“No One Gave Peace A Chance, Including The Police” – John Whitehead Warns “We’re Walking A Dangerous Road”

Authored by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,
‘No wrongs have ever been righted by riots and civil disorders.’ – Robert F. Kennedy Let’s be clear about one thing: no one – not the armed, violent, militant protesters nor the police – gave peace a chance during the August 12 demonstrations in Charlottesville, Va.
What should have been an exercise in free speech quickly became a brawl.
It’s not about who threw the first punch or the first smoke bomb. It’s not about which faction outshouted the other, or which side perpetrated more violence, or even which group can claim to be the greater victim.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 16, 2017.

CHAOS IN CHARLOTTESVILLE: NO ONE GAVE PEACE A CHANCE, INCLUDING THE POLICE

‘What has violence ever accomplished? What has it ever created? … No wrongs have ever been righted by riots and civil disorders … an uncontrolled or uncontrollable mob is only the voice of madness, not the voice of the people … Whenever any American’s life is taken by another American unnecessarily – whether it is done in the name of the law or in the defiance of law, by one man or a gang, in cold blood or in passion, in an attack of violence or in response to violence – whenever we tear at the fabric of life which another man has painfully and clumsily woven for himself and his children, the whole nation is degraded.’ – Robert Kennedy
Let’s be clear about one thing: no one – not the armed, violent, militant protesters nor the police – gave peace a chance during the August 12 demonstrations in Charlottesville, Va.
What should have been an exercise in free speech quickly became a brawl.
It’s not about who threw the first punch or the first smoke bomb.
It’s not about which faction outshouted the other, or which side perpetrated more violence, or even which group can claim to be the greater victim.
One young woman is dead because of the hate, violence, intolerance, racism and partisanship that is tearing this country apart, and it has to stop.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on AUGUST 16, 2017.

To The Press, The Pols And The Rest

Let me say this just one more time:
That someone is a Neo-Nazi, a White Supremacist, KKK member or racist does not render them bereft of the First Amendment. Just as being a member of BLM or the Antifa does not render them bereft of the First Amendment.
It is not acceptable, legal or excusable to meet speech by any such person with violence.
Period.
To suggest, state, or advocate that such is the case, or to promote the premise that violence is an appropriate remedy for speech you find vile and outrageous is to declare civil war, because there are others who will likely find your speech vile and outrageous and by your statement you have made the claim that just punishment for speech you deem vile is to be found at the hands of a mob.
The press and now lawmakers are openly advocating for the complete breakdown of civil society — they are stating by the droves that violence in response to mere speech that one finds offensive yet has the protection of the First Amendment is not only worthy of said violence the person uttering same is not worthy of having their assailants prosecuted or the protection and investigation of the police forces to interdict violence intended for or served upon them.
These people are explicitly refusing to call on the carpet Governor McAuliffe and everyone in the chain of command from the Charlottesville PD upward who were involved in any way in intentionally funneling opposing protesters into each other, knowing that some of them were armed and then allowed said PD to sit back and withdraw when violence occurred.

This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2017-08-15.

DOJ Demands 1.3 Million IP Addresses Of Visitors To Antifa Website Used To Coordinate Riots

In what is shaping up to be a contentious battle over privacy rights and free speech, the Department of Justice has formally requested that web hosting firm ‘DreamHost’ turn over 1.3 million IP addresses and other information to ‘unmask’ visitors to the anti-Trump Antifa website ‘disruptj20.org,’ as part of the investigation into crimes committed on and around January 20 by protesters. DreamHost has challenged the request, claiming the scope of data requested violates the first and fourth amendments because it is too broad.
***
DisruptJ20.org was registered in October of 2016 by the ‘DC Anti-fascist Coalition,’ and promoted along with the hashtag #DisruptJ20, as a central resource for anti-Trump protesters to coordinate various plots over social media intended disrupt the presidential inauguration on and around January 20. The website connected users through mailing lists and planned meet-ups, and provided a calendar of anarchistic events as well as resources to help people prepare for the mayhem. The site also provides a ‘legal guide’ for those arrested.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 15, 2017.

YOU DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO FILM THE POLICE, RULES FEDERAL COURT, PAVING WAY FOR SCOTUS

(TFTP) Contradicting the rulings of six others federal courts, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals annihilated free speech rights in upholding a district court decision stating citizens do not have the right to film public officials – politicians, police, and others – in public.
In affirming the decision of the lower court to dismiss, the Eighth Circuit effectively ended free speech activist Matthew Akins’ challenge to the Columbia, Missouri, Police Department, which he accuses of unlawfully stopping and arresting him on multiple occasions – though nearly all charges were later dropped – as he filmed their encounters with the public, in public.
Akins says the spate of arrests and harassment from law enforcement is brazen retaliation for the nature of his activist work – filming officers on the job.
As a journalist and founder of Citizens for Justice in 2011, a group committed to monitoring police for accountability purposes, Akins frequently stopped to record officers’ interactions with the general public – a tactic employed by a plethora of civilian impartial observation groups to stem an epidemic of police violence and veritable impunity in courts, so common to law enforcement officers who misbehave.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on AUGUST 11, 2017.

On Charlottesville

Folks, this one’s pretty simple:
1. You have the right to free speech. That happens to not only include but is explicitly present in the Bill of Rights to protect disgusting, outrageous speech. Why? Because nobody ever tries to censor the other kind. I remind you that the KKK has for decades marched in Skokie, IL — a Jewish community.
2. You do not have the right to respond to speech, no matter how outrageous or disgusting, with violence. Period.
If you do not both accept and embrace #1 and #2 then we no longer have a Constitutional Republic.

This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2017-08-13.

Google Is Committed To The Suppression Of Free Speech

This is an update to my earlier posting this morning: The Google engineer, a Harvard Ph. D., who raised questions about the non-fact-based ideological culture within the Google organization has been identified and fired.
Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO, said that the employee in expressing his views had violated Google’s code of conduct and had crossed ‘the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.’ The employee, James Damore, confirms that he was fired for ‘perpetuating gender stereotypes’ by expressing his views.
Having fired Damore or permitted Google’s Thought Control Czar, Danielle Brown, to fire Damore, Sundar Pichai delivered a caricature of hypocrisy. Sundar addressed Damore’s ‘co-workers who are questioning whether they can safely express their views in the workplace, especially those with a minority viewpoint. They too feel under threat, and that is also not OK. People must feel free to express dissent.’

This post was published at Paul Craig Roberts on August 8, 2017.

Anti-Populist Coward Jeff Sessions Threatens the First Amendment

When you take a look at which issues Jeff Sessions gets most passionate about (asset forfeiture, drug war foolishness, cracking down on media), there’s one thing that ties it all together. He has a very deep-seated and visceral disdain for the American public. He’s your typical cowardly prosecutor looking to make a name for himself by picking on the weak and dispossessed, while never targeting elite criminals. One thing you’ll always notice about Sessions is how much of a thug he is. He’d never dare take on a bank executive or powerful politician, but prefers to marshals resources toward the most anti-populist crusades possible. His latest move to target freedom of the press is no exception.
Today’s announcement from the Department of Justice regarding a crackdown on leaks has two main components. The first is somewhat understandable, but the second is not.

This post was published at Liberty Blitzkrieg on Friday Aug 4, 2017.

Germany: Muslim Biker Gang Vows To “Protect” Fellow Muslims

Authored by Soeren Kern via The Gatestone Institute,
Muslim vigilantes enforcing Islamic justice have become increasingly common in Germany. The government’s inability or unwillingness to stop them has led to the rise of anti-Muslim counter-vigilantes. Germany’s BfV intelligence agency, in its latest annual report, warned that an escalating action-reaction cycle could result in open warfare on German streets. The self-appointed “Sharia Police” urged both Muslim and non-Muslim passersby to attend mosques and to refrain from alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, gambling, music, pornography and prostitution. In November 2016, the Wuppertal District Court ruled that the Islamists did not break German law and were simply exercising their right to free speech. The ruling, which effectively legitimized Sharia law in Germany, was one of a growing number of instances in which German courts are – wittingly or unwittingly – promoting the establishment of a parallel Islamic legal system in the country. “Even if we still refuse to believe it: Parts of Germany are ruled by Islamic law! Polygamy, child marriages, Sharia judges – for far too long the German rule of law has not been enforced. Many politicians dreamed of multiculturalism…. This is not a question of folklore or foreign customs and traditions. It is a question of law and order. If the rule of law fails to establish its authority and demand respect for itself, then it can immediately declare its bankruptcy.” – Franz Solms-Laubach, parliamentary correspondent, Bild. German Muslims have established a self-styled biker gang – modelled on the Hells Angels – aimed at protecting fellow Muslims from the “ever-growing hatred of Islam,” according to Die Welt.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 1, 2017.

Private Property and Higher Ed

The US higher-education world has been rocked the last two years by student protests, “free-speech” controversies, and allegations of faculty misconduct at schools as diverse as Missouri, Yale, Middlebury, Berkeley, and Evergreen State College. You’ve all heard about safe spaces, microaggressions, intersectionality, snowflakes, claims that certain forms of speech constitute violence, and so on. Professors have been assaulted by protesters and even fired or pressured to quit for expressing politically controversial ideas (though some are protected). Certain private groups have been banned, even from meeting off campus. Students, faculty, and staff are subjected to endless hours of sensitivity training, despite evidence that such programs increase, rather than alleviate, tensions among groups. Some schools are already experiencing blowback, while others are taking advantage of these controversies to differentiate themselves from rivals. Pundits are predicting campus craziness as the next hot-button issue in US presidential politics. What is to be done?
While I greatly admire the efforts of groups like FIRE to protect the rights of faculty and students accused of politically incorrect speech or action, I disagree with them on one fundamental point. The First Amendment protects freedom of expression for students and professors at state-owned and publicly funded colleges and universities, and it’s perfectly appropriate for the courts or regulatory agencies to discipline schools that punish speech.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on July 17, 2017.

“The Public Deserves To Know” – Ethics Watchdog To Release Mar-a-Lago Visitor Logs

Following a lawsuit by government watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), the Obama administration released their visitor logs (dating back to 2009), but the Trump White House announced in April that they would break with the practice.
However, as The Hill reports, CREW on Monday announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will turn over visitor logs to Trump’s property by Sept. 8 as part of ongoing litigation to the group, who in turn will make them public.
Official CREW Statement
As part of ongoing litigation brought by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), the National Security Archive (NSA) and the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will turn over visitor logs for President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence. CREW will publicly release the visitor logs upon receiving them by September 8th.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 17, 2017.

FEC Rejects Democrats’ Plan To Target Drudge, Breitbart

The efforts of top Federal Election Commission Democrat, Ellen Weintraub, to demand an inquisition into the potential coordination with Russians of conservative news outlets like Infowars, Breitbart and the Drudge Report, have been dashed as The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has declined her proposal, stating it “cannot support proposals that would burden the free speech rights of American citizens based on incomplete information about foreign activities in the 2016 election.”
As Breitbart’s Colin Madine writes, the FEC has declined to consider new rulemaking over alleged foreign influence in the 2016 presidential election that could target conservative media including InfoWars and Breitbart News. In a statement released by Vice Chair Caroline Hunter and Commissioners Lee Goodman and Matthew Petersen, the members state they ‘cannot support proposals that would burden the free speech rights of American citizens based on incomplete information about foreign activities in the 2016 election.’
They further describe Weintraub’s proposal as one that would ”blunt’ the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizen’s United.’ In the opinion of three members who wrote the statement, there is no information currently showing that the FEC’s existing rules that prohibit foreign involvement in U. S. elections are ‘inadequate to detect, enforce, and punish violations.’
The statement was released by the three Republicans serving as FEC commissioners. Weintraub and Democrat Steven Walther are the other two current members, meaning there is at least a 3-2 majority in the Republicans favor on this issue.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 15, 2017.

How Social Media Stifles Free Speech

Authored by Jeff Trag via The Gatestone Institute,
Even more problematic is that those platforms are free to delete the pages and posts of users they deem to have violated whatever they decide are “community standards.” This includes judging content supportive of, for example, restricting migration in Europe. Facebook, for example, also often permits real hate speech while banning websites that expose this hate speech. Ultimately, the only way to keep the United States safe is by protecting its citizens’ ability to discuss ideas that without fear. If we lose our freedom of expression on the internet, we lose our democracy. One of the greatest contemporary battles for individual liberty and freedom of the press is being conducted in cyber space.
Today, political, journalistic and corporate elites are in the process of trying to control, and even rewrite, “story lines” of history and current events with which they might disagree, and that they see slipping through their fingers.
It is a form of censorship akin to banning the printing press or preventing open debate in the literal and proverbial public square. Facebook, for example, also often permits real hate speech while banning websites that expose this hate speech.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 14, 2017.

Tear Gas, Guns, & Riot Squads: The Police State’s Answer To Free Speech Is Brute Force

Authored by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,
Forget everything you’ve ever been taught about free speech in America.
It’s all a lie.
There can be no free speech for the citizenry when the government speaks in a language of force.
What is this language of force?
Militarized police. Riot squads. Camouflage gear. Black uniforms. Armored vehicles. Mass arrests. Pepper spray. Tear gas. Batons. Strip searches. Surveillance cameras. Kevlar vests. Drones. Lethal weapons. Less-than-lethal weapons unleashed with deadly force. Rubber bullets. Water cannons. Stun grenades. Arrests of journalists. Crowd control tactics. Intimidation tactics. Brutality.
This is not the language of freedom.
This is not even the language of law and order.
Unfortunately, this is how the government at all levels – federal, state and local – now responds to those who choose to exercise their First Amendment right to peacefully assemble in public and challenge the status quo.
Recently, this militarized exercise in intimidation reared its ugly head in the college town of Charlottesville, Va., where protesters who took to the streets to peacefully express their disapproval of a planned KKK rally were held at bay by implacable lines of gun-wielding riot police. Only after a motley crew of Klansmen had been safely escorted to and from the rally by black-garbed police did the assembled army of city, county and state police declare the public gathering unlawful and proceed to unleash canisters of tear gas on the few remaining protesters to force them to disperse.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 12, 2017.

Trump Sued For Blocking Twitter Users

A trying day for the Trump administration has turned more bizarre, when shortly after Donald Trump Jr. released the chain of emails released ahead of his correspondence with the Russian lawyer who had promised to deliver anti-Clinton information with the implied blessing of the Russian government, a free-speech group sued President Donald Trump for blocking Twitter users from his @realDonaldTrump account, arguing the practice violates the First Amendment of the U. S. Constitution.
The lawsuit adds that because Trump frequently turns to Twitter to make policy statements, his account qualifies as a public forum from which the government cannot exclude people on the basis of their views. Twitter users are unable to see or respond to tweets from accounts that block them, although there is nothing preventing Trump from simply muting any accounts that bother him without the knowledge of the counterparty.
‘President Trump’s Twitter account has become an important source of news and information about the government, and an important forum for speech by, to, or about the president,’ Jameel Jaffer, an executive director at the Knight Institute said in a statement. ‘The First Amendment applies to this digital forum in the same way it applies to town halls and open school board meetings. The White House acts unlawfully when it excludes people from this forum simply because they’ve disagreed with the president.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 11, 2017.