Tag Archives: censorship

Is WordPress censoring conservative blogs?

Do you have a WordPress blog?

Are you noticing a decided slump in the number of readers (measured as “unique views”) for your blog?

The MAD Jewess has, and she believes WordPress — the server of her blog and also of Fellowship of the Minds (FOTM) — is deliberately suppressing and lying about her blog’s stats (statistics).

In her post of June 21, 2013, “Fascist, NAZI WordPress.com is Monitoring the MAD Jewess-BIGTIME,” she writes:

Not only are my stats a lie, many of my friends are not getting their subscriptions. [...]

My husband has emailed wordpress 4X this week to no avail.  They don’t mind taking a little dough, but they will not EVER write back to help us out and FIX their STALINIST statistics..  We use to have many thousands a day, especially in late 2012 on up to April 2013. Then, Obama probably told them to shut us up for calling him what he is; a Murderer, liar, evil, satanic, dumb, asshole etc.  If we blogged about how liberals are wonderful and not debaucherous sobs, they would FIX OUR STATS.

NO, WordPress is not threatening to ‘shut me down’. Its much more cleverer than that.   They just mess with our statistics.  Make it look like all the work we do is for nothing. Its a psych game.  I am not alone in this.  Many WordPress folks have expressed their displeasure about this situation. 

SO, we are looking into hiring an investigator to see who else they are doing this to, how they do it and so forth.

There are complaints by other WordPress bloggers of not only declining number of views, but also static numbers of followers or subscribers.

There is a precedent of WordPress bending to the Left’s PC tyranny. In 2012, WordPress actually shut down the blog, Bare Naked Islam, because of complaints from CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations). Go here for the details.

Here on FOTM, I have noticed the following:

  • Our daily stats (# of views) are down by about a thousand a day.
  • Fewer sites seem to be picking up on and linking to our posts, although some of our posts still do get linked. Only recently, SteveQuayle.com had a link to a post by Trail Dust, “‘Constitution Teacher’ attacks Christian kids,” resulting in that post receiving more than 6,000 hits in one day.
  • FOTM’s following, however, continues to grow — as measured by the number of subscribers via Facebook, WordPress, email, and Twitter.

Before going to WordPress’s malicious machinations as the explanation, I first look to two other possibilities:

  1. Summer doldrums: Readership typically declines in the summer months, last summer being an exception because of the looming November 6 elections.
  2. People being spooked by Pres. Lucifer’s NSA blanket surveillance of even ordinary Americans, and so are staying away from the Internet.

We need more information, instead of a few anecdotal accounts and subjective speculations. Here are two polls, to help us gather more information before we hastily jump to a conclusion:

  • The first poll is for bloggers only.
  • The second poll is for readers of FOTM.

.

Please add your thoughts and explanations of how you voted in a comment!

Thank you. :D

~Eowyn

U.S. attorney who said criticizing Islam is a civil rights violation got booed by crowd of 300+

Censorship2

William C. “Bill” Killian is the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, the largest federal district in Tennessee with a population of approximately 2.6 million. As such, Killian is part of President Lucifer’s Department of (in)Justice.

Sworn in as U.S. Attorney on October 4, 2010, Killian is responsible for representing the legal interest of the United States and prosecuting federal criminal violations throughout the district’s 41 counties, which extend from Johnson County in northeastern Tennessee to Lincoln County in the middle of the state.

Tad Cronn writes for Godfather Politics, June 2, 2013, that Killian recently made some astounding remarks to the Tullahoma News — that “everybody needs to understand” that making comments that insult Islam on social media like Facebook are in violation of civil rights laws “as they play into freedom of religion and exercising freedom of religion,” all of which is under federal jurisdiction.

As justification, he brought up a Facebook posting by a Tennessee official, Coffee County Commissioner Barry West, which showed a shotgun pointing at the camera with a caption that said, “How to wink at a Muslim.” [West has since apologized.]

Killian said, “If a Muslim had posted ‘How to Wink at a Christian,’ could you imagine what would have happened?”

As a matter of fact, we can.

Nothing would have happened, as always, because Christianity is now the punching bag of the Left. (See “Obama blames Northern Ireland tensions on Catholic schools.”)

The good folks in the Eastern District of Tennessee did not take kindly to Killian’s threats.

On the evening of June 4, 2013, more than 300 of them showed up at the “Public Disclosure in a Diverse Society” event at the Manchester-Coffee County Conference Center in Manchester, TN.

Killian1Crowd booing attorney Killian. Photo by Doug Strickland /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

As reported by Ben Benton of TimesFreePress:

U.S. Attorney Bill Killian was greeted with shouts of “traitor,” “serpent,” and calls to “resign” or “go home” Tuesday night at an event aimed at improving relations between local residents and their Muslim neighbors. 

Killian and Kenneth Moore, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Knoxville office, were featured speakers before a hostile crowd of well over 300 at the “Public Disclosure in a Diverse Society” event at the Manchester-Coffee County Conference Center.

Killian2Attorney Bill Killian (l) and FBI Special Agent in Charge Kenneth Moore in the Manchester-Coffee County Conference Center. Photo by Doug Strickland.

Despite the noisy crowd, Killian began a dry delivery of information about hate crimes, civil rights and the federal laws that prescribe violations and penalties.

The event was sponsored by the American Muslim Advisory Council of Tennessee, which was formed two years ago when state lawmakers were considering legislation that would ban Sharia, the law followed by devout Muslims. Killian initially pitched the event as an effort at improving understanding and tolerance of Muslims and their religious beliefs.

He told the audience that despite 50 prosecutions and convictions of hate crimes in his district, “far too many people are still repeating the same vicious acts against the Arab-Muslim … “

But he was cut off by shouts from the crowd.

State Sen. Mike Bell, R-Riceville, said he attended the event because “I had concerns when I read Bill Killian’s statement [announcing it].” After the event, Bell said he still was not certain of Killian’s position on free speech.

Outside, about an hour before the planned event, more than 200 protesters braved the 90-degree heat outside the conference center to hold up signs and sing patriotic songs. Some called it a “pre-rally” to gather those opposed to any encroachments on free speech.

[...] One man’s sign read: “In America, you are free to practice your religion, and I am free to insult it.”

Bell Buckle, Tenn., resident John Anderson, the sign’s author, said he wanted to know “why two federal employees are not looking into [Attorney General] Eric Holder” rather than holding the night’s event.

Residents inside at the meeting had similar feelings.

“Let me be clear, in this country, hateful speech is allowed,” Killian said. “It is protected by the freedom of speech part of the first amendment. “But if someone makes threats of violence, that is not protected speech and they will be prosecuted,” he said. “Likewise, if someone commits acts of violence under the guise of religious or other speech, they will be prosecuted for their violent acts.”

Killian said the same behaviors that lead to bullying in schools also lead to hate crimes and other acts of hate and violence.

First Amendment Center president and executive director Gene Policinski said [...] that the details of the threat and the specificity of its target are significant in determining how federal law applies to comments made in a public forum. The threat “has to be likely, imminent and directed at a specific person,” Policinski said.

He said remarks such as those ["How to wink at a Muslim"] made by [Coffee County Commissioner Barry] West are protected speech. [...]

“While [West's] cartoon might be tasteless and crass and juvenile and even hateful, I think the founders of this nation provided for people to be able to express those views,” Policinski said. “When it comes to a public official, I think the market place idea is protected under the First Amendment, where voters can decide if this is the kind of person whose opinion and whose judgment they trust to hold public office.”

In all instances, the First Amendment “requires government to really demonstrate that it’s a true threat before they can restrict our speech,” he said.

H/t FOTM’s joworth

~Eowyn

Creeping tyranny: New law expands free speech restricted zones

On March 8, 2012, with no publicity or fanfare, Obama signed into law a bill with a deceptively innocuous and arboreous name, H.R. 347: the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011.

Passed by a bipartisan majority of both houses in Congress, the bill was sponsored by two Florida Congressmen: Thomas Rooney (R) and Ted Deutch (D).

In the video below, Judge Andrew Napolitano says that H.R. 347 makes political protest a felony, by giving the Secret Service sweeping powers to arrest and charge citizens with a felony for exercising their Constitutional right to free speech.

Alerted by a reader to this video, I went looking for more information.

GovTrack.us describes the purpose of the new law as: “To correct and simplify the drafting of section 1752 (relating to restricted buildings or grounds) of title 18, United States Code.”

The following summary of H.R. 347 was written by the Congressional Research Service, a nonpartisan arm of the Library of Congress, which serves Congress:

3/8/2012–Public Law. (This measure has not been amended since it was reported to the Senate on November 17, 2011. The summary of that version is repeated here.) Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011 [sic] – Amends the federal criminal code to revise the prohibition against entering restricted federal buildings or grounds to impose criminal penalties on anyone who knowingly enters any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority. Defines “restricted buildings or grounds” as a posted, cordoned off, or otherwise restricted area of: (1) the White House or its grounds or the Vice President’s official residence or its grounds, (2) a building or grounds where the President or other person protected by the Secret Service is or will be temporarily visiting, or (3) a building or grounds so restricted due to a special event of national significance.

Here’s the full text of H.R. 347:

H.R.347

One Hundred Twelfth Congress of the United States of America

 AT THE SECOND SESSION

Begun and held at the City of Washington on Tuesday, the third day of January, two thousand and twelve

An Act

To correct and simplify the drafting of section 1752 (relating to restricted buildings or grounds) of title 18, United States Code.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ‘Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011’.

SEC. 2. RESTRICTED BUILDING OR GROUNDS.

Section 1752 of title 18, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

-‘Sec. 1752. Restricted building or grounds

‘(a) Whoever–

‘(1) knowingly enters or remains in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority to do so;

‘(2) knowingly, and with intent to impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions, engages in disorderly or disruptive conduct in, or within such proximity to, any restricted building or grounds when, or so that, such conduct, in fact, impedes or disrupts the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions;

‘(3) knowingly, and with the intent to impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions, obstructs or impedes ingress or egress to or from any restricted building or grounds; or

‘(4) knowingly engages in any act of physical violence against any person or property in any restricted building or grounds; or attempts or conspires to do so, shall be punished as provided in subsection (b).

‘(b) The punishment for a violation of subsection (a) is–

‘(1) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than 10 years, or both, if

‘(A) the person, during and in relation to the offense, uses or carries a deadly or dangerous weapon or firearm; or

‘(B) the offense results in significant bodily injury as defined by section 2118(e)(3); and

‘(2) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both, in any other case.

‘(c) In this section–

‘(1) the term ‘restricted buildings or grounds’ means any posted, cordoned off, or otherwise restricted area–

‘(A) of the White House or its grounds, or the Vice President’s official residence or its grounds;

‘(B) of a building or grounds where the President or other person protected by the Secret Service is or will be temporarily visiting; or

‘(C) of a building or grounds so restricted in conjunction with an event designated as a special event of national significance; and

‘(2) the term ‘other person protected by the Secret Service’ means any person whom the United States Secret Service is authorized to protect under section 3056 of this title or by Presidential memorandum, when such person has not declined such protection.’.

Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Vice President of the United States and President of the Senate.

——————————-

The key to H.R. 347, of course, is who gets to decide whether a place constitutes “restricted building or grounds.” Notice that, contrary what Judge Napolitano asserts, nowhere in the language of H.R. 347 does it say it’s the Secret Service who decides when and whether a political protest becomes a felony.

Here’s the ACLU’s analysis of H.R. 347:

H.R. 347 doesn’t create any new crimes, or directly apply to the Occupy protests. The bill slightly rewrites a short trespass law, originally passed in 1971 and amended a couple of times since, that covers areas subject to heightened Secret Service security measures.

These restricted areas include locations where individuals under Secret Service protection are temporarily located, and certain large special events like a presidential inauguration. They can also include large public events like the Super Bowl and the presidential nominating conventions (troublingly, the Department of Homeland Security has significant discretion in designating what qualifies as one of these special events).

The original statute, unchanged by H.R. 347, made certain conduct with respect to these restricted areas a crime, including simple trespass, actions in or near the restricted area that would “disrupt the orderly conduct of Government,” and blocking the entrance or exit to the restricted area.

H.R. 347 did make one noteworthy change, which may make it easier for the Secret Service to overuse or misuse the statute to arrest lawful protesters.

Without getting too much into the weeds, most crimes require the government to prove a certain state of mind. Under the original language of the law, you had to act “willfully and knowingly” when committing the crime. In short, you had to know your conduct was illegal. Under H.R. 347, you will simply need to act “knowingly,” which here would mean that you know you’re in a restricted area, but not necessarily that you’re committing a crime.

Any time the government lowers the intent requirement, it makes it easier for a prosecutor to prove her case, and it gives law enforcement more discretion when enforcing the law. [...]

Also, while H.R. 347, on its own, is only of incremental importance, it could be misused as part of a larger move by the Secret Service and others to suppress lawful protest by relegating it to particular locations at a public event. These “free speech zones” are frequently used to target certain viewpoints or to keep protesters away from the cameras. Although H.R. 347 doesn’t directly address free speech zones, it is part of the set of laws that make this conduct possible, and should be seen in this context.

To conclude, Judge Napolitano distorted and exaggerated H.R. 347. It turns out the federal government had had free speech restrictions in “restricted buildings and grounds” even before H.R. 347. That being said, the new law is yet another nail driven into the coffin of our Constitutional liberties.

H/t my beloved friend Barbareno.

~Eowyn

Be careful if you live in Arizona…

Arizona Passes Sweeping Internet Censorship Bill…

TeaParty.org (Info Wars) – The state legislature of Arizona has passed a bill that vastly broadens telephone harassment laws and applies them to the Internet and other means of electronic communication.

The law, which is being pushed under the guise of an anti-bullying campaign, would mean that anything communicated or published online that was deemed to be “offensive” by the state, including editorials, illustrations, and even satire could be criminally punished.

Text from the bill:

A. It is unlawful for any person, with intent to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy or offend, to use a telephone any electronic or digital device and use any obscene, lewd or profane language or suggest any lewd or lascivious act, or threaten to inflict physical harm to the person or property of any person. It is also unlawful to otherwise disturb by repeated anonymous telephone calls electronic or digital communications the peace, quiet or right of privacy of any person at the place where the telephone call or calls communications were received.

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund breaks down Arizona House Bill 2549:

The bill is sweepingly broad, and would make it a crime to communicate via electronic means speech that is intended to ‘annoy,’ ‘offend,’ ‘harass’ or ‘terrify,’ as well as certain sexual speech. Because the bill is not limited to one-to-one communications, H.B. 2549 would apply to the Internet as a whole, thus criminalizing all manner of writing, cartoons, and other protected material the state finds offensive or annoying.”

First Amendment activist group Media Coalition has written to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, urging her not to sign the legislation into law. The letter notes that the terms used in the bill are not defined in the statute or by reference, and thereby the law could be broadly applied to almost any statement.

“H.B. 2549 would make it a crime to use any electronic or digital device to communicate using obscene, lewd or profane language or to suggest a lewd or lascivious act if done with intent to ‘annoy,’ ‘offend,’ ‘harass’ or ‘terrify,’” the letter notes. … ‘Lewd’ and ‘profane’ are not defined in the statute or by reference. ‘Lewd’ is generally understood to mean lusty or sexual in nature and ‘profane’ is generally defined as disrespectful or irreverent about religion or religious practices.”

“H.B. 2549 is not limited to a one to one conversation between two specific people. The communication does not need to be repetitive or even unwanted. There is no requirement that the recipient or subject of the speech actually feel offended, annoyed or scared. Nor does the legislation make clear that the communication must be intended to offend or annoy the reader, the subject or even any specific person.” the letter continues.

In this respect the law could even technically be applied to someone posting a status update on Facebook. “Speech protected by the First Amendment is often intended to offend, annoy or scare but could be prosecuted under this law.” The Media Coalition letter continues.

“A Danish newspaper posted pictures of Muhammad that were intended to be offensive to make a point about religious tolerance. If a Muslim in Arizona considers the images profane and is offended, the paper could be prosecuted. Some Arizona residents may consider Rush Limbaugh’s recent comments about a Georgetown law student lewd. He could be prosecuted if he intended his comments to be offensive. Similarly, much general content available in the media uses racy or profane language and is intended to offend, annoy or even terrify.”

“Bill Maher’s stand up routines and Jon Stewart’s nightly comedy program, Ann Coulter’s books criticizing liberals and Christopher Hitchens’ expressions of his disdain for religion, Stephen King’s novels or the Halloween films all could be subject to this legislation. Even common taunting about sports between rival fans done online is frequently meant to offend or annoy, and is often done using salty and profane language.”

Just WHO will define “offensive”, “annoy”, “lewd”, and “obscene”? Dangerous path Arizona is heading down. Let’s hope Governor Brewer vetos this legislation.

DCG

Breitbart Said Everything is on the Line at this Time

On February 19th the Daily Caller posted a series of video clips of a very recent Ginni Thomas interview with Andrew Breitbart.  He starts by stating that, “right now everything is on the line.”   Here are the links to the clips that comprise the entire interview.

1.    http://dailycaller.com/2012/02/19/leaders-with-ginni-thomas-andrew-breitbart/

2.   http://dailycaller.com/2012/02/19/leaders-with-ginni-thomas-andrew-breitbart/2/

3.  http://dailycaller.com/2012/02/19/leaders-with-ginni-thomas-andrew-breitbart/3/

4.   http://dailycaller.com/2012/02/19/leaders-with-ginni-thomas-andrew-breitbart/4/

 

 

Wikileaks and Net Censorship

About Wikileaks, has anyone wondered:

  • Why and how, with all of our spying technology and cybersecurity, WikiLeaks.org mastermind Julian Assange could have gotten away with pilfering thousands of secret government documents and diplomatic cables?, or
  • Why and how Assange’s source, an enlisted soldier in the US Army managed not only to access those secret documents and diplomatic cables, but also download and photocopy them? (The UK’s Telegraph reports that Private First Class Bradley Manning was not only a homosexual but was considering a sex change. Manning was arrested at the end of May and is being detained by U.S. authorities) or
  • Who/what is really behind Wikileaks? Did our government engineer the Wikileaks document disclosures in order to use it as a perfect excuse to censor or shut down the Internet?

H/t beloved fellow Joseph for the article below.

~Eowyn

H/t Tina

 

Live with the WikiLeakable world or shut down the net. It’s your choice

Western political elites obfuscate, lie and bluster – and when the veil of secrecy is lifted, they try to kill the messenger

By John Naughton – Guardian – December 6, 2010

‘Never waste a good crisis” used to be the catchphrase of the Obama team in the runup to the presidential election. In that spirit, let us see what we can learn from official reactions to the WikiLeaks revelations.

The most obvious lesson is that it represents the first really sustained confrontation between the established order and the culture of the internet. There have been skirmishes before, but this is the real thing.

And as the backlash unfolds – first with deniable attacks on internet service providers hosting WikiLeaks, later with companies like Amazon and eBay and PayPal suddenly “discovering” that their terms and conditions preclude them from offering services to WikiLeaks, and then with the US government attempting to intimidate Columbia students posting updates about WikiLeaks on Facebook – the intolerance of the old order is emerging from the rosy mist in which it has hitherto been obscured. The response has been vicious, co-ordinated and potentially comprehensive, and it contains hard lessons for everyone who cares about democracy and about the future of the net.

There is a delicious irony in the fact that it is now the so-called liberal democracies that are clamouring to shut WikiLeaks down.

Consider, for instance, how the views of the US administration have changed in just a year. On 21 January, secretary of state Hillary Clinton made a landmark speech about internet freedom, in Washington DC, which many people welcomed and most interpreted as a rebuke to China for its alleged cyberattack on Google. “Information has never been so free,” declared Clinton. “Even in authoritarian countries, information networks are helping people discover new facts and making governments more accountable.” She went on to relate how, during his visit to China in November 2009, Barack Obama had “defended the right of people to freely access information, and said that the more freely information flows the stronger societies become. He spoke about how access to information helps citizens to hold their governments accountable, generates new ideas, and encourages creativity.” Given what we now know, that Clinton speech reads like a satirical masterpiece.

One thing that might explain the official hysteria about the revelations is the way they expose how political elites in western democracies have been deceiving their electorates.

The leaks make it abundantly clear not just that the US-Anglo-European adventure in Afghanistan is doomed but, more important, that the American, British and other Nato governments privately admit that too.

The problem is that they cannot face their electorates – who also happen to be the taxpayers funding this folly – and tell them this. The leaked dispatches from the US ambassador to Afghanistan provide vivid confirmation that the Karzai regime is as corrupt and incompetent as the South Vietnamese regime in Saigon was when the US was propping it up in the 1970s. And they also make it clear that the US is as much a captive of that regime as it was in Vietnam.

The WikiLeaks revelations expose the extent to which the US and its allies see no real prospect of turning Afghanistan into a viable state, let alone a functioning democracy. They show that there is no light at the end of this tunnel. But the political establishments in Washington, London and Brussels cannot bring themselves to admit this.

Afghanistan is, in that sense, a quagmire in the same way that Vietnam was. The only differences are that the war is now being fought by non-conscripted troops and we are not carpet-bombing civilians.

The attack of WikiLeaks also ought to be a wake-up call for anyone who has rosy fantasies about whose side cloud computing providers are on. These are firms like Google, Flickr, Facebook, Myspace and Amazon which host your blog or store your data on their servers somewhere on the internet, or which enable you to rent “virtual” computers – again located somewhere on the net. The terms and conditions under which they provide both “free” and paid-for services will always give them grounds for dropping your content if they deem it in their interests to do so. The moral is that you should not put your faith in cloud computing – one day it will rain on your parade.

Look at the case of Amazon, which dropped WikiLeaks from its Elastic Compute Cloud the moment the going got rough. It seems that Joe Lieberman, a US senator who suffers from a terminal case of hubris, harassed the company over the matter. Later Lieberman declared grandly that he would be “asking Amazon about the extent of its relationship with WikiLeaks and what it and other web service providers will do in the future to ensure that their services are not used to distribute stolen, classified information”. This led the New Yorker’s Amy Davidson to ask whether “Lieberman feels that he, or any senator, can call in the company running the New Yorker’s printing presses when we are preparing a story that includes leaked classified material, and tell it to stop us”.

What WikiLeaks is really exposing is the extent to which the western democratic system has been hollowed out. In the last decade its political elites have been shown to be incompetent (Ireland, the US and UK in not regulating banks); corrupt (all governments in relation to the arms trade); or recklessly militaristic (the US and UK in Iraq). And yet nowhere have they been called to account in any effective way. Instead they have obfuscated, lied or blustered their way through. And when, finally, the veil of secrecy is lifted, their reflex reaction is to kill the messenger.

As Simon Jenkins put it recently in the Guardian, “Disclosure is messy and tests moral and legal boundaries. It is often irresponsible and usually embarrassing. But it is all that is left when regulation does nothing, politicians are cowed, lawyers fall silent and audit is polluted. Accountability can only default to disclosure.” What we are hearing from the enraged officialdom of our democracies is mostly the petulant screaming of emperors whose clothes have been shredded by the net.

Which brings us back to the larger significance of this controversy. The political elites of western democracies have discovered that the internet can be a thorn not just in the side of authoritarian regimes, but in their sides too. It has been comical watching them and their agencies stomp about the net like maddened, half-blind giants trying to whack a mole. It has been deeply worrying to watch terrified internet companies – with the exception of Twitter, so far – bending to their will.

But politicians now face an agonising dilemma. The old, mole-whacking approach won’t work. WikiLeaks does not depend only on web technology. Thousands of copies of those secret cables – and probably of much else besides – are out there, distributed by peer-to-peer technologies like BitTorrent. Our rulers have a choice to make: either they learn to live in a WikiLeakable world, with all that implies in terms of their future behaviour; or they shut down the internet. Over to them.