Thursday, May 21, 2015

Free Speech Abuse

Horror: 41% of Americans Want Free Speech Restrictions, Posted on May 21, 2015 by Rob Knowles
Free speech is not to be regulated like diseased cattle and impure butter. The audience that hissed yesterday may applaud today, even for the same performance.” – William O. Douglas
The first amendment is the document that secured in pen our pre-existing right to speak freely. The first amendment didn’t create free speech anymore than the civil rights movement made blacks equal to whites—it simply set an already existing human right into man-made law.
The freedom to speak openly without fear of reprisal is not just a human right, it is part of our state of being; it’s as essential to who we are as our consciousness.
But there are those who want to suppress this intrinsic right because of their own sensibilities.
According to a new YouGov poll, when asked the question: “Would you support or oppose a law that would make it a crime for people to make public comments intended to stir up hatred against a group based on things such as their race, gender, religion, ethnic group, or sexual orientation?” a stunning 41% said yes. This is the plurality. 39% opposed.
Broken down, Democrats were more on board (no surprise), with 51% supporting, and 26% opposing. However, 37% of Republicans also said they would support such measures.
As George Orwell said, “So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don’t even know that fire is hot.” Given that, I expect Democrats to do stupid things, but when the overall percentage favors supporting measures which would suppress free speech, we’ve entered frightening territory.
There is a caveat. It is possible that those who answered didn’t understand the question. As YouGov points out, hate crimes are already illegal, but “hate speech” as it were is protected in the United States, unlike in many other countries. The respondents may have misunderstood the question, thinking it referred to actual criminal acts—but if that’s the case, I’m still awestruck at the idiocy. Either the audience misunderstood a simple question, or they believe free speech should be suppressed.
As has been repeated recently in reference to the Garland, Texas “Draw Mohammed” shooting, the first amendment wasn’t designed to protect speech with which everyone agrees, it was designed to protect speech some may find offensive, or even sickening.
We protect free speech because if even one tenth of one percent of speech is banned because a majority—or a vocal minority—find it offensive, it becomes a fracture in the dam. This fracture will not stay as it is for very long, because as pressure builds, it will expand, leading to more and more grand fractures, resulting in the entire structure collapsing. What begins as a minor fault can and will inevitably lead to total censorship. Who controls what is deemed offensive? The people? The government? A council of oracles? Who?
If the people are in control of what is defined as “hate speech,” there will be no agreement. Everyone is offended by something. If we allow one group’s definition of offensive words to restrict speech, every single act of speech will fall like dominoes, because if one group’s ideas are considered valid, everyone’s have to be. This leads to total censorship.
If we allow the government to make the decision, it will be left to whoever is in power to decide what is offensive. How do you think that would work out? One side would use the power to silence their opposition. This would create a tyranny.
No one can be the arbiter. We must allow all speech, or we must allow none; it’s an all or nothing proposition. I personally consider the slander of Christ offensive. For example, if an artist decides to place a crucifix in a jar of urine, that is offensive to me personally. However, I do not, and would not ever say that someone shouldn’t be allowed to do it–because there begins the landslide.
Some people are hateful, some people are evil, and some people want to use their rights to stir up hatred against others, but unless it’s a direct threat of injury or a direct threat to life, it’s protected under the first amendment. Censoring hatred will lead to the censorship of everything else.
As George Bernard Shaw (a very offensive man himself) said: “Censorship ends in logical completeness when nobody is allowed to read any books except the books that nobody reads.”
Either we’re at the top of the mountain, speaking freely, or we’re at the bottom, silenced by the rubble. There is no in-between.
 
Comments
 
Free speech never anticipated “protected groups”. The Poll Question was bogus. “Public comments intended to stir up hatred against a group” is Liberal freeze-speak that includes public comments analyzing, criticizing or questioning a group.  Any question or criticism is interpreted by Liberals as hateful if it is made against a protected group or Liberal ideology or dumb Liberal idea.  I vote for freedom, not protected groups.
 
Norb Leahy, Dunwoody GA Tea Party Leader

 

Political Speech safe for now

Obama's attack dogs surrender to Drudge Democrats back down after 'public outcry'
The Federal Election Commission has backed off its plans to regulate political content on the Internet in the face of mounting criticism after it suggested that online political activity should be regulated.
The FEC on Thursday rejected talk of new rules, a victory for GOP commissioners who feared Democrats were targeting conservative sites like the Drudge Report and Sean Hannity.
During a public meeting, Democrats on the FEC said they were responding to the public outcry in saying that no new rules are required, the Washington Examiner reported in a column by Paul Bedard.
Democratic Commissioner Ellen Weintraub said the FEC received approximately 5,000 comments demanding the agency keep its hands off the Internet, Bedard reported. In response, she proposed a resolution that directly barred Internet regulation.
“I wanted to make clear that I was listening to what people are saying out there and I think we should allay those concerns if people are concerned that we are about to do that,” she said. Her May 18 resolution said: “I further move that the Commission direct [counsel] to exclude from the rulemaking any proposal affecting political activity on the internet.”
Republican commissioners had raised concerns that Democrats on the commission were targeting conservative political and news websites like Drudge, and could regulate them.
Weintraub denied she ever wanted to “regulate the Internet” but was merely trying to provide more “transparency” in political fundraising covered by a recent Supreme Court case in which the court struck down contribution limits. The ruling led some, such as U.S. News and World Report, to declare that the U.S. had entered the “Wild West” of unlimited political donations.
But public comments on the plan, she said, brought home two clear messages: “There was a strong message that we not regulate the Internet and there was an even stronger message in terms of number of people who bother to comment, who said do something about disclosure.”
A total of about 32,000 comments were received.
FEC Chair Ann M. Ravel, pushing for new disclosure regulations, added that the agency should make clear it won’t touch the Internet. “There is no such regulation, and it should not — we can say it clearly here, in this motion,” she said.
The FEC deadlocked 3-3 and did not approve the resolution, but comments by Democrats appeared to stymie, at least for now, any attempts by the agency to regulate the online world.
Republican Commissioner Lee Goodman told Bedard, “We have now won this debate, and that’s good for the American people and the Internet.”
Goodman had pushed a bid to “clarify” the regulations on Internet political activity but Democrats ignored him. “I’m asking is to clarify existing freedoms,” said Goodman.
Under current rules, political activity on the web is allowed, but paid political advertising is regulated. There have been questions about groups that promote causes or candidates, but not through advertising. Even endorsements by news organizations have been questioned.
Republicans rejected the Democratic motion, believing new regulations weren’t required.
 

Pelosi’s Chutzpah


Is Pelosi Predicting Republican Victory Over Obamacare?
Posted 5/21/15 by Dave Jolly Filed under ObamaCare
Remember when then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi made her infamous statement? "We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”
Ever since that absurd comment from California’s finest, Pelosi has a track record of making statements about Obamacare that are the opposite of being accurate or true. She has continuously stated that Obamacare has successfully made healthcare cheaper and provided better access to doctors and treatments. Yet all reports have proven that Pelosi is wrong, wrong and wrong.
Pelosi has also stated that millions of uninsured Americans now have affordable healthcare thanks to Obamacare. Yet most of the reports indicate that even more Americans are without healthcare insurance now than when Obamacare took effect. Most of the millions that have signed up already had healthcare insurance. Even in Pelosi’s home state of California, a third of the people with policies obtained through Covered California failed to renew their policies.
Pelosi also predicted that the American people would come to love and embrace Obamacare, yet many polls are indicating that its popularity and support are decreasing. More and more people have found their healthcare costs rise so much that they can no longer afford it. Millions of others who had subsidies found that they owed an average of over $700 on their taxes this year because they received too much subsidy for their income. A growing number of American workers have had their hours cut by over 25% because of Obamacare.
Now Pelosi is predicting that Republicans will be sorry if the Supreme Court guts the subsidies given to those using the federal exchange, HealthCare.gov, to obtain their coverage. Speaking to the media, Pelosi stated: "It would be bad news for (Republicans), it would be really bad news for them."
Given her track record for wrong predictions, a victory in the Supreme Court could be a huge triumph for Republicans and give them the impetus they need to fix, repeal or replace Obamacare. The timing could be just right to help secure a Republican victory in next year’s elections and put one of ours in the White House.
http://godfatherpolitics.com/22500/is-pelosi-predicting-republican-victory-over-obamacare/#
Comments
 
The term is “bald faced lie”. The child with chocolate on their face says” “Herbie did it.”  Nancy Pelosi could inspire a new description for her politically defensive, persistent lies.  We could call it a pelosilogical lie to describe pathological lies that attempt to shift blame.  An obamalogical lie is that climate change is our greatest national security threat, when in fact the $trillions we’re wasting on climate change is our greatest threat.
 
Norb Leahy, Dunwoody GA Tea Party Leader
 
 

Common Core Math Optional GA

State School Superintendent Richard Woods announced today that teachers should teach math the traditional way. 
But, Common Core Tests are federal and mandated and will include ‘contorted math’ problems unless Georgia can substitute these for tests that do not include ‘contorted math’ problems.
My colleagues at the Educational Freedom Coalition.com are asking for a clean break with Common Core to avoid the testing issues and ban unconstitutional data collection, brainwashing and conditioning included in the Common Core Psychological Testing scheme.
They are asking State Superintendent Woods how he will handle the testing question.  Woods is correct that ‘regular math’ needs to be taught, but if our students are required to take the federal test, they will also need to know ‘contorted math’.
This is a 10th Amendment issue and may result in reduced federal bribes.  Stopping Common Core in Georgia will require a Bill in the Georgia Legislature banning Common Core. It will also require that we do without whatever federal bribe money that is tied to Common Core compliance.
Many of us believe that the U.S. Department of Education should be abolished.  Education is not one of the enumerated powers granted by the states to the federal.  We also recognize the damage that has already been done by federal meddling in education. 
This would require that we admit that the responsibility for education resides with the student, assisted by parents and teachers and government dictates are counterproductive, expensive, intrusive, inappropriate and dangerous.
Norb Leahy, Dunwoody GA Tea Party Leader

Government Corruption

Federal Laws take on a life of their own in Federal Regulations; this continues to make things worse. The Clean Air Act has led to the EPA Regulations naming carbon dioxide a pollutant.  This is ridiculous and is based on the global warming hoax.  Congress does nothing to correct this.  U.S. Criminal Law would view the global warming hoax as fraud.  In this case, the fraud is costing U.S. taxpayers $trillions of dollars.  All officials who are silent are equally guilty of perpetuating this fraud. 
In most cases, the federal laws that do the most harm are unconstitutional.  The U.S. Constitution limited the federal government to enumerated powers on purpose.  Corrupt forces have succeeded in passing and enforcing unconstitutional federal laws for over 100 years. Ensuring “clean air” is not one of the enumerated powers granted to the federal by the states. 
Civil Law was provided so that damages, if proven, can be collected from polluters to those injured by their actions.  We don’t need environmental laws and shouldn’t have them.  Unconstitutional laws are pre-emptive.  The government decides what citizens are allowed to do, assuming they will do harm.  The tyranny that results erodes the freedom that was designed to be ensured in the original Constitution. 
Norb Leahy, Dunwoody GA Tea Party Leader

Supreme Court Corrupt


How the Supreme Court Keeps our Ruling Class in Power by George Leef, 5/20/15

Twenty years ago this month, the Supreme Court placed a huge roadblock in the way of a grass-roots, bipartisan movement that had been gaining strength, namely the term limits movement. In many states, voters had approved limits on the number of terms that state officials may serve. Back in the early 90s, there was similar pressure to limit the number of terms members of the U.S. House and Senate could serve.

And then, the Supreme Court said such limits were unconstitutional in U.S. Term Limits v. Thornton. By a 5-4 vote, the justices held that putting term limits on members of Congress (as Arkansas had voted to do) amounted to an additional “qualification” for holding office, which no state could impose because the Constitution’s stated qualifications are exhaustive.

In my view, Justice Clarence Thomas grasped the crucial point, writing “Nothing in the Constitution deprives the people of each State of the power to prescribe eligibility requirements for the candidates who seek to represent them in Congress. The Constitution is simply silent on this question. And where the Constitution is silent, it raises no bar to action by the State or the people.”

That, however, was in dissent. Justice Stevens’ convoluted, pro-status quo opinion carried the day, much like his convoluted, pro-status quo opinion in the eminent domain case Kelo v. New London would ten years later.

Nevertheless, the Court has spoken and the only certain means of dismantling its roadblock against federal term limits is to amend the Constitution.

According to polling, a remarkably large majority of the American public would like to see term limits. A 2013 Gallup poll found that 75 percent of voters were in favor of having term limits for members of Congress, with only 21 percent opposed and 5 percent registering no opinion. Support was somewhat higher among Republicans and independents, but 65 percent of Democrats surveyed were in favor.

You might think that in a democracy, when such a high percentage of the people want a change in the law, it would be fairly easy to bring it about. But that is not the case. As we learn from the branch of economics known as Public Choice theory, elected officials have their own set of preferences that frequently are out of alignment with those of the people they supposedly represent.

When it comes to staying in office, that misalignment is especially severe. While the voters might think it best if the members of Congress had to rotate back into ordinary life after two or three terms, most members don’t want to leave once they’ve gotten the taste of Washington’s power and perks.

Congressman Ron DeSantis explains in this piece that “Term limits don’t have traction in Congress because the wishes of the public are at odds with the self-interest of individual members of Congress. The primary reason politicians seek to curry favor with the public is so that they can perpetuate themselves in office; heeding the desires of the public becomes much less attractive if it means forcing them out of office.”

So here’s the situation. Most Americans think they ought to be able to have a law that limits the length of time their representatives serve in Congress, but those same representatives would have to approve an amendment to the Constitution (thanks to the Supreme Court) before that can happen, and they don’t want to.

One of the few members of Congress who thinks that there should be a limit on how long he can stay is Arizona representative Matt Salmon, who has introduced legislation (House Joint Resolution 14) which would amend the Constitution to specify that members of the House can serve no more than three terms and members of the Senate no more than two. Predictably, that measure has gotten the support of only a tiny number of members.

Representative DeSantis suggests a means of breaking the logjam, namely to include a “grandfather provision” so that terms limits would only apply to future members of Congress. That might do the trick, but I suspect that no amendment will make it through Congress for the states to either approve or reject without a hard push from the White House. As long as it remains in Democratic hands, that isn’t going to happen. Long-serving House and Senate Democrats, even in the minority, are the friends of the federal mega-state, reliable enemies of efforts at scaling it back and repealing any of the vast number of laws we should repeal.

The longer politicians remain in Washington, the more likely that they’ll settle in comfortably with the lobbying community and decide that they really don’t want to rock the boat.

They also become increasingly estranged from real life; despite glitzy “listening tours” and such, they give less and less thought to how government affects the people back home. (The late senator George McGovern, years after leaving office, tried to run a bed and breakfast; that opened his eyes to how hard the government has made things for anyone who wants to earn an honest living in business.) That’s because they don’t foresee having to go “back home” at any point.

Gerrymandered districts and the huge advantages of incumbency mean that once elected, politicians can anticipate long careers in Washington. The effects of that are overwhelmingly bad.

America should have a national debate over term limits, a debate that would perhaps spill over into other important topics like the proper scope of government power. Unfortunately, that debate won’t take place unless we get some true political leadership.

Originally published on Forbes.com.

http://affluentinvestor.com/2015/05/how-the-supreme-court-keeps-our-ruling-class-in-power/

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Tyranny of Neurotic Thoughtfulness

“Microaggression” – Liberals New Method for Killing Free Speech, By Joe Messina / 20 May 2015
The word “microaggression” has cropped up with increased frequency over the last year, to the point that now I see it almost daily! What does it mean?
Webster’s says it has “no meaning.” It’s not a word. It doesn’t exist! Various blogs, papers, and online source provide a definition, but they’re not “official” dictionaries.
And then, I found www.microaggressions.com. This site was obviously built by people who can’t stand anyone who might, kinda, sorta, could have some kind of privilege going for them. According to this site “microaggression” is defined as:
“Racial micro aggressions are brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults toward people of color.”
I have said it before… words no longer have meaning and this is another perfect example of why. This definition specifically says it’s aimed at people of color.
Based on the many “microaggression” stories I’ve covered, the definition should read as follows: micro aggressions are brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative slights and insults towards; __________. (INSERT – anyone identifying as LGBTQ, a woman, a minority, or some other subset of people, no matter how ridiculous).
Recently at Brandeis University, the Asian American Students Association was accused of microaggression for putting up a display to explain microaggression using only Asians… REALLY?
A group at Oberlin University had to issue a warning of microaggression or triggering alerting readers they were about to see “Discussion of rape culture, online harassment, victim blaming, and rape apologism and denialism. REALLY? They needed a warning?
Recently Johns Hopkins University refused to allow Chick-Fil-A to open on campus because the campus LGBTQ club considered it an act of microaggression. So now anyone or anything that offends is microaggression? Well, kinda sorta. It really only seems to apply to certain groups.
If you ask me to remove my Bible from view, you would consider that your right not to be “assaulted” by my belief. But by the definitions above, wouldn’t that be considered a microaggression toward me and my religion?
The latest in microaggressions was reported at Arizona State University. Students petitioned staff to change the name of pedestrian walkways. Why, you ask? Because not everyone can walk and that COULD be viewed as a microaggression to someone in a wheelchair or on crutches. Even the people who were supposed to be offended (those in wheelchairs or on crutches) thought this was ridiculous.
So what’s the magic formula? Is it considered a microaggression if it leaves out even one person? Have we raised a group of individuals who don’t know that pedestrian crossings were put in place to protect people not in a vehicle?
Since most of these microaggression dustups seem to happen on college campuses, maybe we need to add “Common Sense Definitions 101” to orientation.
One of the people interviewed at Arizona State said, “I was on crutches for 5 weeks and felt uncomfortable when seeing this sign.” Why? What would make this a big deal for this person? A sign made them uncomfortable. He was on crutches for a temporary period for whatever reason. Was he concerned someone would see him on crutches and he was embarrassed? Was it because he felt guilty for using the crosswalk when he was so healthy otherwise? It makes no sense. It’s a crosswalk. That doesn’t mean it’s for people with 2 physically healthy legs. It means it’s for non-vehicles.
This person is going to have a very hard life if a crosswalk sign caused him this much trauma!
So again I ask, what is the magic formula? Is it how many people are offended? A percentage of the whole campus or event? Does it only apply to certain groups?
What about some of the curriculum that’s offensive to certain religious groups? Is that a form of microaggression? Probably not. Religious people are weird, so it’s ok to make fun of them and treat them differently. No problem!
Based on my research, I’ve concluded that microaggression is defined as:
A made-up word used to try to intimidate those who are too concerned about political correctness. It is aimed at non-issues that ultimately hurt no one but a few overly sensitive “humans” (that’s still an OK term, I hope) to create a distraction away from the real issues.
Our kids are graduating with record high debt, few prospects for jobs, and are still undereducated. Oh wait, that’s probably a form of microaggression. But isn’t everything?
 http://eaglerising.com/18652/microaggression-liberals-new-method-for-killing-free-speech/