Category Archives: First Amendment

NY demorats push for social media review as part of firearm background check

From New York City Patch: Two Brooklyn politicians want cops to examine New Yorkers’ online activity to prevent more hate-fueled tragedies like the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre. State Sen. Kevin Parker and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams proposed legislation Friday that would incorporate social media accounts into background checks for gun buyers.

They argue doing so would help law enforcement authorities spot dangerous people like Robert Bowers, who reportedly declared his hatred for Jewish people online before allegedly killing 11 people last Saturday.

“You would have thought this person was a model citizen until you examined his social media profile,” said Adams, a Democrat. “And you would have noticed he was not a model citizen, he was a broken citizen that was a time bomb that was waiting to explode.”

The pair of bills would empower the New York State Police and local departments like the NYPD to check three years of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat activity for anyone applying for a gun license in New York, Parker said.

Authorities would flag anything that is an “immediate threat to public safety,” he said. Gun buyers would also have to let police comb through a year’s worth of their search engine histories under the legislation.

The state’s SAFE Act — known as one of the nation’s toughest gun laws — requires instant federal background checks for all gun sales except those between immediate family members. But lawmakers have to do more in the wake of recent hate crimes such as the Pittsburgh shooting, Parker said.

“We certainly want to make sure that we’re adding to the protections that we need to make sure that people that we’re putting handguns and rifles and shotguns in the possession, that they in fact are the people that are using them in the right way,” Parker said.

The syngagogue massacre, in which 11 people died, came just a day after federal authorities arrested Cesar Sayoc, the Florida man accused of mailing bombs to high-profile Democratic figures. Sayoc had searched for his targets’ addresses online, federal prosecutors allege.

Lawmakers are still working out exactly how law-enforcement officials would go about accessing social media profiles that are not publicly viewable, Parker said, though he noted the legislation would require gun buyers to make their profiles available.

“We’re going look at what’s in the universe already and use that as one of the tools to determine the profile of a person who’s attempting to purchase a handgun,” Adams said.

The legislation also would not cover more obscure social media sites such as Gab, on which Bowers reportedly signaled that he was going to carry out violence. But Parker said officials wanted to go after the “low-hanging fruit.”

“How much is it going to cost in human lives if we don’t start checking people’s social media and trying to get a good sense of their understanding?” Parker said.

h/t Breitbart

DCG

 

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Facebook took down FOTM just in time for Nov. 6 mid-term election

What I had expected finally happened.

As of last night when I got offline and closed my laptop, Fellowship of the Minds‘ Facebook page was still up.

Ten minutes ago, I discovered that, like rats and cockroaches that come out cloaked in the darkness of night, the Demonrats of Facebook took down FOTM.

This is the message when I tried to access our page:

Recall that in the darkness of the early morning hours of August 15, 2018, our former hosting server WordPress burned down FOTM.

It took us eight days before we restored FOTM with a non-U.S. hosting server. See:

When WordPress took us down, I had asked our readers to send me their email addresses so that we could maintain contact before the restoration of FOTM. I compiled a list of hundreds of email addresses, many of which are those of our Facebook readers.

I expect Twitter will censor by banning FOTM as well.

So if you are a (former) Facebook reader or Twitter reader  of FOTM, please bookmark FOTM or subscribe to FOTM and leave Facebook and Twitter. Surely, you don’t really want to associate with a corporation that censors our U.S. Constitution First Amendment right to freedom of speech.

To subscribe for email notifications of new posts, just scroll down our page until you see “SUBSCRIBE TO BLOG VIA EMAIL” on the right. Then type your email address in the box, and click “Subscribe”.

~Dr. Eowyn

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Steven Crowder back on Texas Christian University campus, counseling now available for triggered snowflakes

On October 2 Steven Crowder posted the above video. Crowder went to Texas Christian University (TCU) and set up his “Change My Mind” table. The goal was to have students discuss the myth of rape culture with him and convince him that “rape culture” does exist in this country.

The video is long yet offers a glimpse into the mindset of college students today. Some of my favorite statements from these young skulls of mush:

  • “I’m honestly not talking about empirical data at all, and I don’t think we should look at it. Empirical data is bullsh*t.
  • “I usually believe the woman until proven otherwise.” (Said by a male student who doesn’t believe that’s how our laws should work but we should believe her for the “most part.”)
  • Crowder later accuses said male student of an act and the male student says, “Where’s your evidence? Crowder: “Why does that matter?” Male student: “You have to have evidence.”
  • Later in this exchange Crowder tells male student:“You did say believe the women until otherwise.” The male student says you need to “disprove” the accusation.
  • Crowder explains due process. The male student then says, “I think I might have misspoken.”
  • Crowder has another discussion with a different male student who really doesn’t want to discuss rape culture. He would rather discuss the method of dialogue that Crowder chose.
  • This male student has a hard time “articulating” rape culture because it’s very complicated.
  • Crowder tries to get him to explain the nuances of rape culture and this male student eventually says,“I’m not going to be able to articulate it, I don’t have any facts, I don’t have figures, I don’t have anything.”
  • The male student later says, “My point was, I really didn’t want to talk about rape culture, because I’m not prepared, I don’t know what to say about it. I don’t know how to articulate that I think it’s an issue. I don’t even know how to tell you I came to think it’s an issue. It’s just something I learned along the way.

Keep in mind that these students voluntarily sat down with Crowder for a conversation. They made that choice.

Yet because of Crowder’s mere presence, the kids now might require counseling. TCU tweeted the following:

  • “Today, Steven Crowder chose to challenge our students on a public sidewalk in front of the university. While the Constitution gives him the right to express his views, the sentiments he expressed do not align with TCU’s values.”
  • His views adversely affected many members of our campus community. The health and safety of the Horned Frog Family is of utmost importance and we encourage individuals to contact campus resources for support. https://counseling.tcu.edu  https://titleix.tcu.edu/  https://campuslife.tcu.edu

Oh you precious snowflakes. It’s pathetic that TCU thinks students need counseling services over someone setting up a table asking for a discussion.

Think about this: These kids now might need counseling because they heard an opinion that’s different from theirs.

After watching this video, I think many can agree that the government indoctrination system has been a success.

DCG

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Georgetown professor says white GOP senators “deserve miserable deaths” after Kavanaugh hearing

What a miserable creature.

From Fox News: An anti-Trump professor at Georgetown University is taking heat for a tweet saying white Republican senators who were at Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s hearing Friday should be castrated and endure a miserable death.

Dr. Carol Christine Fair, an associate professor in the Security Studies Program at Georgetown, said white Republican senators, specifically Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, who defended Kavanaugh in a fiery speech, deserve miserable deaths.” Fair went on to say in her Saturday message that the living should “castrate their corpses and feed them to swine.”

“Look at [this] chorus of entitled white men justifying a serial rapist’s arrogated entitlement,” she wrote. “All of them deserve miserable deaths while feminists laugh as they take their last gasps. Bonus: we castrate their corpses and feed them to swine? Yes.”

The week before, Fair went on a profanity-laced Twitter tirade against Kavanaugh, calling the embattled nominee a “rapist” and “perjurer.” She described the GOP as a “f—ing death cult” and “filthy swine.”

One Georgetown student pointed out the oldest Catholic university in America would not recruit students with this kind of behavior in their online portfolio, and it makes no sense coming from a distinguished professor, either.

“I don’t think people that Georgetown actually employs should be held to a significantly lower standard,” one student told Campus Reform, “And clearly, any of her students that see this rant are going to feel threatened if they have opinions that differ from hers.”

Fair told Fox News the tweets are part of her “private speech” and referred to a blog post she wrote on her personal site in which she wrote she chose her words specifically, and they were “intended to make you uncomfortable.”

A Georgetown University spokesperson told Fox News the views of faculty members expressed in their private capacities are their own and not the views of the university.

“Our policy does not prohibit speech based on the person presenting ideas or the content of those ideas, even when those ideas may be difficult, controversial or objectionable,” the statement said. “While faculty members may exercise freedom of speech, we expect that their classrooms and interaction with students be free of bias and geared toward thoughtful, respectful dialogue.”


Feel free to leave a message for Georgetown President John DeGioia here or here.

DCG

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Wisconsin student sues her college for stopping her from distributing “offensive” Valentine’s day cards with Bible verses

From Daily Mail: A Wisconsin student is suing her college for violating her free speech rights after she was forced to stop handing out religious-themed Valentine’s Day Cards.

The conservative law firm Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty filed the lawsuit on Tuesday in Milwaukee on behalf of Polly Olsen, a student at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.

The lawsuit alleges Olsen, 29, was handing out cards in the Green Bay College’s student center in February when security workers forced her to stop, saying she might offend people.

The Valentine’s Day cards included messages and referenced Bible verses. One valentine said ‘You are special! 1 John 4:11’ and another said ‘Jesus Loves You!’

The lawsuit challenges the college’s policy of restricting public forums to a small section of campus. 

Olsen claims she was not being disruptive, was not a threat, and that the suppression was ‘based, in part, on the religious content of the cards,’ according to the lawsuit. Olsen argued she has been handing out cards on campus for several years, motivated by showing kindness to strangers.

She was told in the past that the public assembly policy would change.

This year, she decided to file a federal lawsuit against the college and a hearing took place on Tuesday. Olsen said she is motivated by ‘showing kindness to strangers’

Olsen told Action 2 News:  ‘I’ve been dealing with this issue for four years and they haven’t changed anything. So it was time to reach out and have something else happen.

‘Because everyone needs freedom, and if we don’t have freedom of speech then truth can’t prevail, and lies can run rampant,’ Olsen added.

Olsen, who comes from Greenbay and is studying to become a paralegal, claimed campus security officials and others there violated her free speech rights by blocking a custom she described as ‘caring for others.’

She added: ‘And so it’s a very important thing for our country to strengthen us, and to really build a unity because if we can’t express our opinions then those underlying emotions can build.

‘I love my school and I hate to do this, but I love my freedom and my country, and God more.’ 

She said her now-deceased mother started a family tradition of sharing religious Valentines while home-schooling her and her siblings.

According to the school’s incident report obtained by FOX 11, NWTC officials told Olsen she was violating the school’s public assembly policy, which sets a designated space for distribution of literature, picketing or displaying protest signs.

Olsen said that she not in that area, according to the report.

Olsen said the security coordinator cited the college’s Public Assembly Policy that designates a public forum outside the main entrance for ‘picketing’ or ‘displaying of signs’ and ‘mass distribution of literature’ – space she says constitutes less than 0.5% of the campus.

Through its policy, the lawsuit states that the NWTC ‘has effectively deemed all remaining indoor and outdoor areas of campus, outside the prescribed Public Assembly Area, as non-public forums off-limits for student speech and expression.’

The college has maintained and enforced a set of policies that restrict expressive activities to a tiny part of campus and requires prior approval ‘even within that tiny area,’ according to the lawsuit.

Karen Smits, NWTC’s vice president of college advancement, said the campus policy on public assembly has been under review since 2017.

Smits said Olsen was invited to participate in the process, but out of respect to student confidentiality, ‘we do not comment on student conduct.’

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College is committed to the free exchange of ideas and to maintaining a welcoming and safe environment that promotes student success, Smits said. ‘Free speech is exercised every day in many different contexts all over the NWTC campus,’ she said.

DCG

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Ninth Circuit rules that cities can’t prosecute homeless for sleeping on the streets

This will no doubt help keep the homeless industrial complex alive.

From Fox News: Cities can’t prosecute people for sleeping on the streets if they have nowhere else to go because it amounts to cruel and unusual punishment, which is unconstitutional, a federal appeals court said Tuesday.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with six homeless people from Boise, Idaho, who sued the city in 2009 over a local ordinance that banned sleeping in public spaces. The ruling could affect several other cities across the U.S. West that have similar laws.

It comes as many places across the West Coast are struggling with homelessness brought on by rising housing costs and income inequality.

When the Boise lawsuit was filed, attorneys for the homeless residents said as many as 4,500 people didn’t have a place to sleep in Idaho’s capital city and homeless shelters only had about 700 available beds or mats. The case bounced back and forth in the courts for years, and Boise modified its rules in 2014 to say homeless people couldn’t be prosecuted for sleeping outside when shelters were full.

But that didn’t solve the problem, the attorneys said, because Boise’s shelters limit the number of days that homeless residents can stay. Two of the city’s three shelters also require some form of religious participation for some programs, making those shelters unsuitable for people with different beliefs, the homeless residents said.

The three-judge panel for the 9th Circuit found that the shelter rules meant homeless people would still be at risk of prosecution even on days when beds were open. The judges also said the religious programming woven into some shelter programs was a problem.

“A city cannot, via the threat of prosecution, coerce an individual to attend religion-based treatment programs consistently with the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment,” Judge Marsha Berzon wrote.

The biggest issue was that the city’s rule violated the U.S. Constitution’s Eighth Amendment against cruel and unusual punishment, the court found. The amendment limits what the government can criminalize, it said.

“As a result, just as the state may not criminalize the state of being ‘homeless in public places,’ the state may not ‘criminalize conduct that is an unavoidable consequence of being homeless — namely sitting, lying, or sleeping on the streets,'” Berzon wrote.

The ruling shows it’s time for Boise officials to start proposing “real solutions,” said Maria Foscarinis, executive director of the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty, whose attorneys were among those representing the homeless residents.

In 2007, the 9th Circuit ruled in favor of homeless residents of Los Angeles, finding that as long as there are more homeless residents than there are shelter beds, a law outlawing sleeping outside was unconstitutional. Both sides later reached an agreement and the entire case was eventually thrown out.

In 2009, a federal judge said a Portland, Oregon, policy designed to prevent people from sitting or lying on public sidewalks was unconstitutional. Portland officials now must also give campers at least 24 hours’ notice before cleaning up or moving unsanctioned camps.

A state judge rejected a similar anti-camping law in Everett, Washington.

Sara Rankin, a professor at the Seattle University School of Law and director of its Homeless Rights Advocacy Project, said the ruling will serve as a wake-up call to local governments, forcing them to invest in adequate supportive housing for the chronically homeless.

“I think it’s finally common sense,” Rankin said of the ruling. “There are certain life-sustaining activities that people can’t survive without doing. It’s a really important recognition that people have to be able to legally exist and survive somewhere.”

See also:

DCG

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Seattle judge extends 3-D printed gun ban pending state challenge

Judge Lasnik: Needs a refresher course on the First Amendment

The good judge (appointed by Bill Clinton) claims that Cody Wilson’s First Amendment rights are “currently abridged, but it has not been abrogated.”

Wow, just wow.

From Fox News: A judge in Seattle extended a ban on publishing instructions for 3-D printed guns during state litigation over the controversial practice, handing a procedural victory to gun-control advocates.

The ruling, handed down in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, marks the latest chapter in the ongoing battle over 3D-printed weapons.

Defense Distributed, a non-profit defense firm, had planned to offer the blueprints for download starting Aug. 1 following a multiyear legal battle with the federal government.

However, in late July U.S. District Court Judge Robert Lasnik stopped the release of the blueprints. President Donald Trump has also voiced his concern over the weapons.

Advocates for gun control have argued that 3D-printed guns could also pose security challenges as they pass through airport X-ray machines.

Speaking to Fox News in July Defense Distributed director Cody Wilson described current 3D-printed guns as “mostly curiosities,” and said that the “big” and “bulky” characteristics of the weapons would help identify them. “I doubt seriously that it’s a real problem,” he added. “If it is a problem, then the [security] norms will have to change.”

Nineteen states and the District of Columbia sued the federal government, alleging it reached a “covert” settlement with the company, Defense Distributed, without notifying Congress or the Department of Defense about changes it made to an export act that prohibited 3D gun plans from being posted online.

Previously, Lasnik said that his court is not the proper venue to decide this issue.

“You know, it’s a little bit frustrating to be sitting in this chair as a United States District Court judge and seeing this is an issue that should be solved by the political branches of government,” Lasnik said, reports the Seattle Times. “And I really hope and wish that the executive branch and Congress would face up to this and say, it’s a tough issue, but that’s why you got into public service to begin with.”

The states suing are Washington, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia.

DCG

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U.S. tech giants are waging a war against free speech

Our Founding Fathers were learned men who founded the newly independent American Republic on a particular — and correct — view of human nature. They believed that humans have a dual nature, both good and bad, and that we are self-interested but rational, being each capable of discerning what is in our own interests.

That humans are fundamentally selfish accounts for why the Founders fashioned a government that is limited and constrained in its exercise of power, instead of unlimited and totalitarian. As James Madison so eloquently stated in The Federalist Papers:

What is government but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the greatest difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed, and in the next place oblige it to control itself.

Among the constraints that our Founders placed on government to prevent it from abusing political power are the Bill of Rights or the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, which collectively delimit government’s power by specifying the rights and liberties of the people which no government can abridge. The Founders also created other constraints on government, one of which is a free press (or media).

A free press also serves another function. Since humans are endowed by the Creator with the capacity to reason, the Founding Fathers wanted to ensure that we be given a pluralism and variety of information and knowledge — the “market place of ideas” — which we can utilize to make the “right” choices in the ballot box and away.

Surveys have found that journalists of the Mainstream Media are overwhelmingly partisan in favor of one political party. For example, a poll found that Washington media correspondents voted Democratic 93% to 7% (see Professor Tim Groseclose’s Left Turn, How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind).  As a result of the MSM’s partisanship, the First Amendment’s freedom of the press no longer delivers pluralism of information and ideas.

Happily, with the rise of the Internet, social media and alternate media are doing what the MSM whether willingly or by coercion no longer do. A recent Pew Research Center study found that some 14% of Americans have changed their minds about an issue because of something they saw on social media. But the voice of both social and alternate media is now being silenced, one by one, by privately-owned high-tech corporations acting in the interest of and in cahoots with the Democratic Party and the Deep State.

The social media tech giants — Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Disqus — are all owned and operated by liberals/Democrats/Progressive, i.e., the Left. Although they are separate corporations, their similar political partisanship and ideology make them a virtual monopoly. When they each act to censor and stifle the American people’s freedom of speech in social and alternative media, their collective reach approaches totalitarian in scope.

See Edwin Vieira Jr.’s “Censorship by Internet Corporations Is Still Censorship

Think of those tech giants as private enterprises with deceptive smiles but razor-sharp teeth.

Having unexpectedly lost the 2016 presidential election, in which social and alternative media played a significant role in electing D.C. outsider Donald Trump, Democrats and the tech giants have learned a lesson. To ensure against a repeat of 2016, the cabal of tech giants are silencing dissenting voices on social media and blogs before this November’s mid-term election.

See “The Coming Democrat Vote Fraud: dead voters in Ohio; non-citizen voters in Texas; Pelosi tells Dems to be unscrupulous

The cabal first went after a giant AltMedia target — Alex Jones and his InfoWars. Next is the 21st-century digital version of book-burning when web-host WordPress began, abruptly and without warning, shutting down (“suspend”) blogs, including Fellowship of the Minds, ostensibly because they had violated WordPress’ Terms of Service (TOS).

Other blogs and voices that are silenced include (incomplete list):

  1. WordPress-hosted blogs American Everyman (Willy Loman), Harold Saive‘s ChemTrailsPlanet, Dutchsinse’s blog, Jay’sAnalysis, and Jeff Fenske‘s 11-year-old ToBeFree.
  2. Twitter terminated many accounts, including that of anti-war activist Caitlin Johnston @caitoz (see “Twitter purges accounts across the platform again“).
  3. Facebook is blocking ads for pro-Trump Diamond & Silk’s upcoming movie Dummycrats.
  4. The internet browser Mozilla Firefox is pushing an “Information Trust Initiative” to block independent media sources at the browser level while favoring corporate media giants like fake news CNN (Natural News).
  5. All 37 of Stewart Ogilby‘s columns on veteranstoday.com, including a dozen about 9/11, as well as his bio and photo, were removed without explanation.
  6. From a FOTM reader: “A priest who has a website in Europe told me that a liberal priest from the United States sent someone from Europe to shut down his website. This good priest was exposing Obama’s and other liberals’ agenda.”

The hypocrisy of WordPress is particularly galling. As Dr. James Tracy points out in his Memory Hole Blog, after silencing those it has identified as violating its TOS, WordPress nevertheless continues to host blogs “that are in demonstrable violation of the company’s TOS,” including the neo-Nazi Daily Stormer and blogs by Antifa, whom the Obama administration’s FBI and DHS had identified in April 2016 as “domestic terrorists”.

Explanations as to why WP-hosted blogs are being taken down include the following:

  1. Because the blogs are conservative and/or Christian (see WND; Breitbart).
  2. Because the blogs posted on the 2012 Sandy Hook mass shooting being a false-flag hoax (see Phibetaiota.net; Techcrunch). As an example, Cinderella’s Broom, a relatively small blog that mainly posted on Sandy Hook, was taken down. WordPress is so vindictive that they also took down Cinderella’s three other blogs, none of which has political content.
  3. Because those blogs posted on other false flags, e.g., 9/11 and the 1985 Space Shuttle Challenger explosion, which suggests it is the Deep State that’s engineering the take-downs (see Natural News; All News Pipeline). That in turn has an ominous implication: Is the Deep State silencing bloggers who write about false flags because either a massive false flag or a diabolical conspiracy is in the works, such as an attempt to assassinate President Trump?

An email I just received from Stewart Ogilby lends strength to the #3 explanation. Ogilby had re-published my April 2015 post that the Challenger astronauts may be alive. He writes:

“The situation is worse than we fear. This morning the file that previously loaded  your page intact (challenger.htm), including the graphics, not only
no longer loads from my server, but the file itself has been corrupted. I do not use WordPress or any other webpage ‘wizzard’.”

See also Ogilby’s “Owners of America’s Media Lie“.

The tech giants do what they do because they are sanctioned and shielded by the 1996 Communications Decency Act (CDA), specifically Section 230’s “Safe Harbor” provision, which allows social media giants like Facebook and Twitter to censor at will any content they don’t like. Former Federal Communications Commission (FCC) wireless bureau chief Fred Campbell is on a mission to repeal that provision. (Read more about this on Thought Police.)

As if the Safe Harbor provision isn’t bad enough, Virginia Democrat senator Mark Warner means to restrict our free speech even further. In a policy paper obtained by Axios and in the name of combating “fake news,” Warner would have our freedom of speech be even more abridged by:

  • Requiring web platforms to label so-called fake and bot accounts or do more to identify “authentic” accounts, with the threat of sanction by the Federal Trade Commission if they fail to do so.
  • Making web platforms legally liable for claims of “defamation, invasion of privacy, false light, and public disclosure of private facts”.

Axios observes that “Warner, who made his fortune in telecommunications before running for office, has been a prominent critic of major social media platforms from his perch as top Democrat overseeing the intelligence committee’s investigation of Russian election interference.” Although Warner’s proposal for now is just that, a “Democratic wave in November could put more momentum behind these ideas”.

To the tech giants must be asked the same question that I’ve asked Sandy Hookers who harass, attack, terrorize, successfully get YouTube and WordPress take down videos, posts and entire blogs, and send hateful and life-threatening emails to Sandy Hook researchers who are simply exercising our First Amendment right to free speech and free press:

If you have truth on your sidewhy would you stifle our voices? What are you so afraid of?

H/t Big Lug, CSM, Greg Holt, Harold Saive, Kelleigh, and Matthew S.

~Eowyn

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Fellowship of the Minds is back!

Good morning, patriots!

Last Wednesday, August 15, 2018, like a thief in the night, in the darkness of the early morning hours between 1 AM and 3 AM, WordPress (WP) arbitrarily and without warning took down Fellowship of the Minds (FOTM) — a blog that was nearly 9 years old, with 38½ million views, and tens of thousands of published posts.

The reason given was an unspecified “violation” of WP’s Terms of Service (TOS).

I immediately asked WP exactly which TOS we had “violated”.

It wasn’t until five days later that WP deigned to answer my question with a vague and all-purpose non-explanation:

“Upon review of your WP site, we no longer feel that your account aligns with our TOS and User Guidelines. As such you will no longer be permitted to use WordPress.com.”

Note their use of the word “feel”. One can dispute a fact — whether FOTM in fact had violated a particular term of service. But how can a “feeling” be disputed? You feel happy, which is something I can neither agree nor disagree nor dispute about. It’s an emotion, a feeling.

The domain transfer to our new server is completed, and we are back up and running at https://fellowshipoftheminds.com/.

We are in the process of retrieving and restoring posts from the old FOTM  —  a curse on WordPress for what they did to us — the digital equivalent of burning down not one book, but an entire library. Until we’ve completed the painstaking process, we won’t know just how much of the old FOTM can be restored, and how many posts are lost forever, unless we can find them in the Internet archives on the Wayback Machine.

In the coming days, weeks, and months, we will re-publish one-by-one whatever posts we are able to salvage, with the original publishing dates.

Thank you for your patience and loyalty. You were our buoy as we struggled to revive FOTM in the eight long days after WordPress burned our library down.

Please come and visit our new site. Exercise your First Amendment Constitutional right to freedom of speech and of opinion that our Founding Fathers so wisely and presciently created 242 years ago. We will not be silenced!!!

WWG1WGA = Where We Go One, We Go All

God bless you all, God bless Fellowship of the Minds, and God bless America,

See also:

Dr. Eowyn

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John McCain staffer Henry Kerner urged Obama IRS to financially ruin people with audits

Remember how the IRS under the Obama administration maliciously targeted conservatives, for which IRS officials like Lois Lerner were never held accountable?
Judicial Watch, the nonpartisan citizens’ watchdog group, has uncovered evidence that it wasn’t just Democrats: Republican Senator John McCain (Arizona) also urged the IRS to politically target individuals and non-profit groups for special auditing, for the express purpose of ruining them financially.

Cover photo of The Atlantic, October 2008.


Yesterday, June 21, 2018, Judicial Watch issued this stunning press release:

Judicial Watch today released newly obtained internal IRS documents, including material revealing that Sen. John McCain’s former staff director and chief counsel on the Senate Homeland Security Permanent Subcommittee, Henry Kerner, urged top IRS officials, includingthen-director of exempt organizations Lois Lerner, to “audit so many that it becomes financially ruinous.” Kerner was appointed by President Trump as Special Counsel for the United States Office of Special Counsel.
The explosive exchange was contained in notes taken by IRS employees at an April 30, 2013, meeting between Kerner, Lerner, and other high-ranking IRS officials. Just ten days following the meeting, former IRS director of exempt organizations Lois Lerner admitted that the IRS had a policy of improperly and deliberately delaying applications for tax-exempt status from conservative non-profit groups.
Lerner and other IRS officials met with select top staffers from the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee in a “marathon” meeting to discuss concerns raised by both Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) that the IRS was not reining in political advocacy groups in response to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.  Senator McCain had been the chief sponsor of the McCain-Feingold Act and called the Citizens United decision, which overturned portions of the Act, one of the “worst decisions I have ever seen.”

[Note: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010), is a landmark U.S. constitutional law, campaign finance, and corporate law case dealing with regulation of political campaign spending by organizations. On January 21, 2010, the Supreme Court ruled (5–4) that the free speech clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution prohibits the government from restricting independent expenditures for communications by nonprofit groups,  for-profit corporations, labor unions, and other associations.]

In the full notes of an April 30 meeting, McCain’s high-ranking staffer Kerner recommends harassing non-profit groups until they are unable to continue operating. Kerner tells Lerner, Steve Miller, then chief of staff to IRS commissioner, Nikole Flax, and other IRS officials, “Maybe the solution is to audit so many that it is financially ruinous.” In response, Lerner responded that “it is her job to oversee it all:”
Henry Kerner asked how to get to the abuse of organizations claiming section 501 (c)(4) but designed to be primarily political. Lois Lerner said the system works, but not in real time. Henry Kerner noted that these organizations don’t disclose donors. Lois Lerner said that if they don’t meet the requirements, we can come in and revoke, but it doesn’t happen timely. Nan Marks said if the concern is that organizations engaging in this activity don’t disclose donors, then the system doesn’t work. Henry Kerner said that maybe the solution is to audit so many that it is financially ruinous. Nikole noted that we have budget constraints. Elise Bean suggested using the list of organizations that made independent expenditures. Lois Lerner said that it is her job to oversee it all, not just political campaign activity.
Judicial Watch previously reported on the 2013 meeting.  Senator McCain then issued a statement decrying “false reports claiming that his office was somehow involved in IRS targeting of conservative groups.”  The IRS previously blacked out the notes of the meeting but Judicial Watch found the notes among subsequent documents released by the agency.
Judicial Watch separately uncovered that Lerner was under significant pressure from both Democrats in Congress and the Obama DOJ and FBI to prosecute and jail the groups the IRS was already improperly targeting. In discussing pressure from Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (Democrat-Rhode Island) to prosecute these “political groups,” Lerner admitted, “it is ALL about 501(c)(4) orgs and political activity.”
The April 30, 2013 meeting came just under two weeks prior to Lerner’s admission during an ABA meeting that the IRS had “inappropriately” targeted conservative groups. In her May 2013 answer to a planted question, in which she admitted to the “absolutely incorrect, insensitive, and inappropriate” targeting of Tea Party and conservative groups, Lerner suggested the IRS targeting occurred due to an “uptick” in 501 (c)(4) applications to the IRS but in actuality, there had been a decrease in such applications in 2010.
On May 14, 2013, a report by Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration revealed: “Early in Calendar Year 2010, the IRS began using inappropriate criteria to identify organizations applying for tax-exempt status” (e.g., lists of past and future donors). The illegal IRS reviews continued “for more than 18 months” and “delayed processing of targeted groups’ applications” in advance of the 2012 presidential election.
All these documents were forced out of the IRS as a result of an October 2013 Judicial Watch Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuit filed against the IRS after it failed to respond adequately to four FOIA requests sent in May 2013 (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Internal Revenue Service (No. 1:13-cv-01559)). Judicial Watch is seeking:

  • All records related to the number of applications received or related to communications between the IRS and members of the U.S. House of Representatives or the U.S. Senate regarding the review process for organizations applying for tax exempt status under 501(c)(4);
  • All records concerning communications between the IRS and the Executive Branch or any other government agency regarding the review process for organizations applying for tax exempt status under 501(c)(4);
  • Copies of any questionnaires and all records related to the preparation of questionnaires sent to organizations applying for 501(c)(4) tax exempt status.
  • All records related to Lois Lerner’s communication with other IRS employees, as well as government or private entity outside the IRS regarding the review and approval process for 501 (c)(4) applicant organizations.

The Obama IRS scandal is bipartisan – McCain and Democrats who wanted to regulate political speech lost at the Supreme Court, so they sought to use the IRS to harass innocent Americans,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The Obama IRS scandal is not over – as Judicial Watch continues to uncover smoking gun documents that raise questions about how the Obama administration weaponized the IRS, the FEC, FBI, and DOJ to target the First Amendment rights of Americans.


Born in Munich, Germany, Henry Kerner was appointed by President Trump as special counsel for the U.S. Office of Special Counsel.
Please contact President Trump and your representatives in Congress to demand that Kerner be removed from the Office of Special Counsel, and prosecuted to the full extent of the law:

  • President Trump:
    • https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump
    • https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/
  • Contact your reps: http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml

Update (June 23):

I sent President Trump a message via his Twitter and the White House contact form. This is the immediate response I received from the White House:

Thank you for contacting the White House. We are carefully reviewing your message.

President Donald J. Trump believes the strength of our country lies in the spirit of the American people and their willingness to stay informed and get involved. President Trump appreciates you taking the time to reach out.

Sincerely,

The Office of Presidential Correspondence

See also:

~Eowyn

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