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The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has ordered Ben Domenech—publisher of the conservative website The Federalist…—to take down a June 2019 tweet in which he joked about sending employees who wanted to unionize to work in “the salt mines.” Domenech has refused, and the case is now making its way through the courts.
Domenech’s tweet came in response to news that employees of Vox Media Inc. walked off the job in support of unionization. No one at The Federalist had publicly expressed any interest in unionizing, and two of the website’s six employees filed affidavits attesting that they viewed the tweet as a joke. As far as I know, Domenech doesn’t own any salt mines.
The complainants, leftist lawyers Matt Bruenig (a former NLRB attorney) and Joel Fleming, have never worked for or been personally harmed by the Federalist and were clearly acting to silence their political opponents by taking advantage of NLRB’s overly broad regulations, which allow total strangers to file complaints against businesses they don’t like. The NLRB then moves to harass those businesses.
Domenech explains what happened in an article for The Wall Street Journal: “The NLRB proceeded to invade our publication, heedless of the freedom of the press. Members of my staff were subpoenaed to testify in New York, where none of them lived and we had no office. The NLRB attempted to subpoena all emails and communications between staff members going back years—including about editorial decisions, hiring decisions, and confidential sources during our coverage of the Russia-collusion hoax.
The NLRB has since ruled against The Federalist. Domenech’s defense then taken up by the New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA), a nonprofit dedicated to legally fighting attacks on civil liberties by the administrative state, which then proposed a settlement agreement, where all charges would be dropped if Domenech would simply delete his tweet.
The NLRB erroneously interpreted its own governing statute to mean anyone can press unsubstantiated charges to silence a company’s opposing beliefs. NLRB has no authority to prosecute particular viewpoints and label them as a violation of the law. Individuals have the right to speak freely and satirically to express their opinions under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. And yes, even government agencies have to abide by that … It’s understandable that those who can’t afford to fight often bend the knee, but in that America, bureaucrats—and the trolls who weaponize them to silence speech they don’t like—will keep on rolling until someone stands up and says ‘no.’
If you want to get the full picture, from Domenech’s own mouth, watch the embedded video below, produced by the NCLA. That non-profit, like the non-profit legal firm the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), is picking up the slack left by the ACLU, which has gone from defending free speech to promoting the partisan Democratic Party agenda, often with the intent of c however free speech.
Meanwhile, I think Americans should take a close look at the politics of the two lawyers who instigated this attack on free speech. Matt Bruenig’s socialist agenda is very obvious if you read his website. He is a proud Marxist, eager to advocate the socialization of American industry under government control. Joel Fleming meanwhile filed and lost a similar complaint to the labor board against Ben Shapiro and the Daily Wire, another conservative news outlet. It appears he is also quite left wing, and not afraid to use his legal diploma to silence the speech of those he disagrees with.
This is the left today, a monolith of tyrants and jack-booted thugs. If you are still a registered Democrat and still vote for such people, then you are a tyrant and jack-booted thug as well. Doesn’t that make you feel proud?
Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!
From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.
“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.
All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.
Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.