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Why free speech is in serious peril in America -- and not just because of the Left


An unnamed contributor to  the SHTFPlan blog says that if you asked most Americans whether or not they support free speech, the vast majority of them would say that they do. Even most Leftists would probably tell you that they support free speech, but in the same breath they would admit that it should have some limitations.

And that's precisely the problem with Americans these days. They claim that they support the freedom to say whatever they want, but when asked how they feel about specific examples of speech that they don't like, it's obvious that they don't actually believe in free speech. And though the Left is catching the most flak for being anti-free speech these days, it's a problem on both sides of the political aisle.

That was made abundantly clear after YouGov polled Americans on how they felt about the prospect of shutting down news outlets that publish inaccurate stories.

A new YouGov poll shows that a wide plurality of Republicans would be willing to permit courts to "shut down news media outlets for publishing or broadcasting stories that are biased or inaccurate." The numbers: 45% of Republicans would favor such a policy, and 35% say they haven't heard enough to say. That means that just 20% of Republicans would oppose such a policy. Among Democrats, just 18% favor such a policy, with 39% opposed and 43% saying they haven't heard enough to decide. And among independents, 25% say they back such media shut downs, with 27% opposing and 48% deferring judgment. Overall, just 29% of Americans oppose such a policy.

When it comes to fining media outlets, the numbers are even worse. Just 12% of Republicans oppose such a policy; only 21% of independents oppose such a policy; overall, 80% of Americans either support such a policy (34%, including 55% of Republicans) or don't know enough to say.

It's understandable that Republicans feel this way, given how they've been treated by the media for so long. But it's still wrong. After all, who gets to decide what news is "biased or inaccurate?" This would open the door for the government to shut down any news outlet, regardless of its political bent. They would have carte blanche to kill any speech that challenges the status quo by simply calling it inaccurate. You might recognize that argument as the same point made by conservatives when the media first engaged in its "fake news" witch hunt.

The truth is, free speech is under assault in all directions in America, and its future doesn't look too bright. That's because, not only is it losing respect among Republicans and Leftists, but young Americans also don't really believe in it. Polls have shown that 7 out of 10 college students think that offensive speech should be restricted on their campuses, and 40% of Millennials think that the government should prevent people from saying things that are offensive to minorities; a number that is far higher than what is observed in previous generations.

These are scary times for the 1st Amendment. Broad sections of the population don't value free speech, and their ranks are growing. And what's worse, is that while they support policies that hurt the 1st amendment, they still often claim to support it. They have no idea that they support the destruction of their own rights.

If these people don't wake up, then someday we are going to lose a fundamental right that protects the free exchange of ideas, and that right is a well from which all freedoms and prosperity spring from. If you don't believe me, all you have to do is look at any country that doesn't value this right. Those places are not pretty.

There's a reason why free speech is in the 1st Amendment, and not the 2nd or 3rd. It's the most important right, and we're in danger of losing it.

A man that lies about who he is will never have a problem lying about what he does

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Plastic surgeon performs free surgery on man attacked for wearing MAGA hat


Katherine Rodriguez (Breitbart) is reporting that a New York City plastic surgeon performed surgery on a Brooklyn man's face free of charge after the man suffered multiple injuries to his face when someone allegedly attacked him for wearing a "Make America Great Again" (MAGA) hat.

Jovanni Valle, 26, suffered a broken nose and a laceration on his cheek requiring 15 stitches after being hit with a broken glass bottle over his head July 7 at a Bulgarian bar called Mehanata on the Lower East Side at 3:30 a.m., the New York Post reported.

Valle, who often goes by "Jovi Val," said he and 15 of his friends came to the bar from a book party for former Breitbart News senior editor Milo Yiannopoulos' book Dangerous.

He said he was dancing when his Trump hat fell off and a female bar patron "repeatedly" stomped on it.

"That's enough, what are you doing?" Valle asked the woman.

"I hate this hat, I hate you," the woman responded.

Valle said that as he put his hand on her shoulder, the woman's boyfriend hit him from behind.

When Dr. Joseph Pober's office assistant showed him a video of Valle getting smacked in the head with the bottle, Dr. Pober immediately wanted to see what he could do to help.

"This is something that had to be done. When I heard about this I was shocked," Dr. Pober said. "It's freedom of speech that is being attacked and assaulted. … I can't imagine that anyone in America would viciously assault you, break your nose and slice your face with a broken beer bottle."

Valle, who is uninsured, received his initial treatment for his injuries in the emergency room before Dr. Pober evaluated him.

Dr. Pober said he examined Valle a few days after his trip to the emergency room.

"I evaluated him and I felt that he had a severe injury of his nose and there was a blood clot underneath the suturing of his cheek and that had to be drained," Dr. Pober said.

The Park Avenue plastic surgeon performed the surgery July 14 that reduced the appearance of Valle's nose fracture, drained his cheek of the blood clot, and re-sutured the "gaping" wound in his cheek.

Dr. Pober said Valle would need two more surgeries, but the doctor said he would happily cover all medical expenses. Dr. Pober's office estimates that he's performed about $30,000 worth of procedures so far.

Valle said he was "astonished" by the doctor's offer to cover the cost of his surgeries.

"I just couldn't believe it, I was astonished," he said. "When you think of plastic surgery you never think of free. You think of thousands and thousands of dollars."

Police arrested Emma Rodriguez, 24, and her boyfriend Leonardo Heinert, 25, and charged them with assault for allegedly attacking Valle. According to the criminal complaint, Heinert "repeatedly" pummeled Valle while Rodriguez "smashed" the glass bottle on his head. Both were released without posting bail, according to police records.

Others wearing MAGA hats in New York City have been physically and verbally attacked for sporting President Trump's signature campaign slogan.

A Bronx man was attacked by two men on a subway after they asked if he supported Trump shortly after the 2016 election in November.

In March, a New York Post journalist wore a MAGA hat as a self-described "social experiment" and was cursed out by various people he encountered in New York City.

I believe the real story in this item is that the attackers were released without posting bail.

If a conservative attacked and caused severe physical damage to a liberal in New York City, they would not have been release without bail.

The attackers never even went in front of a judge. They were released from the police station.

A man that lies about who he is will never have a problem lying about what he does

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CNN host admits liberals are not tolerant

Fareed Zakaria said Saturday that though many liberals think they are tolerant, often they aren't.

Zakaria noted that "at the height of commencement season," many new graduates across the country had made their political views apparent, from the Notre Dame students who walked out as Vice President Mike Pence gave his commencement address to the crowd members who booed Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos during a speech at Bethune-Cookman University.

"American universities seem committed to every kind of diversity except intellectual diversity. Conservative voices and views are being silenced entirely," Zakaria said.

The CNN host said he found this attitude strange, especially given that these incidents occurred on college campuses that "promised to give their undergraduates a liberal education."

"The word liberal in this context has nothing to do with today's partisan language, but refers instead to the Latin root, pertaining to liberty. And at the heart of liberty in the Western world has been freedom of speech. From the beginning, people understood that this meant protecting and listening to speech with which you disagreed," Zakaria argued.

Even Fareed, like a broken clock is occasionally correct.

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University of Arizona is paying social justice warriors to report "microaggressions"


Carter (GatewayPundit) is reporting to The University of Arizona is now paying students to be "social-justice activists," with the job description being to: "report any bias incidents of claims to appropriate Residence Life staff."

Kat Timpf of the National Review reported:

In other words: These kids are being paid to tattle on other kids for anything they might consider to be a microaggression, and any students who gets these jobs should probably identify themselves so that other students will know to never invite them to their parties.

At 15 hours a week, the students can expect to make around $600/month to report nothing of value, the Daily Caller reports. This new type of paid activism sounds a lot like the types of recruitment techniques Nazi Germany might have used with their Hitler Youth.

From the DC:

Sounding a bit like a block leader in Soviet Russia, SJAs will "openly lead conversations, discuss differences, and confront diversely insensitive behavior." When students are not complying with social justice standards, SJAs are encouraged to tattle on their peers, reveal the deviant actions to higher authorities and "report any bias incidents or claims to appropriate Residence Life staff."

Non-compliant students might achieve some degree of re-education through "real talks" that SJAs are expected to have with their fellow dorm students.

The university stresses that one should not take the duties of an SJA lightly. "The position also aims to increase understanding of one's own self through critical reflection of power and privilege, identity and intersectionality, systems of socialization, cultural competency, and allyship as they pertain to the acknowledgement, understanding, and acceptance of differences," the online job description explains.

You can read the full original report by Campus Reform here.

You can view the original job description here.


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We were lied to about which side would threaten free speech


John Kass (ChicagoTribune) says the lie we were told as kids was this: The end of American liberty would come at the hands of the political right.

Conservatives would take away our right to speak our minds, and use the power of government to silence dissent. The right would intimidate our teachers and professors, and coerce the young.

And then, with the universities in thrall, with control of the apparatus of the state (and the education bureaucracy), the right would have dominion over a once-free people.

Some of us were taught this in school. Others, who couldn't be bothered to read books, were fed a cartoon version of the diabolical conservative in endless movies and TV shows. The most entertaining of these were science fiction, sometimes with vague references to men in brown shirts and black boots goose-stepping in some future time.

Women would become handmaids, subjugated and turned into breeders. And men would be broken as well. The more lurid fantasies offered armies of Luddites in hooded robes, hunting down subversives for the greater good.

But the lie is obvious now, isn't it?

Because it is not conservatives who coerced today's young people or made them afraid of ideas that challenge them. Conservatives did not shame people into silence, or send thugs out on college campuses to beat down those who wanted to speak.

The Left did all that.

It's there in front of you, the thuggish mobs of the Left killing free speech at American universities. The thugs call themselves antifas, for anti-fascists.

They beat people up and break things and set fires and intimidate. These are not anti-fascists. These are fascists. This is what fascists do.

Some wear masks to cover their faces, or hide bike locks in scarves and swing them at the heads of any who disagree. They're all about intimidation. And intimidation on a national scale, so angry and violent, is a fascist thing of the Left.

Many liberals -- journalists, senators, television comedians and others -- are properly appalled at what their political children, born of the hard left, have done. Many liberals have warned about this, and so many must wince as the fruits of their labor turn bitter in their mouths.

But they are also complicit, because they've taken advantage of the anger and energy of this hard left fascism to leverage their own politics. And Democratic operatives still hope to use this emotional frenzy and muscle for political gain in the next elections.

What is the cost for all this?

Free speech, without which there is no republic.

American universities were once thought to be the last great refuge of ideas, where ideas could flourish and be challenged and debated. But today, the university is the place where liberty and ideas go to die.

The American university is where intellectuals with dissenting views are silenced -- even physically assaulted -- by mobs. And administrators sit by and watch, afraid to anger those mobs.

What has been the general liberal response to Americans who insist on speaking after being threatened?

Annoyance. The response sounds like this: Hush. Go away. Come back later when it's quiet. Why cause trouble? Shhh.

Right-wing provocateur Ann Coulter has been silenced at Berkeley, where the free speech movement was born. And other intellectuals, including Charles Murray and Heather Mac Donald, have been silenced at other colleges, attacked by mobs.

If the Left agrees with your views, you may speak. If the Left doesn't agree, they will shut you down. This is America now.

Some liberals also have seen their careers ruined by mob rule. Those two professors at Yale, a husband and wife, come to mind. She told Yale students not to worry if some other student wore a sombrero as a Halloween costume, that there were more important things to worry about than political correctness and a student wearing a sombrero.

But a Yale student, a woman, a minority, screamed in response, weeping in hideous self-indulgent theatrics captured on video. And all of this caught fire on the internet and sparked the virtual mob on social media. The professors, the husband and wife, with decent records and obvious care for the intellectual development of their students, were shamed out of Yale.

And all educators across the country took note.

University administrators have made a show of wringing their hands. But they're hypocrites. They're part of this. They are of the same cloth. They allowed this seed to bloom. They watered it, by giving in to the young who demanded a safe space from intellectual challenge.

Safe spaces are not about learning or critical thinking. Safe spaces belong to education camps, where future bureaucrats are trained in the Orwellian shaping of language and the culling of threatening ideas.

The universities molded the federal education bureaucracy, which turned out teachers that shaped the minds of American children. And some of those children are in college now.

Surveys suggest that many young Americans think the First Amendment should be amended so as to not allow offensive speech. So the students have learned their lessons well.

All speech challenging the status quo is offensive -- to the establishment. And free speech is what American liberty is about.

Unless, of course, you're of the hard Left, and can hunt free speech at American universities and crush

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Rob Schneider says Berkeley should "add burning books to the curriculum"

Michael Horn (TruthRevolt) is reporting that comedian Rob Schneider, no longer a slave to the dark side of leftism, did some master troll work on the People's Republic of Berkeley following the university's decision to cancel Ann Coulter's speaking engagement once again after police determined there would be a "99 percent" chance of violence if she appeared.

In a tweet, the former Deuce Bigelow star said that now they've exposed the fascism underneath their veneer of love and tolerance, they should strip down to the full Nazi. Anyone up for some book burning? Bring marshmallows.

"UC Berkeley, after you done eliminating speech you don’t like & words you don’t like what’s next?" Schneider wrote in a tweet. "Maybe add burning books to the curriculum."


He then followed up to say that "freedom of thought, speech, conscience & informed consent to medical risk taking. There’s no greater calling for Americans in the 21st century."


The violent intentions of Berkeley's snowflakes, created by their Marxist professors -- remember, this is the university with a park named Ho Chi Minh -- have now silenced both Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter on campus. Whatever reputation they once had as the home of the Free Speech Movement is now in ruins.

In the trolling department, Schneider has been on a roll hitting the Democrats hard. We forgive him for The Animal.

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UC Berkeley students threaten to sue over Ann Coulter visit

FoxNews is reporting that students at the University of California at Berkeley who invited conservative commentator Ann Coulter to speak on campus are threatening to sue the university if it does not find a proper time and venue for her to speak next week.

Harmeet Dhillon, who represents the Berkeley College Republicans, said in letters sent Friday to UC Berkeley’s Interim Vice Chancellor Stephen Sutton and chief attorney Christopher Patti that if Coulter is not allowed to give a speech on campus on April 27 she will file a lawsuit in federal court because the university is violating the students’ constitutional right to free speech.

"It is a sad day indeed when the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement, is morphing before our eyes into the cemetery of free speech on college campuses," Dhillon wrote.

School officials told the Berkeley College Republicans on Tuesday, and the nonpartisan Bridge USA which coordinated the event, that it was being cancelled due to security concerns.

Chancellor Nicholas B. Dirks said that police have "very specific intelligence regarding threats that could pose a grave danger to the speaker," her audience and protesters if the event goes ahead next Thursday.

Officials offered an afternoon event on May 2, when they can offer an "appropriate, protectable venue" but Coulter rejected it, saying she is not available that day. She also tweeted, "THERE ARE NO CLASSES AT BERKELEY THE WEEK OF MAY 2." The period is known as Dead Week, when students are studying for final exams.

"You cannot impose arbitrary and harassing restrictions on the exercise of a constitutional right," Coulter told "Hannity" on Thursday night. "None of this has to do with security."

It is the latest skirmish in a free-speech fight involving conservative voices on college campuses across the country, including at Berkeley. In February, masked rioters at the school smashed windows, set fires, and shut down an appearance by former Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos. Last week, the Berkeley College Republicans said threats of violence forced them to cancel a speech by writer David Horowitz. Writer Charles Murray's appearance at Middlebury saw riots last month, and Heather Mac Donald's speech at Claremont McKenna College was streamed online earlier this month after protesters blocked the door to the venue.

Berkeley has been the site of clashes between far-right and far-left protesters, most recently at a rally last weekend called in support of President Donald Trump in downtown Berkeley.

Related:  Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin publicly supports violent left-wing ANTIFA group

A man that lies about who he is will never have a problem lying about what he does

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My, how times change!


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Religious liberty order coming down the pike -- "LGBT agenda will be unhinged"


Michael Horn (TruthRevolt) is reporting that a new religious liberty executive order protecting Christians from the onslaught of former community organizer Barack Obama's radical LGBT agenda may be in the works soon, says former Donald Trump advisor Ken Blackwell.

"My anticipation is that we will see an Executive Order and it will be more than window dressing," Blackwell, senior fellow for Human Rights and Constitutional Governance at the Family Research Council, told LifeSiteNews, predicting that Obama's "aggressive LGBT agenda will be unhinged."

"We have a great plan to attack the administrative state," he said. "We will have to be very meticulous in how we dismantle it."

This will require a bold executive order on behalf of President Trump, and to his credit, he has largely kept his promises thus far, having signed bills to allow states to defund abortion conglomerate Planned Parenthood and having nominated pro-religious freedom justice Neil Gorsuch to SCOTUS.

Trump's biggest promise on religious liberty came during his campaign when he vowed to overturn the Johnson amendment that barred churches from making political endorsements for fear of losing tax exempt status, which would deal a death blow to anti-religious forces in the United States government.

Whatever Trump's plans for religious liberty, he certainly has not posed the same anti-Christian agenda that Hillary and the Democrats would have implemented, something for which all Christians should be thanking heaven.

A man that lies about who he is will never have a problem lying about what he does

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When "safety" becomes a euphemism for tyranny


Dave Blount (Moonbattery) says leftists can never call what they want to impose by its proper name, or people would recoil in horror. So they use euphemisms. "Choice" is used in place of "abortion," which itself was originally a euphemism. In the world of education, "safety" is becoming a euphemism for tyranny:

A teacher at a posh private school was fired last month after making an innocuous comment about abortion to his Grade 12 law class. …

The 44-year-old teacher, who has asked that he not be identified to protect what's left of his career, was teaching "the criminal law unit, a lesson on vice, ethics, morality and the law" to his small class in the Vancouver-area school in late November.

His transgression was that, in giving examples of where private morality may differ from the law, he mentioned in passing that he sees abortion as wrong, although it is legal.

A little later, the class had a five-minute break, and when it resumed, several students didn't return, among them a popular young woman who had gone to an administrator to complain that what the teacher said had "triggered" her such that she felt "unsafe" and that, in any case, he had no right to an opinion on the subject of abortion because he was a man.

Desperate to keep his job, the teacher profusely apologized, despite having done nothing wrong.

He repeatedly asked what he'd done wrong or if there was an allegation of misconduct.

"The answer I got back was that I was recognized as an outstanding teacher, but student 'safety' was the school's primary concern."

Left-wing students do not feel "safe" in an environment in which people are allowed to express views they disagree with. Therefore, such views are strictly forbidden for safety considerations.

A scene was staged at which he was offered an opportunity to save his job by groveling before his accuser in front of his class and his boss.

While most students appeared to be on his side, the offended girl was still furious.

He apologized specifically to her, but then made what was apparently a fatal error: He said he liked her, that she was a bright and engaging student, and said he'd told her father just that at a recent parent-teacher night.

She stormed out of the class in tears, and he was again castigated by his superiors, this time for having been "too personal" in his apologia.

He was consequently fired.

"Such is the cost of a small misstep in a crushingly politically correct world," he said sorrowfully.

At least he can console himself that in communist China, where variants of this story played out many times during the Cultural Revolution, he would have been shot. But soft tyranny is still tyranny.

A man that lies about who he is will never have a problem lying about what he does

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FEC Democrats lay groundwork to ban Fox, WSJ political coverage


Paul Bedard (BloviatingZepplin) is reporting that in their biggest threat yet to conservative media, Democrats on the Federal Election Commission are laying the groundwork to bar companies with even the tiniest foreign ownership from American politics, a move that could ban Fox, the Wall Street Journal and even the New York Times from covering political races or giving endorsements.

In a last-minute submission Wednesday, a top Democrat on the evenly split FEC proposed that the Thursday meeting of the commission begin the process to prohibit companies with foreign ownership as small as 5 percent "from funding expenditures, independent expenditures, or electioneering communications."

Democratic Commissioner Ellen Weintraub -- stop right there. Note: "Democratic Commissioner Ellen Weintraub" -- said in her submission, "Given everything we have learned this year, it blinks reality to suggest that that there is no risk of foreign nationals taking advantage of current loopholes to intercede invisibly in American elections. This is a risk no member of the Federal Election Commission should be willing to tolerate."

Under Weintraub's proposal, entities that reach her foreign ownership target would conceivably be banned from advocating for a candidate's election or defeat.

Right. It's okay if we sell most anything to foreign nationals but the precious press -- it must be protected so that it may continue to be the pure, unvarnished and unbiased agent for the Left that it was and is. The Leftist bent of the American Media Maggots cannot be diverted for any reason. So, we'll simply make up as much specious shite as possible since we already recognize the internet has been compromised.

Several media giants have at least 5 percent foreign ownership, some with as much as 25 percent. Included is News Corp, which owns Fox, the New York Post and the Wall Street Journal. The New York Times also has foreign ownership, as do many politically active firms like Ben & Jerry's.

Oh no. American ice cream has been tainted by foreign ownership.

That prohibition could include Fox commentator Sean Hannity or Wall Street Journal editorials. And, according to one analysis, because foreign nationals also are prohibited from making electioneering communications, those media would not even be able to mention Donald Trump or Hillary Rodham Clinton, even if just covering them.

Democrats on the commission have been on a three-year campaign to limit the voice of conservative media, stopped by Republican commissioners who have warned that the First Amendment is under attack in the FEC.

Let us not forget that roughly two months ago the DNC was hacked and America learned the DNC was helping CBS to create the poll questions in a bias of clear and obvious proportions.

No. I'm not making this up.

Leftists, Democrats and Progressives really do wish to silence you -- unless your speech, writings, opinions and thoughts are completely congruent with theirs. They will brook no opposition, no pushback, not even discussion.

The First Amendment is being attacked, openly, nakedly, right in front of our eyes, hiding in plain sight, because -- guess who? -- isn't covering much of it at all.

This is orchestrated, this is purposeful, this is organized, this is an assault on your freedoms and my freedoms. Just wait a few minutes; the FCC will be piling on any moment now in the same manner.

America, are you listening? Are you seeing? Are you comprehending?

I fear you are asleep.

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An ongoing affront to freedom -- U. N. Resolution 16/18 and the assault on free speech

CounterJihad says the worst attacks on liberty are camouflaged with shining names.  United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution (UNHRC) 16/18, among international governments' worst assaults on the freedom of speech, was formally titled "Combating Intolerance, Negative Stereotyping and Stigmatization of, and Discrimination, Incitement to Violence and Violence Against, Persons Based on Religion or Belief."

Who could be against that?  Certainly not Hillary Clinton, then Secretary of State, who hosted the conference to help the UNHRC implement this resolution.  She said that the United States was hosting this conference because the resolution captured "our highest values… enshrined in our Constitution."  In fact, what the Constitution protects is the freedom to criticize any idea -- religious or otherwise.  In fact, the Constitution forbids laws that establish any religion as beyond criticism, or as being especially protected by law.

Of course it will be no surprise that the real authors of 16/18 were members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).  Hillary Clinton was the Obama administration's point-person in working with the OIC.  Of course it will come as no surprise that the real thrust of 16/18 is preventing criticism of Islam or Muhammad.  Obama himself said that the future must not belong to those "who slander the Prophet of Islam."

In fact, 16/18's original text simply said that it forbade "Defamation of Islam," and made no mention of defending any other faith.  Following the adoption of the resolution by the High Commissioner of Human Rights, who expanded it to other faiths as well, there was an intense push by the OIC nations to include "Islamophobia" as especially forbidden.  The focus on Islam expanded throughout the period of the resolution's negotiation.

The UN's Secretary General went so far as to say that the freedom of speech and expression did not extend to "insulting others."  He said this in 2012, after the high profile murders of cartoonists critical of Muhammed.   He later claimed that 16/18 limited freedom of speech, which he called a "twisted negative logic," a logic belonging only to the West and hostile to Islam.

It is an open question whether UN Resolution 16/18 endorses anti-blasphemy laws, but the OIC nations clearly believe that it does

The fact that Secretary Clinton would bill this resolution as an endorsement of America's most treasured principles should be deeply alarming.

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Clemson stops man from praying on campus -- it's "not a free speech area"

Ron Meyer (RedAlertPolitics) is reporting that a man was stopped by a Clemson University administrator for praying on campus, telling him and a Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) activist that "this is not a designated free speech area," and asking them to leave the area. YAF's blog The New Guard released the video today. 

The administrator, Shawn Jones who is the assistant director for client services, also called their praying "solicitation," and demanded that they would need to fill out paperwork to continue. Clemson receives state and federal funding, and many see these restrictions as disregarding the First Amendment to the Constitution by limiting free speech to certain zones.

The Young Americans for Freedom member, Kyra Palange, asked the administrator, "by that, you mean there are free speech areas on campus and that the entire campus is not a free speech area?"

Jones responded, "that is correct."

Palange released the following statement to YAF:

"I was walking across the grassy area near Fort Hill after class at about 3:15 when I saw someone sitting in a folding chair. Next to him was another folding chair with an 8×10 sign that said PRAYER. I approached him and we sat down to pray for a few minutes. When we finished, a man from the university approached us and said he could not be praying there because it was not a "designated free speech area" and presented the person who was praying with a form for the procedures for applying for "solicitation" on campus. He told him he had to leave."

Emily Jashinsky, spokeswoman for Young America's Foundation -- that merged with Young Americans for Freedom five years ago -- said, "Attention Clemson: The entire United States of America is a free speech zone. If an American wants to exercise their religion, they should be able to do it regardless of whether or not they are in a 'designated free speech area.' And silently offering prayer to anyone who wants to take part is not a 'solicitation.'"

This report doesn't specify whether Palange continued to pray or not -- he should have continued, just to see how far this fascist professor would take his absurd stance.

Would he have called police? Would he have put his hands om Palange?

I would have pushed the issue, because I know this idiot would not have objected to this:


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Free speech is now defined by the government -- not the Bill of Rights

S. Noble (IndependentSentinel) is reporting that Hillary Clinton's recent campaign flyer quoted Hillary as saying, "Breitbart has no right to exist". She wants to shut down the right's own media outlets beginning with Breitbart. She promises to be the new McCarthy, having pushed hate speech laws and censoring of the press in the past and we had better be ready for the siege.

Democrats are out in the open with their objectives to limit free speech. The Federal Elections Commission is chomping at the bit to regulate Internet free speech.

A CNET author, Ian Sherr, in explaining how Facebook censors, posted a novel definition of freedom of speech: "Freedom of speech isn't what you think it is. The beginning phrase of the First Amendment to the US Constitution says 'Congress shall make no law…' That means, within reason, the government doesn't mess with what you say."

If the definition is "within reason" under the force of government, it leaves us open to hate laws, broadcast and Internet speech regulation and it makes RICO laws for expressing unpopular opinions reasonable.

When we play with the Constitution and the meaning of the Bill of Rights in particular, we are embroiled in a dangerous game.

Recently sixteen attorneys general decided to harass supporters of climate denial as they launched attacks against the bigger target Exxon Mobil. They demanded unreasonable documentation going back a decade or more with the threat of criminal prosecution hanging in the balance.

Left-wing organizations and Democrat politicians colluded with the Attorneys general and the DoJ to file RICO complaints against Exxon and any high-profile organization that has any differing opinions on the exaggerated science of global warming.

We know it's exaggerated from Climategate but more importantly from the fact that almost none of their computer predictions have come true. They do not have records from the past and have nothing to compare with. The hockey stick has been debunked.

The Left wants Exxon treated the same as cigarette companies and charged criminally for allegedly lying to the public. There is a big difference, however. Phillip Morris was putting higher levels of Nicotine into the cigarettes and lying about it. Exxon, on the other hand, produced studies that mostly proved global warming was questionable at best. Exxon's case is a free speech case.

They are accused of hiding studies that "prove" climate change when in fact they were the less meaningful studies in their opinion and they did not agree with them. It was not their duty to present a case for Al Gore's global warming theories.

All organizations that support fossil fuels and hold doubts about climate warming as the catastrophe of the near future are under siege by law enforcement. It is a threat to free speech.

Exxon and other organizations should be allowed to present an opinion that runs counter to the government opinion. If the government wins on this, what business will be next? Black Lives Matter, a Soros-Obama organization, tortured a restaurant owner of an olive store for a sign that said "White Olives Matter". Should signs be banned or regulated? Perhaps the word "matter" has to be banned in certain cases? Should all opinions that go against government be put under law enforcement scrutiny if the government so decides?

Our First Amendment is in grave danger and this is one more means of attack. No matter how you feel about global warming, scientists and anyone who disagrees should be allowed to present another opinion.

There aren't enough people fighting the government abuse of free speech.

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Yale forms Committee to rename offensive things


The Daily Caller is reporting that Yale University has established a new committee dedicated to deciding when and how the school should rename buildings, monuments, and other campus features it believes are too offensive for a modern university campus.

Yale University has established a new committee dedicated to deciding when and how the school should rename buildings, monuments, and other campus features it believes are too offensive for a modern university campus.

The Committee to Establish Principles on Renaming is exactly what it sounds like: A special group that will set rules to decide what aspects of Yale’s history should remain, and which should be purged.

The committee’s existence stems from the long-running controversy over Calhoun College, a residential college at the school named for John C. Calhoun, an American vice president who was a vocal defender of slavery. Many have called for Calhoun College to be renamed, with those calls gaining strength after the June 2015 shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, which sparked a general backlash against monuments to the Confederacy and slaveholders.

Back in April, Yale President Peter Salovey announced Calhoun College would not be renamed, despite protests. At the time, Salovey said renaming the college would go against Yale’s core principles, including its motto, Light and Truth.

“Removing Calhoun’s name obscures the legacy of slavery rather than addressing it,” he said at the time.

But the announcement did nothing to quiet critics or defuse the issue. Opponents continued to denounce Calhoun, and in June, a Yale employee smashed a historic stained glass window at Calhoun he argued was demeaning because it showed black slaves harvesting cotton. Despite initially losing his job and being hit with criminal charges, the employee ultimately went totally unpunished for his stunt.

Now, Salovey seems to be setting the stage for a complete reversal of his original decision. In a Monday announcement, Salovey said he was creating a new committee to reevaluate whether Calhoun and other parts of Yale should receive new names. In the announcement, Salovey backed off of his initial claim that removing names was wrong, instead acknowledging that in some cases, the best way to remember the past is to obscure it.

“It is now clear to me that the community-wide conversation about these issues could have drawn more effectively on campus expertise,” he said. “I have therefore appointed a Committee to Establish Principles on Renaming, and am charging this committee with developing clearly delineated principles to guide the university’s decisions on proposals to remove a historical name from a building or similarly prominent structure or space on campus.”

The new committee will include six Yale faculty members, three alumni, two students, and an administrator. The committee’s make-up will substantially empower the school’s faculty, who had complained about being sidelined in the naming debate previously.

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University says it can be too "risky" to allow speeches


Bob Unruh (WND) is reporting that a California university whose officials worked to prevent free speech from a speaker invited by a campus group because he was conservative now wants out of a lawsuit that was filed over its policies that limit the First Amendment.

Officials at California State University at Los Angeles filed a court document recently asking to be relieved of the lawsuit brought by Young America's Foundation, the student group that brought onto campus author and political commentator Ben Shapiro.

In addition, protesters set off a fire alarm to try to shut him down.

In fact, one sociology teacher, Robert Weide, called YAF students "white supremacists" and invited them to fight him, reports said. And Shapiro reported the professor wrote on a sign outside his office: "The best response to microaggression is macroaggression."

In other words, he explained, "If I'm offended I get to take physical action against you. I get to be violent with you."

Among the school's arguments is that the policy the school used for setting security fees, which was based on how "controversial" was a speaker, has been replaced.

The new policy has the school evaluating the "risk" of any speaker or event. "The assessment will take into account the type of event, profile of attendees, historical, or any other relevant considerations."

That, then, will allow the school to "determine the type of security necessary based on the public safety needs of the event being held. Each event will be considered on a case-by-case basis to determine appropriate staffing."

But officials with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education warned it still is problematic.

"While CSULA appears to be trying to escape a court's judgment, they don't yet seem to be willing to implement a policy that affirms their commitment to freedom of speech," the organization said in a new report on the fight.

The changes, adopted just recently, remove "the explicit ability to charge for the presence of officers for any 'controversial' event, but instead allows CSULA to perform a 'risk assessment' of events, considering the "type of event, profile of attendees, historical, or any other relevant considerations," FIRE said.

"The policy is an improvement, but it doesn't bring CSULA into compliance with the First Amendment. Instead, CSULA has traded one problem -- viewpoint-based security fees -- for another: granting nearly unbridled discretion to administrators to decide whether to charge those same fees," the report said.

"The First Amendment does not permit colleges to grant carte blanche power to administrators to make decisions about whether to charge fees, including security fees, without objective, published criteria to guide those decisions. In the absence of such clear, viewpoint-neutral criteria, there is an unacceptable risk that administrators will let their own opinions of the speaker's views determine whether to charge those fees," FIRE said.

"CSULA's new policy provides no objective criteria. Instead, CSULA will subjectively weigh the 'type of event,' 'historical' considerations, and 'other relevant considerations' in determining whether -- and how much -- to charge students to bring a speaker to campus. So, if a speaker's appearance has sparked protests at other campuses, or at CSULA, then administrators can impose security fees. Similarly, what 'type of event' means is left for administrators to divine. And the 'other relevant considerations' catch-all category allows an administrator to consider whatever they subjectively feel is relevant -- including whether the speaker's appearance will be controversial, or whether they disagree with his or her message."

The lawsuit was filed in May, a few months after Shapiro was invited to speak on "When Diversity Becomes a Problem."

The school had tried to charge the students more than $600 in "security fees" at the time but they immediately challenged them and got them thrown because they were based on school officials' claims the speech was "controversial."

The school maintained that policy, however, until the recent change, that FIRE officials contend still does not make sufficient changes to meet the requirements of the First Amendment.

The school is arguing that it didn't charge YAF a fee so there are no grounds for the complaint to continue.

"The university declined to apply the policy to plaintiffs when it was in effect, and the university has since repealed the security fees policy, eliminating any possible assessment of security fees based on whether an activity is deemed 'controversial.' … Given that plaintiffs cannot show injury-in-fact, harm to parties not before the court is irrelevant," the school said.

FIRE said, "When a public university like CSULA requires the presence of security guards at a speaking event, it cannot base its determination on what the speaker will say and how others will respond to it. Doing so not only imposes fees because of the identity of the speaker and the content of his or her speech, but creates a perverse incentive for disruption. Those opposed to a particular speaker's view need only threaten protests or a violent reaction to be rewarded by the government imposing the costs of their reaction on their ideological opponents, potentially making it difficult (if not cost-prohibitive) to bring the speaker to campus."

WND reported in February when the conservative commentator and author spoke despite protesters setting off a fire alarm and barricading the front door to the auditorium, forcing attendees to use a back door.

WND also reported when the case was filed by the Alliance Defending Freedom.

After the fight over fees, William Covina, school president, had sent YAF an email canceling the event and imposing his own plan for a "more inclusive event" later in which Shapiro could appear "as part of a group of speakers with differing viewpoints on diversity."

But YAF held its event anyway -- only to be confronted by "hundreds of protesters -- aided by professors and faculty of the university."

According to ADF, they "flooded the university's student union and physically blocked access to the theater where Shapiro was scheduled to speak."

"Professor Robert Weide made multiple posts on Facebook in which he called YAF supporters 'white supremacists,' compared them to Hitler, and threatened violence against them," ADF said.

"CSU-LA unilaterally decided what ideas are permissible, in a flagrant violation of the First Amendment, and even allowed an aggressive mob to menace free speech supporters," said ADF Senior Counsel David Hacker. "The defendants' actions violated numerous university policies, as well as state and local laws. By blocking access to the event, the protestors created a serious safety hazard and denied our clients' fundamental rights to free speech, due process, and equal protection of law."

The lawsuit, in U.S. District Court for the Central District in California, names as defendants Covino and other school administrators, including Nancy Wada-McKee, Lisa Chavez, Jon Ortiz, Melina Abdullah, Luz Borjan Montalvo, Weide and Talia Mae Bettcher.

Covina later offered a "healing space" to those students who were offended by Shapiro's free speech.

"I would have never invited anybody like Ben Shapiro on campus. Never," Covino said in a video of the meeting released by the Young America's Foundation. "He was invited by students, he was funded by students, he was supported by students. I would have never invited anybody like Ben Shapiro."

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College concludes "make America great again" slogan is a "racialized attack" that violates school policy


Blake Neff (DaleyCaller) a bias response team at Skidmore College in New York classified Donald Trump's campaign slogan "Make America Great Again" as a "racialized attack" that violated school policy, according to a summary of "bias incidents" produced by the school.

The report by Skidmore's Bias Response Group (BRG), which was first reported by Campus Reform, covers 16 incidents the BRG investigated during the 2015-16 school year. Three of the incidents, one in March and two in April, concern Trump's now-famous slogan. In all three incidents, "Make America Great Again" was written on the personal whiteboard of a "female faculty [member] of color."

Because of the context, the BRG concluded the slogans were not a political protest, but rather a hateful attack.

"The BRG acknowledges that political speech is free and protected," it says in the report. "As a group, though, we are committed to the idea that political speech is open, engaged, and part of a public debate. These seemingly connected reports suggest a pattern of using the idea of political speech to target specific members of the Skidmore community with biased messaging. As such, the BRG does not interpret these messages as political speech but as racialized, targeted attacks."

The report also describes "Make America Great Again" as being "associated with the political campaign of a candidate widely known to voice anti-immigrant and bigoted views."

Other bias incidents at Skidmore were similarly dubious or minor, though none were as political as the Trump example.

The women's field hockey team, or example, was required to attend a sensitivity workshop after they posted a flier advertising an upcoming game that said "Vamos a la Wagner Park" (Come to Wagner Park) and included a photo of a white girl wearing a fake mustache and sombrero. The punishment of this flier mirrors incidents at other schools where whites wearing Mexican costumes were censured for engaging in cultural appropriation. Another bias incident was a complaint that a student was spotted wearing the garb of a religious Orthodox Jew, with a black hat, black cloak, and fake beard.

Skidmore has been logging bias incidents since at least 2008.

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The progressive's war on free speech


Ari Lieberman (FrontPage) says of all the constitutional freedoms granted to us in the Bill of Rights, none is more sacred than the right to free speech. That is why it stands apart from all other amendments at the top as the First Amendment. The Framers, having experienced the suppression of free speech firsthand, were cognizant of the tyranny ruling monarchs and assorted despots could impose by suppressing speech and sought to make clear that this was a sacred right that with few exceptions was not to be infringed upon.

But in recent years, we've witnessed an unrelenting assault on free speech with a concerted effort by the regressive Left to curtail thought and restrict the free exchange of ideas. Last week, I wrote about campus terrorism and how conservatives and others who maintain views that are inconsistent with the leftist narrative have been subjected to campaigns of harassment and abuse by campus hooligans. 

Often university officials are apathetic, turning a blind eye to these transgressions, while in other universities the administration is complicit by instructing campus police to stand down, allowing the agitators free reign to shut down speaking engagements through use of bullying tactics. In at least two instances, university presidents were forced to issue rather craven apologies to an alliance of leftists and Islamists for having the temerity to defend the right to free speech.

This disturbing trend of muzzling free speech has now substantially broadened to include criminalizing speech that issues challenges to the so-called science of climate change. Some seventeen left-leaning state attorneys general have launched investigative and intrusive probes against Exxon Mobil and conservative groups because of their involvement in debunking alarmist claims of imminent doom issued by hysterical climate change proponents.

The ringleaders of this anti-free speech witch hunt include Eric Schneiderman (D-New York) and Claude Walker (I-Virgin Islands). At a recent speech at the Bloomberg's Big Law Business Summit, Schneiderman was dismissive of his critics, accusing them of "First Amendment opportunism." The more he spoke the more he sounded like Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey's thuggish dictator who utilized the vast resources of the state to silence anyone who disagreed with him.

To buttress his case, Schneiderman cited a 1978 case in which Judge William Rehnquist argued that under very narrow circumstances, states could impose limits to corporate free speech. What Schneiderman glaringly failed to note was that he was citing Rehnquist's dissent. Moreover, Rehnquist limited his dissent to a very narrow and unique set of circumstances inapplicable to the instant matter. Had Schneiderman used this argument in a legal proceeding, he would have almost certainly been laughed out of court and probably sued by his client for legal malpractice. The very fact that he cited a 1978 dissenting opinion with little if any relevancy to the case at bar and zero persuasive authority is indicative of how abysmally weak his case is.

Schneiderman's partner in crime, Claude Walker, issued a broad subpoena targeting conservative groups seeking a decade's worth of documents, including written communications between Exxon Mobil and groups espousing views skeptical of climate change. One such group, the Comprehensive Enterprise Institute, fought back hard asking the court to impose sanctions against the Walker for bringing a frivolous and malicious lawsuit whose sole aim is to stifle free speech. Walker backed down and withdrew his subpoena against CEI but without prejudice, meaning he can reinstitute it at any time. CEI in the meantime, is maintaining its countersuit.

Twelve Republican attorneys general have warned their colleagues on the Left that their deleterious actions cut both ways. If they intend to use the state's resources to muzzle climate change skeptics, climate change alarmists, who spew weird science to advance hoaxes may also be subject to legal action. In June, they penned a letter noting that the effort to "police the global warming debate through the power of subpoena was a grave mistake" and urged their colleagues to "stop policing viewpoints." 

The Left's assault on free speech is an alarming trend that represents a grave danger to democratic values and principles. They employ code words like "safe spaces" and "First Amendment opportunism" to hide behind the fact that they are tearing apart the very fabric of the United States Constitution.

The oppressive tactics employed by Schneiderman, Walker and the remaining fifteen state attorneys general, is reminiscent of nefarious schemes employed by third world dictators to suppress dissent and keep the opposition in line. Those targeted by the power of subpoena will ultimately prevail because established legal precedent is on their side. But it may well be a pyrrhic victory given the vast sums they'll be forced to expend to defend themselves against the limitless taxpayer funded resources of the state.

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Tyrannical Canadian hate speech laws are coming to America


S. Noble (IndependentSentinel) is reporting that if you speak against transgenderism in Canada, you could spend two years in jail. It's now hate speech punishable by imprisonment.

Canada's Minister of Justice Jody Wilson-Raybould wants to make transgender people "feel safe and secure in who they are." Because of that, she introduced legislation to ban discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression and public opposition to it is "hate propaganda".

The legislation expands the "hate speech" bans to any public speech or communication that "promotes hatred" on the basis of "gender identity" or "gender expression," the Daily Caller reported.

They already have an anti-gay "hate propaganda" law that causes problems for Christian pastors.

The people who define "hate speech" in Canada are the same people with the power to punish the accused.

If we lose the Supreme Court, it will happen here. We are one justice away from hate speech laws which would destroy our First Amendment. Please keep that in mind when you vote.

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Clarence Thomas tells graduates to simply be good citizens

Joel Gehrke (Examiner) is reporting Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas urged college graduates who seek to "preserve liberty" to do so by fulfilling the duties of their daily vocations rather than attempting to achieve sweeping political goals.

"At the risk of understating what is necessary to preserve liberty in our form of government, I think more and more than it depends on good citizens, discharging their daily duties in their daily obligations," Thomas said Saturday during a commencement address at Hillsdale College, a small liberal arts college in Michigan.

Thomas lamented various aspects of contemporary society, especially with regard to colleges and universities. He diagnosed what he regards as a contemporary tendency to take pride in having "grievances rather than personal conduct" and to focus on individual rights as citizens, rather than responsibilities. "Hallmarks of my youth such as patriotism and religion seem more like outliers, if not afterthoughts," Thomas said.

He added, "Do not hide your faith and your beliefs under a bushel basket, especially in this world that seems to have gone mad with political correctness."

But the speech had a personal emphasis, in content and delivery; he remembered of the late Justice Antonin Scalia's kindness to him "when it mattered most" -- a reference to his confirmation to the high court following the Anita Hill controversy -- and spoke briefly to each graduate as they received their diploma.

Hillsdale has a reputation as a "citadel of American conservatism," with an outpost in Washington, D.C., that Thomas's wife Ginni helped to establish when she was an associate vice president at the college.

Thomas discouraged the audience from prioritizing government service and trying to "change the world" over other work.

"I resist what seems to be some formulaic or standard fare at commencement exercises, some broad complaint about societal injustice and at least one exhortation to the young graduates to go out and solve the stated problem or otherwise to change the world," he said. "Having been where you are, I think it is hard enough for you to solve your own problems, not to mention those problems that often seem to defy solution. In addressing your own obligations and responsibilities in the right way, you actually help to ensure our liberty and our form of government."

Thomas said he learned this from his grandfather, who taught him to revere "duty, honor [and] country" even though he was raised in a racially-segregated society. "He knew that though not nearly perfect, our constitutional ideals were perfectible if we worked to protect them rather than to undermine them," the justice said. "Don't discard that which is precious along with that which is tainted."

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Pat Condell -- I vote against you

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College disinvites conservative writer because he might offend students

Aleister (ProgressivesToday) is reporting that Jason Riley is a writer for the Wall Street Journal. He was invited to speak at Virginia Tech but the invitation was rescinded when it was decided that he might offend the special snowflakes on campus.

The Daily Caller reports:

Virginia Tech nixes black conservative's speech because "looney Left" might protest

Officials at taxpayer-funded Virginia Tech have disinvited Jason Riley from speaking on campus because they fear "protests from the looney left."


Riley, a member of the Wall Street Journal editorial board and a senior fellow at the free market-oriented Manhattan Institute, got the bad news late last week, according to National Review.

He had been scheduled to give a speech at Virginia Tech's Pamplin College of Business as part of its BB&T distinguished lecture series.

The unidentified professor who had arranged Riley's speech explained in an email that Vijay Singal, the chairman of Virginia Tech's finance department, had decided to disinvite Riley.

National Review obtained the email.

Singal wrote that he realized that Riley, who is black, "has written about race issues." As such, Singal chose to disinvite Riley because he was "worried about more protests from the looney left."

The professor who informed Riley of the cancellation said Singal and faculty members who supported Singal's decision discounted arguments that canceling Riley's speech would amount to a capitulation to even the possibility of intimidation.

Let us imagine for a moment, what would happen if conservative students threatened to protest a black liberal speaker on a college campus. Those students would be called racists.

So why doesn't that term apply here?

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Liberal-progressives demand Google shouldn't cover the 2016 republican convention


Aleister (ProgressivesToday) is reporting that liberal activists want Google to boycott the Republican National Convention this summer -- which makes perfect sense because leftists know they can win by censoring free speech and ideas.

They might have a shot too because Google has had a curiously high number of meetings with the Obama White House.

The PA Pundits blog reports:

Liberals Demand Google Refuse To Cover Republican Convention In July

Despite the fact that Google -- a multinational technology company that specializes in Internet-related services and products -- has announced it will serve as the official livestream provider during this year's Republican convention, liberal groups and civil rights advocates have called on the technology giant to sever any connection to the event, which will be held July 18-21 in Cleveland, Ohio.

According to an article by Tony Romm, senior technology reporter for the Politico website, the company's "mere presence at the GOP convention is sure to spark new opposition from liberal groups and civil rights advocates" due to Republican front-runner "Donald Trump's incendiary rhetoric."

"Google has confirmed it will play a formal role at the 2016 Republican convention -- despite pressure from critics who want the tech giant to withdraw" in protest of Trump's controversial remarks about women, immigrants and minorities," Romm noted.

A company representative told Politico on Thursday that it will be "offering election trends, convention videos, virtual reality tools and other data to attendees and viewers," he indicated.

Google "provided similar services at the Democratic and Republican conventions in 2012," the reporter stated, "and for both parties' presidential debates earlier this year."

Of course, "Google hasn't taken a position on any of the candidates," but Romm noted that liberal organizations "have already been pushing the company -- and others, like Microsoft and Xerox -- to pull out in opposition to Trump."

Progressives claim to hate big corporations but they're not afraid to use them to their political advantage.

This is another example of the geniuses at the GOP making decisions that come back to bite them on the ass.

How in hell, could the GOP select an information provider that was deeply opposed to its interests?

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Rights on fire

The First Amendment is under fire -- again. This time it's the climate-change cabal going after a limited government group for challenging the global warming agenda.


M. D. Kittle ( is reporting that in a sternly worded letter, the attorney for a limited-government group being targeted by the climate-change police is calling out the attorney general who launched an unprecedented campaign on free speech.

"The subpoena that you served on the Competitive Enterprise Institute ("CEI") is a blatant attempt to intimidate and harass an organization for advancing views that you oppose," wrote Andrew Grossman in the letter sent Wednesday to Claude E. Walker, attorney general of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Grossman warned Walker that he and his climate-change cabal should be ready for a First Amendment fight.

Walker, with the backing of his prosecutor pals at the AGs United for Clean Power, recently served a subpoena on CEI demanding documents connected to the organization's research on climate change.

"There is no way to understand your demand that CEI turn over all of its internal documents concerning climate change and its communications with a corporation, ExxonMobil, other than as an effort to punish it for its public policy views, chill its associations, and silence its advocacy," Grossman, partner at Washington, D.C.-based Baker Hostetler.

Grossman said Walker acknowledged as much in his remarks at the March 29 "AGs United for Clean Power" press conference, led by former Vice President Al Gore, in New York.

Walker said he launched his investigation to "make it clear to our residents as well as the American people that we have to do something transformational" about climate change, echoing the sentiments of AGs from New York, California, 13 other states, the Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia.

Gore, he of "An Inconvenient Truth," called the coalition "the best, most hopeful step in years," in combating global warming or climate change or whatever the left is calling its campaign on constitutional rights these days.

Grossman told Wisconsin Watchdog in a story Tuesday that the prosecutorial crusade against "climate change deniers" is akin to Wisconsin's infamous John Doe investigations, in which partisan prosecutors targeted conservative groups in an unconstitutional probe, chilling their First Amendment rights in the process.

The attorney, who also has worked on civil rights lawsuits filed against the John Doe prosecutors, said Walker is entitled to his opinions but he has no right to wield his "power as a prosecutor to advance a policy agenda by persecuting those who disagree" with the attorney general.

Grossman quoted from the 1943 U.S. Supreme Court case, West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, in underscoring his point.

"If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein," the court wrote.

"The freedoms of belief and expression guaranteed by the Constitution do not yield even to government officials' insistence that some perceived crisis demands urgent action, the niceties of the law be damned," Grossman said. "That is when the right to dissent matters most."

"The voluminous, harassing 14-page subpoena says Inquisitor Walker is investigating ExxonMobil for 'misrepresenting its knowledge of the likelihood that its products and activities have contributed to and are continuing to contribute to climate change in order to defraud the government … and consumers,'" wrote constitutional law expert Hans von Spakovsky in a recent Daily Signal piece headlined "The Left's Climate Inquisition's New Target."

The energy company, according to Walker, could be guilty of the Virgin Islands' version of the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization,or RICO, Act, the same law used to break up the Mafia.

To that end, prosecutors are going after donor files and other documents of groups like CEI, attempting to link those who reject the religion of climate change to the companies the climate change crowd believes is causing it.

"Your demand on CEI is offensive, it is un-American, it is unlawful, and it will not stand," Grossman wrote in the letter. "You can either withdraw it or expect to fight, because CEI strongly believes that this campaign to intimidate those who dissent from the official orthodoxy on climate change must be stopped."

Related:  The climate-change John Doe investigation

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Free speech make way -- here comes Obama-style regionalism

Paul Mirengodd (PowerLine) says we have written about how "regionalism" and its handmaiden "Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing" (AFFH) are, in effect, an attempt by the Left to dictate the way Americans will live. Now, we see that they also entail an attempt to tell elected officials what they must say. This has become apparent from efforts to muzzle Westchester Country Executive Rob Astorino.

Westchester County, New York is ground zero in the Left's push for its vision of regionalism. Under Democratic leadership, the County entered into a settlement with the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The County agreed to build 750 "affordable housing units," 650 of which would be in municipalities with less than 3 percent American-American population and less than 7 percent Hispanic population.

It also agreed to advertise its affordable housing units to people living outside the County. The non-residents were to be lured into the County to try to ensure that the new housing units would be filled by the desired number of members of the HUD-preferred racial and ethic groups.

Under Astorino, a Republican, the County is working to build the 750 units. However, Astorino has also been a strong critic of regionalism/AFFH. In fact, after viewing a 12 minute video of Astorino describing Westchester's battles with HUD, Goffstown, New Hampshire decided to stop applying for HUD money, which is the hook the Obama administration uses to bend local governments to its will on housing matters.

In addition, as we noted here, Astorino seeks to bring Hillary Clinton, one of his constituents, into the discussion. He has asked the Democratic frontrunner whether she thinks her hometown, Chappaqua, is discriminatory and whether she agrees with the Obama administration's efforts to force it to build a low-income housing development it doesn't want.

Astorino even held a press conference outside of Clinton's home to press her on the issue. The Countess of Chappaqua has remained silent on these questions.

Astorino thus poses a double-barrel threat to the Left. First, he threatens to undermine AFFH by persuading localities not to submit to the program by taking federal money. Second, he embarrasses the candidate who will carry the Left's banner this Fall and who, as president, would work to implement the Left's vision of how we should live.

Astorino will no longer pose these threats if he can be silenced. This is what James Johnson, the "Federal Monitor" of the settlement agreement, is trying to do.

As Stanley Kurtz explains, the Federal Monitor's attempt to silence Astorino comes in the form of a report filed on March 17 in federal court. The report claims that Astorino has spread false information about Westchester County's housing settlement and about the efforts and intentions of HUD and the Federal Monitor himself.

As a remedy, the Federal Monitor seeks "the removal of press releases inconsistent with the declaration and findings" written by the Federal Monitor. He also calls for the hiring of "a public communications consultant that will craft a message and implement a strategy sufficiently robust to provide information broadly to the public that describes the benefits" of what HUD says it is trying to accomplish.

In effect, the Federal Monitor is asking a court to order Astorino to stop criticizing Obama's HUD and start advertising HUD's own views. I agree with Kurtz that "this is truly Orwellian stuff, a frightening demonstration of how the expansionist regulatory state ultimately chokes off political speech itself."

As noted above, the basis for seeking these extraordinary measures is the claim that Astorino has made false claims about the settlement and about HUD's intentions. The Federal Monitor asserts that, by making "false" claims, the Country is violating its obligation to act "in good faith" in implementing the settlement.

Astorino's claims may be controversial, but they are not factually false. In essence, Astorino's opinion is that HUD intends to use the settlement agreement to force Westchester to build many more than the 750 housing units it agreed to construct and/or to force changes in local zoning.

To be sure, the feds have never said that these are their intentions (but then, President Obama never said some people wouldn't be able to keep their doctor under Obamacare -- he said the opposite). However, the feds have said that Westchester is to analyze its housing needs using "regional data."

Such an analysis could become the basis for insistence that Westchester build many more than 750 housing units be built, at a huge cost to the County, and at the expense of existing zoning. This, in any case, is what the County fears.

Whether Astorino is right or wrong in this prediction, the leader of a governmental unit must have the right to tell his constituents what he believes is in store for them.

It is also significant, I think, that the "Anti-Discrimination Center," which is conducting its own monitoring of the settlement agreement believes that the agreement "goes well beyond the obligation to build a minimum of 750 units." The Center views the 750 units as the barest beginning. As I understand it, Astorino strongly disagrees with this view of the agreement, but he reasonably fears this is where things may be headed.

The Federal Monitor relies on depositions of various county officials. He says:

The difference. . .between what county officials told the public and what county officials stated under oath in depositions with the monitor was, in many cases, stark. Once under oath, in many instances, county officials either abandoned the county executive's public claims, contradicted each other, disclaimed any knowledge of facts related to those claims, or adopted facially unreasonable interpretations of documents.

If anything, this description highlights the problem with the Federal Monitor's position. To the extent that various officials (some, as I understand it, Democratic holdovers) view key matters relating to the settlement differently, this shows there is more than one way of perceiving what is going on.

Astorino has a right to view the matter his way and to state his views publicly. It would be Orwellian (and, I suspect, unconstitutional) for a court to require a public official to adopt a particular side of a controversial political question.

Speaking of Orwellian, the Federal Monitor went so far as to attack Astorino's "tone." Kurtz says it's as if you can silence someone's speech because you don't like his attitude. I say it's as if the low regard for free speech that prevails on many college campuses has been imported into our politics.

A campaign as far-reaching and transformative (to use a favorite word of Obama) as regionalism/AFFH is bound to produce strong local opposition. It is likely to create an explosive political issue, much as the forced busing of school children did 45 years ago. It might even inject AFFH into the upcoming presidential election.

The Left learned a lesson from the political fallout over busing. Unfortunately, the lesson it learned wasn't that it should eschew social engineering (to internalize that lesson would be to give up leftism); rather it was that those who speak out against the engineering need to be silenced.

A man that lies about who he is will never have a problem lying about what he does
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