Category Archives: Free Speech

July 21, 2017

CA bill to make criminals out of those refusing to use transgender pronouns

According to the text of SB 219, titled the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Long-Term Care Facility Resident’s Bill of Rights, “it shall be unlawful for a long-term care facility or facility staff to…. willfully and repeatedly fail to use a resident’s preferred name or pronouns after being clearly informed of the preferred name or pronouns.”

Last month, Canada passed a law that threatens anyone refusing to use transgender pronouns with fines and jail time. Not to be outdone, a state senator from San Francisco has a similar proposal, SB 219, here in California nearing final approval that is getting almost no attention.

Greg Burt, with the California Family Council, testified against SB 219 last Tuesday, a bill that will inflict fines and jail time on any long-term care employee who refuses to use transgender pronouns. Fines for repeat offenders could be as high as $1000, with a jail term of up to a year.

“How can you believe in free speech, but think the government can compel people to use certain pronouns when talking to others,” Burt asked members of the Assembly Judiciary Committee during his testimony. “Compelled speech is not free speech. Can the government compel a newspaper to use certain pronouns that aren’t even in the dictionary? Of course not, or is that coming next?”

According to the text of SB 219, titled the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Long-Term Care Facility Resident’s Bill of Rights, “it shall be unlawful for a long-term care facility or facility staff to…. willfully and repeatedly fail to use a resident’s preferred name or pronouns after being clearly informed of the preferred name or pronouns.”

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Complete text linked here.

July 18, 2017

New York Times Makes “Scientific Case” for Outlawing Free Speech

Here’s your safe space argument wrapped in pseudoscience.

In between assorted claims that President Trump is a threat to Freedom of the Press, the New York Times decided to publish a case for abolishing Freedom of Speech.

Once again the media shows that it represents the greatest threat to the First Amendment.

The editorial, “When Is Speech Violence?” is a microcosm of today’s leftist insanity. There are the spurious appeals to science and claims of victimhood wrapped around a hot take that inverts reality while providing ammunition to the worst intersectional extremists on the left.

Words can have a powerful effect on your nervous system. Certain types of adversity, even those involving no physical contact, can make you sick, alter your brain — even kill neurons — and shorten your life.

Your body’s immune system includes little proteins called proinflammatory cytokines that cause inflammation when you’re physically injured. Under certain conditions, however, these cytokines themselves can cause physical illness. What are those conditions? One of them is chronic stress.

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Complete text linked here.

July 15, 2017

Adam Carolla, Ben Shapiro to Testify in Congressional Hearing on Free Speech at Colleges

The conservative figures will address a dozen or so congress members on July 27 in Washington.

Members of Congress are curious about the riots that ensue at U.C. Berkeley and other universities seemingly whenever a conservative is scheduled to deliver a speech. A hearing has been scheduled on the matter, and among those invited to testify is comedian Adam Carolla, The Hollywood Reporter learned Friday.

Insiders say Carolla has accepted the invitation and will address a dozen or so congressmembers in a joint hearing of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Subcommittee on Health Care, Benefits and Administrative Rules and the Subcommittee on Intergovernmental Affairs for up to two hours on July 27 in Washington.

Others planning to testify include conservative author and pundit Ben Shapiro and Nadine Strossen, the former president of the ACLU and a founder of Feminists for Free Expression. The topic of the congressional hearing is: “Challenges to Freedom of Speech on College Campuses.”

Some of the members of Congress in those committees are Republicans Darrell Issa, Mark Sanford and Paul Mitchell and Democrats Eleanor Holmes Norton and Jim Cooper. For the majority Republicans, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio will lead the questioning.

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July 10, 2017

The Sum of Knowledge (Video)

“Digital activists are paid employees; their purpose is to attack anyone who’s posting something contrary to the view the page owner wants expressed.”

It’s perhaps one of the most important and pitched battles of our time: The battle to control information and sway public opinion. What can you believe? Who’s telling the truth? What’s real? Trust in the national media breaks along partisan lines. According to the latest survey: just 11 percent of Republicans now trust national news organizations, down from last year. Over the same period, Democrats’ trust has gone up, to 34 percent. Trust in social sites like Facebook and Twitter is in the single digits for all political persuasions; a reflection that the web is a free-for-all, where news is faked, and popular sites are subject to manipulation or censorship. We investigate efforts to control: The Sum of All Knowledge.

As a Donald Trump supporter, Andrew Torba felt like odd man out in California’s Silicon Valley home of prominent tech firms like Apple, Facebook and Google. Last year he was outraged when he attended this campaign rally in San Jose and saw violent anti-Trump protesters attacking Trump supporters.

Sharyl: Did you post these feelings online?

Andrew Torba: Yes.

Sharyl: On what?

Torba: On Facebook, on Twitter, I wrote a blog about it. And immediately, without getting into any of the issues or anything, I was automatically labeled a racist, a bigot, etc. Venture capitalists, people that I respected and had worked with on a very close level, just wrote me off completely and blacklisted me completely.

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Complete text and video linked here.

July 2, 2017

Venue Cancels Mike Cernovich Seminar After ‘Death Threats’

The event, scheduled for Saturday, July 15, is a “Gorilla Mindset” seminar. Cernovich is author of the book “Gorilla Mindset.”

A seminar by author and journalist Mike Cernovich was cancelled after death threats and hate messages were sent to the venue.

Cernovich told The Daily Caller over email, “The venue owners received death threats. They received over 30 and are receiving more as we speak.”

“My ‘Gorilla Mindset’ seminar is entirely apolitical. I don’t talk about any social issues. My attendees include people from all political viewpoints. The venue owners themselves received death threats, which is what is most disturbing. Threatening venue owners in an effort to silence people the left disagrees with is terrorism,” he told TheDC.

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June 21, 2017

College students testify: Free speech under assault on campuses

‘I cannot name a single conservative speaker that has been brought to campus by the administration.’

College students and professors delivered a dire warning to Capitol Hill Tuesday that free speech on campus is coming under “attack,” telling lawmakers that conservative views are in danger of being “shut down.”

Students who say they’ve faced “considerable backlash” for exercising First Amendment rights testified as part of a packed panel of witnesses before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“In classrooms, liberal arguments are often treated as unquestionable truths,” said Zachary Wood, a 21-year-old student at Williams College in Massachusetts.

Other views, he suggested, are not welcome. “I cannot name a single conservative speaker that has been brought to campus by the administration,” Wood said.

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Complete text linked here.

June 20, 2017

Supreme Court unanimously reaffirms: There is no ‘hate speech’ exception to the First Amendment

And the justices made clear that speech that some view as racially offensive is protected not just against outright prohibition but also against lesser restrictions.

From today’s opinion by Justice Samuel Alito (for four justices) in Matal v. Tam, the “Slants” case:

[The idea that the government may restrict] speech expressing ideas that offend … strikes at the heart of the First Amendment. Speech that demeans on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability, or any other similar ground is hateful; but the proudest boast of our free speech jurisprudence is that we protect the freedom to express “the thought that we hate.”

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote separately, also for four justices, but on this point the opinions agreed:

A law found to discriminate based on viewpoint is an “egregious form of content discrimination,” which is “presumptively unconstitutional.” … A law that can be directed against speech found offensive to some portion of the public can be turned against minority and dissenting views to the detriment of all. The First Amendment does not entrust that power to the government’s benevolence. Instead, our reliance must be on the substantial safeguards of free and open discussion in a democratic society.

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Complete text linked here.

June 18, 2017

Geert Wilders: Let’s Stop the Cowardice, And Tell The Truth About Islam (Video)

This week, a documentary called “Wilders” premiered at DocFest, a film festival for documentaries in the British town of Sheffield.

The documentary is made by American film director Stephen Robert Morse. Although he does not agree with my political views, he at least tried to bring a balanced story, which is more than I can say of many Dutch journalists.

I allowed Morse and his team to follow me around for a few months. The documentary shows how, due to Islamic death threats, I have to live under 24/7 police protection, am being driven around in armoured cars, am obliged to wear a bulletproof vest whenever I have to speak in public, etc.

Some live in almost similar situations, such as Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard and his Swedish colleague Lars Vilks, British author Salman Rushie, Danish historian Lars Hedegaard, and others. In that sense, this documentary is also a tribute to them. What we all have in common is that we are on Islam’s death list. But what always strikes me is that I am the only elected politician on the list.

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Protesters Crash Trump Assassination ‘Julius Caesar’ Play (Video)

Two protesters crashed Friday night’s production of Shakespeare in the Park Julius Caesar, which depicts the assassination and brutal stabbing of a stand-in for President Donald Trump.

Laura Loomer, formerly of Project Veritas, rushed the stage shouting “Stop the normalization of political violence against the right! This is unacceptable!” An announcer halted the production and boos from audience filled Central Park’s Delacorte Theater.

Meanwhile, Jack Posobiec — who posted video footage of the protest on Twitter — began calling concertgoers Nazis and implied that performances of the play, which began in late May, were connected to leftist James T. Hodgkinson’s shooting attack on Republican lawmakers Wednesday, shouting: “The blood of Steve Scalise is on your hands!”

Loomer also posted a first-person-style video of herself rushing the stage Friday night.

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Complete text linked here.

June 2, 2017

Cross-fertilisation or theft? – Canada’s war over “cultural appropriation”

Writers on the wrong side of a debate lose their jobs.

Anyone, anywhere “should be encouraged to imagine other peoples, other cultures, other identities”, wrote Hal Niedzviecki in the spring issue of Write, an obscure Canadian literary magazine. For that apparently innocuous observation, he lost his job as the publication’s editor. Mr Niedzviecki was defending “cultural appropriation”, the use by artists and writers of motifs and ideas from other cultures. He suggested an “appropriation prize” for creators who carry out such cross-cultural raids. In a special issue of the magazine dedicated to indigenous writers, that was offensive, his critics said.

Mr Niedzviecki’s supporters were also made to suffer. A journalist at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was demoted after he offered on Twitter to help finance the prize. The editor of Walrus, a better-known magazine, decried “political correctness, tokenism and hypersensitivity” in cultural and academic bodies. After a social-media backlash he, too, resigned. In April a gallery shut an exhibit of the work of Amanda PL, a painter inspired by the style of Norval Morriseau, an indigenous artist.

Mr Niedzviecki has reopened an old debate. Cross-fertilisation is fundamental to the creative process. This article, for example, is written in Roman letters and uses Arabic numerals. However, many indigenous Canadian intellectuals demand extra sensitivity. Some particularly object to white people borrowing (or “stealing”) elements of their culture.

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Complete text linked here.