Tag Archives: free speech

Google considered burying conservative outlets in search results

Evil: After Trump’s 2016 election victory, Google management seriously considered rigging search results so that conservative news outlets would not show up.

They never did it, but instead created a short-lived fact check feature that was clearly aimed at discrediting conservative sites.

“We’re working on providing users with context around stories so that they can know the bigger picture,” chimed in David Besbris, vice president of engineering at Google. “We can play a role in providing the full story and educate them about all sides. This doesn’t have to be filtering and can be useful to everyone,” he wrote. Other employees similarly advocated providing contextual information about media sources in search results, and the company later did so with a short-lived fact check at the end of 2017.

Not only did the fact-check feature target conservative outlets almost exclusively, it was also blatantly wrong. Google’s fact check repeatedly attributed false claims to those outlets, even though they demonstrably never made those claims.

Google pulled the faulty fact-check program in January, crediting TheDCNF’s investigation for the decision.

Forgive me if I remain suspicious about how they rig search results these days. There are too many indications that the culture at this company is tyrannically liberal and willing to destroy anyone who dissents from that political position.

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University censors student handing out “Jesus loves you” valentines

Fascist academia: Northeast Wisconsin Technical College has blocked a student from handing out “Jesus loves you” valentines, calling her actions “disruptive.”

A Wisconsin student sued her school on Tuesday after the administration labeled her a “disruptive student” for handing out Valentine’s Day cards reading “Jesus loves you.” Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC) student Polly Olsen sued her school for what she termed an “unconstitutional” Public Assembly Policy, according to a lawsuit obtained by Campus Reform. “Ms. Olsen was not selling the Valentines, soliciting donations, or asking the recipients for anything. Everyone was free to decline them.”

NWTC restricts what it deems as “disruptive” free expression and free speech, as protected by the First Amendment, to a tiny box on campus that makes up less than one percent of the campus. Olsen described the school’s “free speech zone” as “about the size of two buses next to each other,” highlighting the fact that no one “congregates there, they just walk through,” something she suggested prohibited her from having meaningful conversations with others.

The school’s restrictive speech policy appears blatantly unconstitutional. At the minimum it is oppressive and unreasonable, preventing individuals from exercising their first amendment rights. I hope she wins, costing the school both money and reputation. It is not a place I’d send my kids.

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3D gun files still available to public despite judge’s ruling

Pushback: Despite a judge’s apparently unconstitutional ruling that banned the free give-away of the plans for printing 3D guns, the company that is producing them has instead made them available for purchase, at any price the buyer designates.

The ruling was intensely shaky and a jab to both the First and Second Amendment, so naturally Democrats were aroused.

But their celebration was premature.

Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson crushed their short-lived happiness during a Tuesday press conference where he revealed that he actually won’t be stopped from sharing technical data; he will simply sell the files via his website, defcad.com. (Yes, he can do this.) “This judge’s order, stopping us from simply giving things away, was only an authorization that we could sell it, that we could mail it, that we could email it, that we could provide it by secure transfer. I will be doing all of those things, now,” announced Wilson.

“A lot of this to me was about principle,” he continued. “For many years, I just chose not to sell these files, because I’m an open-source activist. I believed in demonstrating that there was a right to commit this information to the public domain.”

“But, this is my opportunity to correct the media all in one place. To read headline after headline about how you can no longer 3D-print a gun, you can no longer have these files, this is not true. This has never been true. I now have to demonstrate this to you, forcefully, to deliver the point.”

There is no set price for the material; patrons are asked to give whatever they’d like in exchange. Wilson said the money would be used for further legal fees.

The judge’s ruling was completely bogus, especially since the Trump Justice Department had already settled the suit that the Obama Justice Department had brought. Moreover, since when can a judge ban the publication of any information the U.S.? His ruling appears to violate the First Amendment, and possibly the Second Amendment as well.

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Inventor of 3D gun wins lawsuit against Justice

The inventor of a 3D gun has won a free speech lawsuit against the Justice Department for its order blocking the publication of his 3D gun designs.

Cody Wilson’s Defense Distributed and Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) reached a settlement with the Department of Justice allowing unfettered publication of 3D gun files and other information in a case centered on free speech. Breitbart News reported that SAF filed a suit on behalf of Defense Distributed on May 6, 2015, seeking to free Wilson from a federal mandate that he not post blueprints for The Liberator pistol online.

Over three years later, the announcement comes that Wilson and SAF won. SAF sent a press release to Breitbart News, explaining details of settlement, saying, “The government has agreed to waive its prior restraint against the plaintiffs, allowing them to freely publish the 3-D files and other information at issue. The government has also agreed to pay a significant portion of the plaintiffs’ attorney’s fees, and to return $10,000 in State Department registration dues paid by Defense Distributed as a result of the prior restraint.”

In other words, the Justice Department had no authority under the Constitution to block the publication of these 3D gun plans, and in its effort to try it has lost badly.

What this really means is that it is now literally impossible for any government to impose gun control. If you want a gun, all you will need is the right kind of 3D printer (getting better all the time) and the right plans, soon to be available on the web. While this might make guns more available for bad guys, I guarantee that they will quickly be outnumbered by the good guys.

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This week in fascist academia

This week’s collection of stories illustrating the fascist culture that permeates today’s academic community actually includes some good news. (My last fascist academia post can be seen here.)

First the bad:

The first story illustrates that this intolerance is not limited to the left. In this case a conservative university kicked out a speaker with more moderate views.

Nonetheless, the majority of these attacks on freedom of speech continue to come from the left or from left-leaning organizations. The last story indicates the trends, which include a significant shift towards violence and a disrespect for property rights.

Now for the good news.

In the first story we see a rare example of someone experiencing bad consequences for their bad fascist behavior. If only this would happen more often. In the second story the theatrical community, including the normally very leftwing partisan Dramatists Guild of America (!), has actually come out against censorship, even if that censorship involves opinions that attack modern liberal sacred cows, such as the racist Black Lives Matter movement. This action is so out of the norm that I am somewhat speechless.

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Today in fascist academia

Time for another update on the growing movement on American campuses to squelch freedom of speech. The stories below highlight some of the more egregious examples since my last update.

Note also that I am making a point to identify the university in every headline I link to. If you have children who are about to pick a college, a quick search here at Behind the Black will tell you where a college stands on the first amendment and free speech.

No one should be surprised that three of these stories come out of California, which in recent years has become increasingly hostile to the concept of dissent.

All is not bad news, however. The Board of Regents that runs the University of Wisconsin two weeks ago approved a new policy that would suspend and expel students who disrupt speeches and presentations on campus.

This tidbit from the story reveals once again which political party today believes in free speech, and which political party does not.

The new Wisconsin policy mirrors Republican legislation the state Assembly passed in June, though the Senate has yet to act on the bill. Regents President John Robert Behling told the board before Friday’s vote that adopting the policy ahead of the legislation shows “a responsiveness to what’s going on in the Capitol, which helps build relationships.”

Republican Gov. Scott Walker appointed all but two of the board’s 18 members. State public schools Superintendent Tony Evers and Wisconsin Technical College System Board President Mark Tyler are automatically regents by virtue of their offices.

Evers, a Democrat running against Walker in next year’s gubernatorial election, cast the only dissenting vote. He accused the regents of sacrificing free speech to curry favor with Republican lawmakers.

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Suppression of academic freedom a global crisis

A new report the charity Scholars at Risk (SAR) reveals that the attacks on academic freedom and free speech are part of a growing global crisis.

SAR’s report Free to Think 2017 summarises a year of data collected by SAR’s monitoring project; it includes 257 reported attacks in 35 countries. ‘Attacks’ include killings, violence and disappearances; wrongful prosecution and imprisonment; loss of position and expulsion from study; improper travel restrictions; and other severe or systemic issues including, for example, university closures or military occupation of a campus.

There is a growing trend that, in societies experiencing armed conflict or extremism, higher education communities are perceived as symbols of state authority or sources of potential opposition to radical ideologies. Attacks are generally intended to punish or deter inquiry, or even expression, on unpopular topics. During the past year, SAR found evidence of large-scale violent attacks on campuses in Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria, while targeted killings of individuals were reported in Pakistan, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

Thousands of people in the higher education sector have been targeted in Turkey where state and university authorities continue to take sweeping measures in retaliation for alleged political links or content of research, publications or teaching. Punitive actions by the Turkish state have included imprisonment and prosecution; dismissal and expulsion of scholars and students; and restrictions on travel and institutional autonomy.

Incidents of violence against organised student expression were reported in increasing numbers this year. In Venezuela, South Africa, Niger, Cameroon, Turkey and India, state authorities responded to nonviolent student protests with force, including with rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades. In some cases, however, students engaged in violent or coercive conduct, including incidents in South Africa, where campus facilities were damaged, and in the US, where physical force was used to intimidate and disrupt certain speakers on campus.

It is shameful that American campuses, once the world’s shining beacon of freedom of speech, have now become part of this oppressive trend.

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Pro-Trump hecklers shout down California attorney general

Fascism: A Q&A at Whittier College with California’s attorney general was shouted down and cut off prematurely by pro-Trump demonstrators.

The event ended early after pro-Trump hecklers, upset about Becerra’s lawsuit against the Trump administration over DACA, continuously shouted slogans and insults at Becerra and Calderon. A group affiliated with the hecklers later boasted that the speakers were “SHOUTED DOWN BY FED-UP CALIFORNIANS” and that the “meeting became so raucous that it ended about a half hour early.”

The event, held in Whittier College’s Shannon Center theater, was free and open to members of the community, and featured introductions from both Whittier’s president and student body president. Becerra and Calderon were to have an hour-long question-and-answer session using audience questions randomly selected from a basket. As soon as they began the discussion, however, hecklers decked in “Make America Great Again” hats began a continuous and persistent chorus of boos, slogans, and insults.

I am not surprised that we are now seeing people on the right doing this sort of thing, having seen leftists do it repeatedly during the past year and getting away with it, every single time. They are angry and frustrated, and want to return the favor.

Having said that, however, I also firmly consider this terribly wrong and an example of fascist behavior. If the only way we are going to behave is screaming at each other, we will soon see that screaming descend into utter violence, a process that will do no one any good, and solve nothing.

These hecklers should have been escorted out of the room, and arrested if they resisted in the slightest. That they weren’t speaks poorly of the security at Whittier College.

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Today in facist academia

Fascist academia: There are so many of these stories each day that I find it somewhat repetitive to post them over and over again. Here are today’s sampling of college protesters and academic administrators shutting down speech they don’t like.

Note that these stories cover five different universities. In several cases the university administration participated in shutting down dissenting views. In all cases it appears the administrations are complacent in supporting the heckler’s veto by not doing anything to stop it.

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UC-Berkeley’s chancellor orders removal of posters, starts investigation

Fascist Berkeley: Following the cancellation of “Free Speech Week” at the University of Berkeley, the university’s chancellor ordered the removal of posters detailing the terrorist connections of certain students and teachers, calling them “hate speech” and starting an investigation into the conservative organization that posted them.

The posters in question name Kumars Salehi, Judith Butler, and Hatem Bazian and nine other individuals as supporters of terrorism on the consciousness-raising posters that UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ ordered torn down.

According to the Canary Mission website, Salehi is a graduate student in German literature and culture at Berkeley. Salehi supports the dissolution of the State of Israel and is a member of the terrorist front group Students for Justice in Palestine and the BDS movement. He agrees with the absurd claim of Columbia University professor Joseph Massad that “Zionism and white nationalist anti-Semitism have historically been allies.”

Butler is the Maxine Elliott Professor of Comparative Literature at Berkeley, a BDS movement leader, and a member of the anti-Israel Jewish Voices for Peace (JVP) advisory committee. Butler has charactered Muslim terrorist groups as legitimate political players, saying she sees “Hamas [and] Hezbollah as social movements that are progressive, that are on the Left, that are part of a global Left [that are] very important.”

Bazian co-founded Students for Justice in Palestine to wage a campus war against Israel on behalf of Hamas. Bazian is chairman of the board of the Hamas organization “American Muslims for Palestine,” and is on record calling for the destruction of the Jewish state and its Jews in so many words. The founding charter of Hamas, by the way, speaks of “the Nazism of the Jews” and asserts that “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” It claims that peace initiatives “are all contrary to the beliefs of the Islamic Resistance Movement”; that “there is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by Jihad”; and that “war for the sake of Allah” is a noble enterprise that requires the faithful to “assault and kill” on a massive scale. [emphasis mine]

You can’t support freedom of speech if you tear down posters and investigate the people who post them. Such actions are that of tyrants, and we now know that Chancellor Christ’s claims that she supported free speech were lies.

Note that the posters were put up as part of the “Free Speech Week” event that Milo Yiannopoulos attempt to put on there, which ended up getting cancelled. Note also that they were written and posted by the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a conservative organization focused on supporting freedom and opposing oppression.

Update: Leftist protesters at Berkeley this week also acted to block reporters from reporting on their protest.

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UC-Berkeley student group backs out of free speech event

Academic fascism: The student group at the University of California-Berkeley that was sponsoring the “Free Speech Week” event that was scheduled to begin this coming week has withdrawn their sponsorship.

The student organizers of the “Free Speech Week” at the University of California, Berkeley have announced that they will no longer be hosting the event due to pressure from school administrators. Milo Yiannopoulos, however, insisted during a Saturday press conference that the event would begin as planned on Sunday, though he said Ann Coulter and Steve Bannon would have to be rescheduled.

It is presently unclear exactly what happened. The university denies that it was pressuring the student group to cancel the event, and is instead claiming that they were doing all that they could to make the event happen. Meanwhile, this story paints a bad picture of Milo Yiannopoulos’s methods for organizing the event.

My inclination now is to believe the student organizers, based on Berkeley’s recent track record supporting censorship and violence against conservatives. However, it is also possible the organizers were not very organized, as suggested by the university and the last link above. Either way, the real source of the problem here is the fascist intolerant culture of Berkeley itself, which encourages violence against conservatives or anyone else who happens to dissent from leftwing orthodoxy. That thuggish culture has made it very difficult to schedule any conservative speaker, since everyone knows that these speakers will require a fortune in security to protect them.

Yiannopoulos meanwhile says he still plans on speaking there, regardless. We shall see.

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Middlebury College endorses heckler’s veto

Another college no one should attend: Middlebury College, which saw violent protests when author Charles Murray gave a speech there, has established a new policy that will have them cancel any speaker “in cases of imminent and credible threat to the community that cannot be mitigated by revisions to the event plan.”

In other words, threaten violence against a speaker you disagree with, and you will successfully silence that speaker.

If this college believed in free speech, it would instead announce that it will immediately expel any student that threatens violence against anyone, and that it will do whatever is necessary to defend all speakers from violence. But the administration here doesn’t believe in free speech, so instead it invites violence against any unpopular speaker.

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Big news: Free speech is allowed in Berkeley

Last night conservative Ben Shapiro was able to give a speech before about 700 people on the UC-Berkeley campus with no disruptions or violence, mostly due to a major security effort by the city and university.

Outside, as many as 1,000 people were gathered — some protesters, others onlookers — and a group of up to 50 students occupied a breezeway at the ASUC Student Union, where they’d put up a sign, “Students Against Fascism and War,” and interacted with the crowd. They exited the building calmly just before the Zellerbach event ended at 9 p.m. “There’s a sense of relief and satisfaction that the event was able to go forward without disruption, that those who chose to protest did so in largely nonviolent ways and that, overall, things went as well as could be expected,” said UC Berkeley Assistant Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs Dan Mogulof, at a media briefing later that night.

UC Berkeley Police Chief Margo Bennett said the event was “orderly,” attended by people who were “respectful and interested” in the speaker and that it concluded peacefully.

Only a few arrests were made, and no violence occurred.

While the success of this event shows progress compared to previous events where violent thugs rioted, it is still damning to California and Berkeley and the liberal/leftist community of Berkeley that we are all surprised that no violence occurred. Instead, the need for security illustrates the intolerance of this community and its willingness to silence dissent.

In two weeks conservatives will be holding a major event on the campus, with a whole slate of speakers. It will be another opportunity for the Berkeley community to show us how tolerant they are to free speech and the open marketplace of ideas.

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Berkeley creates police state in anticipation of conservative speaker

Free speech in fascist California: In order to prevent violence against a conservative speaker, the town of Berkeley is imposing very strict security controls for tomorrow’s event.

The key security measure that I think will make the most difference are these:

UC Berkeley’s Provost Paul Alivisatos sent a recent campus-wide message detailing security plans, saying no one wearing masks or carrying weapons of any sort will be allowed on campus.

Police will block off the building where Shapiro is scheduled to speak and several other buildings hours before the event starts. Anyone entering the secure zone to pick up tickets must present a photo I.D. Nearby parking lots will be closed.

Berkeley police chief Andrew Greenwood said police will make “very strong, rapid arrests” Thursday night if any protesters have weapons or wear masks.

You want to commit violence, you won’t be able to do it anonymously, as was allowed previously.

Though it is tragic that so much of the population of California hates dissent so much that they are willing to commit violence to squelch opposing points of view, it is progress that the local government and university administration are finally acting to defend the people’s right to speak freely.

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Local officials deny pro-Trump group rally permit

Fascist California: Citing safety concerns local officials in the town of Upland, California have denied a permit for a pro-Trump rally.

An ACT for America rally was being planned for Sept. 9 in Upland at the Madonna of the Trail, according to a Facebook post. The location of the rally, which now says “Inland Empire ((somewhere))” was changed Friday after a top Upland official made it clear a permit for the rally would be denied.

It is part of “America First” rallies being held nationwide that day. “This event will be in dedication to all first responders and national security. We appreciate all the hard work our men and woman of service has provided for our protection. As Americans we are giving thanks for protecting our beautiful country,” the Facebook description stated. [emphasis mine]

These officials are essentially endorsing the heckler’s veto, and I bet they are doing it because they agree with the fascist leftwing brownshirts that are attacking conservatives nationwide in order to silence them.

In other words, the first amendment no longer exists in California. Be warned if you go there to protest or speak any conservative ideas. You will either find government officials working to squelch your right to speak, or they will look away (as they did in Berkeley) when thugs move in to beat you up.

Let me add this question: Since when did Americans need permission from government officials to protest?

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California Democrats move to stifle free speech

Fascist California: California politicians are demanding that a conservative political rally planned for this weekend be stopped because someone who opposes the rally might come and commit violence.

San Francisco’s top political leaders piled on Tuesday in opposition to a right-wing group’s planned rally next week at Crissy Field, with Mayor Ed Lee expressing outrage that the National Park Service granted a permit for the event and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi questioning whether it had been approved “under guidance from the White House.”

An organizer of the Aug. 26 rally rejected suggestions that it would be a gathering of white supremacists. And the local managers of the Presidio, a national park site, said the group’s politics made no difference because it had a constitutional right to a permit — as long as public safety isn’t endangered.

Pelosi, Lee and Sen. Dianne Feinstein said their fear is that law enforcement won’t be able to ensure public safety, especially in the aftermath of Saturday’s violence at a rally of white supremacists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Va.

The group, Patriot Prayer, has nothing to do with white supremacy.

“For those of you who believe we are seriously going to throw a white nationalist supremacist rally in San Francisco, it’s time for logic,” [organizer Joey] Gibson said. “We have a black speaker, two Hispanic speakers, we’ve got an Asian, a brown speaker right here (referring to himself) — we got a transsexual and we aren’t talking about race.”

None of that matters however. In the article Nancy Pelosi (D-California) called them white supremacists. To modern Democrats, any right wing group must be a Nazi backer and therefore must be squelched. Moreover, if their rally isn’t shut down by the authorities, I’m sure that these Democrats will have no problems if fascist thugs arrived to beat them up.

Essentially, free speech and dissent is dead in California. If you wish to express an opinion opposing the Democratic Party, be prepared for violence. And do not expect the authorities to protect you. Nor should you expect the press in California to defend your first amendment rights either.

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Radical left calls for more violence

A wide range of leftist radical groups, most of which have been involved in the variety of violent attacks in the last year against conservatives, Republicans, and Trump supporters, are now calling for even more violence against anyone who opposes them.

Many of the same groups that have organized violent demonstrations in Berkeley, California and elsewhere are now calling for an aggressive response to the violence in Charlottesville. Far-left “anti-fascist” (or antifa) figures are advising agitators to do the job that police won’t: shutting down “fascists” and preventing them from organizing.

Radical left-wingers have for months justified violence as a way to fight back against “fascism” and “racism” — terms that they have applied not just to white nationalist fringe groups but to prominent figures on the right as well. “Charlottesville is just the beginning. If the alt-right can get away with murder there, none of us will be safe. We have to stand up to white supremacists, we have to shut down and chase out these bigots every time they try to organize, or else they will kill more people,” reads one poster created by anarchist group CrimethInc, a self-described “international network of aspiring revolutionaries.”

Read the whole article. If you have any doubts these are leftist groups, note that several condemn capitalism and democracy. Moreover, if you have read any history about the organizing tactics used by the Nazis in Germany, the Fascists in Italy, and the Communists in Russia and China, you will find the language and tactics here very familiar.

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A memo from Google advising employees on correct thought

Link here. This memo clarifies for everyone what is expected of Google employees. I especially find this quote informative:

Please remember, as you no doubt read in the Employee Handbook, Google’s commitment to diversity is complete and unequivocal. Any variance from diversity is not permitted and will be dealt with immediately. It is only when all of us think exactly the same thoughts that we can achieve perfect diversity.

Of course, Google is also completely committed to the advancement of science and human knowledge. If history has taught us anything, it is that science can only flourish where the allowable topics of discussion are highly circumscribed. Approved subjects of conversation are posted throughout the campus, so please look before you speak.

I believe some of the problem lately has been a simple misunderstanding of my last memo. Unfortunately, I mistyped that Google “approves of free speech.” I meant to write that Google must “approve free speech.” I want all of our employees to feel perfectly free to express themselves however their political, moral, or religious beliefs impel them; provided of course that they receive prior written authorization.

Read it all. It really explains everything.

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University decides political displays must be hidden to avoid offending anyone

The heckler’s veto wins: Southern Methodist University has ruled that all political displays must be moved to a less prominent location to avoid upsetting anyone.

They have initiated this policy by telling a memorial to 9/11 that it must be moved.

Nearly 3,000 flags have been placed on Southern Methodist University’s Dallas Hall Lawn every year since 2010, but the group responsible for the display, Young Americans for Freedom, was recently told it must be moved. University officials told Grant Wolf, who leads SMU’s Young Americans chapter, that the display can be placed only on Morrison-McGinnis Park, a less-prominent campus location informally known as MoMac Park.

In a policy posted in July, SMU stated: “The University respects the right of all members of the SMU community to express their opinions. The University also respects the right of all members of the community to avoid messages that are triggering, harmful or harassing. It is the policy of the University to protect the exercise of these rights.”

The tragedy here is that this is being done at a university, demonstrating once again the bankrupt state of intellectualism. You can’t have free speech if you insist that no one can be offended by it.

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Pennsylvania school district apologizes for teacher who attacked pro-life protesters

This is a victory: The Pennsylvania school district where a teacher had verbally and physically harassed two pro-life demonstrators has apologized to the demonstrators as part of a lawsuit settlement.

It has also changed their school policy, making it clear that all students, whether pro-life or pro-abortion, have the right to express their opinions and should not be harassed by teachers for doing so.

I had posted the original story of the teacher’s misbehavior (including the video of his actions) under an essay entitled The Coming Fascism. This victory for freedom of speech gives me some reason to hope that my previous pessimism might have been premature.

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Lecture by atheist/scientist Richard Dawkins canceled in Berkeley because he criticized Islam

Fascist Berkeley: A lecture at a Berkeley church for a local leftwing radio station by atheist and scientist Richard Dawkins was canceled when the station learned he had posted some tweets criticizing Islam.

Essentially, the left can’t tolerate any dissent of any kind, and will destroy itself and everyone else if we continue to allow it to grow and gain power.

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UC-Berkeley backs down will host and pay fees for conservative speaker

This might be a victory: UC-Berkeley has agreed to host the lecture of conservative author Ben Shapiro in September, even if it has to pay the cost of the security required to protect the speaker and his audience from a mob of violent leftwing thugs.

The University of California, Berkeley has confirmed to FIRE it will host an on-campus event sponsored by the Berkeley College Republicans featuring conservative commentator Ben Shapiro on September 14 at 7 p.m. — even if the university has to foot the bill. “It’s clear that we have a number of workable options,” said Dan Mogulof, Berkeley’s assistant vice chancellor for public affairs. “This event is going to happen. We just need to sit down with the College Republicans to talk through the details.”

He said it was unclear whether the Berkeley College Republicans had been informed of the news.

The story provides some information that suggests the university did not initially say no to the event, as initially reported. Instead, officials had said that they didn’t have a space of the size requested and available on the requested date. This might be true, but I don’t think it unreasonable for people to not believe them considering the recent history at this university.

And yes, the real problem here is the fact that there is a mob of leftwing thugs at the university and within the Berkeley community ready and willing to violently attack anyone who dares to disagree with them, and the authorities are basically unwilling to arrest them for this behavior.

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UC-Berkeley blocks another conservative from speaking

Fascist Berkeley: UC-Berkeley this week told a conservative student group that another conservative speaker, author Ben Shapiro, could not speak on campus.

In a statement sent to the Washington Examiner on Wednesday evening, Young America’s Foundation announced that administrators informed the Berkeley College Republicans in an email this week they were “unable to identify an available campus venue” to host the lecture, which was slated for Sept. 14. The administrators, identified by YAF as Dean of Students Joseph Greenwell and Student Organization Coordinator Millicent Morris Chaney, claimed the lecture was spiked “despite extensive efforts.”

“Ben Shapiro is welcome on our campus, and we are committed to supporting his, and your, rights to free speech,” the administrators contended in their message to students, which was sent Tuesday.

I’m not sure which is more insulting, that university administrator are taking actions to prevent conservative and dissent views from appearing on their campus, or that they have the nerve to insult our intelligence by claiming “Shapiro is welcome on our campus.”

Once again I ask: Would you want to attend this university? Would you want your kids to go there? And why on Earth would anyone support it with donations?

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UCLA fires popular free speech professor

Fascist California: UCLA today terminated its contract with a popular free speech professor whose classes on free speech were always overbooked.

Dean of Social Sciences Laura Gomez told Keith Fink, an attorney and a free speech defender who’s been critical of UCLA for denying students’ free speech rights, in a letter he wouldn’t be appointed as a continuing lecturer. She wrote that Fink’s review found his “teaching does not meet the standard of excellence.” UCLA’s ousting of Fink was first reported by The Daily Wire.

The university’s decision ends a months-long saga between the UCLA administration and Fink, who said his superiors blocked students from taking his free speech courses and put him through a “star chamber” review process because they don’t like his right-of-center politics.

In a statement to The College Fix, Fink’s teaching assistant Andrew Litt said “this outcome is entirely politically-motivated” by Fink’s superiors and others at the university “who do not like his message on issues [such] as free speech and due process which UCLA routinely flout. His termination is an injustice to the students and the taxpayers of the state, a threat to all teachers and academic freedom and a slap in the face to the notion of due process and fundamental fairness. He will not give up the fight here based on principle,” Litt continued.

According to Fink, the problems began when the heads of his department changed. The new heads, including Gomez above, apparently wanted to force him out, merely because of his politics. Can’t have any diversity of opinion, y’know, in a modern California university.

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New poll suggests majority of Americans support free speech

A new poll has found that while a large minority of registered voters approve of banning offensive speakers from college campuses, a majority still support the idea of a free and open society.

Below the fold is the entire poll [pdf] for this particular question, with the poll results broken down across a wide selection of demographic groups. Except for only a handful of such groups, which I have highlighted, Americans across the board continue to support the idea of free speech, though the large minorities are certainly worrisome. Then again, I have seen polls like this for most of my life, and the news story routinely focuses in on the large minorities that favor restricting free speech, as does the story at the link above. Such minorities have always existed, however, and sometimes there are even circumstances where they are right!

The question isn’t whether they are there. The questions should be: What are the trends? And are those who are hostile to free speech concentrated in any single demographic group that holds power?

So, what are those handful of demographic groups where a plurality favors banning speakers? Not surprisingly, those groups are Democrats, Democratic women, African-Americans, homemakers, those who do not have an identifiable job, and those who consider Medicare and Social Security to be the #1 issue facing the nation. Essentially, these groups form the heart and soul of the modern Democratic Party, which appears increasingly to also be the home of people who are hostile to freedom and wish to restrict it. This fact helps explain why the Democrats in the last Congress actually proposed an amend to the Constitution that would have partially repealed the first amendment, allowing Congress to restrict speech.

If you are Democrat and support free speech, you should be aware of this, either to change your party, or to consider leaving it. I tried the first when I lived in New York, failed, and thus was forced to chose the second. I have never looked back.
» Read more

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Iranian owner of Middle East satellite TV company assassinated in Istanbul

Coming soon to your local neighborhood! The Iranian owner of GemTV, a Middle East satellite TV company that is banned in Iran, was assassinated in Istanbul on Saturday.

Saeed Karimian, a 45-year old Iranian-British citizen living in Istanbul, and his as yet unnamed Kuwaiti business associate, were driving in a car in an Istanbul suburb on Saturday evening when another car driven by unidentified assailants blocked their way and its occupants opened fire. Karimian was pronounced dead at the scene while his Kuwaiti associate died later that evening from his wounds in hospital.

Karimian was the founder and owner of Gem TV, a satellite television company that broadcast multiple channels in Farsi, Arabic, and Azeri. Gem TV maintains offices in London, Istanbul, and Dubai, and broadcasts numerous Turkish and other foreign soap operas, and Western programming, into Iran. Karimian was sentenced to six years in prison in absentia in January 2017 by the Iranian government for broadcasting banned content in Iran, described by Tehran as “propaganda.”

While it is not certain whether this was a hit job by Iran, or by business competitors, it seems the circumstantial evidence makes Iran the prime suspect.

Increasingly, the free world is under siege by those who do not like it, whether on American college campuses or on the streets of Istanbul. Worse, that it is increasingly becoming acceptable that a businessman could be gunned down so nonchalantly, whether by a foreign power or by business rivals, bodes badly for freedom and civilization. We are not fighting back, and the bad guys are beginning to realize it.

Update: In related news, Boeing officials travel to Iran to negotiate airplane deal.

Representatives from Boeing traveled to Iran last month to meet with Hossein Alaei, CEO of Aseman Airlines, which is owned and controlled by the state. Boeing is moving forward with a $3 billion dollar deal to sell new planes to Aseman despite fierce opposition on Capitol Hill and direct evidence Iran has used commercial aircraft to ferry weapons and fighters across the region.

A photograph from the meeting shows a Boeing representative shaking hands with Alaei, who has been identified by Congress as a “prominent and longtime member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps,” which is responsible for killing and wounding scores of U.S. troops. The Boeing representative was not named in reports from the Iranian-controlled press or in information provided by U.S. foreign policy insiders.

Alaei, who was a senior figure in the IRGC before being installed as CEO of Aseman Airlines, served as commander of the IRGC Navy until 1990. Alaei oversaw the harassment of U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf and efforts by the IRGC Navy to plant mines in international waters. Alaei was quoted during this time as threatening to “destroy” U.S. Navy assets in the region. “We have drawn up plans whereby we will utilize all our military capability to destroy the U.S. fleet and solve the Persian Gulf issue once and forever,” Alaei was quoted as saying in 1987. “The Americans are here to fight us.”

I am somehow reminded of the phrase, “buying from them the rope to hang them.”

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The coming fascism

This post will be a very pessimistic one. In the last twenty-four hours I watched two different videos, both of which illustrated the growing close-mindedness in American society. On one hand we watch while a high school assistant principal does everything he can to not talk reasonably to two students holding signs opposed to abortion. First he tries to get them to leave, claiming they don’t have the right to stand there (they do, as it is a public street and there is something called the first amendment protecting their right to speak). Then he accuses them of harassing people, which it is very clear from the video they are doing no such thing. Finally, he stands there trying to prevent others from seeing their signs, while yelling “La-la-la-la-la-la-la!” loudly to keep others (and himself) from hearing what they say. He really does this.

On the other we have a detailed video report from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) about the alarming hostility to free speech at Tufts University. This quote from the video struck me as downright terrifying for our future:

The climate at Tufts embodies several trends FIRE has seen growing in recent years. There is a shift away from the heavy-handed administrators posing the biggest threat to free speech on campus. Now the loudest calls for censorship are coming from the students themselves. … And in some cases like we saw first hand at Tufts, students are equating offensive or uncomfortable speech with violence. [emphasis mine]

Both videos are embedded below the fold. Please spend the time to watch both. I think you will be equally terrified. The left not only can no longer tolerate listening to any dissenting opinions, they have created a culture and mindset among the younger generation that makes dissent and freedom of speech downright impossible. And both the adults and the students of this intolerant culture are moving with increasing aggressiveness to try to shut down any opposing speech, sometimes with outright violence.
» Read more

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Donors and students fleeing Drexel University, home of genocidal professor

Drexel University, faced now with loss of donations and students because the university took no action against a professor that called for the white genocide, the murder of police officers, and the squelching of the free speech rights of a conservative speaker, has finally opened “a special committee of inquiry” into the professor’s conduct.

It seems the public has decided that enough is enough.

“Numerous prospective students whom the university has admitted have written to the university stating that they will not attend,” [Drexel Provost Brian] Blake wrote, adding that “at least two potential significant donors to the university have withheld previously promised donations.” Indeed, Blake asserted that “the nearly unmanageable volume of venomous calls” that the administration received in the wake of the professor’s latest tweets even forced the school to “consider turning off its phones” for several days.

It appears from the story that Drexel, which initially poo-pooed Professor George Ciccariello-Maher’s comments, is now going to take a hard line. Whether they fire him or merely slap him on the wrist remains as yet unknown.

Normally, I oppose the firing or punishment of anyone for the things they say. At the same time, we are all personally responsible for what we say, and if you say things that are downright evil, you have to accept the consequences of those statements. Calling for genocide against whites and the murder of police officers to me fits very well the definition of evil. Ciccariello-Maher might have the freedom to say these things, but his university has no obligation to support him for doing so.

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Berkeley mayor belongs to group that organized riots against Milo Yiannopoulos

Fascist: It now appears that the mayor of Berkeley, Jesse Arreguin, belongs to the group that organized the riots that shut down the lecture of Milo Yiannopoulos.

Berkley Mayor Jesse Arreguin was revealed to be a member of the anti-fascist group, By Any Means Necessary (BAMN), on Facebook. BAMN orchestrated the violence that shut down a scheduled lecture at UC Berkeley featuring Milo Yiannopoulos in early 2017. Arreguin is allegedly also friends with BAMN leader, Yvette Felarca, on Facebook.

They were also involved in the violent clashes earlier this month.

This might explain why the Berkeley police did so little during the first riots as well as during the violence that occurred on April 15 between pro-Trump and leftist demonstrators. In fact, there is even some evidence, not conclusive, that suggests the Berkeley police were helping the leftist demonstrators.

Meanwhile, Yiannopoulos has announced that he is planning a week long free speech event in Berkeley later this year. Good for him.

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