Warning: Free Speech Under Attack

by Jack

At this moment I am feeling very sad for America, because I sense we’re losing our way. We’ve always valued free speech, even though we understood that it will be abused on occasion.   But, what bothers me now is a so-called progressive movement actively suppressing free speech under false pretenses and without any regard for our 1st Amendment. Even our mainstream media is complicitous in this travesty and that’s extremely dangerous.

“Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.” ― Benjamin Franklin,

The liberal left regularly says some pretty outrageous things that go almost completely unchallenged by the mainstream media.  But, let one guy, like Joey Gibson, with a message that represents conservative values try to give a speech in places like Portland, Berkeley or San Francisco and the leftist thugs come out of the woodwork to beat him down.

“If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”  ― George Washington

This oppressive brutality is being directed at many people on the right, like author and talk show host Ann Coulter, Milo Yiannopoulos, a gay comedian and most recently Joey Gibson.  He’s a person of color, who rose above many personal hardships to become a champion for civil rights.   Amazingly, Gibson’s speech was shut down in S.F., yet he’s against drug abuse, violence of any kind, supports gay rights and believes that love can overcome the social divisions growing in America like a cancer.  Oh, he’s also a libertarian when it comes to his political views and the worst part, he supported Trump.

You might think Joey Gibson (shown on the left) and these other minority voices would be somewhat supported by the left or at least tolerated.  Not at all – they are instead branded with the most malicious and false accusations in order to stop them from public speaking. Why? Because, in each case their message conflicts with the left’s and that makes them huge targets for extermination..literally.   I’m not exaggerating one bit, the left wants them shut down, and as Antifa, puts it, “By any means necessary.”  We know what the means too, the ends justify the means.

“Hypocrites get offended by the truth.”  ― Jess C. Scott

On college grounds and in many large cities, even on the steps of the nation’s capitol, the haters are now trashing civil discourse and denying many worthy people their free speech right.  Now, that hate is manifesting itself into a whole new movement bent on tearing down historic monuments, banning books like Tom Sawyer or “dangerous” movies like, Gone With the Wind.

What we are witnessing is as incredible as it is frightening and repulsive.   It makes one wonder what’s next, the dissolution of the 2nd Amendment, and then where does it stop?

“Leftists believe in free speech, if it’s what they want to hear.”  ― Jack Lee

 

 

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28 Responses to Warning: Free Speech Under Attack

  1. Chris says:

    Antifa is garbage.

    I can’t find much about Joey Gibson–it seems that he’s made some extreme comments about Muslims, but other than that, the characterization of him as a white supremacist seems unfair, and he seems to have actively tried to keep white supremacists out of this latest rally–but even if he were everything Antifa says he is, that would not justify their behavior. Violence and threats are not a valid response to speech. We do not have hate speech laws in this country for a reason. It is cowardly for Antifa to respond to bad speech by trying to shut it down, and even more so when they do it behind black masks.

    What un-American goober-babies.

  2. Chris says:

    Antifa is garbage.

    I can’t find much about Joey Gibson–it seems that he’s made some extreme comments about Muslims, but other than that, the characterization of him as a white supremacist seems unfair, and he seems to have actively tried to keep white supremacists out of this latest rally–but even if he were everything Antifa says he is, that would not justify their behavior. Violence and threats are not a valid response to speech. We do not have hate speech laws in this country for a reason. It is cowardly for Antifa to respond to bad speech by trying to shut it down, and even more so when they do it behind black masks.

    What un-American goober-babies.

    • Libby says:

      I guess you just have to get old. The black block should bother me, but they mostly just amuse. Because they are babies. And I bemusedly imagine that no-small-quantity of them get up in the black masks so as not to endanger their “Linked In” pages or jeopardize their graduate school applications and future careers as hedge fund managers or whatever.

      It’s the firearms that get to me. As long as you are not brandishing weaponry, you can dress up and stomp around all you want.

      • Chris says:

        The babies thinking they can be violent without consequence don’t scare me, Libby. The authorities caving into their demands scare me. I don’t blame the kids for being overzelous in their Nazi-punching. I find Nazi-punching amusing, and I might have found Antifa seductive in my younger days. But if they’re causing more violence with their rocks and fists then the white supremacists are with their guns, then I can’t ignore them. I’ll probably always see white supremacy as a bigger threat, but groups like antifa only lend them legitimacy.

        • Post Scripts says:

          Chris I truly love it when we agree! You said quite rightly (no pun intended), “The babies thinking they can be violent without consequence don’t scare me, Libby. The authorities caving into their demands scare me.”

          I totally agree. This is something that should alarm any rational citizen.

          I find it gut wrenchingly hard to fathom how a sworn police officer could stand by and watch someone being beaten as they did in Berkeley?

          The order to stand down was allegedly given by the Mayor, but that was an illegal order and police officers are not bound to obey and illegal order. So, what could compel high ranking police officers from the Chief on down to his lieutenants, to follow an illegal order? Well, the Chief of Police serves at the whim of the City Council. They can fire him for any reason. So, he is under extreme pressure to comply with the Mayor’s order and in turn, so are his commanders for the very same reason. But, from sergeant on down they are protected by fair labor laws regarding firing and they should have acted. It would be hard, it would take guts to go against your boss, but it should have been done.

          Speaking as a retired officer, I know in my heart that I would have gone to the aid of anyone being beaten by a mob, regardless of politics or personal risk. You see, all police officer take an oath. Most value that oath as a sacred duty. In that case, we have no choice because of our moral and legal duty to act. If we fail to act we are committing a felony (yes there are laws against that) and we could be prosecuted and further the city could be held liable for damages. I think Berkeley will be sued by the victims, lets wait and see. Clearly, Berkeley was acting outside the law even though it was from direct orders issued by the mayor..allegedly.

          • Post Scripts says:

            Chris and Libby, I must correct and error. Apparently the penal code law that demands a police officer to take some sort of reasonable police action, if he witnesses a felony in progress, is no long on the books in CA. A number of states still have such a law, but not here in wonderful California. In Mathews v CHP, they put a finer point on it, the cops don’t even have a duty to do a proper investigation. This will probably make filing a suit against Berkeley for damages much harder.

            I can’t believe we did that. Well, actually I can, this is crazy CA. But, even so, how could any sworn officer of the law stand by and watch someone being attacked and he has the means to stop it? That is so wrong and so against what a police officer’s sworn duty is.

      • Tina says:

        Are rocks weapons, Libby? What about 2×4’s with nails in them? How about cans filled with cement?

        All of these are objects that can be used to inflict great bodily harm, even death. They are taken up without benefit f licensing, fees, training, restrictions, or regulations.

        If these groups were making a lot of noise across the street I say have at it. That’s not what they do nor what they come to do. They are not just “stomping around.” They are inflicting damage and suffering and they are denying others their speech and assembly rights.

  3. Libby says:

    You’re being somewhat vague. The alt-righters hoping to make a splash in the Bay Area cancelled of their own accord. It was made plain to them that they would be greatly out-personed, and what they proposed simply wasn’t safe. The right to free speech is NOT without limits. If hundreds choose to be obnoxious to thousands, they’re probably gonna have to take their licking. (Jack, there is a news website, Berkeleyside; you would enjoy reading about the cop strategies employed over the weekend.)

    You’d be on firmer ground protesting about the poor Daily Stormers being booted off the net. This is worrisome. However, this is a link to part of the documentation that got them booted:

    https://8449nohate.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Web.com-Letter.pdf

    Take particular note of paragraph two. There ARE most decidedly limits to the right of free speech. Is this the sort of thing that you are defending, Jack.

    • Chris says:

      You have a point, Libby, but if people have to cancel an event because they’re being threatened, that is a loss for free speech, even if the speech in question is garbage. Mobs of angry protesters should not be able to shut down planned speeches. And it saddens me to say this, but these threats are mostly coming from the Left today. (There are threats from the Right as well–the alt-right is especially threatening to the speech of women, Jews and PoC on the Internet–but the threats toward public speeches mostly come from the Left.)

    • Tina says:

      Few gun owners would agree with Richard Poplawsky and most would fall on the side of the police officers. What is this ridiculous need to tie them together?

  4. Post Scripts says:

    Libby, if you are trying to put a fine point on what I am defending, it’s probably not possible. here’s the problem as I see it: Each case of free speech has it’s own unique set of circumstances and even the highest court recognizes this and has great difficulty in drawing that fine legal line that can’t be crossed. It’s why we afford wide latitude and frequently err on the side of permission, rather than denial. I know that the penal code defines certain elements in disturbance of the peace as a defense for battery. Simply put, you can not say something likely to incite the passions of an ordinary man to the point of provoking a violent response, i.e. fighting words. That’s fairly clear, but then when we get into the whole hate speech v. free speech, and the line is less clear. In that debate many Americans feel the number-one priority should be the well-being of the community, and that a person’s right to freedom of speech can and should be limited, if it poses a threat to that community’s well-being.

    But, all communities are not created alike, are they? What is considered art in New York might be seen as pornographic in West Virginia.

    If you are asking what my personal values are toward hate speech, I would have to fall back on the general definition. Speech absent any redeeming social value that is intended to offend, insult, intimidate, or threaten an individual or group based on sexual orientation, religion, color, gender, or disability and that contributes to public disordered, such as encouraging behavior as that is likely to inspire criminal offense/s.

    That’s about the best I can do Libby. Off topic, but have you been to the Claude Monet exhibit at the DeYoung? I really, really want to go. If you have seen it please tell me what you thought!

    • Libby says:

      The Monet exhibit?, no, I haven’t seen it. I have to be highly motivated to brave a trip into the city these days. I’d go during the middle of the week, for a more peaceable experience … but I’m not retired … like some fortunate souls.

      • Post Scripts says:

        Thanks for the info Libby, I will probably go mid-week. I hear you, I hate the City traffic too, wondering if I could take Bart from Oakland to somewhere close to Golden Gate park? I’ll have to check into that.

    • Chris says:

      If you are asking what my personal values are toward hate speech, I would have to fall back on the general definition. Speech absent any redeeming social value that is intended to offend, insult, intimidate, or threaten an individual or group based on sexual orientation, religion, color, gender, or disability and that contributes to public disordered, such as encouraging behavior as that is likely to inspire criminal offense/s.

      Are you seriously to the left of me on this issue, Jack? 😉

      I ask because I’m not sure if you’re trying to present a legal definition here or just a common one. In my opinion there should be no legal definition of “hate speech” precisely because it would likely be defined much like your definition here, and would thus be overly broad. Speech designed to “offend” should not be addressed by the law in the same way speech designed to threaten; in fact, it should not be addressed by the law at all. Many found Trump’s speech offensive; he could fall victim to hate speech laws. So could Black Lives Matter. Behavior “likely to inspire criminal offenses” could be interpreted broadly too; does “Smoke ’em if you got ’em” count? How about Glenn Reynold’s injunction to “run them down” if you’re in a vehicle surrounded by protesters? How about that fine, classical piece of modern art where Kathy Griffin held a bloody Trump head? How about “Draw Mohammed Day?”

      This is where I part from my fellow lefties: while I have no problem with calling certain expressions of bigotry “hate speech,” hate speech laws are simply interpreted however those in power want them to be. Under Trump hate speech laws would target BLM and Antifa before they target the people lefties want them to. More importantly, they would violate the First Amendment.

      • Post Scripts says:

        Chris, you have summarized precisely why we have such a hard problem defining this area of the law. If the best legal minds have problems defining this one, what chance does some putz like me have? lol

      • Libby says:

        “This is where I part from my fellow lefties: while I have no problem with calling certain expressions of bigotry “hate speech,” hate speech laws are simply interpreted however those in power want them to be.”

        Ok, I’m not gonna say “Bull !” … I’m gonna ask for an example. I don’t think there even are hate “speech” laws. I’m trying to think of one and can’t. There ARE hate “violence” laws.

        The suffragettes were locked up for vandalism and stuff like that, not for what they had to say. No one called it “hate speech”, because it wasn’t, even though any number of fellas found it extremely obnoxious.

        • Chris says:

          I am talking about in other countries, Libby, not the U.S. You’re right that there are no hate speech laws here; I know many lefties who want that changed. Not all, but many.

        • Post Scripts says:

          In order for us to learn what we need to understand and define “hate speech,” I think, generally speaking, that examples must be contemporaneous with current societal moral values, yes?

          Libby, while I can appreciate what you are saying re suffragettes, we don’t really want to remind folks of the hate speech our (liberal) democrats once used to deny women the right to vote, do we? No, after all those are by gone days! Hmmm…gee, I forget who championed the women’s movement, oh wait, I remember now, it was the Republican Party! That’s right and when they took control of Congress in 1919 they passed Equal Suffrage Amendment! Wasn’t that nice of them? Prior to that the AWSA aimed for close ties with the Republican Party, hoping that the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment would lead to a Republican push for women’s suffrage and it did!

          When the House of Representatives passed the 19th Amendment in May 1919 it did so by 304 votes to 89, with Democrats only 104 to 70 in favour but Republicans 200 to 19. In the Senate, Democrats were in favour only by 20 to 17 but the GOP voted for it by 36 to 8.Aug 20, 2010. Almost all the Southern Democrat controlled states opposed women’s right to vote. “Southern states were adamantly opposed to the amendment, however, and seven of them—Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, South Carolina and Virginia—had already rejected it before Tennessee’s vote on August 18, 1920. It was up to Tennessee to tip the scale for woman suffrage.” But, I digress…sorry. Carry on.

        • Post Scripts says:

          Libby, you said you can’t think of any laws re hate speech and I pulled up a few for your consideration:

          Penal Code section 422.6(a): Provides it is a misdemeanor to interfere by force or threat of force with a person’s state or federal statutory or constitutional rights because of his or her race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, gender or
          sexual orientation or because the victim is perceived to have one or more of these characteristics. (Penalty: up to one year in jail, or $5000, or both.)

          Penal Code section 422.7: Provides that actions which are normally misdemeanors can become felonies if committed because of bigotry based on race,
          color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, gender, or sexual orientation or because the victim is perceived to have one or more of the above characteristics (with the exception of a person punished under section 422.6.) (Penalty: up to one year in jail
          or prison and/or a $10,000 fine.)

          Miscellaneous Penal Code provisions relating to hate crimes-

          Penal Code section 136.2 Protective orders
          Some protections against further harm to, intimidation of, or dissuasion of hate crimes victims and witnesses by the accused perpetrator are available through the district attorney or city attorney who is prosecuting the hate crime.

          Penal Code section 186.21: Legislature finds and declares that it is the right of every person, regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age,
          sexual orientation, or handicap, to be secure and protected from fear, intimidation, and physical harm caused by the activities of violent groups and individuals. (This is part of the “California Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention Act,” enacted in 1988.)

          Penal Code section 190.2(a)(16): Provides a death penalty or sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole for murder because of the victim’s race, color, religion, nationality or national origin.

          Penal Code section 302: Establishes a misdemeanor to intentionally disturb a group of people who have met to worship. (Penalty: $1000 fine and/or one year in jail;
          court can also require community service.)

          Penal Code section 1170.75: Provides additional punishment for felonies committed because of a victim’s race, color, religion, etc., or because the victim is
          perceived to have one or more of the above-mentioned characteristics unless already punished under Penal Code sections 422.75 or 1170.8.

          • Libby says:

            Jack, that’s all acting against a person, not speaking against them. I shudder to think what a person of such dubious understanding gets up to on the job.

          • Post Scripts says:

            Libby, it is about speaking against a person. One can’t make threats of hateful bigotry and violence against any number of persons, from gays, ethnic minorities, school officials to regular citizens.

          • Libby says:

            Ooooh, we’re having a fight, and you are wrong. Threats of violence ARE NOT illegal (geez, we’d all be in the can) UNLESS there is some substantial, actual, physical evidence (like waiving a gun around) that you intend to carry out said threat.

            I’m shocked at you.

            As to your penal code sections, you’re getting assault and murder all confused with speech; they are not speech. The only thing I might grant you, and Chris, is that the definition of a “hate crime enhancement” to said felonies could very well be politically influenced.

    • Tina says:

      In Charlottesville the only ones with a permit to assemble and speak were the distasteful white polemicist groups. The trouble began with the violent intolerance of Antifa.

      All of this discussion of inappropriate or unacceptable speech still is not directed toward those of the left making all of the trouble.

  5. RHT447 says:

    Americans helping Americans.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tPaKLJNPFE

    Antifa can go FOAD.

  6. TruthToPower says:

    Remember the free speech Zones at the RNC convention? Roped off places?

    Free Speech?

    Stop dividing and blaming and help restore the 1st and the 4th amendments before they hold their constutitional convention and change it to corporate authoritarian law.

    They are rehearsing it. They will feed the people this we will fix it meme.

    Under a convention, anything goes. There are no rules, guideposts or procedures for impaneling the convention, selecting the delegates, setting the convention’s voting rules, and determining what issues the convention would consider and how much of the Constitution it would seek to rewrite.

    If you can not see the coup I feel sorry for you. The Democrats are so lost along with the Republicans it is scary.

    Stop falling for the divide and RESTOTRE THE CONSTUTITION WE HAVE.

  7. TruthToPower says:

    Also This Alt Right / Alt Left?

    Did we say that 10 years ago?

    Wake UP

    Unite and stand Up together for the Rights we once had.

  8. Libby says:

    I just love reading commentary that comes to conclusions the same as mine. A political weakness, I suppose, but …

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/08/30/trump-insubordination-problem-lowry-215553

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