EppsNet Archive: Freedom of Speech

I Love Freedom More Than Most People and Now I Know Why

25 Sep 2017 /

https://www.studyfinds.org/government-american-history-survey/

This is from a new survey of American adults by the Annenberg Public Policy Center.

Also: 37 percent couldn’t name a single right protected by the First Amendment. While 48 percent of those surveyed were able to name freedom of speech, far fewer could identify other rights accorded, including freedom of religion (15 percent), freedom of the press (14 percent), right of peaceful assembly (10 percent), and right to petition the government (3 percent).

I’m a freedom-loving guy. I find that my love of freedom exceeds that of most of my countrymen and now I know why . . . because cherishing the rights guaranteed to us by the Constitution presupposes that we know what they are, and most people don’t know what they are.

P.S. I learned to remember the First Amendment rights with the GRASP acronym: freedom to petition the Government, freedom of Religion, freedom of Assembly, freedom of Speech and freedom of the Press.


UC Berkeley Creates Website Devoted to Free Speech

21 Sep 2017 /
UC Berkeley creates website devoted to free speech

I hope it addresses the question of why people I disagree with are allowed to speak freely despite their triggering opinions.

Haha seriously though, I think the website should consist entirely of this one sentence: “Have somebody read the First Amendment to the United States Constitution out loud to you, you God damned fool!”


When You Lose the Mayor of Berkeley, You’ve Lost America

29 Aug 2017 /

In the aftermath of a right-wing rally Sunday that ended with anarchists chasing attendees from a downtown park, Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin urged UC Berkeley on Monday to cancel conservatives’ plans for a Free Speech Week next month to avoid making the city the center of more violent unrest.

“I’m very concerned about Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter and some of these other right-wing speakers coming to the Berkeley campus, because it’s just a target for black bloc to come out and commit mayhem on the Berkeley campus and have that potentially spill out on the street,” Arreguin said, referring to militants who have also been called anti-fascists or antifa.

Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin


No Political Violence on the Left?

20 Aug 2017 /

I’m still shaking my head on this one:

https://twitter.com/charlesmurray/status/899240201532448768?t=1&cn=ZmxleGlibGVfcmVjcw%3D%3D&refsrc=email&iid=77f9160ca4fa4b6aa987bb96570d37b3&uid=15906468&nid=244+285282305

Even left-wing stalwarts like The Atlantic know that the Post’s “no violence on the left” premise is bogus:

https://twitter.com/charlesmurray/status/899240201532448768?t=1&cn=ZmxleGlibGVfcmVjcw%3D%3D&refsrc=email&iid=77f9160ca4fa4b6aa987bb96570d37b3&uid=15906468&nid=244+285282305

Look how peaceful and non-violent everyone is in the Post photo.

Contrast that with, for example, these protesters at Berkeley earlier this year:

Milo 'protesters' at Berkeley

Milo 'protesters' at Berkeley

I’m drawn to Berkeley examples because our son went to Berkeley and still lives in the area, because I know some current Berkeley students, and because Berkeley, ironically, used to be synonymous with the Free Speech Movement.

The photos above show the protesters who showed up to violently shut down a scheduled talk by Milo Yiannopoulos, but the same thing seems to happen whenever any university schedules a conservative speaker.

Here are a couple more left-wing protests, in Chicago and Charlottesville:

More Dead Cops

We could go on and on with this . . . we’ve all seen this before so I don’t know who the target audience is for the Post’s “no violence on the left” argument.

And of course Steve Scalise couldn’t be reached for comment because he’s still in inpatient rehabilitation after being shot by a Bernie Sanders supporter a couple of months ago.

It looks to me like there’s plenty of bigotry, intolerance and hatred at both ends of the political spectrum.

The Post’s argument seems to be that while left-wing violence is the work of outsiders and lone nuts, militia culture and violent resistance on the right exists “on unprecedented scales.” The best examples the Post was able to come up with are Ruby Ridge, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the Dylann Roof murders in Charleston, two of which happened 20+ years ago and all of which involved one guy, or one guy and an accomplice, or one guy and his family.

Ruby Ridge was a “we thought they were up to something so we had to kill them” government siege and Randy Weaver was not convicted of anything except missing his original court date and a bail violation.

Do those examples indicate organized right-wing violence “on unprecedented scales”? I’d say no, but make up your own mind.

The Post concedes that “occasionally violent groups” such as Antifa are “worrisome,” which sounds like a word my grandmother would have used. But these groups are “loosely banded, disorganized and low scale . . . incomparable to the scope and breadth of organized violence demonstrated by the extreme right.”

Such as?

“Organized militias that are well armed, well trained and well networked” and “armed to the teeth.”

I don’t know what sort of data the Post combed through to come up with that rigorous characterization (“armed to the teeth”?), but I’ve never seen an estimate of more than 10,000 active white supremacists in a country of 320 million people. We’re talking about an insignificant number of confused, poorly organized losers.

As an example of what a well-trained, armed to the teeth, organized militia can accomplish, the Post cites last year’s armed standoff at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.

The result of that was one militant killed, one militant wounded and 27 militants arrested and indicted. I hate to think what a disorganized, poorly trained militia could have done.


It’s Hard to Tell the Violent, Intolerant Fascists Without a Scorecard

2 Feb 2017 /

Sometimes it’s hard to remember which side the violent, intolerant fascists are on. 🙂

Mario Savio is spinning in his grave (I hope) . . .


Shut Up About Free Speech

16 Oct 2016 /

Jesus and Mo


The One Thing I Can’t Tolerate is Intolerance: Herschel Walker Edition

27 Jun 2016 /
Heisman Trophy Winner Herschel Walker

NFL great Herschel Walker was one of the early Trump supporters out of the gate but now he says he is losing speaking gigs by anti-Trumpers who are blackballing him.

Maybe I’m not paying attention but I can’t remember any people with left-leaning views being blackballed from public discourse.

At the risk of being super obvious, tolerance and freedom of speech don’t mean anything if you’re not willing to extend them to everybody — people you applaud as well as people you detest.


Huckleberry Finn Banned Again

21 Dec 2015 /
Huck and Jim on the raft

A Pennsylvania high school has removed Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn from its 11th-grade curriculum after complaints from students who said they were made “uncomfortable” by the novel.

The school’s principal defended the decision to remove the book from the curriculum. “I do not believe that we’re censoring,” he said. “I really do believe that this is an opportunity for the school to step forward and listen to the students.”

He went on to add, “War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength.” Because if suppression of material you deem objectionable is not censoring, what is?

As Kurt Vonnegut used to say, “Have somebody read the First Amendment to the United States Constitution out loud to you, you God damned fool!”


Yale Students Sign Petition to Repeal the First Amendment

16 Dec 2015 /

The video below shows documentary filmmaker Ami Horowitz asking Yale students to sign a petition aimed at repealing the First Amendment. Horowitz was able to collect more than 50 signatures in less than an hour in what he called an “unbelievable display of total stupidity.”


Jesus and Mo

6 May 2015 /