:

Criminal conviction and fine for statements accusing the Prophet Muhammad of paedophilia: no violation

Facts – The applicant held seminars with the title “Basic information on Islam” at the right-wing Freedom Party Education Institute. At one such seminar, referring to a marriage which Muhammad had concluded with Aisha, a six-year old, and consummated when she had been nine, she stated inter alia “[Muhammad] liked to do it with children”, “the thing with Aisha and child sex” and “a 56-year-old and a six-year-old? What do you call that? Give me an example? What do we call it, if it is not paedophilia?”

In 2011, as a result of these statements, the applicant was convicted of disparagement of religious precepts pursuant to Article 188 of the Criminal Code. She was sentenced to pay a fine of EUR 480, or serve 60 days of imprisonment in the event of default.

The domestic courts made a distinction between child marriages and paedophilia. In their opinion, by accusing Muhammad of paedophilia, the applicant had merely sought to defame him, without providing evidence that his primary sexual interest in Aisha had been her not yet having reached puberty or that his other wives or concubines had been similarly young. In particular, the applicant had disregarded the fact that the marriage with Aisha had continued until the Prophet’s death, when she had already turned eighteen and had therefore passed the age of puberty.

The thing to remember here is that there is no regard for truth here.  What Ms. Sabaditsch-Wolff said about Mohammad is true, but according to Sharia Law, any speech that a Muslim does not like can be considered slander. In a country under Sharia Law, you can be executed for slander. Is Europe moving toward a Sharia Law definition of slander by calling it hate speech? In America we have the First Amendment (at least for now). We need to protect our First Amendment rights because they are somewhat unique–even in the western world. In Britain and Canada pastors have been charged with hate speech for quoting the Bible on such issues as homosexuality. Their pastors are not free to share the Bible in its entirety. In America we need to make sure we elect leaders who will abide by the Constitution and protect free speech.

I strongly suggest you follow the link above to read the entire article at Reason. The thought that you can go to prison for telling the truth is chilling.

 

This Is Not According To The U.S. Constitution

On Tuesday, PJ Media posted an article about a Pastor who was arrested at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. Ramin Parsa is a Christian pastor who fled Iran as a religious refugee.

The article reports:

Parsa, a pastor at Redemptive Love Ministries International in Los Angeles, Calif., traveled to Minnesota for two days to visit two different churches. He went to the Mall of America (MOA) on Saturday, August 25, with an elder from one of the churches, and with the elder’s 14-year-old son. Shortly after entering the mall, he struck up a conversation with two Somali-American women.

“Our conversation was casual. At first, we were not talking about the gospel,” Parsa recalled. “They asked me, ‘Are you a Muslim?’ I said, ‘No, I used to be a Muslim and I’m a Christian now.’ I was telling them the story of how I converted.”

A passerby could not stand the discussion, however. “Another lady told the guard, ‘This guy is harassing us!'” MOA security came and told Parsa to stop soliciting. “I said, ‘We’re not soliciting.’ But we just left,” the pastor explained.

The pastor and his friends went into a coffee shop, bought a latte, and came out. Parsa told PJ Media he thought that would be the end of it. He was sorely mistaken.

“When we came out of the coffee shop, three guards were waiting for us, and they arrested me right there,” the pastor recalled. “They came after me and arrested me, and said, ‘You cannot talk religion here.'”

Parsa told security he was a pastor. “They told me, ‘We arrested pastors before,'” he recalled, still shocked by the answer. “It was something normal for them, they were used to it.”

Meanwhile, the two Somali-American women who wanted to hear the pastor’s story argued with the woman who reported him to security. They defended Parsa. Onlookers asked why the man was being arrested. “They said, ‘Because he’s a Christian,'” Parsa told PJ Media.

That is not supposed to happen in America.

He was held at the Mall by security until the police came. During that time he was denied water and trips to the bathroom.

The article continues:

After nearly four hours, the police arrived.

“The police came to open my handcuffs, and the handcuffs were very tight. It was hurting my hands,” Parsa recalled. “The guard said, ‘I don’t think it hurts that much.'”

He suggested that the security guards treated him with special malice because he is a pastor. “I believe they treated me worse,” he insisted.

The Mall of America did not respond to PJ Media’s request for comment.

After the police took the pastor’s mugshot and fingerprints, they charged him with criminal trespassing. He paid $78 to bail himself out, and his friends picked him up at 2 a.m. While that bail amount may seem low, the pastor insisted, “Every cent is too much for something I haven’t done.”

“I’ve gone through this before — in Muslim countries I was arrested for passing out bibles,” Parsa said. “I didn’t expect that would happen in America. As a citizen in America, I have rights. They denied my basic rights.”

The article concludes:

While Parsa lives in California, he will have to appear in a Minnesota court to face the charges. He told PJ Media, “We just consulted with a lawyer — we’re going to fight this, to drop the charges.”

If the pastor can confirm his story, it seems the Mall of America may end up facing charges.

This is not the first time Christians have been arrested in America for sharing The Gospel with Muslims. In 2012, a group of Christians was arrested for preaching outside an Arab festival in Dearborn, Michigan (article here). The Islamic religion does not recognize free speech as a right. We need to make sure that Muslims who settle here understand that free speech is a right in America and will be protected. The arrest of the Pastor at the Mall of America is a disgrace to America. I hope the Pastor sues the Mall for damages and uses the money to build a beautiful church!

 

The Problem With Boycotts

Boycotts are a peaceful means of protest. If enough people get involved, they are effective. But in order to be effective, the people encouraging them need to have a fairly good read on public opinion. Focus groups before boycotting would probably be a good idea. In recent years, we have seen a number of examples of boycotts that failed because the people behind the boycott were not in tune with popular opinion.

Recently boycotts of the sponsors of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham have been attempted. All have failed. Some sponsors left the shows, but generally speaking, new sponsors appeared. A few years ago there was a boycott of Chick-fil-A because its founder supported traditional marriage. That was a massive failure. I drove for an hour to go to a Chick-fil-A during that boycott, and I am sure other people went out of their way to show their support. Anyone is free to boycott anything for any reason. However, it is interesting to me that the boycotts of Limbaugh, Hannity, and Ingraham (and Chick-fil-A) were all attempts to stifle free speech. In a sense, the boycott of In-N-Out is an attempt to intimidate people making political contributions.

As much as I want to see transparency in the money in politics, the boycott of In-N-Out is one reason why releasing the names of donors to political causes might be a really bad idea in today’s political climate. Last week there was an attempted boycott of In-N-Out  because they donated money to the California GOP. So how did that go? The American Thinker posted an article today about that boycott.

The article reports:

Ashley Reese of The Slot writes that she’s “never been more insulted by a burger” in her life. 

She should have known, she says, that this revelation was coming.  After all, she knew that In-N-Out “hid Bible scriptures on their soda cups and burger wrappers,” and that “reeks of GOP.”  But what’s perhaps most telling is that her indignation continues even though she is quite aware that the chain also donates to Democrats, including $80K “this election cycle to Californians for Jobs and a Strong Economy, a committee focused on electing business-friendly Democrats to the State Legislature.”

In-N-Out quickly addressed the “controversy” in its having donated to Republicans with the following statement: “For years, In-N-Out Burger has supported lawmakers who, regardless of political affiliation, promote policies that strengthen California and allow us to continue operating with the values of providing strong pay and great benefits for our associates.”

To a reasonable observer, that statement suggests balance, not a partisan agenda.

But, Reese whines, “that doesn’t make me feel better, you guys!”

When did Bible verses become insulting? When did Bible verses become associated with one political party? What happened to the fact that our legal system in America is based on the Ten Commandments in the Bible?

The article concludes:

This boycott will be no more successful than the Chick-fil-A boycott, I predict, likely for the same basic reason.  As Jaime Regalado, emeritus professor of political science at California State University, Los Angeles describes, “[t]he stomach overrules the mind … a cheap, good-tasting burger is hard to dismiss politically.” 

But the premise of left-wing activists for this boycott is even more radical than the boycott of Chick-fil-A, given that In-N-Out’s only crime is that it is beholden to the non-ideological goal of “providing strong pay and great benefits” for its employees and appears to seek bipartisan solutions to attain such progress legislatively.  That is, in fact, what many Americans in the political center want.   

It’s as if the universe is providing us with yet another metaphor for just how radical and intolerant the left is rapidly becoming, and how leftists would rather scream more loudly into their ideological echo chamber than appeal to anyone outside it.

I don’t want to give the Democrats any worthwhile ideas, but I think they are in need of a good focus group.

Good News From The United Kingdom

The Daily Caller is reporting today that Tommy Robinson has been released on bail. Tommy Robinson is the head of Pegida UK, an organization formed in response to the Islamization of Britain and Europe. He has been accused of hate speak as he has spoken out against what is happening in Britain and Europe. I would describe him as a bit edgy, but what he is saying is basically true. He was arrested in May of this year for filming Muslims who were on trial for ‘grooming’ young women. Subsequently, Robinson was placed in a prison with a large Muslim population. A fatwa was issued for his death, and many people feared for his safety. After his arrest, the British press was barred from reporting on the case. We need to remember that free speech is not protected in Britain.

The article at The Daily Caller reports:

Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett approved Robinson’s appeal “essentially because the process was flawed,” he said. Burnett allowed Robinson to be released on bail on the conditions that he would attend the rehearing and that he would not come within 400 meters (about 1,312 feet) of Leeds Court, where he was initially arrested for contempt of court.

News of Robinson’s release was trending worldwide on Twitter Wednesday, as his arrest sparked outrage from conservatives and free-speech activists across the globe. The day after his arrest on May 25, protests erupted around the world.

…Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon, was arrested for recording outside a court, reporting on a trial involving a gang of four Muslim men accused of grooming and raping a teenaged girl.

He was barred from reporting on the case under his prohibition after a previous contempt of court charge in 2017 and was charge with contempt of court again on May 25. The judge in the most recent contempt of court charge barred British media from reporting on Robinson for five days after his conviction. He was sentenced to 13 months in prison.

While he was serving his first two months in prison, before being released, Robinson’s supporters worried Muslims would hurt or try to kill him, given his strict stance on immigration from Muslim-majority countries.

Britain has had a problem with sexual abuse of teenage girls. The town of Rochdale was rocked by a scandal that sexual abuse by Muslim men had been going on for years, but authorities were reluctant to act out of fear of being called racist. (Story here)

It is good to know that Tommy Robinson is free. Hopefully he will remain free.

How In The World Did We Get Here?

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article about the recent Donald Trump rally in Minnesota. The rally was a typical Trump rally with cheering crowds and large attendance. At one point there was a picture of the crowd that appeared on the Internet. However, there were some events surrounding the rally that reflect the current insanity of political dialogue in America at this point.

The article reports:

But maybe the craziest leftist outburst of recent days is the attack on NBA Hall of Famer Kevin McHale. Scott and Howard Root wrote here about President Trump’s triumphant appearance in Duluth, Minnesota last night. Trump almost carried Minnesota in 2016, and in all likelihood, if he runs again in 2020, he will win the state’s electoral votes. A photograph taken at last night’s rally that appeared on Twitter, if studied closely, revealed that one of the thousands in attendance was Kevin McHale, who grew up in northern Minnesota and spends summers there.

The article includes the photo and states:

It’s pretty much a “Where’s Waldo” exercise, but if you study the photo closely enough, you can discern that McHale was one of the thousands in attendance. He didn’t speak, his presence went unmentioned, but he was there. And left-wing Twitter went nuts.

I lived in Massachusetts for thirty-five years and watched Celtics basketball, but there is no way I could find Keven McHale in that photo–but that’s not the point. Twitter went nuts–attacking both McHale and his wife.

This is one of the tweets shown in the article:

The article explains that this is simply one in a series of attacks by liberals on anyone connected with Donald Trump or supporting Donald Trump or his policies. It is not healthy dialogue.

The article continues:

This is a phenomenon we have seen repeatedly over the last year and a half. Liberals try to rule any support for President Trump out of bounds. Anyone who expresses even the mildest support for Trump is read out of polite society. He is shunned; he should be fired from his job; if he writes anything, it shouldn’t be printed; he is publicly denounced and inundated with hate; his home, in some instances, is besieged and his children terrorized. If he ventures out into public, he is harassed by bullies. This is the essence of 21st century liberalism.

And it is evil. It is incompatible with democracy or any kind of civil society. And, above all, it is completely crazy. After all, Donald Trump won the election. Donald Trump is the President of the United States. Liberals are trying to dictate, through mob rule and control over the press, that any support for the President of the United States is unacceptable and, if at all possible, career ending.

Everyone has the right to free speech, but it seems as if the liberals have totally lost any perspective they might have had. Personal attacks on people because of their political views are not constructive dialogue. Mob rule and bullying are not political strategies. Hopefully they will fail miserably and not be used again.

 

Free Speech In Danger In America

On Friday, The Washington Examiner reported on efforts by Democrats on the Federal Election Commission to limit political speech on the internet. The latest effort by these Democrats was triggered by the fact that unnamed Russians spent $100,000 for politically themed ads on Facebook. Somehow no Democrats on any committees were concerned when Saudi Arabia was funding anti-fracking movies.

The article reports:

Weintraub (Commissioner Ellen Weintraub) also demanded that the FEC address the issue of “internet political communications” at its next meeting on Sept. 14.

Facebook’s involvement and proof of Russian spending on political ads could give Democratic FEC critics of the freewheeling Internet the case they’ve needed.

Republicans on the FEC have claimed for years that the Democrats have been focused on the Internet in part because they want to silence conservative outlets like the Drudge Report, conservative videos, and even movies.

But the Facebook revelation and huge amount of money involved should give the Democrats a new weapon in their fight to regulate spending on Internet sites beyond paid advocacy. Under current rules, paid online ads that say, for example, “Vote For” or “Vote Against,” are regulated. The so-called Internet freedom rule, however, exempts free Internet posts and advocacy by third parties.

This sort of government intervention into free speech never ends well. I have no problem with anyone posting anything on Facebook as long as the source of the post is obvious. Where were these people when conservative groups were being denied tax-exempt status? This is a political move partially caused by the fact that Democratic election and fund-raising efforts are not going well. This is an attempt to slant the playing field to the Democrats advantage. It needs to be stopped.

Starting Tomorrow…

The Washington Times posted an article on September 14th about the turnover of the Internet.

I just want to explain what I think the turnover of the Internet will mean to me personally. My blog is probably not important enough to be impacted (I get about 10,000 to 30,.000 hits a day), but because the organization the internet is being turned over to has members that do not recognize the right of free speech, a lot of my reliable news sources may disappear.

If you find this difficult to believe, consider the following:

In October 2011, elements of the American Muslim Brotherhood wrote the White House demanding an embargo or discontinuation of information and materials relating to Islamic-based terrorism–even insisting on firings, “re-training,” and “purges” of officers, analysts, special agents, and decision-makers who created or made such materials available….Days later, Brennan responded by agreeing on the necessity for the “White House [to] immediately create an interagency task force to address the problem by removing personnel and products that the Muslim Brotherhood deemed “biased, false, and highly offensive.”  from Catastrophic Failure by Stephen Coughlin page 21.

If that abuse of free speech can happen in America, you can be sure it will happen if the Internet is turned over to a group that includes China, Russia, and Iran, none of whom are noted for their embrace of free speech.

The article at the Washington Times reminds us:

The Internet was originally launched as a project of the U.S. Defense Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) in the 1960s. Then, in the 1980s, access to ARPANET was expanded courtesy of U.S. taxpayer-funded grants via the National Science Foundation, and, eventually, the Internet as we know it was developed.

So U.S. taxpayers paid for the creation, and development, and maintenance of the Internet. It is, in a very real sense, American property.

Article IV of the U.S. Constitution reads in part: “The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States …”

So under what authority, exactly, does President Obama claim the authority to make a decision on the disposition of a U.S. property – to wit, the Internet – without explicit permission from Congress?

Perhaps as important a question to ask is, where in the world are congressional leaders on this, and why are they not screaming bloody murder about yet another executive overreach by this overreach-hungry president?

Enter Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who has introduced S. 3034, the Protecting Internet Freedom Act. Rep. Sean Duffy of Wisconsin has introduced a companion bill, H.R. 5418, in the House. The bills would simply prohibit the Commerce Department from moving forward on its plan unless it first wins congressional approval.

We have less than 24 hours to stop this. Please call your Congressman–202-224-3121 for the Senate; 202-224-3121 for the House. Your freedom is at stake.

If you are thinking that this does not impact you, I want you to think about the things we wouldn’t know if we had to depend on the mainstream media. Would we know about the payments to Iran, would we have known about Monica Lewinski’s blue dress? The mainstream media is very good at unearthing and reporting on Republican scandals, but how much have you read in the mainstream about the financial irregularities of the Clinton Foundation?

If you want to maintain the free flow of information, please call your Congressman.

There Are Those In America Who Work Against Free Speech

It isn’t news to anyone paying attention that there are people in America who are working against free speech. Up until the advent of talk radio, the mainstream media, which at that time was slightly left of center and is now seriously left of center, held a monopoly on the news. Americans saw what the mainstream media wanted them to see and heard opinions the mainstream media wanted them to hear. That changed with the advent and popularity of talk radio. The political left has been attempting to regain its monopoly ever since. The political left has maintained its monopoly of thought on almost all college campuses (which is troubling for the future of America), but they have failed to gain a foothold in the marketplace of talk radio and alternative news.

Yesterday World Net Daily posted an article about some information recently discovered by email hackers.

The article reports:

Among the 2,500 documents hacked from Soros’ Open Society Foundation are documents in which Soros’ Open Society Foundation boasts of funding a minority activist campaign against advertisers that succeeded in ousting Glenn Beck from Fox News and Pat Buchanan from MSNBC.

In a memorandum dated March 27, 2012, Bill Vandenberg, the head of Soros’ Democracy Fund, discusses a two-year grant to support the Color of Change, an online organizing group described within the document as the largest online political activist group representing African-American issues.

…Eric Boehlert, reporting in Media Matters – another Soros-funded, leftist organization – wrote on April 7, 2011, in the wake of Beck’s firing, that Color of Change “was advertising,” while neglecting to report that Soros either funded the advertiser boycott campaign or participated in funding Color of Change through his Open Society Foundation.

Another hacked Soros document, a memo from Diana Morris to the U.S. Programs Board of the Open Society Foundation, dated Jan. 30, 2012, makes clear the two-year grant discussed in Vandenberg’s memo cited above was an extension of a pre-existing funding commitment.

“It is important to recognize U.S. Programs’ primary role of granting money to other organizations,” Morris wrote.

“While we undertake our own communications and advocacy efforts, we also invest in others to advance open society in the United States. Some grantees, such as the Center or American Progress, Media Matters, and Color of Change, to name a few, are sophisticate communications machines, while other grantees scarcely engage in any communications efforts,” Morris continued. “There was broad agreement in the working group that it is important to strengthen grantee communications efforts.”

The article goes on to explain the details of the campaign to get Glenn Beck off of the air. This is disturbing. It is an assault on free speech. Worse than that, it is an assault on free speech funded by a foreign citizen with an agenda to tear down America. It would behoove all of us to remember that George Soros made his millions by collapsing currencies.
Because of media bias, which includes not reporting stories that don’t fit the required agenda, the low-information voter in America is either a person who is too busy to pay attention to what is actually happening around him or a person who depends on the mainstream media for his news. A number of months ago, I was talking with some people who are considerably better educated that I am who depend on The New York Times for their news. I shared two stories with them that they were totally unaware of. Unless voters learn to do their own research, we will continue to live in a country run by an elite political class making laws for the rest of us that they choose not to follow. That is not the future I want for America.

Holding On To Free Speech By A Thread

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about a recent vote by the Federal Election Commission.

The article reports:

Finally making good on long-harbored anger at conservative media, Democrats on the Federal Election Commission voted in secret to punish Fox News’ sponsorship of a Republican presidential debate, using an obscure law to charge the network with helping those on stage.

It is the first time in history that members of the FEC voted to punish a media outlet’s debate sponsorship, and it follows several years of Democratic threats against conservative media and websites like the Drudge Report.

The punishment, however, was blocked by all three Republicans on the commission, resulting in a 3-3 tie vote and no action.

The article further explains:

One of the candidates left out filed a complaint to the FEC, charging that Fox was essentially making a contribution to the 17 candidates by letting them have a voice in the debate.

CNN did the same thing, but there is no indication that they faced a complaint.

The quote “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty” is attributed to Thomas Jefferson. Regardless of who made the statement, the quote applies to today. There are Americans who want to take away our First and Second Amendment rights. We need to watch the votes in Congress and the Congressional appointments and remove those people from office at the first opportunity to vote.

 

The Move To Shut Down Free Speech

For a number of years, we have had a problem on our college campuses with free speech. Conservative speakers have been shouted down or prevented from giving commencement addresses. This is not new; it goes back a few years. In 1992, Pennsylvania Governor Bob Casey was prevented from giving a speech at Cooper Union.

The New York Times reported on October 3, 1992:

Knots of demonstrators in the college’s Great Hall, where Abraham Lincoln spoke on slavery in 1860, prevented Governor Casey from delivering his speech, “Can a Liberal Be Pro-Life?” at the Cooper Union School of Architecture. Nat Hentoff, a writer for The Voice who introduced Governor Casey, repeatedly begged and scolded the demonstrators to let the Governor speak. “Murderers have no right to speak,” demonstrators shouted back, referring to arguments that women will die in illegal abortions if abortion is outlawed.

Because Governor Casey was pro-life, he was shouted down by demonstrators. He was also blocked from giving his pro-life views at the Democratic convention which nominated Bill Clinton in July 1992.

Now the anti-free-speech people are trying to shut down the Republican presidential primary.

Yesterday The Washington Times reported the following:

Moveon.Org is conducting fundraising activities from the Chicago protests against Donald Trump that prompted the Republican presidential front-runner to cancel a rally there Friday, and promises that more disruptions are on the way.

“Last night, without consulting local police, Donald Trump abruptly cancelled a rally in Chicago in the face of massive and overwhelmingly peaceful student-led protests,” MoveOn.org wrote in an email Saturday to members. “We’re being flooded with aggressive emails and social media posts from Trump supporters. Some of them are threatening. We refuse to be intimidated by Donald Trump, Fox News, or anyone else.”

So let me get this right–Moveon.Org is promising more disruptions and then accusing Donald Trump and Fox News of threatening them?

The article further quotes the email:

“We’ve been ramping up our efforts for months — from the ‘We Are Better Than This’ ad we helped organize in The New York Times in December, to our collective advocacy for refugees under attack from the GOP, to the support we provided students in Chicago last night by printing signs and a banner and recruiting MoveOn.org members to join their peaceful protest. We need to double-down in the face of direct attacks on our community,” the email read.

There is nothing peaceful about these protests. They are orchestrated by the same people who put together Occupy Wall Street and the anarchists that routinely disrupt economic summits. This is an effort to shut down free speech that the protesters disagree with. Because our colleges no longer practice free speech, it doesn’t occur to our young people that other people have the right to speak. The roots of this problem go back to the failure of our educational system to teach our rights under the U.S. Constitution and also to instill basic values into our children.

Free Speech?

One of the foundations of our representative republic is free speech. This can be a very mixed blessing. We have the right to speak freely–we don’t have the right not to be offended. Some of our politicians have rather thin skins.

Yesterday Judicial Watch reported that the Laugh Factor, a comedy club in Hollywood, has been contacted by the Hillary Clinton campaign because of a short video (less than three minutes) of a performance at the club which targets Hillary Clinton which is posted on the website of the club. Jamie Masada, who owns the club, says that a Clinton campaign staffer called him and threatened to put him out of business if he didn’t take down the video. The campaign also demanded personal contact information on the performers in the recording.

The article describes the performance as somewhat crass and including some profanity, but that does not disqualify it from being free speech. Anyone who does not approve of the language or the content has the option of turning it off–that’s part of what free speech is about.

The article reports:

Masada told Judicial Watch that, as soon as the video got posted on the Laugh Factory website, he received a phone call from a “prominent” person inside Clinton’s campaign. “He said the video was disgusting and asked who put me up to this,” Masada said. The Clinton staffer, who Masada did not want to identify, also demanded to know the names and phone numbers of the comedians that appear in the video. Masada refused and hung up. He insists that the comedy stage is a sanctuary for freedom of speech no matter who is offended. “Just last night we had (Emmy-award winner) Dana Carvey doing Donald Trump and it was hilarious,” Masada said.

Can you imaging Donald Trump doing this in response to all the jokes about his hair? This should be a red flag for anyone planning to vote for Hillary. The lady is thin-skinned and not above threatening someone to avoid bad press–even if it comes under the heading of comedy.

Where Has Our Freedom Gone?

James O’Keefe is a name many people are familiar with. He exposed ACORN by posing as a pimp with a supposed underage prostitute. He exposed voter fraud in a number of states, and generally he has been a continuing thorn in the side of the Obama Administration. Under normal circumstances that would not be a problem, but evidently free speech in America is truly under attack.

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article about James O’keefe’s latest adventures with U.S. Customs Agents in the airport in Nassau, Bahamas en route to Miami.

The article at The Daily Caller includes the entire dialogue with the customs agent as Mr. O’Keefe remembers it. I strongly suggest that you follow the link above and read the entire article, but here are a few highlights:

James: That was the one where I legally waded into the Rio Grande dressed like Osama bin Laden and embarrassed the federal government. DHS secretary was grilled under oath. Are you telling me this is retaliation for that?

Customs: I’m telling you that each time you go through here you will need to give an extra hour because we will do this each time. You have a prior criminal record and broke the law crossing into the United States unlawfully.

James: It wasn’t unlawful, I did nothing but wade back and forth. Millions of Mexicans cross and you don’t detain them for unlawful entry

Customs: You broke the law!

James: I broke the law? I’m a journalist who is trying to expose something important. Deep down in your heart when you set the burocreacy aside you have admit it needed to be exposed.

Customs: Come with me.

If only we were that conscientious with the illegals crossing into the United States illegally.

Is Free Speech The Same As Destruction Of Property?

Is destruction of property a part of free speech? Evidently in Baltimore it is. Baltimore has recently been hit with protests as a result of the death of Freddie Gray, who died in police custody,

The Blaze reported yesterday:

Protests over the death of Freddie Gray, who died in police custody, took a violent turn on Saturday, resulting in dozens of arrests and widespread property damage. During a recent press conference, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake confirmed that the protesters were being given “space” to “destroy.”

“While we tried to make sure that they were protected from the cars and the other things that were going on,” the mayor said of the protesters. “We also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well. And we work very hard to keep that balance and to put ourselves in the best position to deescalate, and that’s what you saw.”

Someone needs to explain to me how destroying someone else’s property in any way accomplishes anything. Protesting is a right of every American; however, violence and property destruction are not a right–they are a criminal offense. Those who sought to destroy should have been promptly taken into custody–not given space to do so. The message sent to the people of Baltimore is that the police will not defend their businesses. This is not a good message to send. I suspect we will see many businesses move out of Baltimore in the near future because it is not safe to stay there. Also, what impact will the statement of the Mayor have on the cost of insurance for businesses in the affected area.

How Far Does Free Speech Go?

I will admit that free speech is not always comfortable. We have allowed Nazis to hold parades in America under the banner of free speech, and I am sure that everyone has groups they disagree with that hold parades or protest various things. That is their right. Or so we thought.

CBN News is reporting today that a federal appeals court has ruled against a group of Christian evangelists who were forced to leave an Arab-American street festival in Dearborn, Michigan, in 2012.

The article reports:

Festival-goers threw rocks and water bottles at members of the Bible Believers group when they denounced Islam and called Mohammed a false prophet.

In response, Wayne County authorities threatened to ticket the Christian group if they did not leave.

On Wednesday, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals backed county authorities, ruling 2-1 that police were only trying to keep public order.

The article included part of the judges’ ruling:

“The video from the 2012 festival demonstrates that (evangelists’) speech and conduct intended to incite the crowd to turn violent. … Although robustly guarded by the First Amendment, religious conduct remains subject to regulation for the protection of society,” the three-judge panel wrote in its ruling.

Think about that for a minute. The judge was judging the intent of the evangelists–not the actions of the crowd. I thought when you threw a bottle at someone, you were responsible for throwing the bottle–I didn’t realize that the person you were throwing the bottle at was responsible for making you mad.

The dissenting judge had an opinion more in line with the First Amendment:

“The First Amendment protects plaintiffs’ speech, however bilious it was,” Judge Eric Clay wrote in his 11-page dissent. “The majority … provides a blueprint for the next police force that wants to silence speech without having to go through the burdensome process of law enforcement. I expect we will see this case again.”

Again, the evangelists were simply speaking–they were not rioting or destroying property. It was their speech that was stopped–not the actions of the violent crowd. We have forgotten who we are.