Tag 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.

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.

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.

 

Quote of the Day


About a violent incident of Shutuppery at Middlebury College:

In truth, many Americans, not just Murray’s poor whites, have lost patience with people who don’t respect the reverence for freedom of conscience, thought, and speech on which America was founded. So enjoy your run down the mountain today, students of Middlebury. Nothing lasts forever. — Myron Magnet, City Journal.

Righteous Riots and the Heckler’s Veto


From a fairly left-wing blog:

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Don’t blame your lawlessness on others.

 

Even in our politically-correct, ultra-sensitive-to-verbiage times, folks have every right to express their feelings and beliefs about others, even the nasty ones, but only if they don’t trigger violence. Absolutely a paper-thin difference at times, right?

My response:
Wrong. The threshold is not speech that triggers violence, but speech which encourages violence. The right will not allow the left to target Milo or Trump w/violence, then turn around and say their supposed hate speech caused it.

The majority of the violence in the post-election America has been by progressives, angry because they did not get their way…or convinced that their righteous riots are justified somehow. It’s called the heckler’s veto, and the right is correct to oppose you on this. People who figure they are anti-fascists have become fascists…hoping the government, Twitter, Google or some adult organization starts shutting people up.

Be careful what you wish for.

Free Speech and Hate Speech


David Solway writes for PJ Media about a conference in Canada:

There is obviously a grey area between free speech and hate speech — human life cannot be reduced to a scientific formula enabling precise distinctions — but there should be no doubt that critical speech, analytical speech, satirical speech, spontaneous speech and offensive speech should not be legislated. Free speech is not a speech act. The term “hate speech” in its current acceptation, however, is merely a pretext for the eventual passage of blasphemy laws, envisaging the death of a free and democratic society.

Canada and the U.S. have different ways to deal with speech which might become an illegal act. The First Amendment still covers Americans whose speech is insulting, critical, even racist.

The trend worldwide is actually to punish so-called hate speech. Germany, the UK and other so-called free countries are now battlegrounds in this war.

It is a war. Or at least the first salvos.  

If blasphemy laws, hate speech rules and anti-free speech codes are a part of the U.S. legal system ten years from now, I wouldn’t be surprised. At that point, opposing illegal immigration, or maintaining some semblance of liberty will be in jeopardy. 

If you can silence someone, then you can silence anyone.  That never ends well.

How many teenagers and young adults get this? And how can they learn it, before it is too late.

The young people who justify violence, seek to enforce conformity of thought, and the media who treat the phrase “hate speech” as if it is already illegal…they’ve gone in the wrong direction. Somehow, through education and conversation, this must be turned around.

David Solway:

To return to the U of T symposium. The event was scheduled to conclude with a talk by controversial author and founder of The Rebel Media Ezra Levant, the highlight of the convention. Books like Ethical Oil, Shakedown and Trumping Trudeau, and the fact that Levant is frequently embroiled in legal battles with aggrieved Muslims (and ethically compromised judges), have made him a major draw on the conference circuit. Right on cue, as Levant stepped to the podium, a throng of protestors, plainly neither conferees nor students, swarmed past a detail of useless security guards and proceeded to wreak havoc. The fire alarm was pulled and the entire building (the Sandford Fleming Engineering Building) had to be evacuated. Classes were disrupted as well as the lectures in the auditorium seating hundreds of paying attendees — and that was the end of the affair. This, as noted, is a standard tactic of the dysfunctional and anarchy-loving student left.