Tag Archives: free speech

51% of Americans believe First Amendment should be rewritten

This is scary. But not surprising.

The rights and freedoms previous generations fought for are under attack (think Second Amendment). They always will be by progressives who want to silence those who disagree with them. That’s the only way they can apparently win an argument.

And that’s the only way to ensure that feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelings are not hurt.

The Campaign for Free Speech released results of a recent poll that show the following:

51% of Americans think the First Amendment is outdated and should be rewritten. The First Amendment protects your right to free speech, free assembly, and freedom of religion, among other things.

48% believe “hate speech” should be illegal. (“Hate speech” is not defined—we left it up to the individual participant.) Of those, about half think the punishment for “hate speech” should include possible jail time, while the rest think it should just be a ticket and a fine.

80% don’t actually know what the First Amendment really protects. Those polled believed this statement is true: “The First Amendment allows anyone to say their opinion no matter what, and they are protected by law from any consequences of saying those thoughts or opinions.”

Go here for their full survey results.

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Antifa block elderly couple trying to get into conservative event; call them “Nazi scum”

About this video, from Andy Ngo:

“Antifa protesters scream at & block elderly couple outside an event featuring conservative politician @MaximeBernier & @RubinReport. Further violence broke out, leading to two arrests. Mohawk College had faced massive campaign to cancel the event”

Antifa’s actions do not surprise me. They are disgusting creatures.

I’m horrified that not ONE bystander did anything to help this couple.

What is wrong with people today?

Here’s a video where the harassing Antifa womyn’s face is exposed:

https://twitter.com/MrAndyNgo/status/1178820497041063936

DCG

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Problematic: 41% of college students believe hate speech should not be protected by the Constitution

Who gets to define what is “hate” speech?

From Daily Mail: Some 41 percent of college students say hate speech shouldn’t be protected under the First Amendment, according to a new survey.

Just 58 percent said that hate speech should be protected under the amendment, which guarantees American’s a right to freedom of speech, according to the survey of 4,407 students by the Miami-based Knight Foundation.

‘There is a new class of students on college campuses, increasingly varied in background and ideology, who are grappling with the reach and limits of free speech and what it means in the 21st century,’ said Sam Gill, Knight Foundation vice president for learning and communities.

‘Studying their views is key to understanding the impact that they may have on rights that are fundamental to our democracy,’ he added.

Opinions split dramatically along gender lines, with just 41 percent of college women saying that protecting free speech was more important that inclusivity, compared to 71 percent of college men.

More than two-thirds (68 percent) of respondents said they felt that students can’t openly express their views due to a climate on campus that has people fearful of offending their peers. Just 31 percent disagreed that such a climate exists.

These opinions of young Americans on the matter of freedom of speech are problematic – if well intended, said Ken Paulson, the director of the Free Speech Center at Middle Tennessee State University. ‘Protecting hate speech is actually the reason we have a First Amendment,’ he told DailyMail.com. ‘We don’t need protection for freedom of speech if everyone agrees with one another. The protection we need is for speech that others may find offensive.’

The survey comes as more colleges are opting to cancel or not invite controversial speakers to their campuses due to student outrage.

For example, Middlebury College in Vermont apologized to students earlier this year after getting a negative reaction to inviting a conservative speaker to campus. College officials also promised to do more to prevent invitations to such speakers going forward.

‘The big difference between today and a decade ago is that the conservatives are the big driving force behind freedom of speech on campuses,’ Paulson said.

The report also found that more than half (53 percent) are in favor of protecting freedom of speech, while 46 percent say it’s important to ‘promote an inclusive and welcoming society.’

‘The Constitution was not designed to keep your feelings from being hurt,’ said Paulson, also the former editor-in-chief of USA Today. ‘It was designed so every American could say or do whatever they wanted and do so without being punished. To understand freedom of speech you have to understand that it’s the minority being protected against the majority and the government.’

Read the whole story here.

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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.

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40% of Millennials are OK with limiting speech offensive to minorities

offensive
From Pew Research Center: American Millennials are far more likely than older generations to say the government should be able to prevent people from saying offensive statements about minority groups, according to a new analysis of Pew Research Center survey data on free speech and media across the globe.
We asked whether people believe that citizens should be able to make public statements that are offensive to minority groups, or whether the government should be able to prevent people from saying these things. Four-in-ten Millennials say the government should be able to prevent people publicly making statements that are offensive to minority groups, while 58% said such speech is OK.
Even though a larger share of Millennials favor allowing offensive speech against minorities, the 40% who oppose it is striking given that only around a quarter of Gen Xers (27%) and Boomers (24%) and roughly one-in-ten Silents (12%) say the government should be able to prevent such speech.
millennials censoring free speech
Compared with people we surveyed in dozens of nations, Americans as a whole are less likely to favor the government being able to prevent speech of any kind. The debate over what kind of speech should be tolerated in public has become a major story around the globe in recent weeks – from racial issues on many U.S. college campuses to questions about speech laws in Europe in the wake of concerns about refugees from the Middle East and the terrorist attacks in Paris.
Overall, our global survey found that a majority of Americans say that people should be able to say offensive things about minority groups publicly. Two-thirds of Americans say this, compared with a median of 35% among the 38 nations we polled.
In the U.S., our findings also show a racial divide on this question, with non-whites more likely (38%) to support government prevention of such speech than non-Hispanic whites (23%).
Nearly twice as many Democrats say the government should be able to stop speech against minorities (35%) compared with Republicans (18%). Independents, as is often the case, find themselves in the middle. One-third of all women say the government should be able to curtail speech that is offensive to minorities vs. 23% of men who say the same.
Furthermore, Americans who have a high school degree or less are more likely than those with at least a college degree to say that speech offensive to minority groups should be able to be restricted (a 9-percentage-point difference).
Read the rest of the poll results here.
h/t Weasel Zippers
DCG

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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

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Board recommends other-than-honorable discharge for anti-Obama Marine

After a daylong hearing at Camp Pendleton on Thursday, April 5, 2012, the Marine Corps administrative board recommended dismissal for Sgt. Gary Stein for openly criticizing his commander in chief Barack Obama on a Facebook page.

Sgt. Gary Stein


Julie Watson reports for the Associated Press, April 6, 2012, that the board said Stein has committed misconduct and should be dismissed, and recommended that he be given an other-than-honorable discharge. That would mean Stein would lose his benefits and would not be allowed on any military base.
The board’s recommendations go to a general who will either accept or deny them. If the general disagrees with the board, the case could go to the secretary of the Navy.
Stein addressed board members during Thursday’s hearing and said he loved the Marine Corps and wanted to re-enlist.
Stein’s lawyers argued that the nine-year Marine, whose service was to end in four months, was expressing his personal views and exercising his First Amendment rights.
Defense attorney Marine Capt. James Baehr said: “We’re truly surprised and disappointed but it was an honor to fight for a hero like Sgt. Stein and every other Marine’s right to speak freely.” Baehr expressed hope that the recommendation would be rejected by the general, saying the case will go forward. “The issues are too important for this to end today,” he said.
During the hearing, the prosecutor, Capt. John Torresala, said Stein went as far as superimposing images of Obama’s face on a poster for the movie “Jackass.” Torresala argued that Stein’s behavior repeatedly violated Pentagon policy that limits the free speech rights of service members, and said he should be dismissed after ignoring warnings from his superiors about his postings.
The government submitted screen grabs of Stein’s postings on one Facebook page he created called Armed Forces Tea Party, which the prosecutor said included the image of Obama on the “Jackass” movie poster. Stein also superimposed Obama’s image on a poster for “The Incredibles” movie that he changed to “The Horribles,” the prosecutor said.
Torresala also said anti-Obama comments by Stein that were posted on a Facebook page used by Marine meteorologists were prejudicial to good order and discipline, and could have influenced junior Marines.
Stein’s security clearance was taken away and he has no future in the Marine Corps because he can’t do his job without that clearance. Torresala said “The Marine Corps community views the command’s lack of action as some kind of knock on good order and discipline. Our own people are questioning why this Marine is not being held accountable.”
Baehr said during the hearing that prosecutors were trying to dredge up any damaging information they could against Stein: “There is no basis in this case. Sgt. Stein has broken no law.”
The military has had a policy since the Civil War limiting the free speech of service members, including criticism of the commander in chief.
Pentagon directives say military personnel in uniform cannot sponsor a political club; participate in any TV or radio program or group discussion that advocates for or against a political party, candidate or cause; or speak at any event promoting a political movement.
Commissioned officers also may not use contemptuous words against senior officials.
Backed by a team of lawyers and congressmen, Stein has said he is fighting for his constitutional rights and should be allowed to stay in the military. His lawyers and the American Civil Liberties Union contend his views are protected by the First Amendment.
“Think about how dangerous this could be if the U.S. government can prosecute you for something you say on your private Facebook page,” Baehr said.
Stein has said his opinions are his own and has put a disclaimer on his Facebook page saying so. His attorneys argued service members have a right to voice their opinions as long as they do not appear to be presenting their views as being endorsed by the military. They say the Pentagon policy is vague and military officials do not understand it.
The Marine Corps has said it decided to take administrative action after Stein declared on Facebook that he would not follow orders from Obama and later clarified that statement saying he would not follow unlawful orders.
Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., a former Marine, wrote a letter to Stein’s commanding officer stating the sergeant should not face dismissal for an opinion shared by a majority of Marines. Hunter said he was referring to Stein’s statement that he would not obey unlawful orders. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., also expressed support for Stein.

Stein said his statement about Obama was part of an online debate about NATO allowing U.S. troops to be tried for the Koran burnings in Afghanistan. In that context, he said, he was stating that he would not follow orders from the president if it involved detaining U.S. citizens, disarming them or doing anything else that he believes would violate their constitutional rights.

Anti-Obama sentiments reportedly are rising in the U.S. Marine Corps. Go here.
~Eowyn

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Good News! Fairness Doctrine is Dead


Amidst dreary news about the economy, we have a piece of good news.
Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission gave a killing karaté chop to the Orwellian-named “Fairness Doctrine“!
Brooks Boliek of Politico reports, August 22, 2011, that the FCC also axed more than 80 media industry rules.

Earlier this summer FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski already had agreed to erase the post WWII-era “doctrine”, but the action Monday puts the last nail into the coffin for the regulation that sought to ensure discussion over the airwaves of controversial issues did not exclude any particular point of view. A broadcaster that violated the rule risked losing its license.

While the commission voted in 1987 to do away with the rule — a legacy to a time when broadcasting was a much more dominant voice than it is today — the language implementing it was never removed. The move Monday, once published in the federal register, effectively erases the rule.

Monday’s move is part of the commission’s response to a White House executive order directing a “government-wide review of regulations already on the books” designed to eliminate unnecessary regulations.
Also consigned to the regulatory dustbin are the “broadcast flag” digital copy protection rule that was struck down by the courts and the cable programming service tier rate. Altogether, the agency tossed 83 rules and regs.
Genachowski said in a statement that the move was aimed at promoting “a healthy climate for private investment and job creation.” Both the Obama administration and the FCC have come under criticism by business groups over laws and regulations such as health care reform and net neutrality rules.
I’m still incredulous that the Obama administration actually did something right….
~Eowyn

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Free Speech – Not for Conservatives

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCcYSRACwx0]

What is it with liberals and their desire to ban conservative voices?  Are they afraid to debate?  Are they afraid of the message?

The folks at Rebelpundit.com attended the Printer’s Row Literature Festival in Chicago and asked people what books they could ban if given the option.  Authors included Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Andrew Breitbart, Ann Coulter, Ayn Rand, Michael Savage, Michael Moore, Karl Marx, Adolf Hitler, Barack Obama, and Bill Clinton.  They were asked to mark up to three books they would ban, if given the choice.  Less than two handfuls of individuals did say they didn’t think any books should be banned.

Participants overwhelming chose Sarah Palin who received 53 votes putting her at 36% overall, Glenn Beck at 23% and Ann Coulter at 22%.

Ah yes, the “tolerant” liberals once again displaying their arrogance in free speech for me but not for thee.

h/t Big Government

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Abortion Billboard Must Come Down

AP Photo

Earlier this month I reported on Greg Fultz of New Mexico who put up a billboard ad saying his ex-girlfriend had an abortion against his wishes which touched off a legal debate over free speech and privacy rights.

Now Fox News is reporting that a state district judge Thursday ordered Greg to immediately take down a billboard that implies his ex-girlfriend had an abortion. State District Judge James Counts issued the ruling as part of protective order the woman sought after Greg Fultz, 35, took out the sign on the city’s main thoroughfare in mid-May.

Fultz’s ex-girlfriend has taken him to court for harassment and violation of privacy. A domestic court official had recommended the billboard be removed.

But Fultz’s attorney said his client is adamant about protecting his free speech rights and will appeal. “He said he is prepared to go to jail for this,” attorney Todd Holmes said. “His position is that this billboard is not really about her. It’s about his statement of fathers’ rights.”

It was unclear if the woman had an abortion or a miscarriage. Her attorney, Ellen Jessen, said earlier this month that she has not discussed the pregnancy with her client because that was not the point. The central issue is her client’s privacy and the fact that the billboard has caused severe emotional distress, she said.

Heaven forbid the woman suffer “severe emotional distress” from a billboard that doesn’t mention her name. I’m glad to see this man make a fight for his rights and those of his lost child.

h/t Anon

DCG

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