Tag Archives: Freedom of speech

At a certain point, even the Gestapo had to stop cancelling people, by Simon Black

Horrors! There’s an internet service called Clubhouse where you can talk with others under the assurance that your words won’t be recorded and you can say what you want without fear. This service must be stopped before people start questioning cancel culture. From Simon Black at sovereign man.com:

On April 26, 1933, the interior minister for the German state of Prussia issued a decree creating a new secret state police, or Geheime Staats Polizei, abbreviated: Gestapo.

The Gestapo was tasked with stamping out all opposition to Germany’s new Chancellor and the party he brought to power one year earlier.

It operated by collecting tips from ordinary citizens, including even school children. And this network of Gestapo informants changed Germans’ behavior almost overnight.

Even a joke about the ruling party could land you in a Gestapo interrogation room. Talking politics around your children became a dangerous gamble.

According to Erik Larson’s book In the Garden of Beasts, 37% of denunciations “arose not from heartfelt political beliefs, but from private conflicts with the trigger often breathtakingly trivial.”

For example in one case, a grocery store clerk reported a customer who insisted on receiving the wrong change. The customer was accused of tax fraud.

Another man lent a banned book to his friend, and was quickly denounced by his friend’s wife.

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The Government’s War on Free Speech: Protest Laws Undermine the First Amendment, By John W. Whitehead and Nisha Whitehead

We have all the laws we need to deal with crime linked to protests. The current batch of laws purportedly to deal with crime linked to protests are more about curbing First Amendment freedoms of assembly, speech, and petitioning the government for redress of grievances. From John W. Whitehead and Nisha Whitehead at rutherford.org:

“If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”— George Washington

It’s a given that the government is corrupt, unaccountable, and has exceeded its authority.

So what can we do about it?

The first remedy involves speech (protest, assembly, speech, prayer, and publicity), and lots of it, in order to speak truth to power.

The First Amendment, which is the cornerstone of the Bill of Rights, affirms the right of “we the people” to pray freely about our grievances regarding the government. We can gather together peacefully to protest those grievances. We can publicize those grievances. And we can express our displeasure (peacefully) in word and deed.

Unfortunately, tyrants don’t like people who speak truth to power.

The American Police State has shown itself to be particularly intolerant of free speech activities that challenge its authority, stand up to its power grabs, and force it to operate according to the rules of the Constitution.

Cue the rise of protest laws, the police state’s go-to methods for muzzling discontent.

These protest laws, some of which appear to encourage violence against peaceful protesters by providing immunity to individuals who drive their car into protesters impeding traffic and use preemptive deadly force against protesters who might be involved in a riot, take intolerance for speech with which one might disagree to a whole new level.

Ever since the Capitol protests on Jan. 6, 2021, state legislatures have introduced a broad array of these laws aimed at criminalizing protest activities. Yet while the growing numbers of protest laws cropping up across the country are being marketed as necessary to protect private property, public roads or national security, they are a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a thinly disguised plot to discourage anyone from challenging government authority at the expense of our First Amendment rights.

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House Impeachment Brief Against Trump Threatens Freedom of Speech of All Americans: Dershowitz

If the president of the United States doesn’t have the right to free speech, who does? From Tom Ozimek at theepochtimes.com:

Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz said Thursday that the House impeachment brief against former President Donald Trump, which seeks to undermine Trump’s First Amendment-based argument in his defense, amounts to a dangerous broadside against the freedom of speech of all Americans.

Writing in an op-ed for The Hill, Dershowitz made a case against a key argument contained in the brief (pdf), namely that “the First Amendment does not apply at all to impeachment proceedings,” signals Congressional willingness to take aim at freedom of speech more broadly.

“The brief filed by the House managers advocating the conviction and disqualification of citizen Donald Trump contains a frontal attack on freedom of speech for all Americans,” Dershowitz wrote. “It states categorically that ‘the First Amendment does not apply at all to impeachment proceedings,’ despite the express language of that amendment prohibiting Congress from making any law, or presumably taking any other action, that abridges ‘the freedom of speech.’”

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MSM calls for “new definition of free speech”, by Kit Knightly

Be aware of new definitions, especially of old favorites like “free speech.” From Kit Knightly at off-guardian.org:

New buzzwords in the mainstream media bubble spell trouble for those outside it

Part of the main duty of OffGuardian is to troll through the masses of media output and try and pick up patterns. Sometimes the patterns are subtle, a gentle urging behind the paragraphs. Sometimes they’re more like a sledgehammer to the face.

This has been face-hammer week. In fact, it’s been a face-hammer year.

From “flatten the curve” to “the new normal” to “the great reset”, it’s not been hard to spot the messaging going on since the start of the “pandemic”. And that distinct lack of disguise has carried over into other topics, too.

We pointed out, a few days ago, the sudden over-use of the phrase “domestic terrorism” preparing us for what is, almost certainly, going to be a truly horrendous piece of new legislation once Biden is in office.

Well, the buzz-phrase doing the rounds in the wake of Donald Trump being banned from the internet is “the new definition of free speech”…and variations on that theme.

Firstly, and papers on both sides of the Atlantic want to be very clear about this, Donald Trump being banned simultaneously from every major social network is not in any way inhibiting his free speech.

Indeed none of the tens of thousands of people banned from twitter et al. have had their free speech infringed either. Neither have any of the proprietors – or users – of the Parler app which the tech giants bullied out of existence.

Free Speech is totally intact no matter how many people are banned or deplatformed, the media all agree on that (even the allegedly pro-free speech think tanks).

They also agree that maybe…it shouldn’t be. Maybe “free speech” is too dangerous in our modern era, and needs a “new definition”.

That’s what Ian Dunt writing in Politics.co.uk thinks, anyway, arguing it’s time to have a “grown-up debate” about free speech.

The Financial Times agrees, asking about the “limits of free-speech in the internet era”.

Thomas Edsall, in the New York Times, wonders aloud if Trump’s “lies” have made free speech a “threat to democracy”.

The Conversation, a UK-based journal often at the cutting edge of the truly terrifying ideas, has three different articles about redefining or limiting free speech, all published within 4 days of each other.

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The Masks Are Coming Off, by Rob Slane

Nobody is even trying to hide the accelerating descent into totalitarianism anymore. From Rob Slane at theblogmire.com:

I had intended to start the New Year with a heart-warming piece entitled, “2021: The Year of Censorship of Dissent”. It would have been a somewhat prophetical piece, shocking some readers with predictions of a coming crackdown on dissent, and causing others to hoot with laughter because they haven’t quite caught up with the times we are in. You know, the types who say things like “Oh perrrlease! Social Media companies are private companies and they have the right to decide who they allow on their platform” and “Stop making out it’s the gulag” etc.

Unfortunately, my plans were scuppered by the fact that media and social media companies — let’s call them Global Pravda — have come out of the blocks even earlier than even I anticipated, and have been censoring left right and centre. As a result, my intended “prophetical” utterance seems like yesterday’s news.

We’ve had the censoring of Talk Radio on YouTube. Although this was then restored after intervention at the highest level, I understand some of the wonderful conversations between Mike Graham and Peter Hitchens are still banned. YouTube have also banned videos from extremely qualified scientists around the world, including two lengthy interviews given in English by one of the most qualified microbiologists on planet earth, Professor Sucharit Bhakdi.

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Now they want to cancel the First Amendment, by Mike Hume

Freedom of speech was always a dangerous and risky idea, just like a lot of things that make life worth living. From Mike Hume at spiked-online.org:

The claim that President Trump is guilty of ‘incitement to violence’ is a threat to free speech for all.

President Donald Trump has never been a friend or fan of the precious First Amendment to the American Constitution, which protects freedom of speech. But the First Amendment does not care; it still protects the right of President Trump to express his opinions, just like everybody else.

This is what makes the attempts to ‘cancel’ Trump in Congress and across social media, for allegedly inciting the violence at the Capitol, so dangerous. Because those who want to silence and eject an elected president for saying the ‘wrong’ things are really trying to rewrite the meaning of the First Amendment, which would lead to restrictions on free speech for all.

It is not a question of supporting outgoing President Trump’s attempts to cling to office or endorsing anything he has said. This is about something much more important than the Donald. It is about upholding the fundamental freedom of all Americans, from the president and politicians to any fool or fanatic, to express what they think is the truth.

Adopted in 1791 as part of the Bill of Rights, the First Amendment to the American Constitution remains the global gold standard on free-speech legislation. It states clearly and concisely that ‘Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press’. One of the few exceptions recognised by the US Supreme Court is that there is no ‘right’ to use speech to incite violence or lawless action.

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Britain: Two-Stepping Toward Totalitarianism, by Andrew Ash

The British tradition of civil liberties, exported to the US and many other parts of the old empire, is fading fast. From Andrew Ash at gatestoneinstitute.org:

  • It has become an almost daily occurrence to find news stories of parents being ‘called out’ by their newly politicised children for expressing on social media ‘wrong’, ‘unwoke’ views, or of people being fired for something they may or may not have said years ago.
  • This sense of entitlement has come to characterise a group whose younger demographic seem to have no comprehension of the horrors of a war — or indeed, of many authentic hardships — in their own relatively comfortable lives.
  • This lack of respect for, or understanding of, history, along with an apparent need to invent, import, or re-animate grievances from the past, then lead these protestors to advocate inflicting what they decide is the appropriate revenge for a grievance on people who have had no part in causing it.
  • Tolerance is to be expected only from others…. One man’s freedom, it seems, has become another man’s cause for resentment.
  • The protestors’ dismissal of British heritage, a bid to ‘cancel’ history, appears a threat to the nation. We supposedly have nothing to be proud of. Our achievements have presumably been little more than the spoils of an evil, bigoted patriarchal system. These malcontents, by pledging allegiance to the Marxist architects of that narrative, not only insult the memory of those who have fought and died for the freedoms we now take for granted; they are also two-stepping towards totalitarianism.
When the statue of Winston Churchill in London’s Parliament Square was vandalised, the police, evidently held hostage to political correctness, stood by and watched as their role was publicly undermined by open disregard for the law. (Photo by Isabel Infantes/AFP via Getty Images)

There was a time when the British were known for their stoicism, their ability to battle through hardship, no matter the odds. The so called ‘blitz spirit’ of eighty years ago, that saw the nation ‘pull together and carry on’, regardless of the Nazi bombardment of our cities, characterised a generation that had suffered two world wars yet could not be bowed.

During the Covid pandemic, however, this ‘blitz spirit’ has been noticeably absent. There has been certainly very little in the way of a nation pulling together; in its place, there has been just a lot of bickering, mud-slinging and name calling-among politicians, activists, and the increasingly fragmented populace.

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The Fight for Free Speech, by Walter Williams

There’s almost always at least a grain of truth in the speech you try to shut down. From Walter Williams at lewrockwell.com:

The violence, looting and mayhem that this nation has seen over the last several months has much of its roots in academia, where leftist faculty teach immature young people all manner of nonsense that contradicts commonsense and the principles of liberty. Chief among their lessons is a need to attack free speech in the form of prohibitions against so-called hate speech and microaggressions. Here are examples of microaggressions: “You are a credit to your race.” “Wow! How did you become so good in math?” “There is only one race, the human race.” “I’m not racist. I have several black friends.” “As a woman, I know what you go through as a racial minority.”

It is a tragic state of affairs when free speech and inquiry require protection at institutions of higher learning. Indeed, freedom in the marketplace of ideas has made the United States, as well as other Western nations, a leader in virtually every area of human endeavor. A monopoly of ideas is just as dangerous as a monopoly in political power or a monopoly in the production of goods and services.

We might ask what is the true test of a person’s commitment to free speech? The true test does not come when he permits people to say those things he deems acceptable. The true test comes when he permits people to say those things that he deems offensive. The identical principle applies to freedom of association; its true test comes when someone permits others to voluntarily associate in ways that he deems offensive.

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Erasing History and Erasing Truth: Censorship and Destroying Records Is the Cornerstone of Tyrants, by Gary D. Barnett

Censorship is what tyrants do. From Gary D. Barnett at lewrockwell.com:

“If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.”

~ John Stuart Mill, On Liberty ch. 2 (1859)

Tyranny requires that the truth be silenced, that real history be erased and rewritten, that speech be restricted, and that individual thought be silenced. In this time of constant turmoil, false flags, wars, civil unrest, and now internal bio-terrorism and manufactured pandemics, a major agenda of the state apparatus is to silence all dissent, and mandate conformity. It is imperative considering the state’s plan for total control that it stifle criticism and retain the power to control the mainstream narrative, while aggressively eliminating all other resistance and questioning. This is the state of the world that we live in today. As things continue to deteriorate, nonconformance cannot be allowed if global governance and a global reset are to be successful.

Current censorship has reached levels not seen in the past, and with all the advanced technology available, this nefarious plot to silence the thinkers and hide the truth could affect all forms of speech. It is getting much more difficult to find truthful information, as those like Google, Amazon, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and many other venues are eliminating content and access to content at a blistering pace. A day rarely goes by without something I am reading or researching on these sites being taken down or hidden. This can only lead to a world consumed by propaganda alone, thus guaranteeing that only the state narrative will be presented in any mainstream or easily accessible format. This is a dangerous situation, especially considering the likelihood that through vaccination or other methods, much of the population could soon become subject to transhuman experimentation where injectable nanoparticles and chips could be used to alter human behavior.

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A Brief History of the Freedom of Speech in America, by Andrew P. Napolitano

You get a pretty good idea of the health of a society by its government’s attitude towards speech. From Andrew P. Napolitano at lewrockwell.com:

“I disagree with what you say but will defend to the death your right to say it.” — Voltaire (1694-1778)

When Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, he included in it a list of the colonists’ grievances with the British government. Notably absent were any complaints that the British government infringed upon the freedom of speech.

In those days, speech was as acerbic as it is today. If words were aimed at Parliament, all words were lawful. If they were aimed directly and personally at the king — as Jefferson’s were in the Declaration — they constituted treason.

Needless to say, Jefferson and the 55 others who signed the Declaration would all have been hanged for treasonous speech had the British prevailed.

Of course, the colonists won the war, and, six years afterward, the 13 states ratified the Constitution. Two years after ratification, the Constitution was amended by adding the Bill of Rights. The first ratified amendment prohibited Congress from doing what the colonists never seriously complained about the British government doing — infringing upon the freedom of speech.

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