Category Archives: Free Speech

If You Don’t Want to Debate Something…


…don’t bring it up.

By Jacob Engels in the blog Central Florida Post, h/t World Net Daily

Not even a year after Radical Islamic terrorist Omar Mateen killed 49 people at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, Rollins College officials are punishing a Christian Conservative student who challenged a liberal Muslim professor and radicalized Muslim student during a conversation on the application of Sharia Law.

Marshall Polston confirmed to the Central Florida Post that Professor Areeje Zufari, who teaches a “Muslim Humanities” course at Rollins, has made outlandish claims against him and even filed a false police report.

Early on in the class, Polston said he realized the professor was harboring Anti-Christian beliefs, demonstrated by the professor’s assertion that the crucifixion of Jesus was a hoax and that his disciples did not believe he was God.

Polston got a bad grade on an essay, no explanation and eventually the situation spiraled:

This is when we step into the Twilight Zone. The teacher then reported Polston to the “Dean of Safety” at Rollins and cancelled class because she claimed he was making her feel “unsafe.”

It sounds like a wide ranging discussion got people upset — but it was the Christian student who was punished. A Muslim student who suggested that gay people and others who defy Shariah sexual laws should have their manhood removed. Yeah. 

The professor complained that the student came to the class on a particular date and harassed him, but the student says he has video and a receipt showing him elsewhere at the time. 

Of course there are many sides to issues like this, but the basic point is freedom to express oneself used to be a great part of college  our country.  Feelings might be hurt, but at least we listened to each other, and nobody got suspended or arrested for saying stuff. Short of threats or incitements to violence, we should all have that freedom.

 

 

Those “Uppity Conservatives”


Apparently the right has had enough of being shut down by violence, shouting and vandalism. This is from a site called alternet.org, and describes how the devilishly powerful right-wing Goldwater Institute is hoping to pass legislation which ensures that the First Amendment rights of speakers should be protected.

Those b@stards!!!!

As far-right speakers face loud student opposition at their university speaking gigs, conservative lawmakers in several states are introducing legislation that cracks down on protesters. As uncovered by UnKoch My Campus’ Ralph Wilson, numerous states have borrowed their so-called “campus free speech” bills from the rightwing Goldwater Institute, which is funded by conservative plutocrats including Charles Koch and the Mercer family.

You can just tell they really hate conservative plutocrats!

The intent of these bills isn’t to protect student speech; it’s actually to suppress it in favor of guest speakers who, at times, support white nationalism, LGBTQ discrimination and other hateful worldviews. By funding the Phoenix-based Goldwater Institute, wealthy conservatives are enabling the promotion of hate speech while stifling student dissent. Whether or not Koch, for example, agrees with the hate speech he indirectly sponsors, he certainly benefits from a more friendly academic environment for far-right ideologues who often deny climate change and praise his extreme brand of tax- and regulation-free capitalism.

Please, tell me again how much you love freedom?

Picture source. Berkeley Riots to deny the First Amendment Rights of Conservatives 

The Goldwater Institute’s model bill allegedly ensures “the fullest degree of…free expression,” but it explicitly states that “protests and demonstrations that infringe upon the rights of others to engage in or listen to expressive activity shall not be permitted and shall be subject to sanction.”

I’m again going into slow-type mode to make the point to leftists. If we value freedom of speech, we value it for those who say things which are wrong. Stupid things. Incorrect things. Conservative plutocraty things!

If you shut down a legal demonstration with an illegal one, then you have become Bull Connor. If you burn police cars or outdoor lighting equipment so that a conservative cannot speak, you are the modern equivalent of the Klan, riding in white robes. The only difference is that you feel the right is “uppity.” 

Just in case the nuance is lost on the left: No way will we allow free speech to be destroyed for your short term gain. You will lose this. You are on the wrong side of history.

That’s Not Really the Choice, Is It?


Source.

(I really can’t figure out the artist’s name, and the site is ‘armycorpsofengineers.com’  They have an art site?)

It you create art which angers, and you are not already dead…you can thank those who with strength and resolve defend your rights. Those who would make war on your behalf don’t do so because they really think art is unimportant. They know that the full range of human activity would be threatened if those who want to kill or subjugate you were allowed free rein.  

You make art, literature, science and music only because you are not actively defending your country. Be grateful. 

Oh, and the subliminal “obey” symbol on her neck…

Not likely.

The Right to Be Forgotten?


 Eugene Volokh discusses a proposal in New York to give people the right to have certain statements about them deleted from the internet if they are deemed ‘inaccurate,’ ‘irrelevant,’ ‘inadequate’ or ‘excessive.’

But the deeper problem with the bill is simply that it aims to censor what people say, under a broad, vague test based on what the government thinks the public should or shouldn’t be discussing. It is clearly unconstitutional under current First Amendment law, and I hope First Amendment law will stay that way (no matter what rules other countries might have adopted).

Remember: There is no “right to be forgotten” in the abstract; no law can ensure that, and no law can be limited to that. Instead, the “right” this aims to protect is the power to suppress speech — the power to force people (on pain of financial ruin) to stop talking about other people, when some government body decides that they should stop.

These new ‘rights’ are a real problem. The right to not be offended. The right to expect safe spaces. The right to never confront evil, or face emotional discomfort.  The right to violent action to prevent a presentation with which you disagree. The right to demand that others use proper pronouns and descriptive words to describe you.  The right to self-identify as Native American, black, male or female — regardless of clear contradictory evidence.

 

Whatchu talkin’ about, Willis?

 Oh, and the right to show another citizen’s tax returns on TV without permission.

 That’s crap.

Die Wahrheit ist, was wir sagen, ist es.


The truth is what we say it is.

(Germans probably don’t phrase things this way, but that’s what Google translate did with the sentence.)

German Justice Minister Wants Fines of $53 Million For Hate Speech, Defamatory “Fake News” on Social Networking Sites 

the news

Not covered? Newspapers.

The proposal would require companies to provide a round-the-clock service for users to flag illegal content, which would have to be removed by the site within seven days. All copies of the content would also have to be deleted and social media companies would need to publish a quarterly report detailing how they have dealt with such material.

Sites would also have to nominate a person responsible for handling complaints, who could face fines of up to 5 million euros personally if the company fails to abide by mandatory standards.

Within your lifetime, there will be licenses for journalists, truth commissions and fines for sharing untruths online. Here. In the United States.

Unless we speak up.

Actually, We Do Have Punishments for Blasphemy, Just Not Laws


Mark Movsesian at the Law and Religion Forum:

At the First Things site today, I have a post on the current blasphemy controversy in Denmark, which Marc discussed here last week. Prosecutors have brought a blasphemy charge against a man who posted a video of himself burning a copy of the Quran. I don’t favor Quran burning, of course. But I ask why a secular, progressive country like Denmark would bring a blasphemy prosecution in 2017:

The ironies abound. Blasphemy prosecutions are not so unusual in Muslim-majority countries, where they often serve as pretexts for the persecution of Christians and other religious minorities. In fact, this month marks the sixth anniversary of the murder of Shahbaz Bhatti, a Christian Pakistani politician who had criticized that country’s blasphemy laws; his murderers called Bhatti “a known blasphemer.” But blasphemy prosecutions are vanishingly rare in the West. In America, the Supreme Court ruled blasphemy laws unconstitutional in 1952. Most European countries have abolished their blasphemy laws; where such laws continue to exist, they are dead letters.

I agree that burning a Quran is a bad idea. It confuses the debate when some clown goes overboard with that behavior.

But I disagree with part of the premise. We might not have laws about blasphemy, but tell that to the gals at the Womyn’s Studies Department. Call a transgender person a “he” when clearly that the wrong pronoun, you guys…and you’ll be shunned by the society, or even pay a fine. NY Times.

Chant the president’s name at a basketball game, and you’re labeled racist. I know it was clearly disrespectful of the minority ballplayers, but come on!

 Express support for traditional marriage — as Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama did at one time — and you’d be labeled as a bigot. Suggest that your actual, not chosen gender should determine your bathroom choice, and you’re an insane bigot. 

It was not enough when liberal activists were bossy. They have started to enforce their idiotic decrees with the power of the university and government. Across the western world, there are the beginning of enforced compliance with unwritten and shifting standards.

Blasphemy. It’s not just for religion anymore.

 

But Twitter Can Ban Milo and Others


The Oregon Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments today in the case of “Sweet Cakes by Melissa.

First Liberty:

In 2013, Melissa and Aaron politely declined to create a custom-designed cake to celebrate a same-sex wedding ceremony, citing their sincerely held Christian beliefs. As a result:

  • The Oregon government punished them with a $135,000 penalty.
  • The Oregon government issued a gag order against them.
  • Melissa lost a business she dreamed of passing down to her kids.
  • Their personal bank accounts were wiped out.
  • Their property was vandalized.
  • They’ve received death threats. 

As a kid, I was shocked to see a film which exposed anti-Antisemitism in public accommodations, showing a man trying to get a hotel room under a Jewish-sounding name, and being refused. We all know buses, trains, hotels and restaurants cannot discriminate. I don’t suggest we return to that.

On the other hand, if an artist like a cake maker can be forced to paint, decorate or otherwise use their talents, then lets be fair. Make all businesses dance to my tune.

“Paint me a picture of Donald Trump! Nude! In a warm embrace with Satan and that guy from the Middle East…can’t remember. The one with the young bride.”

Should I be able to demand that the Amish gazebo-maker use a power drill and wood screws, though that’s against his faith? It’s my gazebo!

“I want a birthday cake celebrating the birth of the baby Jesus. In bacon. And, Mohammed…can we get this done by Shabbat?”

“Mr. Bernstein, I demand you spell out all the words ‘God Bless America’ on my cake. You keep leaving off the second letter in God. Man, where did you learn to spell?” 

And how come this crap only happens to Christians?