Losing Our First Amendment Rights

On Tuesday, The Christian Post posted an article about a bill recently signed into law in New York State.

The article reports:

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill into law that prohibits churches and other nonprofits from campaigning for or against political candidates.

Cuomo signed Senate Bill S4347 last week, creating a state-level equivalent to the current federal Johnson Amendment, which bans electioneering among nonprofits.

In a statement released last Wednesday, Cuomo said he felt the law was necessary in response to efforts by the Trump administration to weaken the Johnson Amendment.

“For too long we have listened to the Trump administration threaten to remove common sense protections prohibiting tax exempt organizations from engaging in inappropriate political activities,” Cuomo said.

“New Yorkers have a right to free and fair elections, and this law will further protect our democracy from unjustified interferences once and for all.”

Also known as Assembly Bill A623, the bill amended the state tax law to say that  nonprofit organizations, religious or secular, cannot participate in “any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office.”

The article reminds us:

In May 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order which, among other things, called for the federal government to stop enforcing the Johnson Amendment.

“In particular, the Secretary of the Treasury shall ensure, to the extent permitted by law, that the Department of the Treasury does not take any adverse action against any individual, house of worship, or other religious organization on the basis that such individual or organization speaks or has spoken about moral or political issues from a religious perspective,” stated Section 2 of the executive order.

Despite the executive order and Trump saying on multiple occasions that he eliminated the amendment, it still has not been officially repealed.

The First Amendment 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.

People do not give up their First Amendment rights because they enter a church.

The article also includes a quote by Ryan Tucker of the Alliance Defending Freedom:

Ryan Tucker of the Alliance Defending Freedom took issue with Cuomo’s signing of the law, writing in a New York Daily News opinion piece last week that the state government was “cracking down on political speech.”

“In the minds of New York lawmakers, a group can only speak freely if it pays the government extra for the privilege of doing so. That type of financial coercion may pay for a payroll increase in Albany, but it will sideline the roles of both secular and religious charities,” Tucker wrote.

“Cuomo’s comments are wrong. The government can’t condition your tax-exempt status with the surrender of your First Amendment rights or any other constitutionally protected freedom.”

That is a very interesting way to look at this. Why should churches give up their right to speak out on political issues that are relevant to spiritual life simply because they are tax exempt?

The House Of Representatives Accomplished Something Good

On Tuesday The Hill posted an article about the vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on the bill titled, “Opposing efforts to delegitimize the State of Israel and the Global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement targeting Israel.” A similar bill was introduced in the Senate, but was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations on March 25, 2019. No further action has been taken on the Senate bill.

The final vote was 398 yeas, 17 nays, 5 voting present, and 12 not voting. (The numbers are from the U.S. House of Representatives website.)

The article at The Hill notes:

The resolution’s opponents included progressive freshmen Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), who support the BDS movement.

House Democratic leaders brought the resolution to the floor under a fast-track process that required a two-thirds majority for passage and limited debate to 40 minutes. No one spoke in opposition to the resolution during the allotted debate, but the two progressives delivered floor speeches earlier in the day to express why they’d vote against it.

Tlaib, citing her family’s Palestinian roots, said she “can’t stand by and watch this attack on our freedom of speech and the right to boycott the racist policies of the government in the state of Israel.”

Someone should point out to Tlaib that Palestinians have full rights in Israel. They are more free and more prosperous than the Palestinians that live anywhere outside of Israel.

The article continues:

Lawmakers opposed to BDS stressed that the boycott movement against Israel is unlike other boycotts in American history, arguing that it espouses anti-Semitic views and undermines the prospects for peace in the long-running Palestinian conflict

“Here’s the thing about the global BDS movement: I don’t believe it promotes racial justice or social change at all. It promotes a one-sided view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that seeks to marginalize Israel, that would deny the Jewish people the right of national self-determination,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) said during floor debate.

“You want to criticize a government, that’s your right. You want to stop buying products from a certain country, that’s also your right. But participating in an international commercial effort that undermines Israel’s legitimacy and scuttles the chances of a two-state solution isn’t the same as an individual exercising First Amendment rights,” Engel added.

Unfortunately, the Palestinians have illustrated the fact in recent years that they are not interested in becoming a positive member of the global community. In 2005 Israel removed its settlers from the Gaza Strip and turned the land over to the Arabs. Up until that point the Gaza Strip was the home of greenhouses that supplied fruit and vegetables around the world and had a flourishing economy. The first thing the Arabs did was destroy the greenhouses (and thus destroyed the basis for the thriving economy). Since that time the Gaza Strip has been used as a base for firing rockets and building terrorist tunnels into Israel. Money given to the Arabs that was earmarked for humanitarian purposes has been instead used to buy weapons and build tunnels. The Palestinians do not want to exist peacefully in a two-state solution–they want to destroy Israel.

The following is taken from an article I posted in January 2018:

Until the Palestinians stop training their children to kill Jews, there will be no peace in the Middle East. The BDS Movement is simply another way to attack Israel. I am glad most of the House of Representatives understood that.

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.

Forgetting Your Oath

On Tuesday The Washington Examiner reported the following:

Democratic Florida Rep. Frederica Wilson asserted that people who mock members of Congress online should face prosecution.

“Those people who are online making fun of members of Congress are a disgrace, and there is no need for anyone to think that is unacceptable [sic],” Wilson said during comments made Tuesday outside of the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children in Homestead, Florida.

“We’re gonna shut them down and work with whoever it is to shut them down, and they should be prosecuted,” she continued. “You cannot intimidate members of Congress, frighten members of Congress. It is against the law, and it’s a shame in this United States of America.”

Wow.

This is the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution:

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.

The underline is mine.

This is the oath Representative Wilson took when she became a U.S. Representative:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

Enough said.

We Need To Pay Attention To What The House Of Representatives Just Passed

There was a time in the not-too-distant past when you could trust the running of the government to the people you elected and sent to Washington. They were paid to represent you; and as long as they didn’t wander too far off the main path, the system worked. Well, those days are gone. Legislation just passed in the House of Representatives has the potential to make you a criminal just for continuing on in the normalcy of your own private life.

Yesterday The Washington Times posted an article about some of the provisions of the Equality Act just passed by the House of Representatives. Among other things, women and girls would have to allow men claiming they were transitioning to women in their locker rooms and restrooms.

The article reports:

Far from merely expanding civil rights categories, it turns any recognition of the differences between the sexes or any preference for traditional sexual morality into actionable “hate,” creating fertile grounds for lawsuits.

“It is the most dangerous bill to freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion that has ever been proposed on a national level,” says Houston Baptist University Prof. Robert Gagnon, an expert in biblical sexual morality. “It will codify into law that you are a bigot, the moral equivalent of a racist, tantamount to being a member of the Klu Klux Klan, who must be shut out of society and, wherever possible, harassed and persecuted for your beliefs.”

In other words, it will criminalize Christianity, an ongoing process that got a big boost from the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling on same-sex “marriage.”

This draconian bill passed by a vote of 236-173, with 8 Republicans joining 228 Democrats. Another 16 Republicans and 7 Democrats did not vote.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has actually endorsed it. When did destroying the moral order and paving the way for more lawsuits against businesses become part of the chamber’s mission? Pouring legal acid on a marriage-and-family-based culture will not lead to a more stable society of upwardly mobile consumers. America is only as prosperous as its families are strong.

The article concludes:

Unless we reassert the primacy of natural marriage and natural sexuality, “our battle will be a losing one,” Mr. Smirak writes. “Our churches will end up essentially illegal. Sooner or later.”

MassResistance, a parents-rights group, has compiled a list of likely outcomes. Here’s a tweaked version:

1. It will undermine the civil rights movement that black Americans fought for.

2. Churches will be sued or lose tax-exempt status if they don’t accept LGBTQ behaviors.

3. Schoolchildren will be forced to learn how to engage in destructive LGBTQ behaviors [in California, it begins in kindergarten].

4. Parents who oppose this will be charged with discrimination.

5. Private colleges will lose funding, grants and scholarships.

6. Public accommodations and small businesses will be forced to allow men into women’s bathrooms and vice versa.

7. Business owners will be forced to violate their freedom of conscience.

8. Hospitals, clinics and the armed forces will be forced to offer experimental and harmful transgender treatments — including surgeries.

9. Foster and adoption agencies will be forced to close, as has already happened to Catholic Charities in several liberal cities.

10. Men will displace women in sports events (already happening).

Scenarios like the following case would become common: A Texas father has been charged in a divorce proceeding with child abuse for not “affirming” his 6-year-old son as female. The mother renamed James as “Luna” and makes him wear dresses to school. The father says James is all boy when he visits him, and goes by “James.” The Equality Act would greatly enhance the mother’s insane quest to turn their son into a girl.

The mother also seeks to terminate the father’s visitations and to “require him to pay for the child’s visits to a transgender-affirming therapist and transgender medical alterations, which may include hormonal sterilization starting at age eight,” writes Walt Heyer, a former transsexual, in the Federalist.

Michelle Cretella, executive director of the American College of Pediatricians, describes the pediatric community’s encouragement of sex change and hormones for children as “institutionalized child abuse.”

The Equality Act would federalize such abuse, and religious faith won’t be a shield. Judges will see to that.

The bill is far more dangerous than most people know. It’s about time they knew — and told everyone they can, especially lawmakers.

This bill is the death knell for the family-based society that is America. If your Representative voted for it, please vote him or her out of office.

This Is Actually According To Sharia Law

ABC News is reporting today that Fox News host Jeanine Pirro was taken off the air for remarks made about Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar.

These are the remarks:

“Think about it: Omar wears a hijab, which according to the Quran, 33:59, tells women to cover so they won’t get molested,” Pirro said on her show last week. “Is her adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her adherence to Sharia law, which in itself is antithetical to the United States Constitution?”

Sharia Law is antithetical to the United States Constitution. Sharia Law does not support Freedom of Speech, equality for women, equal rights for all religions, and believes in the killing of homosexuals. Those ideas are not in tune with the U. S. Constitution. The fact that Jeanine Pirro was taken off the air for telling the truth is much more in line with Sharia Law than American Law. Under Sharia Law, slander is anything that offends the hearer–it doesn’t matter if it is true or not–if the hearer is offended, it is slander.

We need to put the speech police out of business or we will totally lose our freedom. The question Jeanine Pirro asked was a perfectly logical question. I am sure pressure was put on Fox News by CAIR and other Muslim groups (threatening lawsuits, etc.) to take her off the air to make an example of her. It is sad that Fox News did not have the backbone to stand and fight for free speech in America.

A Rookie Mistake Or A Portent Of Things To Come?

Not every country in the world has freedom of speech. In a case recently decided, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff appealed an Austrian court’s conviction of her for denigrating the beliefs of an officially recognized religion by uttering “hate speech” against the prophet Mohammed. Unfortunately the European Court of Human Rights ruled against her appeal.

For those who came in late, the hateful words uttered by Elisabeth were in the form of a rhetorical question about Mohammed’s sexual relationship with a 9-year-old girl: “What would you call it, if not ‘pedophilia’?”

The European Court of Human Rights is made up of a group of countries considered to be part of western civilization. What Ms. Sabaditsch-Wolff said is true, but evidently that fact did not help her case. How in the world did we get here? We need to realize that free speech is a gift that needs to be protected.

Meanwhile back in America, yesterday The Federalist posted an article about a recent statement by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). Admittedly the new Congresswoman is not known for her knowledge of the U.S. Constitution or any familiarity with her new job description, but her comment is somewhat chilling.

The tweet below is her response to a meme about socialism that she did not find humorous:

There are some problems with that statement.

The article notes:

Now, in a perfect world, we’d be holding debates about the merits of state-controlled economies versus markets via more dignified forums and mediums, but that’s not how things go in 2018. Not only is this all absurdly juvenile, but Ocasio-Cortez should be aware that, per page 150 of the House Ethics Manual, “Members…are not to take or withhold any official action on the basis of the campaign contributions or support of the involved individuals, or their partisan affiliation. Members and staff are likewise prohibited from threatening punitive action on the basis of such considerations.”

This seems like a small matter, but it is not. Essentially it is an incoming member of Congress threatening to use subpoena power against someone she disagrees with. Combine that with the censorship of conservatives on social media, the concept of ‘hate speech’ (who determines hate speech?), and the rumblings that the First Amendment is no longer needed, and you have the potential for Americans losing a large portion of their freedom. Pay attention and stay tuned. This may not have been a casual remark.

 

 

How Media Bias Works

Mike Adams posted an article at Townhall today illustrating how the media can slant a story, provide totally false information, and convince people that they are telling the truth. The article was written by Dr. Mike Adams, a professor of criminology at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, author of Letters to a Young Progressive, and host of www.RightlyOffended.com. Dr. Adams holds a Ph.D. in Sociology/Criminology.

The article chronicles how The Washington Post totally misrepresented an event that Dr. Adams was involved in.

The article at Townhall reports:

Washington Post reporter Cleve Wootson was recently given the responsibility of reporting on a lawsuit in which I am involved. The story he was assigned to write is actually quite simple. A California university unconstitutionally denied a student group’s request for funding to host a conservative speaker (me) on their campus. The decision to deny funding was a blatant case of viewpoint discrimination that is supported by a mountain of evidence. Thus, Wootson had an easy story to write if he simply stuck to the facts. Instead, his article wound up being a masterpiece of bad journalism.

Wootson begins his article with an image of campus violence that is totally unrelated to the group that invited me to speak. He then provides a list of “white nationalists” who have recently spoken on other campuses. He continues his journalistic hit piece by characterizing Charles Murray as a person who “has been called a white nationalist” – because, of course, anonymous accusations define the man. Only after sufficiently poisoning the well does Wootson get around to mentioning the point of the article.

The paragraph above is Mr. Wootson’s attempt to link a conservative speaker with the white nationalists group. That has recently been the tactic the political left has been using to try to squelch conservative speech. There is a local example of this that I hope to report on in the near future.

Dr. Adams then explains how this works:

Here is a newsflash for Cleve Wootson: Cleve Wootson has also been called a white nationalist!

Of course, I don’t have to say who called Cleve Wootson a white nationalist because I am using the journalistic standards of Cleve Wootson and The Washington Post. Nor do I need to mention the fact that Cleve Wootson is actually black. I’m not interested in accuracy. I just know that calling someone a white nationalist is the best way to impugn his character and to shut him down when he is trying to speak. What’s good enough for the Washington compost and Cleve Wootson is good enough for me!

An unsuspecting reader of the Washington Post story comes away with the idea that a white nationalist (aka racist) was not allowed to speak on campus. Since racism is ugly and does no one any good, that seems like a good thing. However, I am reminded of the time that the American Nazis marched in Skokie, Illinois, a town that included a number of Holocaust survivors. There were very few people in the town that supported their march, but they obtained a permit, and under the First Amendment, they were allowed to march. I hate that, but it is necessary to allow such things in order to insure the freedom of speech and assembly for everyone. The First Amendment protects our right to free speech. It says nothing about limiting the speech of those whose ideas we find offensive.

The article at Townhall concludes with another statement by Cleve Wootson and Dr. Adams’ response:

“Most recently (Adams) wrote an article outing a young woman, using her full name, and mocked her sexuality and religion. Adams’s followers have since begun sending death threats to the student.”

A little research would have shown that the woman I “outed” was the president of an LGBT club who regularly did media interviews on LGBT issues and publicly identified herself as a “queer.” Those are not my words. Those are her words. A little more research would have shown that the accusations of inciting violence were thoroughly investigated. Unsurprisingly, they were proven to be false. No one’s “followers” threatened the fragile social justice warrior. It was just another campus hoax that leftists pretended to believe in order to give their lives meaning.

But none of this business about “truth” matters to Cleve Wootson, who has been called a white nationalist. He got his degree from UNC-Chapel Hill, which is a school that offers fake classes to its semi-literate athletes. He also writes for The Washington Post, which offers fake stories to its semi-literate audience.

The Washington Post article about viewpoint discrimination is truly fake news. It is totally misleading.

This Might Be Part Of The Reason Many Of Our College Students Are ‘Snowflakes’

The Washington Free Beacon posted an article today about Kevin Shaw, a student at Los Angeles Pierce College. Mr. Shaw was handing out Spanish-language copies of the U.S. Constitution in November 2016. A college administrator told him he could not distribute the document outside the campus free speech zone, an area on campus that is approximately 616 square feet. Mr. Shaw has filed a lawsuit challenging the Los Angeles Pierce College and the entire LA Community College District’s policies that it claims restricts the free speech rights of students.

The article reports:

“Students like Kevin go to college to learn and grow in conversation with their peers, but a free speech quarantine like Pierce’s threatens to punish students who speak their minds in the wrong place,” said Marieke Tuthill Beck-Coon, the director of litigation for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, in a prepared statement.

“The law is clear: Public colleges like Pierce can’t force students into tiny slices of campus to exercise their First Amendment rights,” said Beck-Coon.

FIRE maintains the district’s unconstitutional policies are restricting speech on campus. Thirteen administrators are named as defendants in the lawsuit.

“This is a civil rights action to protect and vindicate Shaw and his fellow students’ rights to freedom of expression under the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution,” the lawsuit states. “The District and Pierce College’s policies and enforcement practices unlawfully restrict these rights.”

Free speech is an important part of our representative republic. What do we gain by limiting the free expression of ideas on our college campuses? What would happen to students if they were exposed to a variety of ideas at college and forced to evaluate them logically? Is that even possible on today’s college campuses?

 

Why Is This Man Still In America?

People do horrible things when they are desperate, and maybe that has something to do with the actions of George Soros as a teenage Jew in Nazi Germany. During an interview with 60 Minutes, Mr. Soros admitted to helping the Nazis steal from the Jews in World War II. (video here). That was a long time ago, and one would hope that Mr. Soros has changed. One might want to keep hoping.

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today about some of the recent protests around America. Actually I am not sure protests is the right word–what happened at UC Berkeley was not a protest–it was a riot. The so-called women’s march was a protest, but left a mountain of trash.

The article at The Gateway Pundit reports:

The left-wing group that helped organize the violent shut down of the Milo Yiannopoulos event at the University of California, Berkeley on Wednesday is backed by a progressive charity that is in turn funded by George Soros, the city of Tucson, a major labor union and several large companies.

…Soros was also reportedly behind the airport protests last weekend in the US.  A week before that Soros was reportedly behind 50 Groups involved in the ‘Women’s Protests’ the day after the inauguration.  Before that, Soros was connected to the groups demanding election recounts after the November 8th election and Soros money was funding more protests during these efforts.  And DCLeaks released information showing that Soros funded Black Lives Matter protests across the country.

Former Nazi George Soros is connected to every major protest since the election and many, if not all leading up to the election, including Black Lives Matter.

Again, if the man is organizing protests, that is fine, but a number of these protests have turned violent and destructive. I think it is time to ask Mr. Soros to take himself and his money elsewhere and bar him from funding groups that encourage the kind of behavior we have seen at UC Berkeley and other protests he has funded.

Free Speech Under Attack

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article about the upcoming transfer of the Internet. On September 30, the United States will transfer control of the Internet to a multi-stakeholder, nonprofit called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN.

The article reports:

But Cruz (Senator Ted Cruz) and other critics have labeled the transfer an “Internet surrender,” and say the ceding of U.S. control will allow more than 160 countries, including authoritarian regimes, to have some influence over what is allowed and prohibited on the Internet.

During Congressional hearings last week, ICANN’s CEO and President Goran Marby told Congress that he did not believe that ICANN was bound by the First Amendment. So why are turning over something that provides an alternative to the heavily biased media we have in America to an organization that will not protect free speech? That is a dangerous thing to do–particularly right before an important election.

 

College Administrators Have Lost Their Minds

American universities have hit a new level of absurdity. Hot Air posted an article yesterday about some recent rulings by the administration of DePaul University.

The article reports:

At DePaul University in Chicago, students will soon be able to perambulate around the quad without fear of such lasting mental scar tissue because the university has banned chalking the sidewalks after someone was tasteless enough to write the name of Donald J. Trump on the pavement.

This is ridiculous. College is supposed to be a place where young people learn to evaluate different ideas and reach conclusions that will help them become the leaders of their generation.

The article quotes another article:

DePaul University will no longer allow students to chalk political messages on the sidewalks of its campus because of the “offensive, hurtful, and divisive” nature of pro-Trump chalking found on campus last week.

“While these chalk messages are part of national agendas in a heated political battle, they appeared on campus at a time of significant racial tension in our country and on college campuses. DePaul is no exception,” Depaul’s vice president for student affairs Eugene Zdziarski wrote in a campus-wide email obtained by Campus Reform…

Campus Reform reached out to DePaul to ask why university officials chose to respond to this particular chalking instance despite claims that chalking “regularly” occurs on campus. No response was received in time for publication.

So much for freedom of speech on college campuses. How do we expect to teach college students about the Constitution when we are not even upholding the First Amendment on college campuses?

 

Free Speech Does Not Mean The Same Thing To Everyone

One of my favorite lines from “The Princess Bride” is “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” I think the time has come to understand that when you hear government leaders talk about the concept of free speech, not everyone who is using the term means the same thing..

In June I posted an article about how Muslims view free speech. I pointed out that Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has been working with the United Nations since 2005 to subtly change the definition of free speech. According to the OIC, all laws, including free speech laws, should be subject to Sharia Law. The law being supported in the United Nations by the OIC includes the statement “but not to criminalize speech unless there is an incitement to imminent violence.” This moves the focus away from what was actually said to any reaction to what was said. This means that any rent-a-mob can be called up claiming to be incited to violence by any statement. Therefore whatever was said was not covered by the concept of free speech.

Yesterday Townhall posted an article about a move in Canada to pass Bill 59, a bill that would grant the Quebec Human Rights Commission (QHRC) the authority to investigate so-called “hate speech”, even without a complaint being filed.

The article reports:

The Head of the QHRC, Jacques Frémont has already openly said that he plans to use such powers, “to sue those critical of certain ideas, ‘people who would write against … the Islamic religion … on a website or on a Facebook page’” according to Canada’s National Post.

The legality of the QHRC asserting jurisdiction over the entire Canadian Internet-using public is under debate, but the growing consensus in Canada appears to be that this bill is a step backwards.

In 2013, the Canadian parliament moved to end scrutiny of Internet speech by its Human Right Commissions when it abolished the infamous Section 13, of Canada’s Human Rights Act. The elimination of that odious and censorious clause followed a successful campaign given voice by Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant after the two were targeted for writings and publications which reportedly “offending” Muslims.

But like a zombie rising from the grave, the idea of censoring “blasphemous” speech, continues to come back, no matter how dead it may have appeared.

The OIC is behind the move to censor speech in Canada. It is important to remember that the goal of the Muslim Brotherhood is to institute Sharia Law worldwide–to put Muslims and non-Muslims under Sharia Law. When governments begin to made free speech laws that are compliant with Sharia Law (as an anti-blasphemy law would be), they are bringing their citizens under one aspect of Sharia Law. This is truly the nose of the camel under the tent.

Do Public Officials Have The Right To Politically Incorrect Private Opinions?

On Sunday I posted an article about Tammy Covil, a member of the New Hanover County Board of Education (rightwinggranny.com). Mrs. Covil made a statement on a private Facebook page saying that she supported a Biblical view of marriage and of homosexuality. The statement was screen captured by a person who disagreed with her point of view and posted on a Democrat party website. As a result of that posting, some members of the community have called for Mrs. Covil’s removal from office. They have accused Mrs. Covil of discrimination. There is no evidence that Mrs. Covil has discriminated against anyone. In fact, I believe that she is being discriminated against because of the Biblical view that she expressed.

Again, Mrs. Covil is an elected official who expressed an opinion that someone did not agree with. When her current term of office is up, the citizens of New Hanover County will have the opportunity to vote for her or against her. To remove someone from office because of a privately held belief simply because you hold a difference belief seems contrary to the American concept of free speech.

The Intolerance Of Those Who Call For Tolerance

On Thursday the Daily Haymaker posted an article about some recent events in North Carolina that are an affront to the concept of freedom of speech. Recently New Hanover County school board member Tammy Covil posted an opinion on a closed Facebook page.

This is her post and one of the replies after it was screen captured and sent to the Democrat party:

covil

She posted this on a Facebook page that was supposed to be for a closed group. It is her personal opinion. Obviously it does not agree with the person who replied at Equality NC, but are they both not entitled to their opinions?

The article concludes and suggests a course of action:

The left sees Covil as a big problem.  She is serving on the state’s Common Core study commission. My New Hanover sources tell me she is a possibility for superintendent of the school district there.

Covil has spoken out against the teaching of nonsense like “gender fluidity.”  (I’ve heard about that in some amphibians and reptiles, but not in humans.)

The lynch mob has already set up a Facebook page aimed at shutting Covil down.

If you live in New Hanover County, do what you can to help this woman out.  If you don’t live there, talk to any of your friends who do.  Donate money to her campaign. Leaders like Tammy Covil — who dare to stand firm on their principles — are our only hope for saving our society, our culture, and our country.

Regardless of where you stand on the issue of gay marriage, there is no reason to shut down free speech on the issue. Ms. Covil is a conscientious person who is doing a good job in her role as a New Hanover County School Committee member and as a member of the Common Core study commission. What she said, essentially, is that she holds a Biblical view of marriage. She is as entitled to her belief as those who oppose her are to theirs. The difference is that she is not trying to shut down their right of free speech.

The Threat

Andrew McCarthy posted an article in National Review yesterday about the shootings in Texas at the Draw Mohammed event.

The conclusion of the article is the most important point:

You may not like the provocateurs’ methods. Personally, I am not a fan of gratuitous insult, which can antagonize pro-Western Muslims we want on our side. But let’s not make too much of that. Muslims who really are pro-Western already know, as Americans overwhelmingly know, that being offended is a small price to pay to live in a free society. We can bristle at an offense and still grasp that we do not want the offense criminalized.
It would be easy, in our preening gentility, to look down our noses at a Mohammed cartoon contest. But we’d better understand the scope of the threat the contest was meant to raise our attention to — a threat triggered by ideology, not cartoons. There is in our midst an Islamist movement that wants to suppress not only insults to Islam but all critical examination of Islam. That movement is delighted to leverage the atmosphere of intimidation created by violent jihadists, and it counts the current United States government among its allies.

The First Amendment does not give you the right not to be offended. It is almost guaranteed that if the First Amendment is followed you will be offended at some point. That is not the point. The point is that in a free society, everyone has the same right of free speech. If the Muslims who live in America cannot accept free speech, they need to return to a place where it is not honored. If we cave into the threat of violence, then we are in danger of losing our First Amendment rights.

Is American Free Speech In Danger?

The Daily Caller posted an article today about a letter written by FEC Vice Chair Ann Ravel about her plans to deal with the issue of internet political advertising. The concern is that her plans will severely limit political speech of any kind on the internet.

The internet has made a significant difference in the political climate in America. People who do not trust the mainstream media have a place they can go to investigate news stories on their own. Since many of the internet news sites lean conservative, there are those in the Democrat party who consider this a threat. The significance of the internet in the political dialogue in America is almost on the level of the significance that talk radio has been in recent years.

The article reports:

The Republican members of the commission cited a 2006 ruling which provided a so-called “Internet exemption” which allows for the publication of free political web videos.

But according to her letter, Ravel, an Obama appointee, hopes to change that.

“A re-examination of the Commission’s approach to the Internet and other emerging technologies is long overdue,” she wrote, adding that “the Commission has not adapted with” a changing world.

Warning against “turning a blind eye to the Internet’s growing force in the political arena,” Ravel said that “this effort to protect individual bloggers and online commentators” has been “stretched to cover slickly-produced ads solely on the Internet.”

The fact that FEC Vice Chair Ann Ravel has written this letter tells us that the Democrats are concerned about the growth of the new media. The new media is doing the job that the traditional media used to do. Hopefully, the FEC will not be successful in shutting down free speech.

The House Of Representatives Has Passed A New Stolen Valor Act

On September 14th Stars and Stripes reported that the U. S. House of Representatives passed a new Stolen Valor Act. The first Stolen Valor Act passed by Congress was struck down by the Supreme Court on freedom of speech issues. The House of Representatives voted 410-3 to pass the revised Stolen Valor Act.

The article reports:

The bill states that those who misrepresent their military service with the intent of receiving something of value would be subject to up to one year in prison. Following the lines of the court ruling, it exempts from punishment those who simply wear military medals or decorations that do not belong to them.

The Supreme Court, in its 6-3 decision overturning the 2006 Stolen Valor Act in June, ruled that while lying about receiving military awards might be contemptible, it was protected by the First Amendment. Several justices, however, also noted that it was established that the government could restrict speech if it involved false claims made to obtain money or other benefits.

I understand why the Supreme Court struck down the first law, but I don’t agree with their decision. I am glad to see the House has passed a new law dealing with false claims, but I still think that misrepresenting military honors or military service for any reason should be regarded as a serious crime. To allow anyone to claim military service or military honors they did not earn is to me simply a further disrespecting of those who have served valiantly in our armed forces. I hope this new bill becomes law, but it is not nearly as severe as it needs to be.

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About That First Amendment Thing…

On June 25th, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that Brian Johnson, an evangelical Christian, would be allowed to hand out Bibles on Sunday at the annual Twin Cities Pride Festival.

The article reported:

Festival organizers’ attempts to ban Johnson from the park had resulted in a Minneapolis Park Board plan to restrict his Bible distribution to a booth on the edge of the festival. Two weeks ago, his request for an injunction against that ban was denied by a U.S. District Court judge.

But Johnson’s attorneys immediately filed an emergency appeal, saying the Park Board’s plan violated his constitutional right to free speech in a public place. They asked for a quick decision, one in time for the upcoming Pride Festival.

This is clearly a free speech issue. The festival is held on public property and is open to the public. Regardless of whether or not you agree with what Mr. Johnson stands for, he does have the same First Amendment rights as the rest of us. I am grateful for the lawyers willing to defend the First Amendment rights of all Americans.

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