"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"
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31 May, 2020
Portland Settles Free Speech Lawsuit With Preacher
Preacher Mark Mayberry was the sole plaintiff in a lawsuit filed last
October, which alleges he was unjustly kicked out of Tom McCall
Waterfront Park for preaching anti-abortion rhetoric.
Hacke, an attorney with the Pacific Justice Institute, which
specializes in cases related to religious freedom, filed a suit
challenging the orders of a lone Portland park ranger.
According to the complaint, Mayberry, a Christian evangelist and
anti-bortion activist, was preaching at Portland’s Waterfront Park last
June with an anti-abortion sign and passing out gospel tracts. The views
expressed, according to the filing, were “undoubtedly controversial to
some,” but his conduct was “civil, peaceful, and by no means
An officer with the city’s park bureau ordered Mayberry to leave. He refused.
The officer issued him a citation that dictated he couldn’t return to
the park for a month, according to the filings. In the lawsuit, Mayberry
alleged the action violated his freedom of speech and religion and
sought more than $307,000 in damages.
During a vote on the settlement agreement this Wednesday, Randy
Stenquist, the city’s general and fleet liability manager, told the
council the city believes Mayberry’s rights were violated, as a previous
injunction issued by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals specifically
allowed evangelical Christian preachers to espouse their views at
Waterfront Park. The council unanimously voted to pay the $50,000.
An attack on free speech in Finland
Finland continues to persecute parliamentarian Päivi Räsänen for
publicly defending the biblical view of homosexuality. On March 2,
police interrogated the Finnish MP about a booklet she wrote in 2004
detailing and defending the Lutheran church’s position on sexual ethics.
It was titled “Male and Female He Created Them: Homosexual relations
challenge the Christian concept of humanity.” Räsänen, a physician and
member of the Finnish Christian Democrats, had written the booklet to
explain the Christian position.
Her interrogation lasted five and a half hours. “The booklet is not
simply about the defense of marriage between a man and a woman,” she
told the police, “but about how and on what basis we are eternally saved
through belief in the Bible, the Word of God.” Räsänen's husband,
Niilo, is a Lutheran pastor and doctor of theology.
Räsänen’s booklet was already investigated last autumn, at which time
the police concluded that the contents were not criminal. Despite that,
the Prosecutor General has reopened the case and directed the police to
conduct another preliminary investigation of the booklet—along with
fresh criminal investigations.
29 May, 2020
CNN's Don Lemon Begs Twitter to Stop Protecting First Amendment Rights of Trump's Tweets
Lemon has melted down over a rally Trump had in Phoenix, over John
Kasich not being sufficiently tough on the president’s coronavirus
address (that one was epic), when Trump reportedly called some nations
s**tholes, and when the Trump campaign tweeted out memes of Trump as
Thanos. These people just can’t take it.
Trump’s reckless tweet addressed a circumstance that needn’t invade
contemporary American life: In 2001, Lori Klausutis, a 28-year-old aide
working in the Fort Walton Beach, Fla., office of then-Republican
congressman Joe Scarborough, died while at work. Foul play wasn’t
alleged at the time:
Foul play, however, has been half-alleged over the years by a number of
folks unconstrained by facts and evidence, including some figures on the
left with active imaginations. Michael Moore, for instance, mused about
registering the domain name “JoeScarboroughKilledHisIntern.com.”
This slew of tweets, plus ones about mail-in ballots being open to fraud, pushed Lemon over the top.
He pretty much pleaded with Twitter to shred Constitutional First Amendment rights over Trump’s tweets.
'Please delete these tweets because I don’t like Trump' isn’t a serious argument. It’s just being a whiny little snob
SUNY Potsdam’s “banned organizations” list violates the First Amendment
If you Google “banned organizations,” you’ll see links to lists of
international terrorist groups, law enforcement lists of extremist
groups, and then — a little further down but still on the first page —
the State University of New York at Potsdam’s now-inaccessible list of
groups its students may not join. This list doesn’t contain drug cartels
or extremist militias, only an illustration of how this university
blatantly violates the First Amendment rights of its students.
Although the list has since been deleted from its website, SUNY Potsdam
also put this list on a flyer describing, in color-coded detail, its
restrictions of its students’ First Amendment freedoms:
The flyer makes clear that SUNY Potsdam students face “potential
suspension or expulsion” if they “pledge, join, accept membership,
affiliate in any way, or seek to perpetuate” any of the 16 fraternities
and sororities listed.
As a public university bound by the Constitution, with the freedom of
association enshrined in the First Amendment, SUNY Potsdam may not
maintain a list of “banned organizations” and punish students merely for
affiliating with them. This is because the First Amendment “restricts
the ability of the State to impose liability on an individual solely
because of his association with another.”
The government can punish individuals for joining organizations, but
only if those groups are shown to have engaged in unlawful activity and
only if that person is shown to have joined that group with the intent
to engage in that unlawful activity. Mere membership is not enough. This
reflects the First Amendment “right of the individual to pick his own
associates so as to express his preferences and dislikes, and to fashion
his private life by joining such clubs and groups as he chooses,” and
“associate with others in pursuit of a wide variety of political,
social, economic, educational, religious, and cultural ends.”
For these 16 student organizations, even if SUNY Potsdam can prove these
groups have engaged in unlawful activity, such as hazing, its ban on
any form of affiliation raises the specter of guilt by association,
which the U.S. Supreme Court has denounced as “alien to the traditions
of a free society and the First Amendment itself.”
While the university may create rules for student groups that agree to
affiliate with the school, groups that choose to fully dissociate from
the institution remain on equal standing with other lawfully organized
groups in the greater Potsdam community.
28 May, 2020
YouTube Deletes Comments Critical of China’s Communist Party
YouTube has been deleting comments critical of China’s ruling party due
to a software flaw, the company said on Tuesday in response to criticism
of the practice.
Users of the online video giant, a division of Alphabet Inc.’s Google,
flagged that certain comments posted below videos critical of the
Chinese Communist Party were quickly deleted.
“This appears to be an error in our enforcement systems and we are investigating,” a YouTube spokesperson said in an email.
The spokesperson said the issue was not the result of a policy change.
Some comments posted in Chinese language, such as “communist bandit” and
“50-cent party,” a derogatory term for the ruling party, were deleted
within seconds. YouTube’s automatic filters eliminate comments that
violate company policies. The Verge reported the issue earlier Tuesday.
YouTube pulls comments that violate its Community Guidelines, such as
spammy, hateful or harassing posts. Human moderators, who are often
contractors, help with this. But during the Covid-19 lockdown, these
workers have not been coming to the office, leaving YouTube relying more
on automated systems to filter out the dross. The company warned in
March there would be less content moderation and slower customer
Outrage After Leading Academic Association Awards Professor Who Engaged in Hate Speech Against ‘Zionist’ Students
Outrage over the weekend greeted the decision by the American
Association of University Professors (AAUP) to give an award to a San
Francisco State University professor who engaged in hate speech and
violent rhetoric against “Zionists” and Jewish students who support
Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi, founding director of SFSU’s Arab and Muslim
Ethnicities and Diasporas Studies (AMED) program, was given the 2020
Georgina M. Smith Award for “a person or persons who provided
exceptional leadership in a given year in improving the status of
academic women or in academic collective bargaining and through that
work improved the profession in general.”
The AAUP said in a statement that it gave Abdulhadi the award because
she “exemplifies courage, persistence, political foresight, and concern
for human rights.”
The organization also praised Abdulhadi’s work to “advance the agenda
for social change in Palestine.” Part of that agenda includes promoting
ferocious hatred of Zionist and pro-Israel students.
In response to the announcement, famed UCLA professor and Turing Award
winner Judea Pearl called for the IRS to investigate the AAUP’s tax
27 May, 2020
Is effigy of Kentucky governor freedom of speech or crime Legal expert weighs in
During a Patriot Day and 2nd Amendment rally, Governor Andy Beshear was hanged in effigy from a tree on Capitol grounds.
Multiple groups of protesters participated in rallies in Frankfort during the Memorial Day weekend.
Protesters claimed Governor Andy Beshear denied them their
constitutional rights, some called on the governor to reopen the state
and others said they want better conditions for those incarcerated in
A moment captured during Sunday's Patriot Day and 2nd Amendment
rally has garnered national attention. An effigy of the governor
was hanged from a tree on Capitol grounds and quickly went viral on
Many in and outside of Kentucky called for those responsible to face charges.
Crime or free speech
WHAS11's Kristin Goodwillie talked to a professor and legal expert with
University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law to find out if a crime
was committed by hanging an effigy of the governor or if the act is a
freedom of speech
"The government would have to show that it was intended as a threat. Not
just that it was perceived as a threat by other people," professor Sam
Marcosson says it would have to be either a threat situation or incitement situation to be considered a crime.
“Hate Speech” and the New Tyranny over the Mind
In America, a powerful movement intent on outlawing “hate speech”
continues to expand in institutional power and moral vigor with each
Most Americans do not fully grasp what banning “hate speech” entails, or
the political and intellectual stakes involved. Should “hate speech” be
banned, America will no longer be a self-governing nation: Serious
deliberation on the central political questions confronting the country
would become impermissible.
But the debate over “hate speech” ultimately exposes our nation’s
deepest and perhaps irreconcilable moral divide: Are we a republic in
which presumptively rational citizens rule themselves politically and
where the freedom of the mind is protected—or are we a confederation of
oppressed groups whose fragile identities must be honored and sheltered
26 May, 2020
Sen. John Cornyn Unblocks Critics on Twitter — After Free Speech Group Hints That It May Sue
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn has unblocked critics on his official Twitter
account after a free-speech organization with a record of forcing the
issue in court advised him that the practice leaves him open to a
Last week, the Knight First Amendment Institute fired off a letter to
the Texas Republican asking him to unblock a constituent who posted a
critical comment on his Twitter feed. Citing court rulings, the group
pointed out that public officials are in violation of constitutional
free-speech guarantees when they ban critics from their official social
If the Knight Institute sounds familiar, that may be because the
Columbia University-based group won a victory over President Donald
Trump in federal court last year over whether he can legally block
critics on Twitter.
Lo and behold, the same day Knight sent its letter to Cornyn, the
organization tweeted that the constituent the senator had barred from
his account — a former intern in his office, no less — had been
Conservatives Ask Amazon to End SPLC’s Role as ‘Hate Group’ Sheriff
A conservative free-market group hopes to convince Amazon, the world’s
largest retailer, not to rely on the Southern Poverty Law Center as a
gatekeeper for its philanthropic giving.
The scandal-plagued SPLC, a left-wing advocacy organization, routinely
labels mainstream center-right organizations as “hate groups” on a list
that includes actual hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan or neo-Nazis.
“Amazon likes to inoculate themselves from criticism. That’s what our
proposal is trying to do is pierce that inoculation,” Justin Danhof,
director of the Free Enterprise Project at the National Center for
Public Policy Research, told The Daily Signal in a phone interview.
At issue is the AmazonSmile program, in which online buyers may
contribute a small percentage of purchase prices to the charity of their
choice, whether it’s their church or a nonprofit such as the Red Cross.
To the chagrin of conservatives, Amazon allows the Southern Poverty Law
Center to decide whether the chosen charity is appropriate.
“Amazon can say, ‘We’re not deciding that the Family Research Council
can’t be in the Smile program. Someone else does that. Go yell at
them,’” Danhof said in the interview.
“We are piercing that veil with our resolution, making it clear with the
tens of thousands who have signed the petition to the [Amazon] board of
directors and investor relations: We are holding you accountable for
the SPLC being the gatekeeper because you gave them the keys to the gate
to keep,” added Danhof, also general counsel for the National Center
for Public Policy Research.
The National Center for Public Policy Research is leading a shareholder
resolution on viewpoint discrimination to be voted on at the Amazon
shareholder meeting next Wednesday.
“Amazon’s implementation of viewpoint-discriminatory policies in the
Smile Program itself stems from a reliance on viewpoint-discriminatory,
partisan, and discredited sources,” the shareholder resolution says,
using a footnote on a news article about SPLC and adding:
The shareholders should be aware of the extent to which discrimination
against social, political, or religious views by Amazon in its
partnerships, content policies, and options for customer-selected
charitable donations may jeopardize Amazon’s current market-dominance
and may negatively affect important social dynamics beyond Amazon’s
immediate business impact. …
AmazonSmile, the nonprofit charitable arm of Amazon, has relied on
SPLC’s “hate group” list in dropping certain groups from eligibility for
receiving donations, Danhof and other critics say.
25 May, 2020
'Cancel culture is sociopathic': Alison Roman's fans leap to her
defense and slam the New York Times' decision to suspend her column
after she bashed Chrissy Teigen and Marie Kondo
Alison Roman's suspension from the New York Times has sparked furious
debate on social media, with fans rushing to her defense and accusing
the Times of overreacting — and critics affirming that it was the right
On Tuesday, a spokesperson for the outlet told the Daily Beast that
Roman's biweekly recipe column had been suspended and Roman was 'on
The decision comes after Roman criticized Chrissy Teigen and Marie kondo
in an interview with New York Consumer, which readers have said was
rude at best and racist at worst — and those readers are equally divided
over the Times' call to suspend Roman's column.
The suspension comes nearly two weeks after the publication of remarks
from Roman, in which she she described Teigen's climb to the top of the
food empire as 'crazy.'
'She had a successful cookbook. And then it was like: Boom, line at
Target. Boom, now she has an Instagram page that has over a million
followers where it's just, like, people running a content farm for her,'
Roman said. 'That horrifies me and it's not something that I ever want
to do. I don't aspire to that.'
Roman also criticized Kondo, saying she 'sold out immediately' by selling things online.
The backlash was swift, with social media users slamming Roman and Chrissy chiming in to express her disappointment.
Roman eventually apologized, but the Times has apparently decided that further action was needed.
Volkswagen apologises for 'racist' advert showing a giant white hand
flicking a black person away from a VW Golf and in to a shop called
The car giant Volkswagen has apologised for a 'tasteless' advert that
appeared on social media following an online backlash that slammed its
The ten-second advert posted on Instagram and Twitter shows a giant
white hand pushing a black man away from a new, yellow Volkswagen Golf
parked on the street.
The hand then flicks him to an open doorway and pushes him inside a French cafe.
Social media users noted that as slogan 'Der Neue Golf' - 'The New Golf'
- fades into view, the jumbled letters appear to spell out the N-word
Other eagle-eyed users spotted that the cafe's name is Petit Colon,
which in French literally translates as the 'Little Colonist.'
Volkswagen apologised for the video and said 'we can understand the outrage and anger.'
'Without question: the video is inappropriate and tasteless', adding
that 'we will clarify how something like this could happen, and there
will be consequences.'
24 May, 2020
Kamala Harris Just Cooked Up a New Way to Shut You Up About the Wuhan Virus
Senator Kamala Harris has introduced legislation that would equate the
term “Chinese virus” with hate speech, and would call on government
officials everywhere to denounce it.
Apparently, the use of the terms “Chinese virus,” “Wuhan virus,” and
“Kung Flu” is “inaccurate rhetoric perpetuating anti-Asian stigma.”
There has been a reported rise in violent crimes against Asian Americans
since the Chinese virus hit the U.S., but there have been few official
crime statistics that would confirm that, only anecdotal evidence.
No doubt, there is anti-Chinese sentiment in the United States, but
that’s nothing new. China angered American workers with their trade
practices and trying to blame the United States for the coronavirus
pandemic, with the Chinese government hinting that the virus was brought
to China by the U.S. military.
But then, there’s that pesky First Amendment that always seems to get in the way of liberal virtue-signaling.
What part of “Congress shall make no law…” does Harris not understand
Yes, there is some rhetoric that’s “offensive” to Asians — even
“hateful.” It’s very disturbing, but why put the government in charge of
Besides, the Chinese government itself referred to the “Wuhan virus” until well into February.
UN Virtue Signals on PC Gender-Neutral Language
In a silly effort to promote the obviously false notion that gendered
language is indicative of societal inequity, the United Nations recently
released a social-media memo with the heading “What you say matters.”
However, the admonishment is not about taking care regarding what one
communicates; rather, the focus of the memo is on literal words. These
UN busybodies have set themselves up as the “woke” word police.
Included in the memo is a list of common terms that should not be used
if one does not know someone’s gender or if one is talking to or about a
group. For example, instead of “mankind,” the UN recommends
“humankind.” Don’t say “businessman,” but rather use “representative”
(which doesn’t even come close to conveying the fundamental definitional
root of the activity — “business”). And instead of “landlord,” one
should say “owner.” Just imagine the confusion that would create. “Who
called” “Oh, it was just my owner.”
Witness the abject hypocrisy in the very memo itself, as the source of
this nonsense is @UNWOMEN. Someone please explain how that is not
As noted above, this push by the UN to police people’s language has
everything to do with advancing a globalist political agenda, made even
more ironic by the fact that the UN sees no problem with allowing
nations with some of the worst human-rights records to sit on its Human
Rights Council. As observed by U.S. Ambassador Kelly Craft, “That one of
the world’s worst human-rights abusers would be granted a seat on a
body that is supposed to defend human rights is utterly appalling. …
[Its] an embarrassment to the United Nations and a tragedy for the
people of Venezuela.” And yet we’re supposed to take its advice on the
In the end, one wonders if this politically correct virtue signaling is
designed to distract from the fact that the UN’s World Health
Organization has so grossly failed in responding to the global China
22 May, 2020
Australians should say 'ya'll' instead of 'ladies and gentlemen' -
according to politically correct new push for 'gender-neutral language'
Australians should be saying 'y'all' instead of 'ladies and gentlemen'
or 'boys and girls', according to the United Nations, which has
intensified its push for 'gender-neutral language'.
UN Women Australia, a national branch of the global organisation,
tweeted part of a its new 'gender-neutral dictionary' on Monday.
The list urged people to replace common words such as 'landlord',
'husband/wife' and 'manpower' with 'owner', 'spouse' and 'workforce'.
A more comprehensive list on the website directed Australians to use
Americanisms such as 'y'all' or 'folks' instead of 'ladies and
gentlemen' or 'boys and girls'.
According to the guidelines on the website, the list was made to promote
gender equality by abandoning gender-based pronouns, such as 'he' and
'she', and replace them with generic terms, such as 'they'.
New South Wales One Nation leader Mark Latham described the guidelines
as 'ludicrous'. 'I'd tell them - y'all crazy,' he told The Daily
'My advice to them is that if they want to use "y'all" I'd strongly
advice them to go and live in the United States, go to Alabama.'
Mr Latham said UN Women Australia - which strives to achieve gender equality around the world - should be closed down.
The Institute of Public Affairs' Dr Bella D'Abrera said the recommendations curtail free speech.
'The UN's ridiculous attempt to curtail free speech by dictating which
words we can and cannot use is a fundamental attack on the very human
rights it purports to defend,' she said.
She claimed the UN is more interested in 'social engineering' than maintaining international peace.
The tweet garnered thousands of responses slamming the organisation for
the 'tone deaf' post. 'Stop trying to control people's language.
It's creepy and unnecessary,' one woman wrote.
Another pointed out many languages other than English largely comprise gendered words.
'Are you going to rewrite all languages that incorporate grammatical gender Or is that suppressing a culture,' they asked.
'The coronavirus is ripping through countries killing hundreds of
thousands of people and this is what this tone deaf incompetent
organization is focused on,' a third said.
De-Platforming in a Pandemicb>
For the past several years,
some influential voices have decided that speech with which they
disagree is a form of violence. This anti-free speech philosophy has
long been pervasive on campuses, where students are urged to take
comfort in university-sanctioned “safe spaces” and figures whose ideas
aren’t politically fashionable are disinvited from speaking engagements
if even a few vocal opponents loudly reject their views. Once a bastion
of freedom of thought and expression, higher education now coddles its
students instead of exposing them to new ideas, protecting their fragile
worldviews instead of challenging them.
While we’ve become
accustomed to this reality on college campuses, we’ve taken for granted
how pervasive this mentality has become within the larger culture,
especially in the technology sector. Over the past few years, social
media companies have engaged in censorship in the form of restricting
controversial accounts by curtailing their reach or removing them
In 2019, Facebook and Instagram banned controversial
figures like Alex Jones and Milo Yiannopolous, hoping to hinder their
online presence and interrupt their revenue streams. The mainstream
media applauded this decision, framing social media companies as vital
information police, arguing they protected the public from exposure to
conspiracy theories or getting conned into financially supporting them.
the application of so-called de-platforming standards has been fraught
with problems. Even questioning statements from global warming activists
can get you censored on social media, as my website, Legal
Insurrection, discovered regarding our post pointing to evidence that
Australia’s recent wildfires were caused by arsonists and bad land
management practices. Facebook marked our story as “false information”
based on a fact check that said we should have included climate change
as a contributing factor, even though there is no evidence to support
such a claim while 24 people were arrested for starting the fires that
had engulfed the country.
Now, they’re also cracking down on free expression in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
the pandemic began, conflicting reports about coronavirus – its
origins, its severity, its transmission, its treatment – have left a lot
of Americans with questions about the guidance provided by purportedly
politically agnostic and science-based organizations, such as the World
Health Organization (WHO). Public skepticism is apparently justified, as
recent reports from Germany’s intelligence agency confirm the WHO
participated in a broad-scale cover-up after China pressured the WHO to
conceal the human-to-human transmission of COVID-19, costing the world
an estimated four to six weeks in preparation and response to this
But, for social media companies, vocalizing
distrust of organizations like the WHO or even expressing a view counter
to that of its leaders warrants swift censorship. In April, YouTube CEO
Susan Wojcicki told CNN that her company would be de-platforming any
user who posted content that went against WHO edicts. Disagreement with
WHO was deemed “medically unsubstantiated” and promoting videos
containing “authoritative information” from alternative but still
authoritative medical sources was banned.
spent the month of April labeling 50 million coronavirus-related posts
as “misinformation,” while also taking down Facebook events organizing
protests against state and local restrictions at the behest of
government officials imposing unpopular lockdowns. Twitter has also
“broadly banned” any speech that its monitors think could “help the
Yet so many of the experts acceptable to YouTube
and Facebook and Twitter repeatedly have been wrong themselves. As
Senator Rand Paul noted in questioning Dr. Anthony Fauci, coronavirus
expert advice has resulted in “wrong prediction after wrong prediction
after wrong prediction.”
But the unreliability of WHO and others
hasn’t stopped the censorship. Facebook has launched a partnership with
the WHO that steers “users who interact with coronavirus misinformation”
directly to their website, despite the WHO having a long track record
of substantial “coronavirus misinformation” of its own. This partnership
also features a special new chatbot feature, a tool unique to the WHO,
where users can find WHO-approved coronavirus content in efforts to
“combat COVID-19 misinformation.”
Since their companies are
private, social media platforms claim to enjoy discretion to police
speech as they see fit. Meanwhile, the courts have ruled that for the
most part they are not responsible for their content that users post.
These conditions have allowed social media platforms to thrive,
unconstrained by legal liability while enjoying broad latitude to
suppress the speech of their users. And with mounting pressure from the
media to silence speech they oppose, expect social media platforms to
ramp up repression.
With no meaningful competition, companies
like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube will continue to effectively control
the online dialogue in America. These social media giants have deputized
their employees to determine which dissent, no matter how
scientifically sound it may be, is acceptable.
A real backlash
is growing against social media censorship. As these companies grow
larger and amass more influence, it remains to been how long they can
continue to suppress speech without significant political challenge.
Dissent still is patriotic.
21 May, 2020
IN: Ex-instructor claims Frankton school officials violated free speech rights
— A former Frankton Elementary School Title I reading instructor filed a
federal lawsuit Friday claiming the school violated her right to free
speech by firing her for criticizing a curriculum in a Feb. 10 Facebook
In the complaint, filed Friday in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Jennifer McWilliams
claims she spoke as a private citizen in her public criticisms of “The
Leader in Me” curriculum, and that by firing her, the school had
violated her First Amendment rights.
“The U.S. Constitution
protects all of us, including public school teachers, from the
government’s unlawful infringement on our free speech rights,” said
James Bopp Jr., of Terre Haute-based The Bopp Law Firm, which represents
McWilliams, said in a prepared statement released Tuesday. “As a
citizen and as a parent, she had every right to criticize the curriculum
in a letter to the editor of a local newspaper on her own time — here,
she had every right to post the modern-day version of a ‘letter to the
editor’ — a Facebook post — doing the same.”
Frankton-Lapel Superintendent Bobby Fields said he has no problems with
staff expressing their concerns in public. He said McWilliams, who was
an at-will employee and not a licensed teacher represented by the union,
has made public comments about the district on social media and in
Elwood’s Call-Leader newspaper without being fired or disciplined.
He said she was terminated Feb. 14 for circulating untruths about the school, the district and the program.
an at-will employee, we are not going to accept someone who is unhappy
about people and lying,” he said. “You can say what you want, and we’re
not going to fire you for that. But if you don’t tell the truth about
us, you should be fired. We don’t need that kind of employees around.”
McWilliams did not return requests for comment.
McWilliams asserted in her complaint that she always participated in
the required lessons and activities associated with The Leader in Me
curriculum and never has had a negative job performance evaluation.
TX: To equate free speech with crime chilling
The government, it seems, has a hard time with free speech — and that includes San Antonio’s City Council.
November 2011, for example, Simon Tam, the frontman for the Asian
American band The Slants, applied to register his band name as a
trademark. Despite Tam’s wish to “take ownership” of Asian stereotypes,
the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office denied the claim, finding that it
disparaged “persons of Asian descent.”
This ultimately ended up
before the U.S. Supreme Court in Matel v. Tam. Justice Samuel Alito’s
opinion held the denial violated the First Amendment: “Speech that
demeans on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age,
disability, or any other similar ground is hateful; but the proudest
boast of our free speech jurisprudence is that we protect the freedom to
express the thought that we hate.”
Justice Anthony Kennedy
agreed in a forceful concurring opinion, stating “it is a fundamental
principle of the First Amendment that the government may not punish or
suppress speech based on disapproval of the ideas or perspectives the
speech conveys” and “a law that can be directed against speech found
offensive to some portion of the public can be turned against minority
and dissenting views to the detriment of all.”
The San Antonio
City Council does not seem to have learned from the Patent and Trademark
Office’s experience with the Supreme Court or thought through the First
Amendment implications of one of its latest resolutions.
this month, the council adopted a resolution alleging that using
“‘Chinese virus’ or ‘Kung Fu virus’ to describe COVID-19 only encourages
hate crimes and incidents against Asians” and calling for “all persons”
to report any “discriminatory or racist incidents to the proper
authorities for investigation.” Presumably, the “proper authorities”
would include the San Antonio Police Department and other law
enforcement mentioned by name in the same resolution.
politically charged, the core philosophy behind the resolution is
commendable. Racism should be condemned, and if racist “incidents” rise
to the level of a crime, they should be investigated by law enforcement.
however, is the attempt to conflate offensive speech with crime — and
to go even further, by calling on people to turn in their neighbors,
friends and anyone else overheard using disfavored terms to governmental
Though this resolution does not technically
criminalize such speech, its effect is clear: It equates some speech
with “racist incidents” and instructs San Antonians to call the police
if they hear those phrases. It’s difficult to imagine a resolution more
chilling to free speech.
20 May, 2020
YouTube Censors Noted Anti-Lockdown Epidemiologist
to the 2020 New World Order, when a social media platform like YouTube
thinks it knows more about the coronavirus pandemic than an
The New York Post:
Dr. Knut M. Wittkowski,
former head of biostatistics, epidemiology and research design at
Rockefeller University, says YouTube removed a video of him talking
about the virus which had racked up more than 1.3 million views.
65, is a ferocious critic of the nation’s current steps to fight the
coronavirus. He has derided social distancing, saying it only prolongs
the virus’ existence and has attacked the current lockdown as mostly
Wittkowski, who holds two doctorates in computer
science and medical biometry, believes the coronavirus should be allowed
to achieve “herd immunity,” and that short of a vaccine the pandemic
will only end after it has sufficiently spread through the population.
As with all of these “violations” on social media platforms, YouTube wouldn’t point to anything specific that Wittkowski did:
don’t tell you. They just say it violates our community standards.
There’s no explanation for what those standards are or what standards it
In articles and interviews across the web, he has
likened COVID-19 to a “bad flu.” That likely made him a target for
YouTube, which said in April it would be “removing information that is
problematic” about the pandemic.
“Anything that goes against
[World Health Organization] recommendations would be a violation of our
policy and so removal is another really important part of our policy,”
CEO Susan Wojcicki told CNN.
Seattle cop slammed for protecting free speech during racist incident
Seattle police officer faces a complaint after not punishing a man for
engaging in protected speech. Now, the chief of police has apparently
apologized to the purported victim.
The Seattle Police Department
forwarded the issue for review to the activist-driven Office of Police
Accountability. I think this incident stems, at least in part, from the
department’s well-intentioned, but widely-mocked PSA against purported
anti-Asian hate crimes — that aren’t actual crimes.
reportedly began as a traffic argument, as Kert Lin was driving in the
Home Depot parking lot in SoDo. There was a verbal altercation about
being cut off. On Facebook, Lin says the man told him, “Chink open your
eyes go back to China.”
Lin, a kindergarten teacher in Seattle,
called 911 to report the incident. He said he was told by an officer who
responded that “no crime was committed, that man was exercising his
first amendment rights. No law broken, no report taken.”
tells me that the police report contradicts this claim by Lin.
Initially, Lin did not reference the racial slur, bizarrely leaving it
out of his complaint. Lin brought up the racial slur, I’m told, during a
follow-up a short time later.
And a report was taken. Indeed,
SPD notes the “bias incident in question was documented in a General
Offense report and forwarded to the Bias Crimes Coordinator for further
Regardless of the timing, as a matter of law, the
statement allegedly made by the man is unquestionably protected speech.
The officer is correct to say there was no law broken.
19 May, 2020
Facebook Puts Soros, Muslim Brotherhood, Activists in Charge of Censorship
controls as much as 80% of social media traffic. That means that it has
the power to erase conversations, shift narratives, and control how
people speak to one another.
With 190 million users in the United
States, the social network monopoly has more control over what people
see than all of the media giants combined do. And now Facebook is
putting some very troubling political activists in charge of its
Oversight Board who will decide how it censors.
“You can imagine
some sort of structure, almost like a Supreme Court, that is made up of
independent folks who don’t work for Facebook, who ultimately make the
final judgment call on what should be acceptable speech in a community
that reflects the social norms and values of people all around the
world,” Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg had described the Board.
What does Facebook’s Supreme Court of Censorship look like when you zoom in
a quarter of the Oversight Board originates from the United States.
That means three quarters of the censorship court comes from countries
with no First Amendment. While people from outside the United States may
believe in certain kinds of free speech, political speech in this
country will be determined by a majority Third World board of
left-leaning political activists.
And even there the balance is curiously tilted.
members of the 20 member board are Muslim or come from Muslim
countries. Only one board member is Hindu. Considering that there are
approximately 1.1 billion Hindus and 1.8 billion Muslims, the Facebook
Oversight Board favors Muslim countries at the expense of Hindus.
the pressure by Islamists and their allies to censor India’s Hindu
political movements and civil rights organizations combating Islamic
violence, this is troubling.
The Oversight Board also has only one Asian member for around 1.8 billion people.
the 3 Muslim nationals, Kyle Shideler of the Center for Security Policy
has noted that Tawakkol Karman was a top leader in a Muslim Brotherhood
linked group with ties to Al Qaeda.
“The Brotherhood is a
movement fighting for freedom," Karman wrote of the organization whose
leaders have called for the murder of Jews and whose history includes
“Because it is an integral part of this
region, the Brotherhood is the one who will rule Riyadh and Abu Dhabi,"
she even predicted.
Facebook has added an Islamist who believes
that a theocracy will rule the region, and put her in charge of
determining content moderation policies for the entire planet. A member
aligned with a violently bigoted organization will help Facebook police
What will happen to ex-Muslims and secular activists in Muslim countries under this setup
numbers make it clear that the Board is not proportional by population,
and despite its international makeup, reflects the political agendas of
Facebook’s left-leaning leadership.
Hate speech: blasphemy for the 21st century
most of us restless and under indefinite house arrest, it’s easy to
feel like the state is swallowing everything up. But with our eyes set
on this new threat to our liberty, something more insidious is underway
Threats to free speech are like the mythical hydra –
you chop off one head and two seem to emerge in its place. This is
exactly what is happening with the new Hate Crime and Public Order
(Scotland) Bill, which has slipped into national discourse with
On the surface, it might look like a
positive development. The bill does away with Scotland’s outdated
blasphemy law, which hasn’t led to a prosecution in more than 175 years.
In 1843, bookseller Thomas Paterson was sentenced to 15 months for
‘exhibiting profane placards in his window, to the annoyance of the
neighbourhood and the public’. The Scottish government is certainly
right to ditch it – this archaic law is unusable, and unsavoury in a
But what the bill replaces it with is worse, not
least because it is certainly likely to result in prosecutions. Its
proposed restrictions on ‘stirring up hatred’ could lead to people being
jailed for seven years. This is essentially a blasphemy law for the
21st century, and it poses a grave and terrifying threat to freedom of
‘Offences of stirring up hatred’ in the bill include
behaving in a threatening, abusive or insulting manner, or sending
material of this kind to another person. Whether you intend to stir up
hatred is irrelevant. The categories of people it seeks to ‘protect’
cover race, age, disability, religion, social or cultural group,
perceived religious affiliation, sexual orientation, transgender
identity and variations in sex characteristics.
An offence could
include any kind of behaviour – what you say, communicate, or how you
act. Rather like poor Thomas Paterson, people would be criminalised for
‘displaying, publishing or distributing the material’ or ‘giving,
sending, showing or playing the material to another person’. Simply
‘making the material available’ is enough.
‘inflammatory material’ would also become an offence. Section 6 even
allows for powers to be granted to the police to enter and search a
property if they believe an offence was committed, to seize and detain
material or any person if there are reasonable grounds it would provide
evidence. Section 8 allows the court to order the forfeiture and
disposal of any material relating to the offence.
It goes further
still. The bill includes the explicit possibility of the director and
performer of plays being prosecuted. You don’t have to be a radical
libertarian to feel a chill run down your spine.
What is not made
clear is what would count under this bill as abusive or insulting
speech, and who gets to decide. The National Secular Society’s Chris
Sloggett argues that the offence is too vague and accusations of this
kind are ‘10 a penny’ on social media. Sloggett says the bill ‘sends a
confusing message about the reach of criminal law. It isn’t a crime to
hate, so why should it be a crime to encourage others to hate’ The fact
is, this hands far too much power to the state and is bound to go wrong.
effect of this will be to make everyone feel unsafe – unsafe to think,
to speak, to discuss, to share ideas. The Scottish minister behind the
bill, Humza Yousaf, says ‘we all have a responsibility to challenge
prejudice in order to ensure Scotland is the inclusive and respectful
society we want it to be’. But what he is doing is giving law the job
that manners and argument used to do.
Yousaf says that the
‘stirring up of hatred can contribute to a social atmosphere in which
discrimination is accepted as normal’. But there are limits to what
criminal law can safely aim to accomplish. In imagining a Scotland
without hatred, he is inadvertently laying out something quite
terrifying. The inevitable consequence of this legislation would be what
Orwell called ‘crimestop’ – ‘the faculty of stopping short, as though
by instinct, at the threshold of a dangerous thought’.
not a matter for the state. You can’t change hearts and minds with
legislation, and respect enforced by the state is barely worth having.
As Sloggett puts it, ‘disempowering ordinary people by restricting their
freedom of expression is likely to antagonise, rather than create,
The bill’s reassurance (in Section 11) that
freedom of expression would be protected in relation to religion is also
unconvincing. It says that behaviour or material discussing or
criticising religion, practices or beliefs, proselytising or urging
people to stop practicing their religion, would be protected. But this
compares poorly with Section 29J of the Public Order Act 1986, which
more specifically protects discussion, criticism, expressions of
antipathy, dislike, ridicule, insult and abuse of religions, beliefs and
We know from experience that journalists, comedians,
artists, activists and ordinary people are at the mercy of such vague
and elastic notions as ‘stirring up hatred’. Take criticism or ridicule
of religion. In discussions about Islamophobia it is not uncommon for
someone to be accused of anti-Muslim bigotry for merely criticising
certain beliefs and practices.
To quote the All-Party
Parliamentary Group on British Muslim’s report on Islamophobia,
‘recourse to the notion of free speech and a supposed right to criticise
Islam results in nothing more than another subtle form of anti-Muslim
racism, whereby criticism humiliates, marginalises and stigmatises
Muslims’. The same thing happens in the trans debate, where those who
believe something as mundane as there only being two genders are accused
In short, the instinct behind this bill is ugly
and misguided. In a free society, the state cannot be allowed to decide
what we can say, think, read or share with each other. For all its
supposed good intentions, this bill is taking us further down a
18 May, 2020
Hancock isn’t the only tone-policer
two titans of late Victorian politics sat next to each other in a
dining room filled with the cream of London society. One, William
Gladstone, turned to the other, Benjamin Disraeli, and remarked: ‘I
predict, sir, that you will die either by hanging or by some vile
disease.’ Disraeli, I imagine smirking, fired back: ‘That all depends,
sir, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress.’
(sadly apocryphal) exchange has proved so popular that it has been
attributed to numerous pairings of political adversaries. But pause to
imagine if such utterances were produced today. Disraeli’s Conservatives
would be up in arms, accusing Gladstone of deliberately abusing his
position to encourage violence against his opponent. Every nutjob who
sent Disraeli an unpleasant letter in the coming months would be
portrayed as a direct agent of Gladstone. And the Liberals would not
take such an assault lying down, either. One can imagine how Disraeli’s
comeback would be characterised as revealing his deep-set misogyny and
criminally sex-negative mindset.
To see the truth of this, one
only needs to look at the outcry over the exchange yesterday between the
health secretary, Matt Hancock, and Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, a Labour
front-bencher and serving doctor. Dr Allin-Khan asked a perfectly
reasonable, if emotive, question: did Hancock acknowledge that many
health professionals felt the lack of testing for coronavirus had
contributed to the death toll Undoubtedly, many health professionals do
feel that way. One may consider Dr Allin-Khan’s question to be political
posturing, in spite of her commendable frontline service. One may even
feel sympathy for Hancock, the strain on whom is growing more physically
visible by the day. Nevertheless, Dr Allin-Khan was giving voice to a
current of feeling within the country, and she ought to have been
answered. Instead, Hancock prissily invited her to ‘take a leaf out of
the shadow secretary of state’s book in terms of tone’. Twitter – and it
is impossible to suppress a sigh while typing this – exploded.
apoplexy was unbridled. Hancock was accused of ‘tone-policing’, a crime
– I am reliably informed – that is often directed against women, and
particularly women of colour. This tactic of the white-supremacist
patriarchy is allegedly used to silence and dehumanise opponents by
calling them angry or upset. Indeed, Nish Kumar, the quasi-comedian best
known for his encounter with bread rolls some months back, questioned
whether Hancock had in fact been referring to Dr Allin-Khan’s skin tone.
This may have been a joke, but I’m increasingly unsure if even Kumar
himself is certain of the blurry division between those and his unsought
In giving Hancock the benefit of the
doubt, I contend that his gripe was not with the tone of Dr Allin-Khan’s
voice nor with her complexion. I have yet to see evidence of Hancock’s
virulent racism, and Dr Allin-Khan’s tone of voice is so flat that it
would border on the soporific were it not for the gravity of her subject
matter. Instead, Hancock is indulging in a form of silencing that is
actually extremely popular with those excoriating him in 240-character
updates today – the tactic, that is, of implying that expressing
political opinions emotively is somehow irresponsible. This tactic is in
fact more often found on the left than the right. Who could forget when
we were told that the prime minister referring to an attempt to scupper
Brexit as a ‘Surrender Bill’ was an invitation to all us
knuckle-dragging plebs to run out and firebomb the nearest Lib Dem cake
The left’s hypocrisy on this front is staggering. David
Lammy calling Brexiteers worse than Nazis A legitimate political
perspective! A few men shouting the same term at Anna Soubry Impose
martial law! How many times over the course of parliament’s Brexit
battles did we hear the tragic murder of Jo Cox attributed to the
rhetoric of prominent Leavers, thereby exculpating the evil degenerate
who wielded the gun and the knife And yet, how many in this country have
heard of the attempted murder of several Republican congressman by a
fanatical supporter of Bernie Sanders, who echoed the famous line that
Trump et al were traitors The silence of the left on the latter, and
their trumpeting of the former, was striking.
So, please, Matt
Hancock: next time you’re hit with a tough question, take a breath, pop
another Pro-Plus, and don’t play the game. And everyone else: you might
question your alleged belief in democracy if you hold your fellow
citizens in such low esteem.
French Social Media Law Is Another Coronavirus Blow To Freedom Of Speech
the coronavirus takes its 27,000th victim in France, the French
parliament has passed a new law that forces social networks to remove
certain hateful and illegal content within 24 hours. Signed into law
yesterday, the "Lutte contre la haine sur internet" act requires digital
platforms to remove discriminatory and sexually abusive comments within
24 hours of being flagged by users.
At the same time, networks
have to remove content related to terrorism and child pornography within
an hour of flagging. Failure to comply with the law will result in a
fine of up to €1.25 million.
This will come as welcome news to
victims of online hate speech. However, France’s social media law
presents a very real danger to freedom of speech. What’s more, it seems
as though the French government and the Assemblée Nationale has
exploited fear over online coronavirus misinformation to pass it.
very similar law was passed in Germany in 2018. Then, similar fears
surrounding freedom of speech and censorship were aired, with critics
claiming that the German law–dubbed the Network Enforcement Act
(NetzDG)–delegates too much responsibility for deciding what is
legitimate free speech to tech companies.
As the Germany Director at Human Rights Watch, Wenzel Michalski, said at the time:
is vague, overbroad, and turns private companies into overzealous
censors to avoid steep fines, leaving users with no judicial oversight
or right to appeal.”
As with the German law, one of the flaws of
the new French act is that there are no penalties if social media
networks wrongly remove content that is later found not to be in
violation of any laws or community guidelines. Take together with the
threat of fines for not removing ‘hateful’ content, this will almost
inevitably mean that legitimate freedom of expression will be curtailed.
17 May, 2020
Associated Press Declares ‘Mistress’ A Sexist, Archaic Word
week, The Associated Press elicited mockery when it declared “mistress”
to be a sexist, archaic term more deserving of dignified phrasing like
“companion” or “lover.”
“We now say not to use the archaic and
sexist term “mistress” for a woman in a long-term sexual relationship
with, and financially supported by, a man who is married to someone
else. Instead, use an alternative like companion or lover on first
reference. Provide details later,” the AP Stylebook tweeted.
debate over the word “mistress” has been circulating in the halls of
left-wing conversation circles in recent years. In an article for
HuffPost last year, Emily Peck argued that the word needs to die a
It’s a loaded term, meant to suggest that a woman
is subordinate to the man with whom she’s having a relationship. The
word also implies that her behavior is immoral.
“It is clearly a
red-flag word,” said Soraya Chemaly, the director of the Women’s Media
Center. “It implies this woman is operating outside the parameters of
what is socially acceptable. That she might be morally questionable
because she’s breaking the rules.”
As noted by Fox News, the
suggestion that “Mistress” should be treated in a more dignified fashion
was roundly trolled online as people suggested words to use in its
place, such as “homewrecker” or “adulterer.”
“I think an alternative like Homewrecker fits quite nicely,” tweeted Robby Starbuck.
“How about side piece, kept woman, concubine, shack job, goomah, homewrecker or Lisa Page for short” tweeted Tony Bruno.
Gap pulls ‘camp shirt’ after comparisons to Auschwitz uniforms
Gap has pulled a “camp shirt” that bore a striking resemblance to
striped apparel worn at Nazi concentration camps – with the webpage now
reading, “This was so wanted, it sold out.”
The pale blue- and
white-striped cotton T-shirt was widely slammed on social media for
resembling the uniforms worn at Auschwitz.
Gap appeared at first to have changed the name from “camp shirt” to “striped shirt” on some online store after the backlash.
Friday, the shirt was no longer for sale on Gap.com and the brand’s
Canadian site – but the black-and-white “camp shirt” was still available
Friday on its UK site.
A Gap rep told Fox News on Friday morning that the shirt was being pulled from its online shops.
are deeply sorry for this oversight,” the spokesperson said in an
emailed statement. “It was never our intention to design a shirt that
could be interpreted or associated in this way, and thus inconsistent
with the beliefs and values of our company. We immediately responded and
are having the item removed from our site.”
15 May, 2020
Judge in Transgender Athlete Case Dictates Use of Politically Correct Language
federal judge in a high-profile Title IX case has ordered lawyers
representing three girls track stars to refer to two biological males
who outraced them as “transgender females.”
The lawyers from
Alliance Defending Freedom who represent the three high school girls
filed a motion Friday arguing that the judge should recuse himself
because he has shown that he is unable to be impartial.
Soule, Alanna Smith, and Chelsea Mitchell argue in the case that being
forced to compete with biological males who identify as girls poses
significant, unfair physiological advantages to them.
Judge Robert Chatigny’s insistence that the three girls’ lawyers use
specific language that all but endorses the other side in the case
prejudges those who maintain that Title IX protections shouldn’t be
extended to those who “identify” as girls or women.
hearing conducted via telephone April 16, Chatigny ordered lawyers for
the three girls “not to refer to the intervenors as ‘males’ but instead
as ‘transgender females.’”
The judge said that the lawyers would
not “surrender any legitimate interest or position if you refer to them
as transgender females” and that the order was “consistent with science,
common practice, and perhaps human decency.”
The three girls,
all excellent athletes, began to lose events after two biological males
who identify as girls began to compete against them, as CIAC policy
allows. Alliance Defending Freedom and the girls it represents claim the
policy contradicts Title IX’s intended purpose, which was to create
equal opportunities for girls and women in education and sports.
France passes bill forcing Web giants to delete hate speech
networks and other online content providers will have to remove
paedophile and terrorism-related content from their platforms within the
hour or face a fine of up to 4% of their global revenue under a French
law voted in on Wednesday.
Companies such as Facebook, Twitter,
YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat will have 24 hours to remove other
“manifestly illicit” content, according to the law, which sets up a
specialised digital prosecutor at the courts and a government unit to
observe hate speech online.
Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet
told parliament the law will help reduce online hate speech. "People
will think twice before crossing the red line if they know that there is
a high likelihood that they will be held to account," she said.
free-speech advocates have criticised the new law, saying it will
curtail the democratic right to freedom of expression.
Computer & Communications Industry Association, an advocacy group
with offices in Washington and Brussels, said it was concerned the
French legislation "could lead to excessive takedowns of content as
companies, especially startups, would err on the side of caution.”
Quadrature du Net (LQDN), an online civil liberties defence group, said
in a statement that the legislator should have instead targeted the
Internet giants' business models. It said it was unrealistic to think
content could be withdrawn within the hour and the law was unnecessary.
the site does not censure the content (for instance because the
complaint was sent during the weekend or at night), then police can
force Internet service providers to block the site everywhere in
France," it said.
Twitter France public affairs chief Audrey
Herblin-Stoop said the company would continue to work closely with the
government to build a safer Internet and fight against illegal hate
speech, while protecting an open internet, freedom of expression and
14 May, 2020
Oxford: how censorship breeds ignorance
How can students challenge prejudice if they refuse to engage with it
content with their university being largely closed due to coronavirus,
and forced to continue their studies via Zoom, some students at Oxford
have been doing their best to impoverish their own education further.
is the news that, as the Oxford Student reported on Friday, Oxford’s
student council passed a motion condemning ‘hateful material’ in
mandatory teaching materials. The motion also seeks to extend
hate-speech restrictions to include disabled people, working-class
people and others, and calls on the students’ union to agitate for
trigger warnings – flagging up content that may be offensive to certain
groups – to be slapped on readings lists and exam materials.
the Oxford Student article notes, the motion singles out a course on
medical law and ethics, arguing that required readings advocating the
‘murder of disabled children after they have been born’ were ‘ableist
content’. But as Professor Jonathan Herring, who teaches the course,
rightly told the paper, ‘pretending that there are no ableist books or
articles is not the way to combat and defeat ableism’.
This is a
key point. Students today often dress up their calls for censorship as a
battle with prejudice and bigotry, or an attempt to keep minority
students safe. But demands to cleanse courses of ‘hateful material’ are
effectively an attempt to pretend prejudice doesn’t exist, to refuse to
work out how it works, and so to give up any responsibility for trying
to defeat it.
Thankfully, the university has pushed back against
all this, telling the Oxford Blue that ‘free speech is the lifeblood of a
university’. ‘Not all theories deserve equal respect’, it adds.
‘Wherever possible, they should also be exposed to evidence, questioning
and argument.’ Sadly, this seems to be a job that a certain set of
self-infantilised students feel intellectually incapable of doing. Yet
more proof that censorship can only breed ignorance, rather than
A Supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood Was Named to the Facebook Content Oversight Board
Nobel Peace Prize-winning activist from Yemen has been chosen to sit on
the all-powerful Facebook Content Oversight Board, which regulates
speech on the platform.
Tawakkol Karman has been picked as one of
the 20 new members of the board despite her past statements praising
the radical Islamist group, the Muslim Brotherhood. But she has a
different “viewpoint” that Facebook wants to include.
This oversight board will be nearly all-powerful.
board will operate independentlyof Facebook to review some of the
company’s most complex calls over whether to take down potentially
harmful and often polarizing posts on Facebook and Instagram. It will
also serve as a de facto Supreme Court when Facebook users protest the
company’s removal decisions, capable of overruling even Zuckerberg on
Would you want a Muslim Brotherhood sympathizer being able to vote on whether your content is “acceptable”
Senator Josh Hawley is dubious.
is how powerful @Facebook is, how much speech it controls, how much of
our time & attention it claims: it now has a special censorship
committee to decide what speech can stay & what should go,” Hawley
wrote. “Facebook basically making the case it should be broken up.”
question isn’t whether some speech is “hateful, harmful and deceitful.”
The question is who gets to define it. And I am extremely uncomfortable
with a supporter of the radical, violent Muslim Brotherhood passing
judgment on anything I would write.
Haters will be haters.
Banning their content won’t mean they will disappear. The way to deal
with hate speech is to publish it far and wide so that people can decide
for themselves whether to agree with it or not.
Zuckerberg has bowed to the anti-free speech crowd and Facebook will now
make sure that no one gets offended by their content. They will tell us
what’s acceptable and what’s not acceptable speech. This is exactly
what the founders who wrote the First Amendment feared the most and we
are going to be forced to live their worst nightmares.
13 May, 2020
We need to stop the spread of Big Tech censorship
is time to draw a line. In the fight against Covid-19, people across
the world have been required to suspend many hard-won freedoms – to give
up travel, loved ones, places of worship, the pub. They have gone along
with it because they understand that some temporary restrictions on
liberty are sometimes needed in times of crisis (even though we must
ensure they do not become permanent). But one thing we cannot give an
inch on is freedom of speech, our right to speak and our right to hear
others, which is under serious threat right now.
alliance of corporate tech giants, government and international agencies
is working to narrow the range of acceptable debate about coronavirus.
Since the beginning of this crisis, officialdom has talked up the threat
posed to containing Covid by an ‘infodemic’ — the World Health
Organisation’s cute phrase for the spread of misinformation online.
Social-media firms have been put under renewed pressure to expand their
already extensive policies on what is and isn’t acceptable content. And
they’ve been all too happy to oblige.
Take Facebook, home to
around 2.6 billion monthly active users. During this crisis it has moved
the goalposts dramatically on what can be posted. At first, it said it
would continue to remove ‘misinformation that could contribute to
imminent physical harm’, while deploying its army of fact-checkers to
flag certain posts, depress their distribution, and direct sharers of
such material to ‘reliable’ information. Just a few weeks on and it is
removing event posts for anti-lockdown protests in various US states, in
tandem with state officials.
Last month it was revealed that
Facebook had removed event pages for anti-lockdown protests in
California, New Jersey and Nebraska. A spokesperson told Politico that
Facebook ‘reached out to state officials to understand the scope of
their orders’ and resolved to ‘remove the posts when gatherings do not
follow the health parameters established by the government and are
therefore unlawful’, such as when protests intend to flout
Facebook has stressed that state
governments did not ask them to remove specific posts. But what seems to
have happened is almost worse. Facebook moderators appear to be banning
events posts on the basis of what they reckon the laws of a particular
state constitute. As David Kaye, UN special rapporteur on free
expression, told the Guardian: ‘If people show up to protest – and I
think the vast majority of public-health officials think that’s really
dangerous – it’s up to the government to clamp down on them. For
Facebook to do it just seems suspect.’
What’s more, Kaye
continued, this informal arrangement reached between Facebook and state
governments will make it harder for citizens to challenge instances of
censorship. If a state government were to issue a formal takedown notice
to Facebook, asking it to remove a post for an illegal protest, then
that government action would at least be subject to a challenge in
court. But Facebook, a private company, is allowed to take down whatever
it wants and is protected from legal liability.
This is, in
effect, government outsourcing censorship to the private sector. Even if
straightforward takedown requests aren’t being made, the increasingly
cosy relationship between Big Tech, governments and intergovernmental
organisations is leading to elite consensus effectively being enforced
on social media. In a recent interview with CNN, YouTube CEO Susan
Wojcicki said her platform will remove ‘anything that is medically
unsubstantiated’, as well as ‘anything that goes against WHO [World
Health Organisation] recommendations’, essentially asserting this one UN
agency as infallible and its critics as heretics.
As many have
pointed out, this standard is almost impossible to enforce consistently –
not least because the WHO has got a fair bit wrong over the course of
this pandemic, and in previous crises. But it seems YouTube’s guidelines
are now sufficiently broad that it can take down any dissident post
that sparks outrage. It recently banned a viral video of two doctors,
Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi, who run a group of urgent care centres
in Bakersfield, California, discussing the data they have drawn from
Covid testing, and arguing that California should lift its lockdown.
and commentators have questioned the doctors’ claims and conclusions,
and even their motivations (apparently one of them is a Trump
supporter). But these two are not snarling conspiracy theorists. They
are experienced medics giving their opinions on the data as they see it.
But this apparently cannot be hosted on YouTube because, in the words
of a spokesperson, it ‘disputes the efficacy of local health authority
recommended guidance on social distancing’. It seems you cannot question
the wisdom of the authorities at all.
now, most people who’ve attended a wealthy college—or those who tuned
into the Democratic presidential debates—have likely heard or seen the
word “Latinx.” The anglicized Spanish term is the latest attempt of
gender activists to impose their perverse ideology on the rest of the
culture—and on Spanish speakers in particular.
What is so
significant about adding the letter “x” to the word “Latino” To
activists, it solves a confounding problem: There is no “gender-neutral”
way to refer to individuals in the Spanish language. Someone, for
example, may be described as a “Latino” writer (if a man) or a “Latina”
writer (if a woman), but there is no phrasing for those who don’t
consider themselves male or female.
But in the early 2000s,
activists came up with a solution: Replace the “o” in masculine words
like “Latino” and the “a” in feminine words like “Latina” with a
gender-neutral “x” to create the inclusive term “Latinx.”
while, “Latinx” remained a niche term secluded to small circles of
academics and activists. But not for long. Around 2014, eager to appear
“inclusive,” colleges and universities started to adopt the term.
a result, institutions such as Harvard University, Yale University, New
York University, and the University of Florida began to relabel. For
example, “Hispanic heritage month” became “Latinx heritage month,”
and “Latino Studies” was changed to “Latinx studies.”
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is no exception to this
trend. Although UNC-Chapel Hill administrators and faculty have used the
term for the last few years, the label “Latinx” gained a new level of
formal recognition in October when the university officially established
the Carolina “Latinx” Center.
For over a decade, students and
activists have been pressuring the university to create a center
dedicated to Latino students. In 2009, a university task force
established a “Carolina Latina/o Collaborative,” which was the first
step in an effort to create a “full-fledged” center.
UNC-Chapel Hill students conducted a protest demanding that a “Latinx”
center be established on campus, arguing that the three seminar rooms
and residence hall dedicated to “Latinx” students was not enough space.
same year, the UNC Centers and Institutes Review Committee approved a
proposal for the creation of a “UNC Carolina Latinx Center.” In turn,
UNC Provost Jim Dean approved the recommendation and recommended that
chancellor Carol Folt and the Board of Trustees give the center final
The project was shelved for several years until
finally, before her abrupt departure in January 2019, Folt granted
final approval for a “Latinx” center to be established on campus. The
center officially opened on October 4, 2019 with UNC’s current
chancellor, Kevin Guskiewicz, presiding over the ribbon-cutting
Of the sixteen UNC universities, Chapel Hill and the
four following UNC institutions use the word “Latinx” in an official
12 May, 2020
Bug experts dismiss worry about US “murder hornets” as hype
Asian giant hornets found in Washington state that grabbed headlines
this week aren’t big killers of humans, although it does happen on rare
occasions. But the world's largest hornets do decapitate entire hives of
honeybees, and that crucial food pollinator is already in big trouble.
bug experts told The Associated Press that what they call hornet “hype"
reminds them of the 1970s public scare when Africanized honeybees,
nicknamed “killer bees,” started moving north from South America. While
these more aggressive bees did make it up to Texas and the Southwest,
they didn’t live up to the horror-movie moniker. However, they also do
kill people in rare situations.
This time it’s hornets with the homicidal nickname, which bug experts want to ditch.
are not ‘murder hornets.’ They are just hornets,” said Washington
Agriculture Department entomologist Chris Looney, who is working on the
state's search for these large hornets.
The facts are, experts
said, two dead hornets were found in Washington last December, a lone
Canadian live nest was found and wiped out last September and no live
hornets have yet been seen this year.
Looney has a message for
Americans: These hornets are not coming to get you. “The number of
people who are stung and have to seek medical attention is incredibly
small,” he said in an interview.
While its nickname exaggerates
the human health threat, experts said this hornet is especially big —
two inches long — so it does carry more and stronger toxin.
a really nasty sting for humans,” said University of Georgia bee expert
Keith Delaplane. “It’s like the Africanized bee ... A dozen (stings)
you are OK; 100 not so much.”
Free speech supporters decry New York’s selective social distancing enforcement
Amendment advocates in New York City believe the NYPD and City Hall are
going too far in taking punitive actions against protesters during the
The latest incident happened on Saturday
afternoon at City Hall Park, where nine people were taken into custody
after protesting the ongoing New York PAUSE program, which aims to curb
the coronavirus spread through business closures and public gathering
bans. That episode capped a week in which a number of rallies and other
gatherings were either stopped or severely curtailed.
rights advocates have also criticized the administration for their
assembly crackdown that has resulted in 68% of black and brown people
receiving summonses, with 25% Latino residents and 7% white residents
being summonsed by police.
The May 9 rally at City Hall Park saw a
phalanx of police officers quickly descended on the anti-lockdown
demonstrators. The rally’s organizer claimed the protesters “were all
socially distanced by six or more feet and wore masks.”
episode happened after a similar May 1 protest was also broken up by
cops. During that incident, the anti-lockdown protesters and a group of
counter-demonstrators were ejected from the park. Cops did not issue any
summonses then or make any arrests.
On May 3, during a protest
organized by members of Reclaim Pride at Mt. Sinai Beth Israel Medical
Center on the East Side, about 50 officers descended on the group. The
protest was directed largely against the hospital’s affiliation with
Samaritan’s Purse, a group they say preaches “homophobia,” and
That group of about 10 people
maintained social distancing in excess of six feet and one woman was
given a summons standing more than 10 feet from anyone.
as these gatherings were broken up, at least five other rallies
involving large numbers of essential workers went on. This included
demonstrations by the New York State Nurses Association, a press
conference by the Uniformed Firefighters Association and several press
gaggles by the mayor in which police had a clear hands off approach.
11 May, 2020
Coronavirus: Amazon vice-president quits over virus firings
A vice-president at Amazon has quit "in dismay" at the internet giant's
crackdown on workers who criticised it over coronavirus safety measures.
Tim Bray described the firing of protesters as "evidence of a vein of toxicity running through the company culture".
Workers have criticised Amazon for not doing enough to protect warehouse staff against the virus.
Amazon declined to comment, but has previously defended its actions.
Mr Bray, who was a senior engineer at Amazon Web Services, set out in a
blog why he had left the company where he had worked for five years.
Mr Bray said Amazon also fired office staff who had been organising
another protest and had spoken out against the company on climate
"At that point, I snapped," he wrote, adding that he raised his concerns internally first.
"That done, remaining an Amazon [vice-president] would have meant, in
effect, signing off on actions I despised. So I resigned," he wrote.
A progressive case for campus free speech
Campus speech controversies are nothing new, but in 2013, First
Amendment advocates noticed a shift. Instead of provosts and deans
cracking down, the students themselves were increasingly calling for
censorship. An aversion to opposing views became medicalized, with
undergrads reporting their peers for making them feel unsafe or
triggering anxiety and stress disorders.
The prevailing sentiment, particularly at elite liberal arts colleges,
holds that voicing conservative views on social issues like transgender
rights and affirmative action is harmful to marginalized groups. Yet
there’s a convincing progressive case to be made for free expression.
Liberal students who opposed the Vietnam War spearheaded the Free Speech
Movement at the University of California, Berkeley, bucking a ban on
campus political activism to hold protest rallies and sit-ins in the
mid-1960s. Mario Savio, a grad student regarded as one of the movement’s
key leaders, was an avowed socialist.
Comedian and liberal pundit Bill Maher blames President Donald Trump’s
election on a national backlash against political correctness. While he
skewers the president from his perch as host of HBO’s “Real Time,” he
also calls out the left’s censorious impulses, correctly labeling the
trend regressive rather than progressive.
For those who say free speech is merely a convenient excuse for
far-right firebrands to target minorities with impunity, First Amendment
lawyer Adam Goldstein offered a prescient warning.
“Here’s some wisdom for everyone who wants to impose speech restrictions
to defend disadvantaged people: you will come to realize, in the
fullness of time, that rules are enforced by the powerful,” Goldstein
wrote on Twitter last year. “No matter how you rationalize it, you
cannot benefit the oppressed by creating stronger tools of oppression.
The safest thing you can do for marginalized populations is create a
power structure with as little authority over them as possible.”
It’s both a moral miscalculation and a tactical error to cede free
speech to conservatives. The right to think, write and speak without
fear of punishment ought to be nonpartisan. The left must reclaim its
legacy as a champion of expressive rights, evacuate the ideological safe
spaces and rejoin the great American debate.
10 May, 2020
About Those Swastikas and Nooses at the Michigan Lockdown Protest...
On Sunday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-Mich.) condemned the anti-lockdown
protesters at the State Capitol in Lansing as depicting “some of the
worst racism and awful parts of our history in this country.” She
specifically mentioned that “there were swastikas and Confederate flags
and nooses and people with assault rifles.” She repeated “the
Confederate flags and nooses, the swastikas.” So, were there Confederate
flags, swastikas, and nooses at the protests last Thursday If there
were, were they racist
Whitmer is correct that these symbols emerged during the protest, but it is highly debatable whether any of them were racist.
Tom Bevan, founder and president of RealClearPolitics, shared one of the
swastika posters at the rally. The swastika features on a poster
reading “Heil Witmer,” comparing Gov. Whitmer to a Nazi.
This is gross and rather disgusting hyperbole, to be sure. Whitmer has
attempted to override the Michigan legislature in order to extend her
tyrannical lockdowns, but she is nothing like Adolf Hitler. Michiganders
can — and arguably should — protest Whitmer’s abuses without resorting
to this kind of ridiculous demonizing rhetoric.
Yet when Whitmer mentioned swastikas, she suggested that the protesters
carrying the swastikas were racist — neo-Nazis. Instead, they were
protesting the governor, comparing her to a Nazi.
Radio host Casey Hendrickson shared another picture of a swastika at the
protest. Again, the protester was comparing Whitmer to Hitler, not
advocating for Nazism.
As for nooses, they did make an appearance or two, but there was no
reason to assume any racist intent behind them. The Detroit News‘s Craig
Mauger shared an image of a sign reading, “Tyrants Get the Rope.”
America has a tragic history of lynchings — black men heinously murdered
by white mobs, often organized by the Ku Klux Klan. For this reason,
nooses can symbolize racism, but there is no reason to suggest that was
the case here. Instead, it seems far more likely that this truck driver
meant to send the same message as the sign above — “tyrants get the
This may constitute a threat against Whitmer, and such signs certainly
are ugly, but they are not racist. Whitmer is white, after all.
As for Confederate flags, they seemed few and far between. Bevan said he
could not find any, but State Senator Mallory McMorrow shared one photo
on Twitter, showing a Confederate flag next to flags proclaiming the
importance of freedom. She also shared one more swastika sign — which
attempted to blend the swastika with a donkey to symbolize the
Democratic Party, making the same insinuation that Democrats are Nazis.
While the Confederacy did secede from the Union in order to expand the
institution of slavery into the territories, the Confederate flag today
represents Southern pride and an attack against tyranny. As a proud
graduate of Hillsdale College, a school in Michigan that sent its men
off to fight for the Union, I would prefer that Southerners and
Americans, in general, would swap out the Confederate flag for a flag
more reminiscent of rebellion for a noble cause, like the “Don’t Tread
on Me” Gadsden Flag or the “Come and Take It” flag from the Battle of
However, the Confederate flag is not necessarily a racist symbol.
However, Whitmer’s decision to frame a protest against her as “racist”
is malicious and deceptive. These Michiganders are angry at their
governor forcing businesses to close, mandating that gardening aisles in
“essential” businesses be shut down, and decreeing that people cannot
travel to another residence they own.
NZ footballers under fire for Jacinda Ardern tweet
Super Rugby franchise the Blues have received backlash from fans after
what some labelled a "disrespectful" social media post referring to New
Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern as "Aunty Cindy".
The New Zealand government yesterday announced that professional sport
will be able to return at COVID-19 alert level two, with NZ Rugby
confirming that an all-Kiwi Super Rugby competition including the Blues
will return in the near future, the NZ Herald reports.
Shortly after the news, the Blues shared a post across its social media channels celebrating the announcement.
"That feeling when Aunty Cindy says you can play footy again in level
2," read the post, which was attached to a picture of Blues players
However, the use of the Prime Minister's maligned nickname sparked uproar from some fans who labelled the post "disrespectful".
“What a tone deaf trash tweet from the @BluesRugbyTeam," said one fan on
Twitter. "Show some grace to the person that holds the position of
The Blues’ tweet has since been deleted, while the post on Facebook was edited from "Aunty Cindy" to "Aunty Jacinda".
8 May, 2020
Journalists, politicians and judges to sit on Facebook's free speech panel
Just another gang of Leftists
Facebook has announced the members of its new oversight board, an
international committee of judges, journalists and academics who will
help steer the company’s policy on freedom of expression.
Among the 20 board members who have agreed to help set policy for the
social network are Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the former prime minister of
Denmark; the Nobel peace laureate Tawakkol Karman; and Alan Rusbridger,
the former Guardian editor-in-chief.
The first four members of the board, who all hold the title of co-chair,
were selected by Facebook directly. Thorning-Schmidt is one, and is
joined by two US law professors, Jamal Greene and Michael McConnell, and
Catalina Botero Marino, a former special rapporteur for freedom of
expression at the Organization of American States.
Those four, in combination with Facebook, selected the next 16 members
and will continue to appoint board members until the board hits its full
complement of 40. At that point, Facebook says it will drop out of the
process, leaving the board fully in charge of its own composition.
“Our roster includes three former judges, six former or current
journalists, and other leaders with backgrounds from civil society,
academia and public service,” said Thomas Hughes, the director of the
oversight board. “They represent a diverse collection of backgrounds and
beliefs, but all have a deep commitment to advancing human rights and
freedom of expression.”
First proposed by Mark Zuckerberg in 2018, the oversight board is
Facebook’s attempt to extricate itself from the uncomfortable position
of ruling on free speech issues around the world. The board will
arbitrate difficult decisions about content moderation, based both on
appeals from users, and self-referrals from Facebook itself.
Facebook donated “irrevocable funding for an independent trust” to run
the board, said Facebook’s director of governance and global affairs,
Brent Harris, and has committed to “implement the board’s decisions
unless doing so breaks the law”.
Oxford SU ‘Academic Hate Speech’ motion sparks free speech controversy
The Oxford University Student Union (SU) has condemned “hateful material
in mandatory teaching”, after a motion on ‘Academic Hate Speech’ passed
in Student Council last week. The motion has been widely reported on
and has sparked debate about free speech in universities. The University
of Oxford has responded with its free speech policy, used since 2016,
which states that “free speech is the lifeblood of the university”. It
has not responded to the specific recommendations of the motion.
The motion recommends expanding the University’s free speech policy so
that hate speech on the grounds of gender identity, disability, and
socio economic status is treated equally to groups protected by criminal
law. It recommends trigger warnings on reading lists and guidance to
faculties on what constitutes hate speech.
The motion passed, which means that some SU officers were mandated to
issue a statement condemning “the use of hateful material in mandatory
teaching”. This is now reflected in a statement on the SU website from
the Vice-President (Access & Academic Affairs) and the
Vice-President (Welfare & Equal Opportunities). It states: “We must
fight to uphold academic freedom whilst protecting our students from
abusive sentiment. There is a difference between debate and abuse and
the two should not be confused.”
A new SU Policy is also created by the motion: ‘Protection of
Transgender, Non-binary, Disabled, Working-class, and Women* Students
from Hatred in University Contexts’. The new SU policy recommends that
the University publish guidance on the mental health impacts of
prejudicial articles, with trigger warnings on reading lists as “a bare
It recommends that texts which, under the Council’s recommendation,
would have trigger warnings, are not made compulsory to learn or be
examined on. It states that the University’s free speech policy is
“inapplicable” when the University requires students to listen, because
attendance is taken and material is subject to examination.
The motion specifically highlights that the University’s free speech
policy currently “uses the criminal law as a benchmark for academic free
speech protection”. It states that the Public Order Act 1986 mentions
criminalised hate speech as against race, religion, or sexual
orientation, but does not specifically criminalise “ableist,
misogynistic, classist or transphobic hate speech.”
7 May, 2020
Should a British politician own a book by David Irving
Why does Michael Gove own a book by the Holocaust denier David Irving
This was the question, posed by the Guardian columnist Owen Jones, that
incited a day of rage on Twitter, directed at the Chancellor of the
Duchy of Lancaster, who had inadvertently revealed the presence of
Irving’s The War Path in his library (pictured above) by broadcasting
The Jones tweet reads as follows: “Why does Michael Gove and his wife
own a copy of a book by David Irving, one of the most notorious
Holocaust deniers on earth.”
Leaving aside the execrable grammar and punctuation — Jones is no
Orwell, whatever his fans may think — what strikes one about this
denunciation is the author’s deployment of guilt by association. Gove’s
wife, Sarah Vine, is also a newspaper columnist. Like Caesar’s wife she
must be above suspicion, but Ms Vine does not rate a name check. Just as
Gove is presumed guilty by association with Irving, so “his wife” is
guilty by association with her husband.
If Jones thought that he would get away with this, he was mistaken.
While Michael Gove has so far chosen to ignore the Irving smear, Sarah
Vine took up the cudgels against Jones. She tweeted more pictures of
bookshelves, while defending intellectual freedom. This opened new
fronts, inviting more hostility, notably from Ash Sarkar, voice of
Novara Media and darling of the BBC. She claimed that the civil
liberties of Muslim students had been curtailed by the Prevent
programme, of which Gove has been a strong advocate.
In fact, no books have been banned from university libraries by Prevent,
whatever the unholy alliance of Marxists and Islamists may claim.
Others had noted that the Gove family library also includes The Bell
Curve, thereby associating the minister with one of the hate figures on
the academic Left, Charles Murray, and his controversial views on race
But voices were also raised in Gove’s support. Sir Richard Evans, who
had been an expert witness at the Irving-Lipstadt libel case, asked:
“Why shouldn’t Michael Gove have a copy of a work by David Irving on his
bookshelf” The historian, a lifelong man of the Left, tweeted that in
preparation for the trial he had read “a whole heap of books by David
Irving”. He had opposed a campaign to remove these volumes from
university libraries, where he had consulted them. He had never owned
any copies, but “it would not have seemed right to burn them,” he added
Stephen Pollard, the Editor of the Jewish Chronicle, was even bolder in
his support for Gove. Having steeped himself in anti-Semitic literature
during his successful campaign against Labour anti-Semites, he must,
according to the logic of Owen Jones, have “a soft spot for it… because
I’ve been reading it.” Pollard admitted to owning two books by Irving
and one by Hitler himself plus — “and this is where it gets really bad” —
the speeches of Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell. He even had a word of
praise for the “excellent” Chavs by Owen Jones himself.
Pollard knows that Jones knows that in order to criticise anti-Semites
it is a good idea to read them first. Gove, he observed, had done more
for Holocaust education and the Jewish community than any politician
except Gordon Brown. “It’s obvious why he would have read the work of a
Holocaust denier.” As the JC editor whose scoop (the Chief Rabbi’s
indictment of Corbyn) had a major impact on last year’s election
campaign, Pollard was sceptical Jones’s purported concern about
Holocaust denial at the heart of the Tory Government. Not only had the
Chief Rabbi declared the then Labour leader “unfit for high office”, but
one of his own MPs had called him a “racist anti-Semite”. “If Jones had
his way, that same Jeremy Corbyn would be in Number Ten right now.”
What does this unedifying episode reveal For Pollard, it shows that the
hard Left’s “true ideology is hypocrisy”. For those who hate Gove
anyway, his reading habits are simply more grist to their mill. Whatever
one’s view of the matter, it cannot be a bad thing that at least some
ministers are prepared to read and engage with views they demonstrably
find abhorrent. We live in a society where free speech is, if not in
danger, at least in question. On campus and beyond, self-censorship is
common, tolerance less so. Michael Gove (and Sarah Vine) are to be
commended, not condemned, for their intellectual curiosity; Owen Jones,
not so much. He and his ilk are a menace. As the Roman satirist Juvenal
might have said: who will guard the Guardianistas
Twitter tests telling users their tweet replies may be offensive
Twitter Inc will test sending users a prompt when they reply to a tweet
using "offensive or hurtful language," in an effort to clean up
conversations on the social media platform, the company said in a tweet
on Tuesday (May 5).
When users hit "send" on their reply, they will be told if the words in
their tweet are similar to those in posts that have been reported, and
asked if they would like to revise it or not.
Twitter has long been under pressure to clean up hateful and abusive
content on its platform, which are policed by users flagging
rule-breaking tweets and by technology.
"We're trying to encourage people to rethink their behaviour and rethink
their language before posting because they often are in the heat of the
moment and they might say something they regret," Sunita Saligram,
Twitter's global head of site policy for trust and safety, said in an
interview with Reuters.
Twitter's policies do not allow users to target individuals with slurs, racist or sexist tropes, or degrading content.
The company took action against almost 396,000 accounts under its abuse
policies and more than 584,000 accounts under its hateful conduct
policies between January and June of last year, according to its
Asked whether the experiment would instead give users a playbook to find
loopholes in Twitter's rules on offensive language, Saligram said that
it was targeted at the majority of rule breakers who are not repeat
Twitter said the experiment, the first of its kind for the company, will
start on Tuesday and last at least a few weeks. It will run globally
but only for English-language tweets.
6 May, 2020
Weatherman Sven Sundgaard fired over tweet comparing anti-lockdown protesters with ‘Nazi sympathisers’
A TV weatherman has been fired after he allegedly shared an online post
referring to those protesting stay-at-home coronavirus orders as “Nazi
Sven Sundgaard was a meteorologist for KARE-TV in Minneapolis, Minnesota, until last week, The Sun reports.
According to the St Paul Pioneer Press, Sundgaard recently shared a
Facebook post from a local rabbi criticising those who are protesting
The original post, from Rabbi Michael Adam Latz, reportedly
characterised the protesters as “white nationalist Nazi sympathiser gun
The NBC-affiliated news station didn’t specify why Sundgaard was fired,
but wrote on Facebook on Friday he had lost his job due to “continued
violations of KARE11’s news ethics”.
Twitter Can't Stomach Dissent from Government Coronavirus Orders
On Saturday, Twitter suspended Candace Owens for encouraging
Michiganders to return to work, regardless of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
(D-Mich.)’s decrees. Social media companies have partnered with local
governments to support coronavirus restrictions. Whitmer, however,
issued a new declaration of emergency this week after the Michigan
legislature refused to extend her previous emergency declaration. The
declaration is the basis for her stay-at-home orders.
“Apparently [Gretchen Whitmer] believes she is a duly elected dictator
of a socialist country,” Owens had tweeted. “The people of Michigan need
to stand up to her. Open your businesses. Go to work. The police think
she’s crazy too. They are not going to arrest 10,000,000 people for
going to work.”
Benny Johnson, chief creative officer at Turning Point USA, shared an
email Owens received, suggesting that Twitter would not give a reason
for suspending her.
“Candace Owens has been suspended from Twitter. Candace tweeted that
people in Michigan should go back to work. What rule did she break Not
even Twitter can say,” Johnson tweeted. “Candace Owens tells people to
work and gets cancelled but AOC can tell people *not* to work and all
good,” he added, referring to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.)
calling for a strike as soon as coronavirus lockdowns end.
5 May, 2020
Stanford Prof. Can’t Muzzle ‘Planet Of The Humans'
Last week, anti-hydrocarbon activist and documentary maker Josh Fox —
along with Stanford professor Mark Jacobson, Penn State climatologist
Michael Mann, and several others — succeeded in briefly getting Michael
Moore’s new documentary, Planet of the Humans, taken off of a website
owned by a group called Films for Action.
Fox’s censorship effort was cheered by Eric Holthaus, a meteorologist
and journalist who tweeted “cheers to @joshfoxfilm and everyone who
worked hard and quickly to make sure this dangerous film was retracted.”
The DailyKos dutifully ran a story with the headline “Distributor pulls
Michael Moore’s (@MMFlint’s) #PlanetOfTheHumans due to truthiness.”
But the “dangerous film” didn’t disappear. Planet of the Humans, which
was directed and narrated by Jeff Gibbs, was never removed from YouTube.
By Thursday afternoon, it had been viewed more than 4.6 million times.
Fox’s censorship campaign led Planet of the Humans to post a note on its
website saying that it does not “know of, or have any relationship
with, an outfit called ‘Films for Action,’” and that any “information
disseminated to the contrary is false.”
But the effort to gag Planet of the Humans reveals something more
sinister: the refusal by leading climate activists and academics to have
an honest discussion about the limits of renewable energy and why
renewables alone cannot save us from climate change or solve the problem
of energy poverty. As a friend of mine put it, “The climatocracy can’t
tolerate debate or disagreement.” Indeed, the belief that many
high-profile climate activists and academics have in renewable energy
borders on the cultish. As Gibbs asks at one point in the film, “Could
we have a religion that we are unaware of”
Online outrage mobs are censoring peer-reviewed scientific papers
Scientific journals have been under fire for a while now for their
staunchly profit-oriented business models that are said to undermine
both research and open data.
But the case detailed on by Colin Wright, an evolutionary biologist,
presents a different kind of criticism: namely, that journals are now
caving to online outrage and dropping what would have otherwise been
acceptable scientific papers.
Online activists have successfully strong-armed a journal into
retracting a published paper. This isn't how knowledge progresses.
This should be incredibly alarming to academics and anyone who supports free inquiry and rigorous scientific debate.
The paper in question was authored by Stephen Gliske, and deals with gender dysphoria.
In a series of tweets Wright explains how the process around the
publishing of peer-reviewed papers should work, giving also an example
of this – the way the PNAS journal handled a study into differences
between female and male brains.
The topic might have been expected to be as controversial, and also
result in pressure – but apparently, not as much as the topic of gender
dysphoria. In the former case, the journal followed the proper steps in
handling the situation.
As Wright says, if a reviewed paper is subsequently found to be lacking,
then journals are supposed to link responses and critiques by other
scientists that deal with the flaws of the original work – instead of
retracting that paper altogether.
But in Gliskes’s case that’s just what happened, and Wright argues that
it means that a scientific journal has allowed what originated in an
online activist mob to replace peer review, a path which he describes as
Gender dysphoria, if you missed it, means there’s a conflict between a
person’s physical or assigned gender and the gender with which they
identify. The way this conflict is nowadays often resolved is through
hormone therapy, feminizing or masculinizing a person, or
“transitioning” surgery with the same goal. But what causes it remains
It seems that Gliske’s main “crime” was trying to theorize on this. He
provides his own response to the situation in this article published on
In it, the scientist defends against the attacks on his theory, that’s
trying to delve into the cause of gender dysphoria, by pointing out to
the fact that so far – no theory regarding that cause has actually been
4 May, 2020
Math Professor Mocks a Leftist Belief and Gets Fired
Humorless, intolerant leftist academics are a force to be reckoned with
on many college campuses, and a new case at the University of North
Texas (UNT) pushes the envelope.
After earning his PhD in mathematics from Baylor University in spring
2019, Nathaniel Hiers found employment at UNT. He began teaching
full-time as an adjunct faculty member in the fall semester—three
sections of linear algebra and one of calculus. The mathematics
department thought highly enough of Dr. Hiers that, in November, it
notified him that he was invited to renew his contract for the coming
semester. Hiers promptly emailed back to say he’d accept the school’s
Trouble for Hiers began, however, on November 25. He was relaxing in the
faculty lounge that afternoon, waiting for a colloquium to begin, and
noticed a stack of fliers. They weren’t identified as a university
document and had been left anonymously. The subject of the fliers was
“microaggressions” and the argument they made was that such speech,
although unintentional, is harmful to some individuals’ physical and
psychological health. Therefore, faculty members were encouraged
to avoid them.
The flier gave a number of examples of microaggression such as saying,
“I believe the most qualified person should get the job” and “America is
a land of opportunity.”
Those expressions, according to the flier, are harmful because they
support “the myth of meritocracy” and promote “color blindness.” Another
example of a microaggression listed was “being forced to choose Male or
Female when completing basic forms.”
This idea that certain groups in the population are so sensitive to and
easily harmed by such apparently benign utterances has been around for
many years. Some academics believe it, while others find it to be just a
weak and unproven assertion. Nathaniel Hiers is in the latter camp. In
his opinion, talk about microaggressions merely promotes a culture of
victimhood and suppresses constructive discussion.
All that Hiers did after reading the flier was to write on the
chalkboard, “Please don’t leave garbage lying around,” with an arrow
pointing to the stack of them. He couldn’t imagine the trouble his jest
would cause him.
On the afternoon of November 26, mathematics department chairman Ralf
Schmidt sent an email to the entire department with a picture of Hiers’
chalkboard note and the text, “Would the person who did this please stop
being a coward and see me in the chair’s office immediately.” Hiers did
go to Schmidt’s office, where Schmidt made it clear that he objected to
Hiers’ mockery. He called his chalkboard message “stupid” and insisted
that he apologize for having expressed his derogatory thoughts about
When Hiers responded that he saw no reason to apologize, Schmidt asked
if he’d be interested in further “diversity training” beyond that which
UNT already requires for its faculty. Hiers replied that he was not
interested since he was scheduled to take the mandatory “training” in a
few days, which he did on December 1.
What did not occur at that meeting was anything resembling a reasoned
discussion about the merits of the microaggression concept. But while
Schmidt was obviously angry that Hiers was a non-believer, he did not
indicate that he intended to take further action.
On December 2, Hiers came to campus to sign his contract for the coming
semester. He was informed by William Cherry, the assistant departmental
chairman, that the document was in professor Schmidt’s office but that
he was not in at that time. Later in the day, however, Hiers received an
email from Cherry. It said that the department had terminated his
employment and that he would not be teaching in the spring semester.
Hiers then emailed Schmidt to ask why he had been fired. Schmidt replied
that his decision to terminate his employment “was based on your
actions in the lounge on 11/26 and your subsequent response.” He went on
to say that in his opinion, the statements in the microaggression flier
“make very much sense,” that Hiers’ chalkboard message was “upsetting
and can even be perceived as threatening,” and that writing anonymous
messages was troubling.
You might expect something so utterly vindictive and authoritarian in
one of the academic fields that have been taken over by “progressive”
faculty, but to see this in mathematics is shocking.
YouTube deletes conspiracy theorist David Icke's account after he made unproven claims about coronavirus
YouTube have deleted conspiracy theorist David Icke's account after he made unproven claims about coronavirus.
The video-sharing site said the 68-year-old violated its policies on sharing information about coronavirus.
The former footballer made controversial unproven claims about the virus
on several internet platforms, including one that it is linked to the
5G mobile network.
Former footballer David Icke was removed from YouTube for making
controversial unproven claims about coronavirus online, including one
that it is linked to the 5G mobile network +3
Former footballer David Icke was removed from YouTube for making
controversial unproven claims about coronavirus online, including one
that it is linked to the 5G mobile network
'YouTube has clear policies prohibiting any content that disputes the
existence and transmission of Covid-19 as described by the WHO and the
NHS,' the video service, owned by Google, told the BBC. 'Due to
continued violation of these policies we have terminated David Icke's
The ban follows a similar move by Facebook, who removed Icke's page from their site on Friday.
Famous medics including Dr Christian Jessen and former junior doctor
Adam Kay have called on social networks to remove Icke from their
There is no doubt that Icke is a nut
3 May, 2020
Who Do They Think They Are Knox County, Tenn., Bans Communion, Hymnals—and Even Bibles—at Church
One of the things we’re beginning to see as states move toward
“reopening” is elected officials and health directors mandating even
more stringent precautions than had existed in prior orders. In Ohio,
for example, Gov. Mike DeWine announced last week a plan to reopen the
state, even while ordering restaurants, stores, and their customers to
wear masks — something that wasn’t required under his previous shutdown
It’s even worse in Knox County, Tenn., where the health department just
announced that while churches may reopen on May 1, the Lord’s Supper is
The order was announced by Knox County Health Department Regional
Hospital Coordinator Charity Menefee, who announced that Communion is
not part of “core worship.”
“The Community Strategy for Phased Reopening is complementary to
Governor Lee’s ‘Tennessee Pledge: Reopening Tennessee Responsibly’
framework and the White House’s ‘Opening Up America Again’ guidance,”
the edict explains. “Local government has been empowered to create
strategies relevant to the unique needs of the community.”
“If there are differences between the plans, the community should follow
this local plan,” the document explains. The order lists the rules for
reopening a wide variety of businesses including restaurants, spas,
tattoo parlors, and museums. It also allows churches to hold services,
provided they follow the county’s stringent guidelines that include
social distancing, sanitizing surfaces between services, treating every
partitioner “as if they are potentially dangerous,” and a requirement
that everyone in attendance at Knox County churches wear a mask—unlike
stores and restaurants, where employes and patrons are only required to
wear a mask when social distancing cannot be maintained.
In addition, “The physical taking of communion/sacrament should not be
performed due to the serial breaking of physical distancing across a
congregation.” Churches are urged to “consider guiding parishioners in
how to connect with the spiritual aspects of these practices during this
phase.” Never mind that for Christians, Communion is a requirement, not
an optional activity that can be transmitted over the internet.
Not only that, but church attendees are also banned from physically
embracing or shaking hands with one another. And singing, while not
banned, “is discouraged as it is thought to be an activity that expels
significantly more virus than talking.”
Also banned by the Knox County order: “communal items (for example,
tithe plates, hymnals, bibles, etc.).” Churches are told they should use
a donation box in lieu of an offering plate. “Only core worship
services are permitted in Phase One,” the order reads. “Activities such
as groups and classes, youth services, social events, potlucks, communal
snacks or food, and nursery, are not permitted in Phase One.”
I want to make clear that I’m not downplaying the dangers of the
COVID-19 virus. Our family has been taking precautions, worshipping at
home via Facebook, staying home except to go out for food or exercise,
and staying away from our friends and family. But as this pandemic drags
on and it appears, increasingly, that we’ve either successfully
flattened the curve or the pandemic wasn’t nearly as bad as the models
predicted — Ohio’s health director predicted 100,000 deaths. The number
is currently 937 —I’ve become convinced that treating hot spots like New
York City the same as rural counties in the heartland is less about
protecting the public and more about “doing something.”
With the draconian steps Knox County is taking, trampling both civil and
religious liberties, the area must be a hotbed of the coronavirus,
right Not even close. The county, with a population of 470,313, has only
seen 214 COVID-19 cases and four deaths. Not four hundred, not
forty—four. And while every life is valuable and every death mourned,
Knox county is hardly in such a state of emergency that drastic actions
like suspending the First Amendment might have some basis in reason. The
current order to ban practices that are sacred to Christians the world
over is reactionary and absurd on its face.
While the Constitution says that “Congress shall make no law respecting
an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,”
here we have unelected bureaucrats deciding what may and may not be
considered part of “core worship.” That is literally the definition of
“prohibiting the free exercise” of religion. If Christians cannot
worship in the manner they and their religious texts deem to be
essential, then there is no free exercise of religion.
Government agents have no business involving themselves in such decisions.
We’ve all learned a lot over the last several weeks about how we as
Americans respond to a perceived threat. The vast majority of us have
acted responsibly, even as our lives and livelihoods are being disrupted
and in many cases destroyed. It speaks well of our character as a
nation that we would sacrifice to protect those more vulnerable than
ourselves. But it’s also been disconcerting to see how quickly we’re
willing to give up our liberties and obey government edicts, even when
they seem to be arbitrary and nonsensical. And it’s terrifying to watch
as low-level bureaucrats and elected officials take advantage of the
crisis to amass power and order the lives of the rest of us.
At some point, Christians are going to need to get back to church. While
most of us have complied with stay-at-home orders, we can’t do this
forever. The church, in order to be a biblical church, must meet
together—and must participate in the sacraments, including Communion.
The decision to open must lay with the church leaders and members, not
Elon Musk blasts YouTube for banning Californian doctors' video that
claimed physicians are being pressurized into putting Coronavirus on
death certificates and urged an end to shutdowns
Elon Musk and a host of critics have slammed YouTube for removing a
video of two doctors suggesting COVID-19 death tolls are being boosted
and urging an end to lockdowns because they do more harm than good.
The site took down the video of news conference featuring Drs. Dan
Erickson and Artin Massihi, who run a private urgent-care clinic in
Bakersfield, California, on Monday because they claim it violated their
user policy by disputing health officials.
But the move has been blasted as censorship and a worrying sign of big
tech companies trying to control information during the pandemic and
quashing free speech.
Social media giants Facebook and Twitter are also coming under
increasing scrutiny for removing posts that they say contain health
misinformation or calls to break stay-at-home orders.
The hour-long video with Drs Erickson and Massihi suggesting
stay-at-home orders are damaging drew a massive audience, garnering more
than five million views before it was removed.
Using testing stats from their urgent care centers, they argue that the
mortality rate for coronavirus is minuscule and that lockdowns are
disruptive to normal healthcare provision, the functioning of healthy
immune systems and are devastating to the economy.
1 May, 2020
Australia: Readers of health-nut magazine pulled from supermarket
shelves yesterday are outraged, with one likening the decision to the
Nazi book burnings
The publisher of an alternative medicines magazine pulled from
supermarket shelves yesterday believes the decision was “misplaced and
reactionary”, while outraged readers have claimed it was an act of
Sales of the April-May 2020 edition of What Doctors Don’t Tell You have
halted in Coles and Woolworths stores after a push from Sydney 2GB radio
host Ben Fordham on Tuesday, who said it was a “dangerous magazine
filled with dodgy medical advice”.
The front cover of the current edition, raised by Fordham, hints at
articles on healing spines without surgery, healing diabetes and
“healing your heart after a heart attack”.
“Protect yourself from Wi-Fi and 5G, a step-by-step guide to staying safe,” another headline states.
Nuclear Media chief executive Michael Downs said the publisher did not
blame Coles and Woolworths “for not wanting to court controversy in this
age of social media when there can be lasting and damaging effects”.
“How pathetic that ruining livelihoods, censoring well-researched
information and shutting down freedom of speech is considered ‘having a
win’ by this immature individual.”
He said the “5G article in question” was thoroughly researched and “very sensible”.
Mr Downs pointed news.com.au to the magazine page featuring the
editorial panel – including doctors from the US and UK – described as
“leading pioneers in nutritional, environmental and alternative
LA: Pastor returns to church to preach despite being on house arrest
“The pastor of a Central church who has defied state orders to limit the
number of congregants at his worship services violated another order
Sunday — preaching from the pulpit despite a judge’s directive that he
stay at home under house arrest.
Wearing an ankle monitor attached after he was accused of threatening to
run over a protester outside his Life Tabernacle Church last Sunday,
the Rev. Tony Spell told his congregation it’s a ‘dirty rotten shame
when you’re hiding in America.’
Its members sang and waved signs reading ‘I stand with Pastor Spell.’ …
The pastor has said the state’s stay-at-home and social distancing
orders, both aimed at limiting the novel coronavirus, violate his and
his congregants’ First Amendment rights to assemble and practice their
TONGUE TIED 2
"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"
This document is part of an archive of postings on Tongue Tied, a blog hosted by Blogspot who are in turn owned by Google. The index to the archive is available here or here. Indexes to my other blogs can be located here or here.
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Is the American national anthem politically incorrect From the 4th verse:
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
The truth can be offensive to some but it must be said
The war on "cultural appropriation" is straightforward racism
"HATE SPEECH" is free speech: The U.S. Supreme Court stated the general
rule regarding protected speech in Texas v. Johnson (109 S.Ct. at
2544), when it held: "The government may not prohibit the verbal or
nonverbal expression of an idea merely because society finds the idea
offensive or disagreeable." Federal courts have consistently followed this. Said Virginia federal district judge Claude Hilton: "The
First Amendment does not recognize exceptions for bigotry, racism, and
religious intolerance or ideas or matters some may deem trivial, vulgar
Even some advocacy of violence is protected by the 1st Amendment. In
Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969), the U.S. Supreme Court held unanimously that
speech advocating violent illegal actions to bring about social change
is protected by the First Amendment "except where such advocacy is
directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely
to incite or produce such action."
The double standard: Atheists can put up signs and billboards saying
that Christianity is wrong and that is hunky dory. But if a Christian
says that homosexuality is wrong, that is attacked as "hate speech"
One for the militant atheists to consider: "...it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg" -- Thomas Jefferson
"I think no subject should be off-limits, and I regard the laws in many
Continental countries criminalizing Holocaust denial as philosophically
repugnant and practically useless – in that they confirm to Jew-haters
that the Jews control everything (otherwise why aren’t we allowed to
talk about it)" -- Mark Steyn
A prophetic comment on Norwegian hate speech laws: As Justice Brandeis
once noted, repressive censorship “breeds hate” and “that hate menaces
stable government,” rather than promoting safety; “the path of safety
lies in the opportunity to discuss freely supposed grievances and
Voltaire's most famous saying was actually a summary of Voltaire's
thinking by one of his biographers rather than something Voltaire said
himself. Nonetheless it is a wholly admirable sentiment: "I disagree
with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it".
I am of a similar mind.
The traditional advice about derogatory speech: "Sticks and stones will
break your bones but names will never hurt you". Apparently people today
are not as emotionally robust as their ancestors were.
The KKK were members of the DEMOCRATIC party. Google "Klanbake" if you doubt it
A phobia is an irrational fear, so the terms "Islamophobic" and
"homophobic" embody a claim that the people so described are mentally
ill. There is no evidence for either claim. Both terms are simply abuse
masquerading as diagnoses and suggest that the person using them is
engaged in propaganda rather than in any form of rational or objective
Leftists often pretend that any mention of race is "racist" -- unless
they mention it, of course. But leaving such irrational propaganda
aside, which statements really are racist Can statements of fact about
race be "racist" Such statements are simply either true or false. The
most sweeping possible definition of racism is that a racist statement
is a statement that includes a negative value judgment of some race.
Absent that, a statement is not racist, for all that Leftists might howl
that it is. Facts cannot be racist so nor is the simple statement of
them racist. Here is a statement that cannot therefore be racist by
itself, though it could be false: "Blacks are on average much less
intelligent than whites". If it is false and someone utters it, he
could simply be mistaken or misinformed.
Categorization is a basic human survival skill so racism as the Left
define it (i.e. any awareness of race) is in fact neither right nor
wrong. It is simply human
Whatever your definition of racism, however, a statement that simply
mentions race is not thereby racist -- though one would think otherwise
from American Presidential election campaigns. Is a statement that
mentions dogs, "doggist" or a statement that mentions cats, "cattist"
If any mention of racial differences is racist then all Leftists are
racist too -- as "affirmative action" is an explicit reference to
Was Abraham Lincoln a racist "You and we are different races. We
have between us a broader difference than exists between almost any
other two races. Whether it is right or wrong I need not discuss, but
this physical difference is a great disadvantage to us both, as I think
your race suffer very greatly, many of them by living among us, while
ours suffer from your presence. In a word, we suffer on each side. If
this be admitted, it affords a reason at least why we should be
separated. It is better for both, therefore, to be separated." -- Spoken at the White House to a group of black community leaders, August 14th, 1862
Gimlet-eyed Leftist haters sometimes pounce on the word "white" as
racist. Will the time come when we have to refer to the White House as
the "Full spectrum of light" House
The spirit of liberty is "the spirit which is not too sure that it is
right." and "Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies
there, no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it.
While it lies there it needs no constitution, no law, no court to save
it." -- Judge Learned Hand
Mostly, a gaffe is just truth slipping out
Two lines below of a famous hymn that would be incomprehensible to
Leftists today ("honor" "right" "freedom" Freedom to agree with them is
the only freedom they believe in)
First to fight for right and freedom,
And to keep our honor clean
It is of course the hymn of the USMC -- still today the relentless warriors that they always were.
It seems a pity that the wisdom of the ancient Greek philosopher
Epictetus is now little known. Remember, wrote the Stoic thinker, "that
foul words or blows in themselves are no outrage, but your judgment
that they are so. So when any one makes you angry, know that it is your
own thought that has angered you. Wherefore make it your endeavour not
to let your impressions carry you away."
"Since therefore the knowledge and survey of vice is in this world so
necessary to the constituting of human virtue, and the scanning of error
to the confirmation of truth, how can we more safely, and with less
danger, scout into the regions of sin and falsity than by reading all
manner of tractates, and hearing all manner of reason" -- English poet
John Milton (1608-1674) in Areopagitica
Hate speech is verbal communication that induces anger due to the listener's inability to offer an intelligent response
Leftists can try to get you fired from your job over something that you
said and that's not an attack on free speech. But if you just criticize
something that they say, then that IS an attack on free speech
"Negro" is a forbidden word -- unless a Democrat uses it
"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper
Why are Leftists always talking about hate Because it fills their own hearts
Leftists don't have principles. How can they when "there is no such
thing as right and wrong" All they have is postures, pretend-principles
that can be changed as easily as one changes one's shirt
When you have an argument with a Leftist, you are not really discussing
the facts. You are threatening his self esteem. Which is why the normal
Leftist response to challenge is mere abuse.
naive scholar who searches for a consistent Leftist program will not
find it. What there is consists only in the negation of the present.
The intellectual Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (AD 121-180) could have
been speaking of much that goes on today when he said: "The object in
life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding
oneself in the ranks of the insane."
I despair of the ADL. Jews have
enough problems already and yet in the ADL one has a prominent Jewish
organization that does its best to make itself offensive to Christians.
Their Leftism is more important to them than the welfare of Jewry --
which is the exact opposite of what they ostensibly stand for! Jewish
cleverness seems to vanish when politics are involved. Fortunately,
Christians are true to their saviour and have loving hearts. Jewish
dissatisfaction with the myopia of the ADL is outlined here. Note that Foxy was too grand to reply to it.
Email me here (Hotmail address).
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