This post was published at Press For Truth
The Death of Academic Freedom
On December 11, 2017, in a serious miscarriage of justice, a jury in West Palm Beach, Florida, ruled unanimously in favor of Florida Atlantic University and against former Media Studies Professor James Tracy, who was suing for reinstatement after his firing in 2016.
The jury found that Tracy’s ‘controversial’ articles on Memory Hole Blog were not a ‘motivating factor’ in his firing, the only question they were required to consider. Of course, Tracy’s posts at ‘his conspiracy theory blog’ were indeed the reason he was fired, but the jury was convinced otherwise by FAU’s legal team with assistance from the judge.
The case centered around Tracy’s writings on the anomalies found in the reporting on the Sandy Hook ‘massacre’ of December 14, 2012. His skepticism about the event was not to the liking of the university.
FAU maintained that Tracy was not fired from his tenured position because of his blog posts, but because he did not follow the ‘rules’ set out by ‘his bosses’ at the government-run institution. FAU attorney G. Joseph Curley insisted that Tracy was not denied his First Amendment rights, but that he simply did not follow university procedure.
‘Professor Tracy doesn’t follow the rules,’ Curley told the jury. ‘They’re rules that everyone else follows. He doesn’t play by the rules.’ FAU cast the case as one of a ‘belligerent,’ rebellious,’ and ‘nonconformist’ employee being let go for ‘insubordination,’ instead of that of a tenured professor exercising his right to free speech. FAU’s current ‘rules’ require that faculty submit forms listing ‘outside activities’ to be vetted for administrative approval, whether the activities are compensated or not. Tracy and other professors at FAU had argued that the policy is vague and confusing, constituting a form of prior restraint forbidden by the First Amendment, and leading to a climate of ‘fear and uncertainty’ among the faculty.
Aside from the fact that ‘outside activities’ can reach into all aspects of a professor’s life and therefore be difficult if not impossible to list, such activities must not be subject to bureaucratic approval. And certainly, no tenured professor can be fired for not filling out a form, even at Florida Atlantic University.
This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on DECEMBER 27, 2017.
First, any politician who spouts anything about Christmas in a religious context needs to be the recipient of a pile of horse**** in a gift box. Oh wait, someone already did that with our Treasury Secretary. It’s a good start; long live the First Amendment.
Thus my first Christmas wish is that the rest of the political class get enough of these that they have to be delivered by front-end loaders. And asteroids.
My second is that the people of this nation wake up from their toper, but I know better. After all one need merely see “what matters” this time of year on display in every town in the country to figure that out. Amish excepted, of course. Speaking of which I have a special Christmas wish for Wood County, WI: May everyone in the county government get an asteroid down their chimney of sufficient size to level their house.
This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2017-12-25.
This letter is something everyone in the US ought to read, understand and act upon.
Some of these texts appear to go beyond merely expressing a private political opinion, and appear to cross the line into taking some official action to create an ‘insurance policy’ against a Trump presidency.
Get this through your head, America. You have people within the FBI who, it appears, had some sort of “insurance” arrangement they were actively working on to change a political outcome.
The document goes on to talk about the fact that there apparently was an active conspiracy to keep the contents of the conversations between these people private as well despite the fact that they were acting within their official capacities at the time. In other words they perverted their public employment for the purpose of expressing and acting upon personal political animus.
We’re all entitled to our political opinions and First Amendment protections are very broad. However there is also the matter of long-standing federal law (The Hatch Act, principally) and policy, which bars partisan political activity by a wide swath of executive branch employees.
This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2017-12-15.
According to the latest fake news from the US government and presstitute media, the US unemployment rate is the lowest in 17 years, but there is no growth in wages. What explains full, or overfull, employment without wage pressure? Obviously, the full employment figure is the orchestrated product of not counting the millions of discouraged workers who, unable to find a job, have ceased looking. If you are unemployed but not looking for a job, you are not counted as unemployed. As it is costly to look for a job, and after awhile looking becomes very depressing, the unemployed just disappear out of the government’s statistics. Will this fake news be something that google censors out of the Internet? Don’t bet your life that google hired 10,000 people to weed off the Internet the fake US employment reports. Who asked google to transform itself from search engine to gatekeeper? Is there a conspiracy here against the First Amendment? What are google’s qualifications for determining what is fake news and extremist views? Is what are we witnessing here the elite’s use of a private company to control explanations in behalf of the One Percent?
How does a private company get to overrule the First Amendment of the US Constitution? Is this another example of the arrogance embodied in the trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific partnerships that set up corporate tribunals to dictate environmental and other policy to sovereign governments? The elites and globalists are still determined to resurrect these agreements that destroy the sovereignty of peoples.
This post was published at Paul Craig Roberts on December 9, 2017.
pparently Trump’s efforts to call out reporters for their biased, misleading, inaccurate and/or often just outright false reporting (A. K. A. “Fake News”) is now tantamount to endorsing human rights abuses by dictators the world over…at least according to Politico. Per an article published earlier this morning, Politico argues that “by aligning themselves with Trump’s words, despots have been able to use the U. S. president as a shield for their attacks on press freedom and human rights.”
Authoritarian rulers across the globe are adopting President Donald Trump’s favorite phrase to limit free speech, with prominent leaders or state media in at least 15 countries using his ‘fake news’ line to denounce their critics, according to a POLITICO review.
By aligning themselves with Trump’s words, despots have been able to use the U. S. president as a shield for their attacks on press freedom and human rights, said Joel Simon, executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists.
‘I’m seeing it more and more,’ he said. Trump, he added, ‘is providing a context and framework for all sorts of authoritarian leaders – or democratic leaders and others who are dissatisfied or upset by critical media coverage – to undermine and discredit reporting.’
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 8, 2017.
The New York Times recently carried an interesting article on the wedding-cake controversy that is now before the U. S. Supreme Court. The article pointed out that prominent lawyers who specialize in First Amendment cases are ‘vexed’ by the controversy.
The facts of the case are simple: A Colorado bakeshop refused to create a wedding cake for a gay couple. The state charged the baker with unlawful discrimination. Those vexed lawyers are having trouble deciding whether the baker has a First Amendment right to refuse to create a wedding cake for the gay couple. Some of them say yes and some say no.
Floyd Abrams, who the Times calls the nation’s most prominent First Amendment lawyer, at first leaned toward the baker, repelled by the notion that the state could require him to create some sort of artistic rendering that violated his conscience. But then he started leaning the other way, asking ‘Could a painter invite the public to his gallery at which he painted portraits of them for a fee but refused to paint black people?’ Abrams finally came down on the side of the gay couple.
Eugene Volokh, who the Times describes as a ‘leading First Amendment scholar,’ sided with the gay couple as well. While photographers and painters have the First Amendment right to decide which commissions to take, Volokh says, it’s different with bakers. A chef cannot claim a free speech right not to serve people at his restaurant, he said, no matter how beautiful his dishes look.
This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on Dec 5, 2017.
Lawyers intervened on behalf of a local church after a Nevada school district barred them from distributing flyers because the flyers were too religious.
Chapel Dayton Valley participated for years without trouble in a community flyer distribution program run by the Lyon County School District, until the school district changed its policy regarding flyers in 2017, according to religious liberty legal organization First Liberty.
Lawyers from First Liberty and Michigan-based law firm Lipson Neilson sent a letter to the school district Thursday demanding that the policy, which bars flyers with any speech deemed religious, be reversed on the grounds that it violates the first amendment.
‘A lot of times schools are misinformed about what the law is and they think it requires them to be hostile toward religion, whereas actually it just requires them to be neutral and not take sides’ Stephanie Taub, counsel for First Liberty, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. ‘And that’s what our client is asking for – just to be treated like everybody else.’
This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on NOVEMBER 30, 2017.
Authored by Judith Bergman via The Gatestone Institute,
In the report, placing the word “refugees” in quotation marks, as well as “unaccompanied children,” is supposedly an expression of “hate”. (Many, if not most, migrants classified as “unaccompanied children” have turned out to be grown men). Government agencies are going out of their way to protect the “integrity” of possible jihadists out of concern for a “democratic society” — the society that these jihadists want to subvert and destroy — and are using their government platform to smear non-mainstream media for matters as small as the use of quotation marks. What about the “integrity” of Swedish citizens and their right to not be blown up? Why is a municipality sponsoring an organization that supports terrorists and even awarding it prizes? It appears that glorifying terrorism is acceptable in Sweden, so long as its victims are the Israeli children. Far from countering “hate”, Sweden appears to be doing all it can to strengthen Muslim extremism. The Swedish government is now officially questioning free speech. A government agency has declared so-called Swedish “new media” — news outlets that refuse to subscribe to the politically correct orthodoxies of the mainstream media — a possible threat to democracy. In a government report, tellingly called “The White Hatred” written by Totalfrsvarets forskningsinstitut (Total Defense Research Institute), a government agency under the Swedish Ministry of Defense, Swedish new media such as Samhllsnytt (formerly known as Avpixlat), Nyheter Idag and Nya Tider are lumped together with neo-Nazi media such as Nordfront.
“Hate” is defined broadly to include violent extremism, “hateful expressions”, jokes, internet trolling and even the use of certain quotation marks. For instance, in the report, placing the word “refugees” in quotation marks, as well as “unaccompanied children,” is supposedly an expression of “hate”. (Many, if not most, migrants classified as “unaccompanied children” have turned out to be grown men).
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 30, 2017.
In recent weeks, Congress has grilled Twitter, Facebook and Google about their role in allowing foreign interests to place ads and articles intended to divide the electorate and spread false information during the 2016 election.
Now a number of people in and out of government are calling for federal regulation of social media.
Lay down some rules, the thinking goes, and we would be able to prevent the infestation of bots and fake news from our news feeds and ads. Democracy would be saved – or, at least, foreign interference in our elections kept in check.
However, as someone who has studied and taught the First Amendmentfor decades, I would argue that if such regulations were enacted, the main victims would be not the purveyors of fake news, but our freedom of expression. In my view, the result would do far more damage to our democracy than any foreign misinformation campaign ever could.
Free speech being attacked from all sides
The First Amendment is under a lot of duress.
This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on NOVEMBER 28, 2017.
President Donald Trump stirred up yet another twitter shitstorm over the weekend when he once again slammed his favorite fake news network – CNN – for using its international arm, CNN International, to spread fake news across the world.
At the same time, the president praised Fox News, claiming his favorite news network is ‘much more important’ in the US.
The exasperation this tweet provoked cannot be understated, as liberals and anti-Trump conservatives joined forces to blast the president for his blatant disregard for the first amendment (to be fair, Trump said nothing about shuttering CNN or revoking its license to operate). But one voice that cut through the noise was that of Michael Hayden, a former general who ran the NSA and then the CIA under President George W Bush and has directed national intelligence agencies under the previous three presidents, as the Hill pointed out.
Hayden blasted Trump for his ‘outrageous assault’ on the first amendment, saying ‘if this is who we are or who we are becoming, I have wasted 40 years of my life.”
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 27, 2017.
Recently released footage taken during a Hillary Clinton event in Austin, Texas shows a vicious group of women Clinton supporters attacking independent reporter Millie Weaver after she asked them a question they did not like.
Weaver, covering the event for Infowars.com, attempted to ask multiple different liberal women what their take was on Bill Clinton’s documented history of sexual violence against women.
For a group and party supposedly dedicated to women’s rights, the response Weaver was given was startling to say the least.
From having her microphone pushed out of her hand to being flipped off directly in her face, the hoard of Clinton zombies showed their true colors, all because Weaver dared to ask them a question that they have purposefully chosen to ignore for years.
This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on NOVEMBER 18, 2017.
Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me "old," when I would NEVER call him "short and fat?" Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend – and maybe someday that will happen!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 12, 2017
According to a recent state-run newspaper editorial, the North Korean people are sentencing president Donald Trump to death because he used his free speech to condemn the harsh dictatorship.
The article says that the President offended the country when he denounced its ‘cruel dictatorship’ during his tour around Asia and for those remarks, he should apparently be killed. ‘The worst crime for which he can never be pardoned is that he dared [to] malignantly hurt the dignity of the supreme leadership,’ the ruling party newspaper Rodong Sinmun wrote, according to The Independent. ‘He should know that he is just a hideous criminal sentenced to death by the Korean people.’
Trump was also condemned as a coward by the North Koreans for canceling his visit to the border because of inclement weather conditions. But the article said that the President ‘was just too scared to face the glaring eyes of our troops’, according to the AFP, which first reported the belligerent piece. Trump’s helicopter taking him to the DMZ (demilitarized zone) had turned back after just five minutes due to bad weather, an explanation the propaganda-driven government-controlled newspaper intentionally left out.
This post was published at shtfplan on November 15th, 2017.