* * *
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
President Donald Trump’s first week in office has seen a tumultuous mix of sweeping executive actions peppered with a few pleasant surprises; but if one thing proves true — as with the first term of any new president — there will be cause for someone to protest something.
A pair of articles by the Financial Times offers quite the take on disinformation hypocrisy.
I suggest the Financial Times look into the mirror if it wants to understand where the problem is.
Worse yet, to stop the spread of fake news, the FT editorial board wants restrictions on freedom of speech.
By Ron Paul
A major threat to liberty is the assault on the right to discuss political issues, seek out alternative information sources, and promote dissenting ideas and causes such as non-interventionism in foreign and domestic affairs. If this ongoing assault on free speech succeeds, then all of our liberties are endangered.
In case you haven’t read it in a while, here’s the text:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Nowhere in there do I see an exception for “conspiracy theories,” but apparently Constitutional scholar Barack Obama has an alternative interpretation.
As reported by AFP:
If you live in America, please note, this just happened here.
Younger generations are being brainwashed that the only thing more dangerous than our Second Amendment is our First. They are being socially engineered to believe that it is literally a crime for anyone to offend them. They are being taught that they can run to a police officer and tattle like a bratty five year old if someone hurts their feelings and that the offender will actually suffer legitimate criminal prosecution for such a high crime.
The rest of us who haven’t been sucked into the progressive education system that promotes trigger warnings, make believe microaggressions, and magical “safe spaces” know this isn’t how reality works. There’s no such whimsical fairy land where everyone holds hands and sings Kumbaya on every point and not a single person gets their feelings hurt ever.
Perhaps the greatest irony of this past year has been the mind numbing and irrational anti-free speech wave that swept across facets of so-called “liberal” America.
This regressive movement was most readily apparent on college campuses, where hordes of sheltered and emotionally stunted students demanded restrictions on free speech in order to prevent themselves from being offended by an ever expanding list of unhappy thoughts and words. However, what is far more troubling, albeit much less public, are attempts by two fascist academic authoritarians, to convince the American citizenry to relinquish their First Amendment rights in the name of fighting ISIS. One of these men is a close advisor to President Obama.
Glenn Greenwald does a great job of calling both of them out over at the Intercept. Here are a few excerpts from his article:
Dec 16, 2015
Ami on the Street: Satirist Ami Horowitz tests the waters at Yale University to see if today’s Ivy League students would actually sign a petition to repeal the First Amendment
America: Land of the free and future home of censorship? A new study by Pew Research shows that American Millennials are far more likely to support the government banning offensive speech about minority groups than other generations.
While the public’s attention has been largely focused on the Obama administration’s crusade against the Second Amendment, a more troubling development is taking place in the fight against free speech, and the First Amendment, a war waged far from D.C., on the campuses of America’s liberal colleges.
We read the following excerpt from the upcoming issue of the New Criterian, in which we find that 51% – or a majority – of college students favor “speech codes” (i.e., regulated “free speech”), with only 36% against, first with amusement (as we thought it has to be a joke) and then great concern (once we realized it is all too real) because it reveals that America’s best and brightest young minds have decided on their own that they don’t really need all those liberties enshrined by America’s founding fathers, especially if they “infringe” upon the current mania of “politically correct” everything.
A recent survey reported college students, by a margin of 51% to 36%, favor speech codes.
Thursday marked the 228th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution which took place in 1787. To commemorate the occasion, USA Today released a poll showing the percentage of the population who can name their First Amendment rights. And the numbers aren’t good.
Of the five rights covered under the First Amendment, thirty-three percent could not name even one of them. What’s worse is only 57% were able to name freedom of speech, clearly the most popular of the bunch. Nineteen percent named freedom of religion. Tied at 10% was both freedom of the press and the right to assemble. The prize for most overlooked goes to the right to petition, garnering only two percent. (The chart does not indicated how many were sampled.)
“If the freedom of speech be taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”—George Washington
The architects of the American police state must think we’re idiots.
– Use RICO Laws to Prosecute Global Warming Skeptics, says Senator (Ice Age Now, June 3, 2015):
That’s right – a sitting U.S. Senator is suggesting that RICO laws be applied to global warming skeptics,says the Weekly Standard.
“Unless, of course, we’re just going to scrap any pretense of political neutrality on questions of free speech. Top men like Sheldon Whitehouse can make sure we don’t hear anything that we don’t need to hear about scientific research and legally punish anyone who publicly disagrees. Otherwise, the natives get restless….”
– ‘Bloggers’ Compared to ISIS During Congressional Hearing (Prison Planet, April 16, 2015):
People who challenge establishment narratives online likened with terrorist organization
Bloggers, conspiracy theorists and people who challenge establishment narratives on the Internet were all likened to ISIS terrorists during a chilling Congressional hearing which took place yesterday.
The hearing, hosted by the House Foreign Relations Committee, was titled “Confronting Russia’s Weaponization of Information,” and accused Russian state broadcaster RT of weaponizing “conspiracy theories” to spread propaganda.
From the article:
“This past month, one Congressman finally said that enough was enough and proposed a new bill to bring back our First Amendment rights.
Then they killed it.
Just two weeks after the bill was submitted, it was squashed.”
– Congress Proposes Bill To Restore First Amendment Rights… Then Kills It (Sovereign Man, Jan 23, 2015):
To this day, many governments around the world maintain a tight grip on dissent.
Students in Thailand have been arrested for using a three-fingered salute they saw in the movie Hunger Games.
In Turkey, Twitter, Youtube, and other social media sites have been blocked. And in Russia the word “crisis” has been banned from use in public.
You can see the backlash of insecure governments against the free expression of their citizens everywhere.
– Now We Know The Plan: More Surveillance and a Patriot Act For Europe (SHFTplan, Jan 15, 2015):
The irony is almost worse than 9/11.
Then, President Bush responded by stating, with bravado, that they attacked us because they hate our freedoms.
This time, the attack against the publication of satirical Mohammed cartoon, was not only an act of terrorism, but an attack on the spirit of free speech.
And the government response this time? After staging a photo op of world leaders, various heads of state have proposed new waves of surveillance and repressive attempts to ban encryption and violate the freedom of speech in communication devices through new spy policies and laws.
On Sunday, as more than 3 million people flooded the streets of Paris in support of the free speech principles that Charlie Hebdo embodied, a group of 12 European ministers issued a joint statement calling for internet service providers to more swiftly report and remove online material “that aims to incite hatred and terror.”
Establishing a framework to enhance police work and intelligence sharing concerning the actions of alleged terrorists and extremists, the joint statement from 12 European ministers and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder declares the intent to: “counter violent extremism” and “fight against radicalization, notably on the Internet,” in part through the “swift reporting [and removal] of material that aims to incite hatred and terror.” Meanwhile, it aims to beef European border control, “step up the detection and screening of travel movements” and enhance law enforcement, particularly in “working to reduce the supply of illegal firearms throughout Europe.”
– Kentucky Man Arrested for “Terroristic Threatening” After Posting Song Lyrics to Facebook (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Sep 8, 2014):
It seems as if the never-ending stream of American plebs being arrested for the most innocuous activities, things that were seen as completely normal just a few years ago, is continuing its irrational march forward toward peak nanny-statism, at which point everything will be criminalized.
This disturbing trend has been a key topic for Liberty Blitzkrieg in 2014. Here are the three most recent absurd cases from July and August alone:
– Free speech banned: Student group sues 4 US universities that ‘stifle dissent’ (RT, July 2, 2014):
Arguing that free speech is suffering at colleges across the US, an advocacy group filed lawsuits against four universities, seeking to strengthen the rights guaranteed by the Constitution.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has filed lawsuits against four schools – Iowa State University, Ohio University, Chicago University and Citrus College in Glendora, California – that it says disrupt the flow of free speech in a number of ways, including the banning of particular T-shirts, for example, or by refusing to permit certain speakers address the student body on controversial issues.
According to the group’s estimate, about 60 percent of public universities and colleges have restrictions on rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.
Added: June 18, 2014