Category Archives: First Amendment

Today’s outrage: Shooting range billboard says “the only time we take a knee…”

jersey shooting range billboard

Rather Annoying Communist Inspired Silencing Tactic.

From Philly.com: A  gun range in Camden County is resisting calls to take down two billboards that activists say aggravate racial tensions and mock NFL players who take a knee during the national anthem.

“It has absolutely nothing to do with race,” said Wesley Aducat, owner of the South Jersey Shooting Club in Winslow Township, which put up one of the billboards several weeks ago near Route 73 in Voorhees Township. The second appears on a digital sign near Routes 73 and 130 in Pennsauken. “It’s just support for our veterans.”

The signs say: “The only time we take a knee…” and show the silhouette of a person shooting a rifle, with the website of the club at the bottom.

Aducat said he supports the right to protest but doesn’t agree with kneeling during the anthem, particularly since many of the club’s members are veterans. He said he has no plans to remove the billboards.

That has upset the NAACP’s Camden County East chapter. It says the signs twist the message of kneeling, which is meant to bring attention to systemic racism and police brutality against people of color.

“We’re talking about police murdering unarmed black people,” NAACP member Keith Benson Sr. said. He called the signs racially divisive and has encouraged people to call the club to complain. “They deserve all the disrespect they’re going to get as a result of putting it up. But they probably thought they were clever. They probably thought they were strong, patriotic Americans.”

South Jersey Women for Progressive Change, a group that formed after the 2016 presidential election to empower women, has also told its members to call the club. Susan Druckenbrod, one of the group’s members, said she recently talked to an employee: “I told them the billboard was offensive, and he said, ‘That’s nice,’ and he hung up.”

Druckenbrod had one word for the billboards: “Racist.”

“We’re living in a very difficult time right now. People are trying to stand up for black and brown people to say, ‘Hey this is not right,’” she said. “That sign really is just mocking the idea of taking a knee.”

The shooting club, which says it is affiliated with the National Rifle Association and requires members to join the NRA, operates along Piney Hollow Road in Winslow, just off the Atlantic City Expressway. (Carmen Console, the club’s membership director, said he had nothing to do with the billboards, despite being named in social media posts as the person to call).

On the club’s Facebook page, people left comments both supporting (“Love the sign on 73!”) and criticizing the signs. One woman wrote, “I’m sure there’s a way to advertise responsible common sense firearm training and use that’s not offensive.”

Read the rest of the story here.

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Pro-life student group wins settlement after professor tries to wipe out chalk message

Excellent!

From Fox News: A California professor who is seen on video trying to censor pro-life students drawing with sidewalk chalk has been ordered to undergo First Amendment training and pay $17,000 as a result of a district court settlement.

Fresno State University public health professor Dr. Gregory Thatcher recruited students from his class to help deface the Fresno State Students for Life (FSSL) sidewalk chalk.

Thatcher allegedly harassed and intimidated the group, accusing them of chalking outside the free speech zone on campus — which hadn’t existed at the school since 2015.

“What the professor did was wrong, and the only permit a student needs to speak on campus is the First Amendment,” the pro-life club’s president, Bernadette Tasy, told Fox News.

The chalk messages encouraged students on campus to seek pro-life health care options.

Tasy captured an exchange between herself and Thatcher in a video clip of the incident.

“Free speech is free speech in the free speech area,” Thatcher is heard telling Tasy. “It’s a pretty simple concept, okay? This does not constitute a free speech area. Okay?”

After Tasy insisted they had permission from the university, Thatcher started erasing the chalk with his shoe. “You have permission to put it down, and I have permission to get rid of it. This is our part of free speech. College campuses are not free speech areas,” Thatcher said, “Do you understand? Obviously you don’t understand.”

As part of the settlement, in which Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) represented FSSL, Thatcher will pay $1,000 to Tasy and $1,000 to another student, Jesus Herrera, along with some attorneys’ fees. The professor is also required to undergo First Amendment training to be provided by ADF.

Thatcher told Fox News he won’t have to pay a penny out of his own pocket because the settlement was made through his insurance company. “I did not, in any way, admit to any wrongdoing,” Thatcher said. “I did agree to sit through a training seminar because I love to learn others’ thoughts and opinions.”

But Tasy said it’s not about the money. “The important thing is that Dr. Thatcher won’t be able to interfere with our expressive activities again,” she said.

Tasy was “really shocked” that a professor would behave like that – especially at a public university. “Public university professors should be encouraging free speech and not erasing it from existence,” she said.

Travis Barham, ADF Legal Counsel, said Thatcher was “in a league of his own” with such a flagrant violation of the First Amendment. “This is a particularly extreme case because you have a professor trying to wipe away the chalk himself,” Barham said. “Far too often university officials try to play the role of speech police and try to restrict what can be said and where it can be said on campus.”

Fresno State University did not respond to request for comment. Thatcher remains listed as faculty in the Department of Public Health, as noted by the College Fix.

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Trump Halloween gravestone not “meant to represent” Trump

trump halloween matt spillane the journal news photo

Photo by Matt Spillane/The Journal News

Then just what in the heck does it represent?

From USA Today: A Halloween display involving a Donald Trump tombstone and a fake corpse has created a grave situation in a Cortlandt (New York) neighborhood.

A Cross Lane home has drawn attention for decorations on the front lawn that denigrate the president, whose name is on a tombstone with “Burn in Hell” written underneath his name.

The tombstone, one of five in the yard, is set up in front of a fake crime scene, with yellow caution tape and a fake corpse that is made up of a rolled garbage bag. The debate over the display’s tastefulness has turned personal for two residents in the neighborhood.

“I’m doing it for fun. It was a joke,” Fabian Vergara, who lives in the home, said today. “I like Halloween, so I don’t see anything wrong with that. It’s a free country.”

A couple of neighbors on Cross Lane said today that they had not even noticed the Trump tombstone. “I haven’t seen it, but I wouldn’t care either way,” said Ruud  Haring, a native of the Netherlands who lives across the street from Vergara. “It’s definitely freedom of speech, right?”

Theresa Gucciardo-Perry, who lives around the corner on Edgewood Road, said she was so disgusted by the setup, though, that she called Cortlandt officials to see if the town could force Vergara to remove it. “I want to know how far freedom of speech goes,” she said.

Gucciardo-Perry said she wants the decorations, and Vergara, out of the neighborhood. “Fabian needs to be removed from the neighborhood,” she said.

Vergara said Gucciardo-Perry approached him on Tuesday and asked him to remove the display. Vergara, a native of Ecuador who lives in the house with his wife and two of their children, said he planned to take it down but changed his mind when she told him to go back to his country. “It’s not fair,” he said. “That’s not the right way to treat me, like that.”

“The man had no intentions of removing it,” Gucciardo-Perry said.

She said she knew that Vergara was an immigrant and that she “welcomed him to the neighborhood” when his family moved in about 10 months ago. “Is this about Halloween or about you making a political statement?” she said about the decorations. “You don’t like it here? Get the hell out.”

Vergara said that the fake corpse was on his lawn since the beginning of October, and that he did not put up the Trump tombstone until about a week ago. He said the corpse is not meant to represent Trump.

Gucciardo-Perry said she noticed the crime scene and corpse on Vergara’s lawn at least a week before the Trump tombstone, which she said was not an appropriate decoration for children to see. “What a strange Halloween thing,” she said. “I thought it was bizarre.”

“We know that Trump does not say nice things,” she said. Still, she said, it is part of a larger issue of being respectful of authority and political discourse.

Gucciardo-Perry referenced her husband, White Plains police Detective Michael Perry, who died of a heart attack after making an arrest in 2010, and her efforts to teach their twin sons values that she feels are tarnished on Vergara’s lawn. “I fight for what I believe,” she said.

h/t Drudge

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Stuff it: UN human rights chief says Trump’s attack on media “dangerous”

zeid raad al hussein

Zeid all of a sudden concerned with “human rights”

“Freedom of the press” doesn’t give them the right to intentionally misquote and represent what Trump says. Why don’t you stick to what you know best: wasting U.S. taxpayer money.

From NY Post: US President Donald Trump’s criticism of journalists amounts to an attack on the freedom of the press and could provoke violence against reporters, the United Nations’ human rights chief said Wednesday.

Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said Trump had also made worrying remarks about women, Mexicans and Muslims, and he went on to question the president’s approach to immigration and decision to pardon former Arizona lawman Joe Arpaio.

There was no immediate response from the White House on the wide-ranging rebuke of Trump’s repeated references to the “fake media” and some of his other statements and decisions.

“It’s really quite amazing when you think that freedom of the press, not only sort of a cornerstone of the US Constitution but very much something that the United States defended over the years, is now itself under attack from the president,” the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said.

“It’s sort of a stunning turnaround. And ultimately the sequence is a dangerous one,” he told a news conference in Geneva.

Referring to the New York Times, Washington Post and CNN, he added: “To call these news organizations ’fake’ does tremendous damage and to refer to individual journalists in this way, I have to ask the question, is this not an incitement for others to attack journalists?”

Zeid voiced concern that a journalist from the Guardian had been “assaulted in the United States most recently” but gave no details.

Trump rounded on journalists last week, calling them “truly dishonest people” and criticizing their coverage of a white supremacist-organized rally in Virginia and the political fallout from his comments that violence there was caused by “many sides.”

Nazi salutes, swastikas, anti-Semitic slurs and racist references to African-Americans had “no place in the United States or beyond,” Zeid said in his first comments on the events in Charlottesville.

Trump has also made worrying remarks about women, Mexicans and Muslims, “mocked a person with disabilities publicly” and issued a directive on a transgender ban in the military, he said.

“The president prides himself as a taboo breaker, indeed his supporters see him as such. But at the time I expressed my feeling that this was grossly irresponsible, because it has consequences, it emboldens those who may think similarly to sharpen their assaults on these communities,” he said.

Zeid voiced deep concern at Trump’s pardon of Arpaio, who was convicted of criminal contempt in a racial profiling case that highlighted tensions over immigration policy.

“Does the president support racial profiling, of Latinos in particular, does he support abuse of prisoners? Arpaio referred at one stage to the open-air prison that he set up as a concentration camp, he later recanted, said it was a joke,” Zeid said. “Does the president support this? These actions have consequences.”

Zeid, comparing the leadership role of a US president to a bus driver, said: ”I almost feel that the president is driving the bus of humanity and we’re careening down a mountain path.

“And in taking these measures, at least from a human rights perspective, it seems to be reckless driving.”

DCG

Libtards’ civility on display: Left-wing protestors plan to leave dog poop for Patriot Prayer rally

sbathroom_toilettpoopsteaming_100-100

Keep it classy libtards…

From Sacramento Bee: A rally that some are calling a gathering of right-wing supporters this weekend in San Francisco could have attendees watching their every step.

The Oregon-based group Patriot Prayer is set to share its message at what is billed as a free-speech rally Saturday at Crissy Field, which sits just along the San Francisco Bay near Golden Gate Bridge. However, those protesters will likely be met by a lot of dog poop.

A man named Tuffy Tuffington says on Facebook he wants people to “leave a gift for our alt-right friends” by asking people to let their dogs “do their business” at Crissy Field before the Patriot Prayer event.

The event adds that all droppings will be cleaned Sunday.

“I just had this image of alt-right people stomping around in the poop,” Tuffington, a 45-year-old artist and designer who owns two Patterdale terriers, told The Guardian. “It seemed like a little bit of civil disobedience where we didn’t have to engage with them face to face.”

Patriot Prayer’s organizer, Joey Gibson, takes issue to his organization being called a white supremacist or racist group. “Absolutely not,” Gibson says in a video on the group’s Facebook page. “I believe in what’s on the inside,” adding that he doesn’t care about race, sexual orientation or political preference.

“Patriot Prayer is about using the power of love and prayer to fight the corruption both in the government and citizen levels that seek to gain power through division and deception,” the page’s “About” section reads.

However, that hasn’t stopped some leaders from calling the event dangerous, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Jackie Speier, both Bay Area-based lawmakers who spoke to KGO about their concerns.

The Sacramento Bee will be sending a reporter to the rally this weekend.

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College professor wears “combat gear” to protest Texas’ campus carry law

professor charles smith

Just a tad melodramatic…

From Fox News: A Texas professor is making waves on social media after protesting the state’s campus carry law by wearing protective combat gear to class.

San Antonio College geography instructor Charles K. Smith went to his class last week sporting a camouflaged bulletproof vest and helmet. He said he wore it because he doesn’t feel safe.

“It definitely makes me feel uneasy that there are more firearms on campus than there should be,” Smith told mySA.com. “[Dressing this way] was just a statement on how I felt.”

Campus Carry, which was signed into state law in 2015 and officially implemented into Texas community colleges on Aug. 1, allows individuals with a conceal license to carry a handgun on college premises. The law went into effect at 4-year institutions in 2016.

A photo of Smith wearing the combat gear was shared on Facebook, which generated a flurry of comments in favor of and against the professor.

“I realize students were carrying guns on campus illegally, but now it’s legal to do so. It increases the chances of something happening,” said Smith, who also acknowledged that no one had pulled a gun on him in his 10 years at the college.

“Used to, when they got mad at me, they had to go home to get the gun and had time to cool off. Now they will have it with them,” he added.

Smith said he’s concerned about an argument breaking out and one of the participants having a gun. “My assumption is that you will have more people carrying guns – that will lead to problems. It always has,” he said. “There is nothing on this planet worth a human life.”

James “Hot Mustard” Velten, who posted the photo on Facebook, told Fox News on Tuesday that response on campus has been mostly positive. “Many professors admire his statement about campus carry,” he said. “Many professors don’t feel safe because of the law.”

Velten also told mySA.com that Smith was a passionate professor. “Around people like that, you tend to listen a bit more,” he said.

Smith said his protest has nothing to do with San Antonio College, as they are following the law. He said he ran his plans by local police and the administration beforehand.

“Some of them were okay and some of them weren’t, but it’s freedom of speech,” he said.

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Lena Dunham takes it upon herself to report two flight attendants for “transphobic talk”

lena dunham

I wouldn’t bet $100 that her story is true. You know her track record for telling the truth.

Update: According to Breitbart, there’s already some holes in her story as the airline cannot verify her claim. Shocker, not.

From Daily Mail: Lena Dunham took matters into her own hands when she heard two flight attendants engaging in ‘transphotic talk’.  The 31-year-old actress was very active on social media Wednesday night as she reported the employees to American Airlines on Twitter. She even direct messaged the major airline and shared screenshots of the private conversation on her Instagram.

At first, the Girls star was complaining about a plane delay and being ‘admonished’ over having a wrinkled boarding pass until she heard the unsavory chatter. Lena wrote: ‘Not gonna call out the airline who delayed cuz shit happens BUT I did just overhear 2 @AmericanAir attendants having a transphobic talk.’

She then went on to tell the over 90-year-old airline how employees should be trained in this day and age.

The comedienne wrote:  ‘At this moment in history we should be teaching our employees about love and inclusivity @AmericanAir. That was worst part of this night.’

She then went on to share screenshots of the private messages she sent the airline including: ‘I think it reflects badly on uninformed employees of your company to have that kind of dialogue going on.’

Lena also wrote them: ‘Awareness starts at home but jobs can set standards of practice.’

The customer service representative took information from the star and said they would pass it along for further review.

The next day, Lena reflected on the entire happening and even shared her societal views as she wrote: ‘For those who followed my airport saga yesterday, here’s my takeaway: these days it’s the little things. A smile. Offering a seat. Respect.’

We can’t afford to treat each other like cattle when we have a government that does. Being trapped at the airport filled me with love!’

Despite the incident in the air, things are going swimmingly for Dunham as she will appear on the new season of FX’s American Horror Story. Creator Ryan Murphy tweeted the news which was also confirmed by her reps to the Hollywood Reporter, adding that the Girls star will appear in just one episode of AHS season seven.

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