This Is Not Appropriate In A Constitutional Republic

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse posted an article about a recent statement by White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.

The article reports:

Imagine the apoplexy in media if President Trump’s White House was flagging content on Facebook for removal.  That’s exactly what White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki admitted today: “We are flagging problematic posts for Facebook“…

Yup, the Biden regime is monitoring social media from the White House and identifying content they do not like.  Then, they flag that content and send it to Facebook, who then take action to remove it. 

The article includes a video of Ms. Psaki making that statement.

The article concludes:

On the upside – this is a direct admission the U.S. government is the determining voice on speech.  That admission now makes this a FIRST AMENDMENT issue.

Previously the Democrats, leftists, media allies and the Biden administration all said Big Tech censorship, the banning of conservative voices/opinions, was a matter of private businesses making decisions on their own without government influence and therefore no ‘First Amendment’ issues are in place.  This admission from the White House today is exactly the opposite.   Let the lawsuits commence.

…Disinformation or Misinformation doesn’t exist – there is just information that you accept, and information that you do not accept.

You were not born with the requirement to believe everything you are told. Rather, you were born with a brain that allows you to process the information you receive.

The Biden Administration is actively monitoring social media while the Trump Administration was banned from social media… The world has gone nuts.

Prepare the lawyers!

 

Can You Be Punished In School For What You Said Outside Of School?

Yesterday Paul Mirengoff at Power Line Blog posted an article about a case that will be heard by the Supreme Court today. The case is particularly interesting to me because it illustrates how social media has impacted the lives of our children. Essentially a student threw a temper tantrum on social media after she failed to make the varsity cheer-leading team. Back in the days of dinosaurs when I was in school, she would have done this in the privacy of her own home, calmed down, and that would have been the end of it. Unfortunately when you post something on social media, people see it and sometimes react. That’s what happened.

The article reports:

Tomorrow, the Supreme Court will hear the case of Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L. Brandi Levy (B.L.) is a high school student who, after failing to make the varsity cheerleading team, went on social media to post a picture of herself raising her middle finger under the caption “F*** school f*** softball f*** cheer f*** everything.”

The school suspended B.L. from junior varsity cheerleading. It found that she had damaged its image and had violated its policies, to which she had assented, requiring respect for coaches and prohibiting “foul language and inappropriate gestures.”

The suspension produced the lawsuit now before the Supreme Court. B.L. prevailed in district court and at the appellate level. The district court concluded that her mini-rant did not disrupt the school’s operation and therefore was protected under the Supreme Court’s decision in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District. In Tinker, the Supreme Court upheld a student’s right to wear an armband at school in protest of the Vietnam war because the protest was non-disruptive.

The Third Circuit affirmed. It held, however, that the Supreme Court’s decision in Tinker does not apply to off-campus activity. Even disruptive speech by students is protected if it takes place outside of school, the panel majority said. A third judge on the panel, in a concurring opinion, applied Tinker to off-campus speech, and agreed with the district court that B.L’s speech was not disruptive.

I am not condoning her behavior or saying that she was smart to put the rant on social media, but I do agree that she does have the right to free speech.

The article concludes:

As to what should replace the “disruption” standard, Will points to a brief filed by three law professors, one of whom is Eugene Volokh. Their brief argues that while schools may control virtual as well as physical classrooms, they may not control online or other speech outside the “school context.”

Under this approach, schools could punish online, school-related cruelties, but only when they are about “the characteristics of individual people, not about broader policy matters.” Thus, schools would not be powerless to punish online bullying. However, as Will describes the brief, the professors argue that only truly threatening speech can be punished, not speech that threatens only the serenity or the sense of “safety” of the hypersensitive.

The approach of the three law professors, as described by Will, seems preferable to a “disruption” standard, at least in cases of off campus speech. The distinction they draw between speech about individual characteristics and speech about broader policy matters seems both easier for courts to adjudge and more attentive to free speech concerns. Off campus speech about policy matters may be disruptive, but unless it poses a true threat to safety, it should be permitted.

Or so it seems to me.

Never put anything in writing (or on social media) that you wouldn’t want your mother to see on the front page of The New York Times. Following that advice would solve a lot of problems.

Losing Free Speech On Our College Campuses

The following article is from October 2020. It is from Mark Crispin Miller’s website.

This is the story:

A full professor in NYU’s Department of Media, Culture and Communication (since 1997), and a recipient of fellowships from the Rockefeller, Guggenheim and Ingram Merrill Foundations, Prof. Miller teaches a course on propaganda, focusing not only on the history of modern propaganda, but—necessarily—on propaganda drives ongoing at the time. The aim is to teach students to identify such drives for what they are, think carefully about their claims, seek out whatever data and/or arguments have been blacked out or misreported to protect those claims from contradiction, and look into the interests financing and managing the propaganda, so as to figure out its purpose.

On Sept. 20, after a class discussion of the case for universal masking as defense against transmission of SARS-COV-2 (in which discussion she did not participate), a student took to Twitter to express her fury that Prof. Miller had brought up the randomized, controlled tests—all of those so far conducted on the subject—finding that masks and ventilators are ineffective at preventing such transmission, because the COVID-19 virions are too small for such expedients to block them. Prof. Miller urged the students to read those studies, as well as others that purport to show the opposite, with due attention to the scientific reviews thereof, and possible financial links between the researchers conducting them, and such interests as Big Pharma and the Gates Foundation. Prof. Miller followed up by providing the links to the former studies (not easily found on Google, though they have all appeared in reputable medical journals), and other materials, including a video of a debate on the subject.

The student was so outraged by Prof. Miller even mentioning those studies that she called on NYU to fire him:

The article continues:

Having contacted NYU’s bias response line to report him, and getting no satisfaction there, the student kept on tweeting her demand for Prof. Miller’s termination, due to his “unhealthy amount of skepticism around health professionals,” and a range of other posts that she had seen on News from Underground, Prof. Miller’s website, and found no less insidious, misreporting that their sources were “many far right and conspiracy websites,” and therefore, evidently, not worth reading.

…The student’s call provoked a storm of tweets, many attacking her, and others thanking her—one of which was posted by Prof. Miller’s department chair, promising to act on her demand: “Julia, thank you for reporting this issue. We as a department have made this a priority and are discussing next steps.”

Let’s stop right here for a minute. When did students decide which teachers should be fired? I think it would have been appropriate simply to tell the student to take a different class.

The article notes:

Soon after this pledge of institutional support, the dean of NYU’s Steinhardt School (in which Prof. Miller teaches), together with a doctor who advises them on COVID-19 policy, emailed each of Prof. Miller’s students (without putting him on copy), starting with a ritual nod to “academic freedom,” then hinting that the studies noted in that class were dangerous misinformation. To set them straight, the two advised the students to consult the “authoritative” CDC—specifically, its list of several recent studies finding that masks are effective against COVID-19. (That the CDC itself, as well as Dr. Fauci, had, until April, publicly adhered to the consensus of those “dangerous” studies went unmentioned.) The two concluded with a stern reminder that the students are obliged to mask on campus (although Prof. Miller had made quite clear that he was not suggesting that they break NYU’s rule, which he observes himself.)

Thus that student’s tweets immediately prompted NYU to take her side, and several media outlets to attack Prof. Miller for his dissidence, without interviewing him. The following week, NYU followed up by urging him to cancel his propaganda course next term, and, instead, teach two sections of his course on cinema. Their rationale was that it would be “better for the department,” because enrollment in the latter course is always high; but then so are the enrollments for Prof. Miller’s propaganda course, which has earned the highest praises from its students.

The above information is followed by notes from students praising the professor’s class. There is also a link at the beginning of the article to a petition to sign in support of academic freedom.

What are we doing to our children in the name of education?

Fighting The First Amendment

Yesterday The Epoch Times posted an article about Congressional Democrats putting pressure on cable networks to stop carrying conservative news sources.

The article reports:

The attempt by several House Democrats to pressure television carriers to deplatform certain news organizations could trigger a lawsuit, law professor Alan Dershowitz said Saturday.

“When the First Amendment says Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, it’s been interpreted to mean, take no action, it doesn’t have to be law. The First Amendment applies to presidents to governors to mayors to anybody who can abridge the freedom of speech. And I think these letters abridge the freedom of speech,” Dershowitz said during an appearance on Newsmax TV.

Reps. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.) and Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.) sent a dozen letters to 12 different carriers this week urging them to deplatform or otherwise take action against Fox News, Newsmax, and One America News for allegedly spreading misleading information about the Jan. 6 Capitol breach and the COVID-19 pandemic.

They pointedly asked the carriers if they were planning on carrying the networks “both now and beyond any contract renewal date.”

…They sent letters to AT&T, Verizon, Roku, Amazon, Apple, Comcast, Charter Communications, Dish Network, Cox Communications, Altice USA, Google’s parent company Alphabet, and Hulu.

The letters were sent in advance of a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing titled “Fanning the Flames: Disinformation and Extremism in the Media.”

Eshoo told the hearing that the First Amendment “prohibits Congress from enacting laws abridging the freedom of speech, and I’m an ardent supporter of it.

“It does not, however, stop us from examining the public health and democratic implications of misinformation,” she added.

The article concludes:

Lawmakers heard from Emily Bell, director of the Tow Center for Digital Media at Columbia University, who claimed that Newsmax and One America News “showed themselves willing to continue to repeat false narratives about the legitimacy of the election result.”

They also listened to Jonathan Turley, a George Washington University law professor, who called the deplatforming push similar to the “Red Scare” seen during the Cold War, when anyone suspected of being communist sympathizers were targeted.

Ranking Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) criticized the letters as an attack on the First Amendment.

“Anyone who values free speech and a free press should be alarmed by these actions today,” she said. “It’s an attack on the First Amendment when public officials use their power to coerce private companies to censor and silence viewpoints they don’t agree with.”

This is frightening. The First Amendment protects free speech. There is no scenario that gives Congress the right to control what the American people are able to hear.

This Is Frightening

Newsmax reported yesterday that CNN is demanding that cable operators drop Newsmax.

The article reports:

Oliver Darcy, CNN’s leftwing media critic, has been demanding cable operators drop Newsmax, which is currently carried by every major system in the nation. Newsmax is also streamed free by most OTT platforms and devices.

In a CNN column in early January, Darcy falsely claimed conservative media caused the protests at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

“After all, it was the very lies that Fox, Newsmax, and OAN spread that helped prime President Trump’s supporters into not believing the truth: That he lost an honest and fair election,” Darcy wrote.

Darcy’s demands have been echoed on CNN’s shows, including their Sunday media show “Reliable Sources” hosted by liberal media analyst Brian Stelter.

On this week’s Sunday show, Stelter’s guests focused on deplatforming Newsmax.

Previously, CNN had led efforts to deplatform President Donald Trump from Twitter.

“We are going to have to figure out the OANN and Newsmax problem,” Alex Stamos, a former Facebook chief security officer, told CNN’s Stelter. “These companies have freedom of speech, but I’m not sure we need Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, and such bringing them into tens of millions of homes.”

The article concludes:

In a statement released Sunday, Newsmax said, contrary to Darcy’s and Stamos’ claims, Newsmax never denied the election results.

The network called all contested states for Biden as they were certified and accepted him as president-elect Dec. 14, after the meeting of the Electoral College.

Newsmax also noted, while it justifiably covered the president’s allegations about the election, and interviewed his lawyers and supporters – as did Fox News and Fox Business News, it never said all allegations were true.

The network did note, after years of CNN falsely claiming the Steele Dossier was valid and the Russian collusion claim against Trump was credible, it was never held accountable for its misreporting. Newsmax never called for CNN to be shut down.

Hang on to your hats. The people about to come into power have very little respect for free speech.

Our Country Is Changing Very Quickly

Newsmax reported yesterday that Amazon is removing Parler from its web servers.

The article reports:

Amazon is removing the Parler social media service from its web servicers, BuzzFeed News reported Saturday night.

If Parler cannot find another hosting service once the ban takes effect Sunday, Parler will go offline, Buzzfeed reported.

The news comes after Apple and Google Play removed the app from their stores.

Parler has been used increasingly by conservatives amid what they see as increasing censorship by Twitter. Twitter permanently banned President Donald Trump on Friday for tweets it said violated its rules of inciting violence.

Conservatives have said the ban is a stifling of free speech.

Amazon has suspended Parler from its Amazon Web Services (AWS) unit, for violating AWS’s terms of services by failing to effectively deal with a steady increase in violent content on the social networking service.

I am old enough to remember the 1977 march by the National Socialist Party of America (Nazi Party) in Skokie, Illinois. Most Americans hated the idea that they were allowed to march. There were lawsuits filed, but it was decided that they had a First Amendment right to march. Amazon and Twitter are private corporations, but it seems to me that they are infringing on Americans’ First Amendment rights.

The article concludes:

In addition to Parler, right-leaning social media users in the United States have flocked to messaging app Telegram and hands-off social site Gab, citing the more aggressive policing of political comments on mainstream platforms such as Twitter Inc and Facebook Inc.

Google, in its announcement Friday that it was suspending Parler, said that Parler must demonstrate “robust” content moderation if it wants to get back in the store.

This is a blatant attempt to shut down conservative speech. I have been on Parler for a while, and I have not seen any hate speech or anything encouraging violence. If encouraging violence is a problem, why has no one dealt with some of the comments members of Congress have made about harassing members of the Trump administration if you see them in public?

Hiding The Truth

Yesterday The Federalist reported that YouTube will ban all videos dealing with election fraud.

The article notes:

“As we shared previously, we do not allow content that misleads people by alleging that widespread fraud or errors changed the outcome of the 2020 U.S. presidential election,” YouTube’s statement read. “This policy applies to videos uploaded on or after December 9.”

You mean the videos of the vote counters blocking the windows so that the observers couldn’t observe? You mean the videos of the vote counters pulling out suitcases of ballots after sending everyone home? You mean the videos of the vote counters scanning the same ballots multiple times? Those videos?

The article concludes:

“Now that the election results have been certified, and due to the extraordinary events that transpired yesterday, videos uploaded on or after today (January 7) that violate this policy will both be removed and a strike will be applied to the channel,” the statement said. “As strikes can impact a channel’s standing, including the ability to upload … we recommend that you be familiar with the policy when publishing relevant content on YouTube.”

This decision follows several moves by other big tech companies to censor President Donald Trump after a destructive mob breached the Capitol on Wednesday. Facebook and Instagram recently announced they are banning the president from their platforms indefinitely, citing concerns that he is inciting violence.

Twitter also took action against Trump, locking his account on Wednesday for reportedly violating its Civic Integrity policies. Snapchat locked Trump’s account on its platform shortly after rioters began their descent on the Capitol building.

And so it begins. Even before the Democrats take power, they are limiting free speech and the free flow of information. I suspect this is only going to get worse.

Senator Blumenthal Needs To Read The First Amendment

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article about some recent comments by Senator Blumenthal.

The article reports:

On Tuesday Senator Dick Blumenthal questioned Mark Zuckerberg on why Breitbart, The Gateway Pundit and Steve Bannon still have accounts on his platform.

Obviously, Blumenthal and today’s Democrats show NO REGARD for the US Constitution.

Conservative publishers have been censored and put out of business by Facebook since the 2016 election.

But this is NOT ENOUGH for these fascists.

The article includes a video clip of Senator Blumenthal calling for the removal of Breitbart, Eric Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and The Gateway Pundit from Facebook. There are also other videos requesting that other people be removed from Facebook.

Senator Blumenthal swore in an Oath of Office to support the Constitution.

The First Amendment to 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

Asking Facebook to kick people off their platform does not encourage free speech. A law prohibiting free speech will not be far behind if the Democrats manage to take control of the government.

 

How To Cancel The Cancel Culture

Last week Goya Food CEO Robert Unanue made the unforgivable mistake of praising President Trump. The easily offended political left immediately called for a boycott of all Goya food products. Yesterday BizPacReview posted ‘the rest of the story.’

The article reports:

The Left’s “Boycott Goya” campaign to bully and silence Goya Food CEO Robert Unanue for praising President Trump backfired in epic fashion after scores of Trump supporters launched their own counter-boycott called “Goya Buy-cott.”

The “Buy-cott” campaign inspired countless Trump supporters to go to their local stores and buy up Goya olives, seasonings, beans, and frozen foods like it’s Christmas.

In fact, Goya couldn’t have asked for better marketing if it had paid millions of dollars in prime-time TV and newspaper ads.

I would like to add that Goya pink beans are a wonderful addition to homemade chili.

Please follow the link to the article–it includes a number of really good tweets.

This tweet from the article is one of my favorites:

Jack Furnari is the CEO of BizPacReview. He obviously believes in leading by example.

This is the way you handle the cancel culture. All of us who value free speech need to learn to fight back quickly and hard.

Sad News From New England

Yesterday The Blaze reported that longtime conservative political operative, civics connoisseur, and radio personality Jay Severin has passed away. I first listened to Jay Severin during the 2000 election recount. He was a voice of common sense, logic, and critical thinking during that time. He periodically pushed the limits of talk radio and at various times was taken off the radio for a few days because of risque remarks. However, he was one of the best news analysts around. After leaving New England talk radio, he hosted a show on The Blaze radio network.

The article reports:

Severin became a giant force in political talk in New England before spending years as a host on TheBlaze Radio Network’s national platform.

“Jay was one of the rare talents that could not only see beyond the headline, but had the empathy to understand how it affected the listener,” Glenn Beck told TheBlaze. “He was a good man, and I’m a better one for having known him.”

Tom Shattuck, podcaster and senior editor of the Lowell Sun, paid tribute to Severin after news broke of his death on Thursday, calling him “the Boston talk titan.”

“This was a guy who liked free speech and was not afraid to push the boundaries,” Shattuck said of Severin, adding, “He made a difference…he was powerful, he was loud, he was poetic in the way he spoke, and he’s going to be missed.”

The article concludes:

Michael Graham, a colleague of Severin’s from WTTK-FM, said of the late host, “What’s fascinating to me is the number of people who say, ‘I became a conservative because of Jay Severin'” surrounded by the liberal environment in Boston. He added, “That’s his legacy—his civics lesson on the air, that nobody can take away from him.”

Jay Severin was famous for saying, “Excelsior!” meaning, “higher” or “upward.” From all of us at TheBlaze, Jay: Excelsior.

We have lost a strong voice for conservatism (although I believe Jay was a libertarian).

Are Colleges Living Up To The Principles They Were Founded On?

Yesterday Paul Mirengoff posted an article at Power Line Blog about the recent virtual graduation at WSU Tech, an affiliate of Wichita State University. Ivanka Trump was scheduled to speak at the school’s virtual commencement.

The article reports:

Some students, faculty members, and alums objected.

WSU’s president responded as college presidents do. She decided that Ivanka would not speak at the virtual ceremony. Instead, her address would be available online.

Ivanka posted it on Twitter. She included a reference to the “cancel culture,” of which WSU’s actions are an example.

The article details the rest of the story:

The Kansas Board of Regents called an emergency meeting and went into “executive session.” After the meeting, the board issued a statement expressing support for free speech, diversity, and inclusion.

It decided not to fire WSU’s president, notwithstanding her obvious lack of commitment to these values. In turn, she issued a statement giving lip service to them.

I suspect that this “resolution” will satisfy Wichita State’s donors. Whether it should is another question.

At this point in the descent of nearly all American colleges and universities, I wonder why any conservative would donate a penny to almost any of these institutions. Such donations subsidize the indoctrination of students by those who dislike conservatives and despise our values. The effects of this leftist indoctrination are there for all to see. In my view, they are undermining America.

We conservatives should do our best to “defund” the nation’s colleges and universities until such time as they demonstrate a true commitment to free speech and viewpoint diversity, and cease the systematic leftist indoctrination of students.

Not only should conservatives ‘defund’ the colleges that are limiting free speech–we should refuse to send our children there.

Holding The Media Responsible

Yesterday Breitbart reported that a federal judge has reversed his previous ruling and allowed Covington Catholic pro-life student Nick Sandmann to proceed with his defamation lawsuit against the Washington Post.

The article reports:

Judge William O. Bertelsman of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, a Jimmy Carter appointee, partially reversed his previous ruling in which he dismissed Sandmann’s $275 million lawsuit. The reversal will permit the Covington student’s lawsuit to proceed, reported LifeSiteNews.

Following the March for Life in Washington, DC, in January, many media outlets alleged a video depicted Sandmann, wearing a red “Make American Great Again” cap, and fellow students from Covington Catholic High School, as intimidating Native American activist Nathan Phillips near the Lincoln Memorial.

As Breitbart News reported, Sandmann “became the focus of the anti-Trump media” as an extended video and additional in-person reports of the confrontation showed it was Phillips who had intimidated Sandmann while the teen and his fellow classmates were simply performing school cheers as a group of Black Hebrew Israelites shouted racist insults.

The article concludes:

Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, said in a statement to Breitbart News that, each day, her organization “defends the free speech rights of students to stand for life in public in what is supposed to be a free society.”

She continued:

The mistreatment of students as they attended the March for Life should offend all Americans who believe that each of us is protected when we act on our own consciences. It’s a good thing when a judge decides to respect students’ rights to be heard and to be seen with respect.

“As someone who works every day to defend the rights and needs of mothers and their preborn children, I know that the media often ignores and mischaracterizes pro-life Americans,” Hawkins added. “But our system of justice should protect the rights and freedoms of Americans who stand for the weakest among us, those whose life exists in the womb and who don’t have a voice or a vote.”

Hopefully the courts will hold the media for their total mischaracterization of the Covington High School students.

Truth In Comedy

There is a bit of a dust up going on right now between China and the National Basketball Association. It seems that Daryl Morey, general manager of the Houston Rockets, posted a tweet showing support for Hong King’s freedom movement. Obviously, the Chinese are not a big fan of free speech. Mr. Morey has deleted his tweets and apologized, but that does not seem to be enough for the Chinese.

In an article posted today, CNBC reports:

  • Searches for “Houston Rockets” and “Rockets” in Chinese on Alibaba-owned Taobao and Tmall and another site JD.com, yielded no results.
  • It comes after Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted support for the anti-government protestors in Hong Kong. The tweet was quickly deleted.
  • Chinese broadcast partners Tencent and state-owned CCTV said they would no longer show Rockets games.

We need to remember that China is NOT a free country.

Meanwhile, enter Trey Parker and Matt Stone of “South Park” fame.

Scott Johnson at Power Line Blog posted an article today about their response to the dust up.

The article quotes an article in The Guardian:

South Park’s creators have responded with a mock apology to reports that China has censored the programme, ridiculing the country and comparing President Xi Jinping to Winnie the Pooh.

The “apology” from Trey Parker and Matt Stone comes after reports on Monday that China had scrubbed all episodes, clips and content related to the long-running comedy cartoon from Chinese streaming and social media platforms in response to a recent episode that was critical of the country.

The episode, called Band in China, took aim at what it portrayed as a tendency in US culture to adjust content to accommodate Chinese censorship laws. “It’s not worth living in a world where China controls my country’s art,” says one character in the episode.

The episode also includes a plot line in which a character is caught selling drugs in China and as punishment is sent to a work camp, similar to the mass internment camps in Xinjiang where an estimated one million people, including Uighurs and other Muslim minorities are detained.

The article also includes the non-apology apology from Trey Parker and Matt Stone:

I think that is called ‘speaking truth to power.’

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!