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The complete history of Barack Obama's second term -- click Views/Repies for top stories
 
 
 


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Beckwith

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Reply with quote  #76 

McClatchy suggests limits on free speech after Texas jihad shooting

Robert Spencer says you knew this was coming. It was inevitable. We have seen it before.

When the Obama Administration blamed the Benghazi jihad attack on a video about Muhammad, there were calls in the mainstream media for restrictions on the freedom of speech. Eric Posner in Slatederided the First Amendment's "sacred status" and declared that "Americans need to learn that the rest of the world -- and not just Muslims -- see no sense in the First Amendment. Even other Western nations take a more circumspect position on freedom of expression than we do, realizing that often free speech must yield to other values and the need for order."

In the Los Angeles Times, Sarah Chayes noted that "the current standard for restricting speech -- or punishing it after it has in fact caused violence -- was laid out in the 1969 case Brandenburg vs. Ohio. Under the narrower guidelines, only speech that has the intent and the likelihood of inciting imminent violence or law-breaking can be limited." She then argued at length that the Muhammad video did indeed have the likelihood of inciting imminent violence, and should thus be banned. Her article was a sleazy and dishonest sleight of hand, as the law is that speech that calls for violence can be banned, whereas she was arguing that speech that doesn't call for violence, but that might make people who oppose it behave violently, should be banned. That would be to enshrine the heckler's veto into law and to enable Islamic jihadis to silence anyone they disliked simply by killing someone.

And in the Washington Post, the vile gutter thug Nathan Lean (who has repeatedly published on Twitter what he thinks is my home address and places I frequent, in a transparent attempt to endanger me and those around me, and/or to frighten me into silence) declared: "The voices of hate that hope to fracture our society along religious lines should have no place in our public discourse." Who would decide which are the "voices of hate" that should be silenced? People like Nathan Lean, of course -- that is, purveyors of the "Islamophobia" myth who are determined to silence anyone and everyone who dares raise the slightest objection to the advancing jihad.

And now, Lindsay Wise and Jonathan S. Landay of McClatchy wish that Pamela Geller and I could be prosecuted for standing for free speech against violent intimidation, and describe completely wrongly the concept of "fighting words," which is actually about words spoken in an actual fight situation, not about an innocuous activity that others find so provocative as to commit murder.

The free world is going quietly.

"After Texas shooting: If free speech is provocative, should there be limits?," by Lindsay Wise and Jonathan S. Landay, McClatchy, May 4, 2015 (thanks to Jerk Chicken):

WASHINGTON -- Organizers of the Muhammad Art Exhibit in Garland, Texas, knew violence was a possibility.

They shelled out $10,000 for extra security to patrol the controversial event, which featured a speech by a Dutch politician who's on al Qaida's "hit list" and a contest for the best cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad. Local law enforcement was on the alert. A SWAT team and a bomb squad patrolled.

The two gunmen who opened fire with assault weapons outside the exhibit on Sunday were killed by a police officer. They have been identified by law enforcement as Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, both of Phoenix. They appear, from social media posts, to have been motivated by a desire to become mujahedeen, or holy warriors.

The attack highlights the tensions between protecting Americans' treasured right to freedom of expression and preserving public safety, and it raises questions about when -- if ever -- government should intervene.

There are two exceptions from the constitutional right to free speech -- defamation and the doctrine of "fighting words" or "incitement," said John Szmer, an associate professor of political science and a constitutional law expert at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

"Fighting words is the idea that you are saying something that is so offensive that it will lead to an immediate breach of the peace," Szmer explained. "In other words, you are saying something and you should expect a violent reaction by other people."

The exhibit of cartoons in Texas might have crossed the line, Szmer said.

"I don't think it is unreasonable to expect what they were doing would incite a violent reaction," he said.

Organizers knew, he said, that caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, which many Muslims consider insulting, have sparked violence before. In a recent case that drew worldwide attention, gunmen claiming allegiance with the self-described Islamic State killed 12 people in an attack on the Paris offices of the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, which was known for satirical depictions of the Prophet Muhammad.

On the other hand, "fighting words can contradict the basic values that underlie freedom of speech," Szmer said. "The views being expressed at the conference could be seen as social commentary. Political and social speech should be protected. You are arguably talking about social commentary."

It's unlikely that the issue will be tested in the Garland case, however, because prosecutors in Texas almost certainly won't press charges against the conference organizers, he said.

The anti-Islam group that organized the art exhibit and contest in Garland is the American Freedom Defense Initiative, whose mission is the preservation "of freedom of speech, freedom of religion and equal rights for all," according to its Facebook page….

The gunmen's violent actions will end up drawing undeserved attention to the hateful message spread by Geller's group, said David Schanzer, a professor at Duke University's Sanford School of Public Policy and director of the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security.

"Any efforts to censor them or restrict their rights will just play into their agenda, which is to antagonize and spread a pretty vile message," Schanzer said.

What exactly is vile about standing up for the freedom of speech, the freedom of conscience, and the equality of rights of all people before the law, Schanzer? You're just libeling, not giving a reasoned argument.

The best way to fight against people you disagree with is to confront their ideas, he said.

"I think their ideas are both wrong and actually makes problems worse through their actions," Schanzer said. Echoing Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis' well-known sentiment from 1927, he added: "I say we go against them by fighting speech with more speech."…

This is rich. I have offered to have a public discussion or debate with virtually every significant Muslim leader on the scene. They have all contemptuously refused. They don't want to fight speech with more speech. They don't want to confront our ideas. They want to smear us, defame us, marginalize us, and destroy us utterly. That is how the Left and the Islamic supremacists work these days.


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Beckwith

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Reply with quote  #77 

The Muslim Students Association's petition to cancel the screening of "American Sniper"

Sniper.jpg

Jeffrey Herf says the history of the principles of freedom of speech and of tolerance is inseparable from the history of suppression of speech and intolerance. That is because ideas have been suppressed when they are held to be offensive to existing institutions. That was the case when the Catholic Church condemned the Italian scientist Galileo Galilei for the "heresy" of insisting the Earth revolved around the sun, when Christian fundamentalists objected to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, when the Nazis burned books that they found to be "degenerate," when the Soviet Union banned Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's work about the Soviet prison system as treason against the Soviet regime and when the New Left sought to ban ideas it labeled as racist on the grounds that such intolerance was "repressive." In all these different cases, these censors believed they were defending the morality of the day and keeping their societies safe from the corrosive impact of dangerous ideas.

The Muslim Students Association's petition to cancel the screening of Clint Eastwood's film American Sniper stands in this long and regrettable tradition of censorship in the name of an offended and presumably higher morality. The initial decision of Student Entertainment Events to cave in to this demand reflects a lack of understanding of the university's core mission. That mission is to search for truths about important and difficult issues -- a search that rests on respect for evidence, even and especially when theories and evidence challenge cherished beliefs.

As the MSA petition refers to evidence about the film gleaned from a Google search, it is not clear that the petition's authors or signers have actually seen the film they are denouncing. Though the dubious concept of Islamophobia rests on a misuse of the concept of phobia, the film does not advocate an irrational fear of Muslims. It does not foster racism or stereotypes, nor does it promote mass murder.

The film is a grim depiction of some of the most intense battles between U.S. armed forces and Iraqis, who took up arms against them. The latter are roughly modeled on the forces of al-Qaida in Iraq led by the notorious terrorist Abu Musab al Zarqawi. Far from promoting mass murder, the film presents the difficult decisions combat created when U.S. soldiers were seeking to distinguish civilians from combatants. While there are scenes that depict the intentional murder and torture of Iraqi civilians, those scenes concern the murder of Iraqi civilians carried out by a figure who resembles Zarqawi. In fact, al-Qaida in Iraq was responsible for intentionally killing large numbers of Iraqi civilians. American Sniper does not generalize from the Zarqawi-type figure to all Muslims. It depicts those persons in Iraq who engaged in combat with U.S. forces to either restore the Baathist dictatorship or create a new Islamist one.

The MSA petition obfuscates matters when it asks SEE to "exercise your freedom of speech to help us create a safer campus environment" and suggests that censoring a film will "create a more inclusive and diverse community atmosphere." A university cannot create a "safe" environment by suppressing ideas or works of art, such as American Sniper, that foster critical reflection about important matters such as the Iraq War. The MSA petition misuses the language of inclusion and diversity to foster exclusion of ideas as well as conformity about its view of the war in Iraq. It would deprive others of the freedom to form their own independent judgments about American Sniper.

The fog of rhetoric first offered by SEE was disappointing. In the same statement announcing it had succumbed to a request to censor a film, it claimed to support freedom of expression. It could not have it both ways. Therefore, it is very welcome news that College Democrats and College Republicans have agreed to jointly sponsor a screening and panel discussion about American Sniper on the campus. Doing so allows members of the university community to do what should have been possible from the outset, namely, to reach their own independent judgment about this film and to discuss it with one another.



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Beckwith

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Free speech never more "dangerously threatened than it is now"

Brent Scher says university campuses are supposed to be a place for an open exchange of ideas, but liberals on many college campuses are no longer willing to hear both sides of the conversation.

Student groups across the country have decided that a free exchange of ideas is no longer a welcome quality on college campuses -- unless they agree with all the ideas being exchanged. Brandeis University, to name one, chose last year to revoke an invitation to its campus to the human rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali after students labeled her a "notorious Islamophobe."

Born out of decisions such as Brandeis' was the first annual Disinvitation Dinner, an event held in New York City on Wednesday by the William F. Buckley, Jr. Program at Yale that celebrated those who have been silenced on liberal campuses.

Speaking at the event was George Will, the Washington Post columnist whose invitation to speak to California's Scripps College was rescinded last year. Will said that the First Amendment has never been in more danger.

"Free speech has never been, in the history of our Republic, more comprehensively, aggressively, and dangerously threatened than it is now," said Will in the event's keynote address.

Will said that the current assault on free speech is more dangerous than incidents in the past such as the Alien and Sedition Acts that were rooted in local conditions that were bound to disappear.

"Today's attack is different, Its an attack on the theory of freedom of speech," said Will. "[There is a] belief that the First Amendment is a mistake and that the real right people have regarding speech is the right to avoid speech…It is an attack on the desirability of free speech."

Will also warned that there has never been more "intellectual ingenuity devoted towards rationalizing the disappearance of the First Amendment."

On many campuses, free speech can only occur in "free speech zones" -- at Texas Tech that zone happens to be limited to just a 20 foot wide "free speech gazebo."

At the University of California, Irvine, students recently voted to no longer hang the American flag because it "conflicted with their mission to promote student safety."

This decision is part of what Will calls the "infantilization of American young people," and the belief by administrations that they are responsible for maintaining campuses where students are free from any "disturbances to their serenity."

At Brown University, for example, the response to a critic of the "rape culture" term speaking on its campus was not to disinvite the speaker but rather to "prepare for the terror," said Will. A "safe space" -- equipped with cookies, pillows, blankets, coloring books, calming music, and videos of frolicking puppies -- was established for students who needed to "recuperate."

Will called being disinvited by Scripps College a "win-win situation" -- he did not have to go there and consequently was selected to speak at the Disinvitation Dinner.


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Beckwith

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Who will defend religious freedom?

Indiana.jpg

Laura Rambeau Lee says while these manufactured "equal rights" and "discrimination" battles continue to hit the news cycle, the Left gleefully calls for boycotts and incites its base in a campaign to vilify those who merely ask to be permitted to exercise their God given and constitutionally protected right to live their lives in accordance with their faith.  Many of our ancestors came to this country because they could enjoy this most basic of freedoms.

Possibly at no other time in America's history has religious freedom been more in peril.  We have a generation of young adults indoctrinated by the Left that faith and religion are ancient superstitions and those who profess a belief in God or a Creator are to be mocked and ridiculed.  As the Left pushes its agenda they continue to attack the core precepts of our country's founding.

The reason the faithful are being attacked so vociferously is because it is difficult to control a people who believe their rights are inherent and do not come from government.  Therefore the faithful must be destroyed… or at the very least marginalized and humiliated.

Those being attacked by the Left generally possess the most tolerant of attitudes towards others.  Their faith is predicated on tolerance and love.  If these attacks continue they will become less willing to speak out and defend others being targeted.  And with no one willing to stand and defend our religious freedom the outcome looks increasingly bleak.



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Beckwith

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Freedom of religion and freedom of expression are under attack from the secular-Left

Christian bakeries that refuse to make pro-homosexual marriage cakes are getting sued left, right, and center. They get fined, they get death threats, and they lose their businesses. This experiment proves beyond doubt that the gay agenda is not just about their freedom to practice a sexual orientation, but the suppression of free speech.

In this video, Bill O'reilly he didn't mince words:

"The totalitarian Left is pretty much out of control in America and that's because the media, generally speaking, sympathizes with the Fascists, so if you're against abortion, you're not a person of conscience sticking up for the unborn, no, you're against women, you're declaring war on women's reproductive rights. This is how the media spins it. If you're against gay marriage because you believe in Scripture, it's not that you're a religious person, whose belief system should be respected, no, you're a homophobe, you're a bigot."

"Now, this is put out there, distributed by the mainstream media so that the fanatics in the secular progressive community, and that includes a lot of entertainment figures, they know they can get their attacks unchallenged in the media. Unchallenged. And that puts a lot of pressure on the person being attacked…"

Related:  Homosexual group demands Christian churches be shut down for opposing same-sex marriage

These attacks by homosexual activists are a form of lawfare -- simple as that.


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Beckwith

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When diversity trumps the 1st Amendment

FlagBanned.jpg

Fox News is reporting that the Supreme Court has denied an appeal from former California high school students who were ordered to turn their American flag T-shirts inside out during a celebration of the Cinco de Mayo holiday at school.

The justices did not comment Monday in leaving in place an appellate ruling that found that school officials acted appropriately because their concerns about racial violence outweighed students' freedom of expression rights. Administrators feared the American-flag shirts would enflame the passions of Latino students celebrating the Mexican holiday.

The onetime students at Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, California, argued that school officials gave a "heckler's veto" to the objecting students.

The brother and sister who won a landmark Vietnam era student speech case at the Supreme Court also supported the appeal.

So, the school administrators, believing that Mexican kids would become violent because American kids were wearing American flag tee shirts on Cinco de Mayo, punished the American kids.

I don't see the logic here -- but then, I'm not a liberal.



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Beckwith

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It's the same religious freedom law Obama voted for in Illinois

John McCormack is reporting that in an appearance on ABC's This Week, Indiana governor Mike Pence defended his state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act by noting that Barack Obama had voted for the same law as an Illinois state senator.

"The Religious Freedom Restoration Act was signed into federal law by President Bill Clinton more than 20 years ago, and it lays out a framework for ensuring that a very high level of scrutiny is given any time government action impinges on the religious liberty of any American," Pence said. "After last year's Hobby Lobby case, Indiana properly brought the same version that then-state senator Barack Obama voted for in Illinois before our legislature."

This Week Host George Stephanoplous later asked White House press secretary Josh Earnest to respond to Pence's claim: "Josh, you just heard the governor say right there this is the same law, he says, that Barack Obama voted for as a state senator back in Illinois."

Earnest didn't dispute the Indiana governor's statement. "Look, if you have to go back two decades to try to justify something that you're doing today, it may raise some question about the wisdom of what you're doing," Earnest said.

For more on the controversy surrounding Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act, see this article.

This law is in reaction to gays suing to force business owners to accommodate the demands of homosexual activists in contrast to their core beliefs. Lawsuits were brought against a bakery operated by Christians who had a problem making a wedding cake for a homosexual wedding and a photographer that was sued for refusing to photograph a homosexual wedding. These cases made national news.

In both cases, the homosexuals involved could have simply gone to another baker or hired another photographer -- but no -- they had to sue.

This is the kind of stuff that the homo-NAZIs are using to attack the 1st Amendment rights of Christians -- and this attack comes from a federal employee:

Ashak.jpg

This law attempts to mitigate these "lawfare" suits from activist homosexuals and to attempt to find a balance.

The media spent the weekend presenting only one side of the story and the GLAAD people were out in force to attack traditional, Christian, American principles.

RFA.jpg



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Federal attorney warns negative posts against Islam could get you prosecution & imprisonment

If you have seen the stories around the globe of how cartoonists, journalists and people simply posting tweets or Facebook posts has gotten them in hot water with Islam and even the government, then you have probably said, "That can't happen in America," right? Well hold on to your seat my friend because you are in for a rude awakening.

Tim Brown is reporting that Barack Obama's Attorney for the Eastern district of Tennessee Bill Killian and Kenneth Moore, special agent in charge of the FBI's Knoxville Division, want Americans to know that if you say something negative towards Islam or Muslims, the Federal government may imprison you. They will be having an event called "Public Disclosure in a Diverse Society" on June 4, the same day Obama is scheduled to sign the United Nations Small Arms Treaty.

The Tullahoma Times reports,

Killian and Moore will provide input on how civil rights can be violated by those who post inflammatory documents targeted at Muslims on social media.

"This is an educational effort with civil rights laws as they play into freedom of religion and exercising freedom of religion," Killian told The News Monday. "This is also to inform the public what federal laws are in effect and what the consequences are."

Killian said the presentation will also focus on Muslim culture and how, that although terrorist acts have been committed by some in the faith, they are no different from those in other religions.

Killian also wants to portray Oklahoma City Bomber Tim McVeigh and Terry Nichols as Christians and then link them to terrorism in the same fashion as Islamic jihadists. Please, the entire Christian community came out against the actions of the OKC bombing and neither of these guys were Christians, nor were they following the teachings of the Bible. The Islamic community has yet to condemn terrorism and the Qur'an clearly teaches them to commit violence (See this video). They hide behind certain words to mask the terrorism they are to engage in via the Qur'an. Instead, the Qur'an teaches them to actively engage in jihad. For a thorough dealing with jihad and its historical meaning and understanding, I highly recommend Lebanon-born Walid Phares' book Future Jihad: Terrorist Strategies Against America. That will help you see clearly that nothing has changed in nearly 1,500 years of Islamic history.

However, the criminal Attorney General Eric Holder seems to be backing Killian and Moore. Judicial Watch reports,

In its latest effort to protect followers of Islam in the U.S. the Obama Justice Department warns against using social media to spread information considered inflammatory against Muslims, threatening that it could constitute a violation of civil rights.

The move comes a few years after the administration became the first in history to dispatch a U.S. Attorney General to personally reassure Muslims that the Department of Justice (DoJ) is dedicated to protecting them. In the unprecedented event, Attorney General Eric Holder assured a San Francisco-based organization (Muslim Advocates) that urges members not to cooperate in federal terrorism investigations that the "us versus them" environment created by the U.S. government, law enforcement agents and fellow citizens is unacceptable and inconsistent with what America is all about.

"Muslims and Arab Americans have helped build and strengthen our nation," Holder said after expressing that he is "grateful" to have Muslims as a partner in promoting tolerance, ensuring public safety and protecting civil rights. He also vowed to strengthen "crucial dialogue" between Muslim and Arab-American communities and law enforcement.

SignIslamFreeSpeechWesternTerrorism

The DoJ actually became the first to assure Muslims it is dedicated to protecting them. I don't recall this administration doing the same thing for Christians who are constantly having inflammatory videos and posts put up by Muslims.

Second, Muslims and Arab Americans have "helped build and strengthen our nation"? While I grant there are many Arab Americans who have come here legally, integrated with our society and lived among us and have contributed greatly to the society, I can't give a full stamp of approval that we have been strengthened by Muslims. In fact, I would say we have been weakened by Muslim influence, specifically I'm talking about those currently in the Obama administration and the infiltration of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Additionally the Tullahoma Times indicated that the goal is to increase awareness and understanding that American Muslims are not the terrorists some have made them out to be in social media and other circles. While I grant that every person who calls themselves a Muslim is not engaged in terrorism, the reality is that because of the teachings of the Qur'an, you cannot trust what they say, but respond to what they do. Virtually all Muslim mosques in America are funded by Saudi Arabia or other Muslim countries. Virtually all of them also, in turn, fund the Islamic Society of North America, which aligns itself with the Brady campaign to attack the Second Amendment. Additionally these Muslim groups are doing just as the Obama DoJ is doing and that is to go after the First Amendment.

Killian said, "We want to inform everybody about what the law is, but more importantly, we want to provide what the law means to Muslims, Hindus and every other religion in the country. It's why we came here in the first place. In England, they were using Christianity to further their power in government. That's why the First Amendment is there."

fight-islam-for-me-edited-228-x-200So let's get this straight, the First Amendment is there to protect Islamists in their speech, but not Christians? I see clearly now. Killian clearly doesn't understand that whole part about "Congress shall make no law" regarding not only the establishment of a religion, but also "impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press" among other things. This means his claim about federal law in this matter is completely unconstitutional and he should be removed from his office.

You'll recall back in August 2012 that Assistant Attorney General of the DOJ Civil Rights Division Thomas Perez refused to affirm the First Amendment rights of Americans to speak out against other religions. He was questioned four times and all he did was beat around the bush. This is the creeping Sharia that we and many others are warning about.

One wonders just how long it will be until we will be forced to defend our freedom of speech with our freedom to keep and bear arms from Islam and its co-conspirators in government.

Finally, I often hear the famous quotation from Voltaire, "To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize." Well, for those posting this claiming that this should be applied to Christians or Jews, I suggest you take a second look and see who is bringing the hammer down now.

Screw Bill Killian, Kenneth Moore AND Islam!


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Beckwith

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Obama complains about American's 1st Amendment rights

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When you get bright down to it, there's not a whole lot about America that Obama likes.



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TV host makes comment about Michelle Obama, immediately gets fired from his job

Joshua Riddle says Rodner Figueroa is an Emmy-winning fashion expert and he is was the host for the Spanish-language television network Univision.  He made some comments about Michelle Obama that changed his life forever.

From Opposing Views:

On March 11, during Figueroa's show "El Gordo y la Flaca," 42-year-old Figueroa and the show's other hosts were discussing makeup artist Paolo Ballesteros. Ballesteros has become known for transforming himself into celebrities through makeup -- one of the celebrities being Obama.

During the discussion, Figueroa made the comment about the first lady's body.

"She looks like she was from the 'Planet of the Apes,'" he said.

 Figueroa's co-host Raul de Molina quickly jumped in and refuted the shocking statement, calling Obama beautiful.

The comment started going viral and then the network issued this apology:

"Yesterday during the entertainment program 'El Gordo y La Flaca,' Rodner Figueroa made some comments about first lady Michelle Obama that were completely reprehensible and in no way a reflection of the values and opinions of Univision. As a result, Mr. Figueroa was fired immediately."

Figueroa hasn't said anything since being fired.

It was a stupid thing to say on TV, but the guy shouldn't be deprived of his ability to earn a living.

Besides, Figueroa was wrong. Everybody knows that Michelle resembles a character from Star Wars.


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Freedom of speech on the campus

Whatever happened to, "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me?"


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Barack Obama is openly calling for U.S. government to condemn those who offend Muslims

Eric Odom is reporting that Barack Obama promised to fundamentally transform America, and there is no question this is the one promise he actually intends to keep. The way he's doing it is incredibly dangerous and in opposition to the free speech fabric that America is design upon. Worse, Obama is actually now using freedom of religion to defend Islam and cripple the basic ideas of freedom of speech in the process.

Barack Obama, an alleged constitutional lawyer, is playing a dangerous game of twisting the words of the 1st Amendment and the Christian faith to position government against those who may say something offensive about his friends in the Islamic faith. Yes, even those take part in so called "radical Islam."

Looking at the transcript of Obama's speech at the National Prayer Breakfast we find everything we need to know.

And so, as people of faith, we are summoned to push back against those who try to distort our religion -- any religion -- for their own nihilistic ends.  And here at home and around the world, we will constantly reaffirm that fundamental freedom -- freedom of religion -- the right to practice our faith how we choose, to change our faith if we choose, to practice no faith at all if we choose, and to do so free of persecution and fear and discrimination.

There's wisdom in our founders writing in those documents that help found this nation the notion of freedom of religion, because they understood the need for humility.  They also understood the need to uphold freedom of speech, that there was a connection between freedom of speech and freedom of religion.  For to infringe on one right under the pretext of protecting another is a betrayal of both.

But part of humility is also recognizing in modern, complicated, diverse societies, the functioning of these rights, the concern for the protection of these rights calls for each of us to exercise civility and restraint and judgment.  And if, in fact, we defend the legal right of a person to insult another's religion, we're equally obligated to use our free speech to condemn such insults -- (applause) -- and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with religious communities, particularly religious minorities who are the targets of such attacks.  Just because you have the right to say something doesn't mean the rest of us shouldn't question those who would insult others in the name of free speech.  Because we know that our nations are stronger when people of all faiths feel that they are welcome, that they, too, are full and equal members of our countries.

If you read between the lines here you'll see a terrifying theme. First, publishing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in no way equates to "persecution" or "discrimination." Yet, Obama is blatantly suggesting it does. In the first paragraph above Obama openly ignores the fact that Muslims take offense to published depictions of Muhammad not because they're offensive, but because their religion commands against doing so. Obama ignores this and instead equates it to persecution.

Then in the second paragraph we see Obama assert that offending a Muslim is, according to him, violating his or her right to freedom of religion.

Last but not least, Obama is the sitting President of the United States. Therefor he speaks on behalf of and as the U.S. government. Not only does he defend and agree with Muslims in that publishing Muslim cartoons is an insult (it's not an insult), he actually says "we," as in the government for which he speaks, have an obligation to condemn those who might offend Islam.

Essentially what we're seeing here is a president who should be standing by publishers of such cartoons saying the federal government should instead condemn those who would practice free speech by publishing cartoons that might offend someone.

Additionally, there has been content published since the beginning of our nation that offends someone. Obama has never addressed any of these scenarios that existed previous to his presidency. Only now, only when it's Islam involved, does he step out and suggest free speech be condemned. And only in the context of Islam being offended.

Which should tell you everything you need to know.

This is as close as Obama has yet come to saying:

Behead those who insult Islam!


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Obama attacks free speech at prayer breakfast

Keith Koffler is reporting that in addition to equating Christians with ISIS, Barack Obama used the National Prayer Breakfast Thursday morning to undermine one of the Constitution's most fundamental rights, suggesting those who demean Islam are abusing the use of free speech.

While acknowledging that Americans have "a legal right" to attack another's religion, Obama said everyone should question those "who would insult others in the name of free speech," indicating such insults were a misuse of the right. Similarly, Obama's called for "civility" -- a demand he has issued before but not always abided by himself -- suggesting a desire that people censor their own speech.

As has been often said, the Founders' free speech protections were not designed to safeguard polite conversation. They were exactly meant for speech that might offend.

Obama said:

There's wisdom in our founders writing in those documents that help found this nation the notion of freedom of religion, because they understood the need for humility. They also understood the need to uphold freedom of speech, that there was a connection between freedom of speech and freedom of religion. For to infringe on one right under the pretext of protecting another is a betrayal of both.

But part of humility is also recognizing in modern, complicated, diverse societies, the functioning of these rights, the concern for the protection of these rights calls for each of us to exercise civility and restraint and judgment. And if, in fact, we defend the legal right of a person to insult another's religion, we're equally obligated to use our free speech to condemn such insults and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with religious communities, particularly religious minorities who are the targets of such attacks.

Just because you have the right to say something doesn't mean the rest of us shouldn't question those who would insult others in the name of free speech. Because we know that our nations are stronger when people of all faiths feel that they are welcome, that they, too, are full and equal members of our countries.

For Obama to lump himself in with other citizens who might criticize anti-islamist speech is also a dangerous precedent. Obama isn't just any other citizen. He is the President of the United States, with vast law enforcement resources at his disposal, and his attacks on the speech of others, however offensive the speech is, can have a chilling effect on the right of free expression.

The remarks castigating those who attack Islam also are an indirect criticism of cartoonists at the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, who drew caricatures of Mohammed and were killed for it.

This is as close as Obama has yet come to saying:

Behead those who insult Islam!


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Attack of the "But-Heads"


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The 1st Amendment is dead

Ben Shapiro says the 1st Amendment is dead -- long live the reign of sensitivity -- or how Americans have forfeited their fundamental rights in the name of political correctness.


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Vanderbilt Muslims move to silence black professor Carol Swain

Dave Blount says that in the Age of Obama, it is easy to get the impression that blacks are a privileged caste, immune from criticism. Actually this is not true. Blacks who conform to the Left-wing ideology of the ruling class are rewarded. But blacks who escape the intellectual reservation will be hunted down and lynched. A case in point is veteran Vanderbilt law and political science professor Carol Swain:

Her op-ed, entitled "Charlie Hebdo attacks prove critics were right about Islam," appeared in The Tennessean (Nashville's main newspaper) on Jan. 15.

Swain, who opposes burqas and advocates stronger efforts at assimilation for American Muslims, argued that radical Islam "poses an absolute danger to us and our children unless it is monitored better than it has been under the Obama administration."

Siding with Western Civilization against expansionist Islam is not permissible on college campuses, as Vanderbilt undergrad Farishtay Yamin was quick to remind anyone within screaming distance.

Yamin told The Vanderbilt Hustler, the campus newspaper, that she "could not believe her eyes" when she read Swain's column. The student also quickly labeled Swain's opinion as "hate speech."

She then used Facebook to set up a "Campus-Wide Protest Against Hate Speech Published in the Tennessean" on Saturday afternoon.

Attendance at the fairly brief event was in the low hundreds, The College Fix reports. Students who showed up brought signs emblazoned with slogans such as "Better a brat than a bigot."

Yamin, who is the publicity chair for Vanderbilt's Muslim Student Association, a Muslim Brotherhood organization, told the audience in no uncertain terms that a black female professor's speech must be restricted if she says "these kinds of things" in the future.

If rallies don't work, and as the Muslim population continues to rise, people like Swain will be in for Charlie Hebdo–style persuasion, which has served the Muslim world well for 14 centuries.

Note how obviously the concepts of liberalism, diversity, and tolerance have been twisted into the opposite of what these words once meant:

"What I'm really trying to show her is that she can't continue to say these kinds of things on a campus that's so liberal and diverse and tolerant," Yamin declared.

In the name of liberalism, no diversity of opinion will be tolerated regarding the sanctity and harmlessness of Islam.

Mark Bandas, the Dean of Students at Vanderbilt, also got into the act. He appeared at the "Campus-Wide Protest Against Hate Speech" to offer encouragement.

Professor Swain is unlikely to get much support from the academic establishment, considering her previous thought crimes. Here she expresses unsavory opinions regarding the Moonbat Messiah:

Watch this outstanding video from Ms. Swain:


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Obama was against free speech before he was for it

Robert Spencer says as far as Barack Obama is concerned, Sony was wrong to capitulate to threats from North Korean hackers and pull the movie The Interview. "I wish they had spoken to me first," said the free speech champion. "I would have told them do not get into a pattern in which you're intimidated by these kinds of criminal attacks."

Remember: this is the same man who said this at the United Nations on September 25, 2012.  "The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam."

Why did he say this? Because he was blaming a video about Muhammad for the murderous jihad attacks on September 11, 2012 in Benghazi. In that same speech, he called the video "crude and disgusting" and said: "I know there are some who ask why we don't just ban such a video. And the answer is enshrined in our laws: Our Constitution protects the right to practice free speech."

Yet this was just empty verbiage. Before he made that speech, the Obama White House asked Google to remove the Muhammad video from YouTube. In fact, this was one of the first things the White House did, even as the Benghazi jihad attack was still going on. ABC News reported that "a still-classified State Department e-mail says that one of the first responses from the White House to the Benghazi attack was to contact YouTube to warn of the "ramifications" of allowing the posting of an anti-Islamic video, according to Rep. Darrell Issa, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The memo suggests that even as the attack was still underway -- and before the CIA began the process of compiling talking points on its analysis of what happened -- the White House believed it was in retaliation for a "controversial video."

And it didn't just believe this -- it acted upon this belief. An email circulated among Obama Administration officials while the attack was still going on, entitled, "Update on Response to actions -- Libya," stated: "White House is reaching out to U-Tube [sic] to advice ramification of the posting of the Pastor Jon video."

So the first thing Obama did in response to the Benghazi jihad attack was move to restrict the freedom of speech, and protect Muslims from material that some of them found offensive. Google refused this preposterous and unconstitutional request on free speech grounds, although later a court ordered the video removed.

In those days, Obama never warned anyone not to "get into a pattern in which you're intimidated by these kinds of criminal attacks."

Indeed, the most ominous aspect of the Benghazi jihad attack for the long term health of the United States as a free society was the Obama Administration's desire to blame it all on our freedom of speech. Obama's declaration that "the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam" was essentially a call for the U.S. to censor itself and voluntarily restrict our freedom of speech so as not to say anything that offends Muslims.

Yet restriction of the freedom of speech creates a protected class (whichever group cannot be criticized), thereby destroying the principle of equality of rights for all people before the law, and paves the way for tyranny by making it possible to criminalize dissent.

But now that a free speech case doesn't have to do with outraged Muslims, Obama is suddenly a champion of free expression. This isn't about endangering people, either: the North Koreans are just as capable of going on a bloody rampage as Islamic jihadists are.

For whatever reason, Obama shows a strange solicitude for the sensibilities of Muslims that he doesn't appear interested in offering to the North Koreans. And as long as he opposes the freedom of speech in any context, his support for it in any other context rings hollow.


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House committee demands answers on "Truthy Project"

Menczer.jpg Elizabeth Harrington is reporting that the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee sent a letter to the head of the National Science Foundation (NSF) on Monday, demanding answers about the origins of the nearly $1 million taxpayer-funded project to track "misinformation" on Twitter.

The Truthy project, being conducted by researchers at Indiana University, is under investigation for targeting political commentary on Twitter. The project monitors "suspicious memes," "false and misleading ideas," and "hate speech," with a goal of one day being able to automatically detect false rumors on the social media platform.

The web service has been used to track tweets using hashtags such as #tcot (Top Conservatives on Twitter), and was successful in getting accounts associated with conservatives suspended, according to a 2012 book co-authored by the project's lead researcher, Filippo Menczer, a professor of Informatics and Computer Science at Indiana University.

Menczer has also said that Truthy monitored tweets using #p2 (Progressive 2.0), but did not discuss any examples of getting liberal accounts suspended in his book.

"The Committee and taxpayers deserve to know how NSF decided to award a large grant for a project that proposed to develop standards for online political speech and to apply those standards through development of a website that targeted conservative political comments," wrote Chairman Lamar Smith (R., Texas) in a letter to NSF Director France Cordova.

"While some have argued that Truthy could be used to better understand things like disaster communication or to assist law enforcement, instead it appears Truthy focused on examples of 'false and misleading ideas, hate speech, and subversive propaganda' communicated by conservative groups," he said.

Smith is asking for the original application for the study, and "every internal and external e-mail, letter, memorandum, record, note, text message or other document" sent or received by the NSF about Truthy since the study began in 2011.

Smith's letter references a publication co-written by Menczer which explains how the project was used to track tweets before the 2010-midterm elections.

In "Abuse of Social Media and Political Manipulation," a chapter for the book The Death of the Internet, released in 2012, Menczer writes how his team successfully had Twitter accounts suspended.

"With the exploding popularity of online social networks and microblogging platforms, social media have become the turf on which battles of opinion are fought," the chapter begins. "This section discusses a particularly insidious type of abuse of social media, aimed at manipulation of political discourse online."

Truthy tracked up to 8 million tweets per day in the run up to the 2010 midterms, and stored 600,000 political tweets in their database, contrary to Menczer's claim that Truthy does not "have a database." This section of the Truthy website was recently deleted, following an editorial by FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai warning the project could be misused.

"The streams provided our system with up to 8 million tweets per day during the course of the study," the paper said. "These were scanned in real time by our system. In total, our analysis considered over 305 million tweets collected from September 14 until October 27, 2010."

"Of these, 1.2 million contained one or more of our political keywords; detection of interesting memes further reduced this set to 600,000 tweets actually entered in our database for analysis," the paper added.

"We don't have a database," Menczer said when attacking the Washington Free Beacon's initial story on Truthy.

The database was used to identify "several Truthy memes, resulting in many of the accounts involved being suspended by Twitter," the chapter said.

Truthy was able to suspend the account of C. Steven Tucker, a health insurance broker, who often used the hashtag "American Patriots," or #ampat, from his two Twitter accounts.

"This activity generated traffic around this hashtag and gave the impression that more people were tweeting about it," the chapter said. "These two accounts had generated a total of over 41,000 tweets."

Another account, @PeaceKaren_25, was suspended after tweeting in support of Speaker of the House John Boehner (R., Ohio) over 10,000 times in four months. "A separate colluding account @HopeMarie_25 retweeted all the tweets generated by @PeaceKaren_25 supporting the same candidates and boosting the same websites," the paper said.

Smith said it is troubling that the project was able to delete and suspend Twitter accounts.

"Whether by amazing coincidence or on purpose, it appears that several social media accounts highlighted by Truthy were subsequently terminated by the owners of the social media platforms, effectively muzzling the political free speech of the targeted individuals and groups," he said. "In presenting and publishing the findings of their work, the Truthy research team proudly described how the web service targeted conservative social media messages.  Their presentations featured examples of what they found to be online political speech 'abuses' by supporters of these groups."

A spokesman for Indiana University said that they are "aware of the letter but have no comment."



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Weaponizing the government

If someone was trying to limit or suppress your First Amendment rights in America today, what would that Tyrant look like? A dictator in a military uniform? Or a soccer mom in a corner office?

In this weeks Firewall, meet Susan Ravel of the FEC and Lois Lerner of the IRS -- two smiling tyrants weaponizing the government against conservatives and following direct orders from the very top of the Democratic leadership.


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Lesbian Houston mayor drops controversial pastor subpoenas

Fox News is reporting that the mayor of Houston announced Wednesday that the city will withdraw subpoenas of sermons from five pastors who publicly opposed an ordinance banning discrimination against gay and transgender residents, The Houston Chronicle reports.

Houston's City Council passed in May the equal rights ordinance, which consolidates city bans on discrimination based on sex, race, age, religion and other categories and increases protections for gay and transgender residents.

The controversy has touched a nerve among religious conservatives around the country, many of them already anxious about the rapid spread of gay rights and what it might mean for faith groups that object. Religious groups, including some that support civil rights protections for gays, have protested the subpoenas as a violation of religious freedom.

Parker, who is a lesbian, and other supporters said the measure is about offering protections at the local level against all forms of discrimination in housing, employment and services provided by private businesses such as hotels and restaurants.

"It is extremely important to me to protect our Equal Rights Ordinance from repeal, and it is extremely important to me to make sure that every Houstonian knows that their lives are valid and protected and acknowledged," Parker said. "We are going to continue to vigorously defend our ordinance against repeal efforts."

Religious institutions are exempt, but city attorneys recently subpoenaed the pastors, seeking all speeches, presentations or sermons related to the repeal petition.

Christian activists had sued after city officials ruled they didn't collect enough signatures to get the question on the ballot. The city secretary initially counted enough signatures, but then city attorney David Feldman ruled that more than half of the pages of the petition were invalid.

This is a real victory over these homo-NAZIs and demonstrates that these progressives can be put in their place if only conservatives organize and fight back.


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Phil Robertson to support pastors under attack by Houston's lesbian mayor

HustonIntimidation.jpg

Sid Remus is reporting that Houston's Annise Parker, America's first openly lesbian mayor, is conducting an unconstitutional witch-hunt against religious leaders and pastors.

She recently shocked millions of Christians when she issued subpoenas that demand sermons of pastors who may have spoken on the topic of homosexuality, gender identity, or Parker herself. Her legal document said Pastors who do not comply may be held in contempt of court.

Pastors have revolted, and refused to comply, putting Parker and her legal team on the defensive.

Now one hunter from Louisiana is lending his name and clout to the cause.

Phil Robertson, the patriarch of "Duck Dynasty" has teamed up with allies like former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and the Family Research Council, to respond forcefully.

Robertson asked pastors and supporters to flood the mayor's office with BIBLES. And boy did they respond…

Houston Mayor Annise Parker has received a flood of Bibles -- somewhere between 500 and 1,000 according to a spokesman for the mayor's office -- after the city subpoenaed the church sermons of five local faith leaders opposed to the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, which the mayor signed in May.

And now Robertson is going to headline a huge rally with thousands of pastors from across America to stand up for religious freedom and against anti-religious bigotry from the LGBT crowd:

On November 2nd (just before the 2014 elections!), there will be a religious rally at the Grace Community Church. Hosted by the Family Research Council and other traditional conservative groups, they just announced that Phil Robertson will be headlining the rally.

Join Christians across America for I Stand Sunday on November 2, 2014. Hosted by Family Research Council and other partners, speakers from across the nation will gather at Grace Community Church in Houston, Texas to focus on the freedom to live out our faith free of government intrusion or monitoring. We will stand with pastors and churches in Houston, Texas who have been unduly intimidated by the city's Mayor in demanding they hand over private church communication

By lending his name and influence to this event, Phil is taking a bold stance for faith in the public arena. The liberal media already cannot stand Phil's traditional worldview, so they will not be able to contain their anger as Phil is working so hard to influence people so close to a major midterm election.

Did you know that Phil Robinson played first-string quarterback for the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs ahead of Pro Football Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw? He turned down an opportunity to play professionally with the Washington Redskins. He received a master's degree in education and spent several years teaching.

And underneath that beard he's a handsome fellow.



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Democrats push for new heavy regulations on Internet postings, Drudge, and blogs

NoFreedom.jpg

Warner Todd Huston is reporting that as the media prepared to vacate newsrooms for the weekend, Democrats snuck in a last minute proposal that the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) be allowed to heavily regulate political content on internet sites such as Youtube, blogs, and the Drudge Report.

Obama FEC Vice Chairperson Ann M. Ravel announced late on Friday that the FEC was preparing new regulations to give itself control over videos, Internet-based political campaigns, and other content on the web. She insisted that, "A reexamination of the commission’s approach to the internet and other emerging technologies is long overdue."

This snap decision came after the FEC deadlocked 3-3 over whether or not an anti-Obama Internet campaign in Ohio had violated FEC campaign disclosure rules. The videos were placed for free on Youtube and were not paid advertising, but they also did not disclose who made them.

Until now, videos and other political content that is not posted for a fee are unregulated by the FEC. Only paid advertising is regulated under election rules. It is this that the Democrats want to change.

"FEC Chairman Lee E. Goodman, a Republican, said if regulation extends that far, then anybody who writes a political blog, runs a politically active news site, or even a chat room could be regulated," the Washington Examiner reported on October 24.

"I have been warning that my Democratic colleagues were moving to regulate media generally and the Internet specifically for almost a year now," Goodman told FoxNews.com. "And today's statement from Vice Chair Ravel confirms my warnings."

Chairperson Ravel says that it should be illegal for free Internet videos to be used for paid TV advertising. But Goodman points out that Ravel is conflating the matter, and that FEC rules already regulate that situation. TV ads are paid advertising and already fall under regulatory oversight, he said.

Goodman and the other two FEC commissioners who voted that the Ohio videos did not violate regulations lamented the decision by the chair to float oppressive new limits on political free speech on the Internet. "Regrettably, the 3-to-3 vote in this matter suggests a desire to retreat from these important protections for online political speech--a shift in course that could threaten the continued development of the Internet's virtual free marketplace of political ideas and democratic debate," they wrote.



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Houston Mayor subpoenas pastors' sermons to police political correctness

Backstory


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Obama's "Truthy" squad set to invade social media
 
Judge Andrew P. Napolitano says that earlier this week, the federal government's National Science Foundation, an entity created to encourage the study of science -- encouragement that it achieves by awarding grants to scholars and universities -- announced that it had awarded a grant to study what people say about themselves and others in social media. The NSF dubbed the project Truthy, a reference to comedian Stephen Colbert's invention and hilarious use of the word "truthiness."

The reference to Colbert is cute, and he is a very funny guy, but when the feds get into the business of monitoring speech, it is surely no joke; it is a nightmare. It is part of the Obama administration's persistent efforts to monitor communication and scrutinize the expressions of opinions it hates and fears.

We already know the National Security Agency has the digital versions of all telephone conversations and emails sent to, from or within the U.S. since 2005. Edward Snowden's revelations of all this are credible and substantiated, and the government's denials are weak and unavailing -- so weak and unavailing that many NSA agents disbelieve them.

But the government's unbridled passion to monitor us has become insatiable. Just two months ago, the Federal Communications Commission, which licenses broadcasters, threatened to place federal agents in cable television newsrooms so they can see how stories are generated and produced. The FCC doesn't even regulate cable, yet it threatened to enhance its own authority by monitoring cable companies from the inside.

What's going on here?

What's going on here, and has been going on since Barack Obama took office in January 2009, is a government with little or no fidelity to basic constitutional norms. There is no defense under the Constitution to any aspect of the government's -- federal, state, regional, local or hybrid; or any entity owned or controlled by any government; or any entity that exercises the government's coercive powers or spends or receives its money -- monitoring the expressive behavior of anyone in the U.S., not in a newsroom, on social media or anywhere else.

The NSF's stated purpose of the Truthy squad is to look for errors in speech, particularly errors that fuel hatred or political extremes. This monitoring -- this so-called search for error -- is totalitarian and directly contradicts well-grounded Supreme Court jurisprudence, for several reasons.

First, for the government to gather information -- public or private -- on any person, the Constitution requires that the government have "articulable suspicion" about that person. Articulable suspicion is a mature and objective reason to believe that the person has engaged in criminal behavior. Without that level of articulable belief, the government is powerless to scrutinize anyone for any reason.

The articulable suspicion threshold is vital to assure that people in America have the presumption of liberty and are free to choose their behavior unimpeded or threatened by the government. The feds cannot cast a net into the marketplace of ideas and challenge what it brings in. Were they able to do so, the constitutional protections for free expression and the primacy of liberty would be meaningless.

Second, the courts have repeatedly held that the First Amendment needs breathing room, and they also have held that government monitoring of speech curtails that breathing room. Stated differently, a person under observation changes behavior on account of the observation. Thus, by the very act of monitoring our words, the feds will have the effect of curtailing them.

The virtual or physical presence of the monitors would give people pause, cause them to reconsider offering opinions, induce them to refrain from expressing their true thoughts and even drive their speech underground. This is called "chilling," and it has been condemned by numerous Supreme Court decisions.

The principal purpose of the First Amendment is to keep the government out of the marketplace of ideas, and any governmental behavior that influences the exercise of the freedom of speech -- no matter how gently, indirectly, innocently or secretly -- violates that principle and provides the basis to sue the government to have its Stasi-like monitoring of speech enjoined. Another prime purpose of the First Amendment is to encourage open, wide, unfettered and robust debate about the policies and the personnel of the government. Who can engage in that with Big Brother watching and keeping score?

All presidents push the envelope when it comes to exercising their constitutional powers. But we never before have seen in modern times a president like the present one. From his halcyon days as a senator fighting for civil liberties, he has descended into a totalitarian darkness. How can he ask soldiers to defend a Constitution with their lives that he disregards with his deeds?

The government is worried about speech. Big deal. Speech is none of the government's business. History teaches that the remedy for tasteless speech is not government repression -- it is more speech. In a free society, when the marketplace of ideas is open and unfettered, the truth is obvious. But in a repressive society, the truth becomes a casualty. Which society did the Framers give us?


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Houston's lesbian mayor subpoenas sermons that may contain "thought crimes" against homosexuality -- updated!

Dave Blount says for anyone who doesn't get it yet that the gay rights blitzkrieg is an assault by authoritarian statists on key constitutional liberties, this story should be instructive:

The city of Houston has issued subpoenas demanding a group of pastors turn over any sermons dealing with homosexuality, gender identity or Annise Parker, the city's first openly lesbian mayor.

Parker and her goons are defying all three clauses of the First Amendment.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Her hostility to the free exercise of religion and to freedom of speech are obvious. Here's where the right to petition for a redress of grievances comes in:

The subpoenas are just the latest twist in an ongoing saga over Houston's new non-discrimination ordinance. The law, among other things, would allow men to use the ladies room and vice versa. The city council approved the law in June.

The Houston Chronicle reported opponents of the ordinance launched a petition drive that generated more than 50,000 signatures -- far more than the 17,269 needed to put a referendum on the ballot.

However, the city threw out the petition in August over alleged irregularities.

That saved the liberal courts from the trouble of striking it down, which invariably happens whenever the public puts up resistance to the homosexual agenda with ballot initiatives like California's Proposition 8.

After opponents of the bathroom bill filed a lawsuit the city's attorneys responded by issuing the subpoenas against the pastors.

The pastors were not part of the lawsuit. However, they were part of a coalition of some 400 Houston-area churches that opposed the ordinance.

Opposing the ordinance is a thought crime, so it stands to reason authorities will be able to find more thought crimes by examining sermons and even private communications. This will allow them to intimidate pastors by cherry-picking anything deemed sufficiently politically incorrect to use for public castigation.

Among those slapped with a subpoena is Steve Riggle, the senior pastor of Grace Community Church. He was ordered to produce all speeches and sermons related to Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality and gender identity.

The mega-church pastor was also ordered to hand over "all communications with members of your congregation" regarding the non-discrimination law.

As Riggle observes,

"This is an attempt to chill pastors from speaking to the cultural issues of the day. The mayor would like to silence our voice. She's a bully."

It may not be immediately obvious why the liberal establishment has been investing so much energy in promoting sexual deviancy. But anyone can see why authoritarian statists hate Christianity; it has served as a bulwark against tyranny for centuries by giving people a higher authority than government thugs and their lackeys in the media.

Christianity regards homosexuality as a serious sin. By establishing homosexuals as sacred victims whose behavior must be celebrated, the liberal ruling class is laying the groundwork for the criminalization of Christianity.

  MayotParker.jpg
Mayor Parker and "husband"

Update:  The lesbian mayor of Houston is backing down from her demand that churches in her city turn over all of their sermons, emails, and other communications so her lawyers could examine them for any criticism of her.

Mayor Parker admitted that the subpoenas were too broad, and that the pastors’ sermons should not have been included. "It's not about what did you preach on last Sunday," she said. "It should have been clarified, it will be clarified."

However, she still maintains that the Government has the right to monitor the content of religious speech; because that’s who the Democrats are these days.

The mayor's intent remains the same. She believes homosexuals and their agenda trumps the 1st Amendment.


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