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Tag Archives: Free Speech

It’s Un-American To Be Anti-Free Speech: Protect the Right to Criticize the Government, by John W. Whitehead

Protection of the right of free speech is a bedrock American principle. From John  W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:

Since when have we Americans been expected to bow submissively to authority and speak with awe and reverence to those who represent us? The constitutional theory is that we the people are the sovereigns, the state and federal officials only our agents. We who have the final word can speak softly or angrily. We can seek to challenge and annoy, as we need not stay docile and quiet.”— Justice William O. Douglas

Unjust. Brutal. Criminal. Corrupt. Inept. Greedy. Power-hungry. Racist. Immoral. Murderous. Evil. Dishonest. Crooked. Excessive. Deceitful. Untrustworthy. Unreliable. Tyrannical.

These are all words that have at some time or other been used to describe the U.S. government.

These are all words that I have used at some time or other to describe the U.S. government. That I may feel morally compelled to call out the government for its wrongdoing does not make me any less of an American.

If I didn’t love this country, it would be easy to remain silent. However, it is because I love my country, because I believe fervently that if we lose freedom here, there will be no place to escape to, I will not remain silent.

Nor should you.

Nor should any other man, woman or child—no matter who they are, where they come from, what they look like, or what they believe.

This is the beauty of the dream-made-reality that is America. As Chelsea Manning recognized, “We’re citizens, not subjects. We have the right to criticize government without fear.

Indeed, the First Amendment does more than give us a right to criticize our country: it makes it a civic duty. Certainly, if there is one freedom among the many spelled out in the Bill of Rights that is especially patriotic, it is the right to criticize the government.

The right to speak out against government wrongdoing is the quintessential freedom.

Unfortunately, those who run the government don’t take kindly to individuals who speak truth to power. In fact, the government has become increasingly intolerant of speech that challenges its power, reveals its corruption, exposes its lies, and encourages the citizenry to push back against the government’s many injustices.

This is nothing new, nor is it unique to any particular presidential administration.

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The Government’s Indictment of Julian Assange Poses a Clear and Present Danger to Journalism, the Freedom of the Press, and Freedom of Speech, by David Green and Kurt Opsahl

There is no way to construe Julian Assange’s indictment as anything other than a direct assault of the right to disclose the truth about the government and to hold it accountable. From David Green and Kurt Opsahl at eff.org:

The century-old tradition that the Espionage Act not be used against journalistic activities has now been broken. Seventeen new charges were filedyesterday against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. These new charges make clear that he is being prosecuted for basic journalistic tasks, including being openly available to receive leaked information, expressing interest in publishing information regarding certain otherwise secret operations of government, and then disseminating newsworthy information to the public. The government has now dropped the charade that this prosecution is only about hacking or helping in hacking. Regardless of whether Assange himself is labeled a “journalist,” the indictment targets routine journalistic practices.

But the indictment is also a challenge to fundamental principles of freedom of speech. As the Supreme Court has explained, every person has the right to disseminate truthful information pertaining to matters of public interest, even if that information was obtained by someone else illegally. The indictment purports to evade this protection by repeatedly alleging that Assange simply “encouraged” his sources to provide information to him. This places a fundamental free speech right on uncertain and ambiguous footing.

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Censorship vs. Suppression, by Eric Peters

Whether you categorize speech suppression by ostensibly private entities as censorship or not, it’s clear that between government and the private entities that control the internet, the ability to speak out is being steadily constricted. From Eric Peters at theburningplatform.com:

Libertarians – me included – have wrestled long and hard with this one: Is it censorship when private entities do it?

No – not in a legal sense. Because these private entities do not have the power to forbid publication, per se.

But they do have the power to suppress (and even to punish) publication when the entities at issue effectively control the means of publication – and so it amounts to the same thing as censorship.

It may even be worse, since one can always get around governmentcensorship (see, for example, the underground Samizdat press in Tsarist Russia or, later, the anti-communist press in East Germany and Poland).

But how does one “get around” private control of the all-encompassing Internet and related “social media platforms”?

There is no alternative Internet – nor is one (given present technology/infrastructure) even conceivable, regardless of one’s financial ability.

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In Europe “Criticism Of Migration” Set To Become A Criminal Offense, by Tyler Durden

When in Europe, just shut up. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Europeans concerned about borders, language and culture may soon find themselves in the hot seat after Dutch politician and European Parliament member Marcel de Graaff issued a dire warning over the “definition of hate speech” which will criminalize speech opposing mass migration, as first reported by Joe Schaeffer of LibertyNation.

In a press conference, de Graaff raised the alarm over an international conference in Marrakech, Morocco on Dec. 11 and 12 where the U.N. Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration is to be signed. Though the pact is said to be non-binding, it is meant to establish the groundwork for an Orwellian campaign to cement mass migration as a human right legally above any and all criticism.

One basic element of this new agreement is the extension of the definition of hate speech,” de Graaff says. “The agreement wants to criminalize migration speech. Criticism of migration will become a criminal offense. Media outlets that give room to criticism of migration can be shut down.” –LibertyNation

Meanwhile, the UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner posted a transcript of a November 20 speech from Andrew Gilmour, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, entitled: “Words Matter: Role and Responsibility of the media in shaping public perceptions about migrants and refugees and promoting inclusive societies.”

Gilmour calls “hate crimes against migrants” an “especially unpleasant manifestation of what I see as an almost global backlash against human rights.”

Gilmour explains how his office will help states “to distinguish free speech from hate speech” that, of course, has no right to exist. He points out that media reporting that is not sufficiently pro-migration cannot be tolerated. “It is clear to us all that many media outlets are deliberately failing to promote the concept of common humanity,” Gilmour says, again defining mass migration as a basic human right. “Words obviously do matter: dehumanising racist rhetoric frequently leads to hatred, tensions, violence and conflict. It requires a greater effort from the international community to confront those in the media who seek to stir up hatred.” –LibertyNation

 

European Human Rights Court Backs Sharia Blasphemy Law, by Soeren Kern

Has Europe supplanted its free speech traditions with Islam’s Sharia blashphemy law? From Soeren Kern at gatestoneinstitute.org:

  • The European Court of Human Rights — which has jurisdiction over 47 European countries, and whose rulings are legally binding on all 28 member states of the European Union — has effectively legitimized an Islamic blasphemy code in the interests of “preserving religious peace” in Europe.
  • The ruling effectively establishes a dangerous legal precedent, one that authorizes European states to curtail the right to free speech if such speech is deemed to be offensive to Muslims and thus pose a threat to religious peace.
  • “In other words, my right to speak freely is less important than protecting the religious feelings of others.” – Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that criticism of Mohammed, the founder of Islam, constitutes incitement to hatred and therefore is not protected free speech. Pictured: A courtroom of the ECHR in Strasbourg, France. (Image source: Adrian Grycuk/Wikimedia Commons)

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that criticism of Mohammed, the founder of Islam, constitutes incitement to hatred and therefore is not protected free speech.

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Defaming Muhammad does not fall under purview of free speech, European court rules, by Lucia I. Saurez Sang

Heaven forbid anyone suggest that a man in his fifties who marries a six-year-old girl is a pedophile. From Lucia I. Saurez Sang at foxnews.com:

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The Fake Promise of Adult Day Care, by MN Gordon

Governments that promise to do everything for you inevitably turn out to be governments that do everything to you. From MN Gordon at economicprism.com:

The sun always shines brightest in the northern hemisphere during summer’s dog days.  Here in America, from sea to shining sea, the nation burns hot.  But, all the while, cold dark clouds have descended over the land of the free.

For example, Senator Mark Warner – an absolute goober – is currently running interference for the Democrats on a proposal to silence political criticism.  Yet for Warner, and his cohorts, all political criticism is not created equal.  Criticism of President Trump is allowed and encouraged.  Criticism of Washington insiders, like Warner, is what they want to prohibit.

The guise of Warner’s would-be regulation is to prevent the bugaboo of Russian spread disinformation.  Hence, Warner wants to destroy free speech to save it.  Zero Hedge, via Martin Armstrong, offers the particulars…

“The Democrats want full disclosure regarding any online political speech.  They even want the Federal Trade Commission to have unbelievable power and require all companies’ algorithms to be audited by the feds as if they even have qualified staff to conduct such audits.

“On top of that, they have proposed tech platforms above a certain size must turn over internal data and processes to ‘independent public interest researchers’ so they can identify potential ‘public health/addiction effects, anticompetitive behavior, radicalization,’ scams, ‘user propagated misinformation,’ and harassment—data that could be used to ‘inform actions by regulators or Congress.”’

Unfree Speech

Free speech, under this proposal, would only be free if it’s considered acceptable by ‘public interest researchers.’  In other words, free speech wouldn’t be free.  It would be unfree.

Remember, it’s free speech that grants us the right, without fear of fine or imprisonment, to say President Trump’s an orange faced blowhard with whacky hair.  Similarly, because of free speech, we can say Hillary Clinton’s a political loser with the flare-up durability of ring worm jock itch.  Would ‘public interest researchers’ find this speech to be unacceptable?

What’s more, a vast segment of the population seems to have wet their pants with glee over Warner’s war on free speech.  They no longer have the sense or sensibility to hear or consider opinions that differ from what’s deemed progressively acceptable.

To continue reading: The Fake Promise of Adult Day Care

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