Four Things Every American Should Keep In Mind In The Aftermath Of Garland, TX, Shooting

There is no “line” of free speech.  As a matter of fact, even the Supreme Court says that “hate speech” is free speech. See RAV v. St. Paul 505 US 377 (1992)

The media is now suggesting we should have a “serious” debate on whether a cartoon should be considered “responsible” speech.

First of all, the standard is not “responsible” speech. The standard is NOT right or wrong. The standard is not whether this speech makes you feel good. The standard is FREE speech, the Liberty to speak according to our own conscience irrelevant of what others may believe. The problem is that many Americans have been brainwashed into believing that speech should be limited based on political correctness.

Liberty and free speech should be non-partisan. Our friends in the liberal media world would be good to remember the words of one their heroes:

Noam Chompsky said: “Goebbels was in favor of free speech for views he liked. So was Stalin. If you’re really in favor of free speech, then you’re in favor of freedom of speech for precisely the views you despise. Otherwise, you’re not in favor of free speech.”

If we truly love Liberty, we will be rejoicing in the presence of all speech, no matter how much it offends us. The fact that we are being led into a debate over the “reasonableness” of speech is very telling of the nature of Liberty lost.

Many Americans have even been led to believe speech can be limited based upon safety. We are told that shouting “fire!” in a crowded theater is illegal. That is NOT true. You can shout “fire!” in a crowded theater all day long, and no one will rush in and arrest you for saying “forbidden” words.

Thomas Jefferson said: “The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

Second, free speech is not GRANTED by the Constitution. The Right to speak freely and voice your conscience is an inherent right, not a gift from government. Government was never delegated the authority to regulate it.

Thomas Jefferson also said: “The error seems not sufficiently eradicated that the operations of the mind as well as the acts of the body are subject to the coercion of the laws. But our rulers can have authority over such natural rights only as we have submitted to them. The rights of conscience we never submitted, we could not submit. We are answerable for them to our God.”

Third, free speech is NOT protected by the Constitution. The Constitution has no power to protect speech on its own. Free speech cannot protect itself. Free speech is protected when we speak freely on a regular basis. Liberty is a ‘use-or-lose’ principle, and a voice not used will atrophy into complacency and compliance. There is no point of having a right to free speech if we do not regularly say unpopular and controversial things.

Benjamin Franklin said: “Without Freedom of Thought, there can be no such thing as Wisdom; and no such thing as public Liberty, without Freedom of Speech.”

Finally, when we refuse to speak because it might offend someone, when we censor ourselves to be politically correct, and when we choose not to speak our conscience because we feel uncomfortable, we have voluntarily surrendered our Liberty. A Liberty once surrendered is not easily restored.

Now, not only do we face the danger of jihadists; we also face danger from certain Americans who will allow the government to justify censoring our speech–or even worse: Americans who will demand we censor ourselves in the name of safety. The danger is allowing the enemy to force us to attack our own liberties.

If we allow violence or threats to silence speech, we allow the destruction of the very liberties that make America an exceptional place–and the Constitution a unique document.

Without freedom of speech, there is no freedom of the press, no right to peaceably assemble, no way to petition the government for a redress of our grievances, and no freedom of religion. Each liberty in the First Amendment is dependent upon the other. When we give up speech we surrender all Liberty. Free speech is not radical; it is not extreme. We should not be uncomfortable speaking our conscience.

Exercising rights is only uncomfortable to two classes of people: tyrants and slaves. How do we classify ourselves?

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Pro-Life Group At Johns Hopkins University Will Be Permitted To Have Fetus Display After It Was Initially Banned

After initially being banned, a pro-life group at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., will be allowed to set up a display giving center stage to several fetuses from the early stages of conception to shortly before birth.

The Hopkins Arts and Crafts Committee initially told the JHU Voice For Life group that the display would be prohibited from inclusion in the university’s Spring Fair because it “contains triggering and disturbing content,” FoxNews reported.

Here is the display in question:

Life Site News

Life Site News


“Out of respect for our relationship of the past 30 years, we would appreciate if you refrained from using the fetus models,” the committee said in an email to the pro-life group. “We hope you understand that our intention is not to restrict your freedom of speech or expression, but rather to create an inclusive and respectful environment for all.”

Voice For Life’s president, Andrew Guernsey, shot right back: “Abortion is disturbing, that’s the reason we have such a table,” Guernsey told Fox News.

I certainly find it ironic that a university that has dedicated itself to the advancement of medicine and biology would find displaying medically accurate fetal models disturbing and offensive…I mean, these are images shown in high school textbooks.

Not long after the outlet emailed the Arts and Crafts Committee inquiring as to why the display would not be permitted, the decision was reversed. They explained in a statement to Fox News:

We … were wrong in our initial decision and, upon further reflection, have decided we will not impose restrictions on the displays presented by any community groups at Spring Fair …. The committee values free speech.

Voice For Life was never prohibited from participating in the fair.

Share this if you support the right to life.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

The Trouble With Google Defining “Truth”

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With its $385 billion share value, Google, Inc. has bumped ExxonMobil to become America’s No. 2 ranked company in market capitalization.

That may not be a good thing. A February article in New Scientist announced that Google wants to rank websites based on facts, not links; and writer Hal Hodson said, “The internet is stuffed with garbage. Google has devised a fix – rank websites according to their truthfulness.”

Not surprisingly, the idea of changing page rank from popularity to “truthfulness,” based on a Google-made “knowledge vault,” did not go down well.

Fox News reported: “Google’s plan to rank websites is raising censorship concerns.” Douglass Kennedy opened with: “They say you’re entitled to your own opinions, but you are not entitled to your own facts. It’s a concept not everyone is comfortable with.”

They’re saying we’re only entitled to Google’s “facts,” which completely short-circuits how slippery “facts” can be and naively equates facts with truth. Ask any lawyer about truth.

Today’s climate wars consist of arguments between highly qualified scientists about facts that some sincerely believe are true, and some sincerely believe are false, each for solid reasons. It should be an honest debate among equals, but it’s degenerated into a power play by alarmists to kill debate to drive favored public policies that are pushed by certain politicians and their social and political base.

Google’s truth plan is not so simple. Facts are statements about existence. Statements about existence can be true or false. Existence itself – your kitchen sink or the climate or whatever – can’t be true or false; it just exists. Say anything you want about existence, and it won’t change a thing. It still just exists. Existence doesn’t give a darn what you think about it. Facts are statements about existence, and statements are always arguable.

But get everyone to believe Google Facts, and you can enforce political policies worth trillions of dollars to climate profiteers – and impose punitive, economy-strangling, job-killing regulations on millions of families.

You can see where this is going.

Imagine: Big Google the Universal Truthsayer. That’s as scary as “Mr. Dark” in Ray Bradbury’s 1962 novel Something Wicked This Way Comes, only worse. It’s the perfect machine to kill all dissent and wither the Internet into a wasteland of groupthink, susceptible to disinformation campaigns from any power center from the CIA to the rich bosses of Google, Inc. to Google’s political friends and allies.

What about those rich bosses? Google’s two co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, created a corporate foundation in 2005. The Google Foundation has 2013 assets of $72,412,693, gave grants of $7.9 million, and added $29.4 million from corporate profits.

Three of Google’s top-ten recipients are key climate alarmists: the World Wildlife Fund ($5 million); Energy Foundation ($2.6 million); and the rabidly anti-fracking Natural Resources Defense Council ($2.5 million).

NRDC is particularly influential because it also has received $3.01 million in taxpayer-financed Environmental Protection Agency grants since 2009 and has 50 employees on 40 federal advisory committees. NRDC has 33 employees on 21 EPA committees, and more in six other agencies.

The big gun in Google philanthropy is Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, whose Schmidt Family Foundation ($312 million, 2013 assets) is a major armory for groups that attack skeptics of dangerous manmade climate change. The Schmidt Foundation has given $67,147,849 in 295 grants to 180 recipients since it was endowed in 2007.     

Top Schmidt money went to Climate Central ($8.15 million), a group of activist climate scientists bolstered by $1,387,372 in EPA grants made since 2009.

Schmidt also gave $3.25 million to the Energy Foundation, which was almost superfluous since EF is practically the Mother Ship of green grants, with $1,157,046,016 given via 28,705 grants to 11,866 recipients since 1999.

Among the shadier grants in the Schmidt portfolio are anti-fracking, anti-fossil-fuel grants totaling $1.19 million to the Sustainable Markets Foundation, a shell corporation that gives no recorded grants but funnels money to climate and anti-fracking organizations such as Bill McKibben’s 350.org–so that the donors are not traceable.

Schmidt supported the far-left Tides Foundation empire with $975,000 for an anti-consumer film, “The Story of Stuff.” It gave the Sierra Club $500,000 for anti-natural gas activism, the Center for Investigative Reporting $985,000 for an anti-coal film, and so forth. Schmidt’s list goes on for pages.

With all the massive resources of wealth and power alarmists have, we must ask: Why do they give so much to destroy the climate debate and the debaters? What are they afraid of?

Perhaps they have staked so much money and reputation on manmade climate catastrophe claims that they are terrified by the prospect that inconvenient evidence, data, debate. and scientists could destroy their carefully constructed climate house of cards.

Or perhaps it’s what Eric Schmidt said at January’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, when he was asked for his prediction on the future of the web. “I will answer very simply that the Internet will disappear.”

How? The mature technology will be wearable, give us interactive homes and cars, and simply fade into the background – to become something that we all have, that most of us don’t really know (or care) very much about, as long as it can do whatever we want.

That’s the view from the pinnacle of wealth and power. On the ground, the joke is on Google.

Michael Humphrey, Forbes contributor and instructor at Colorado State University, sees younger people abandoning the public forum in favor of one-to-one connectivity. He says they don’t trust the Internet.

Why? Millennials say the Internet is cheapening language, it is stunting curiosity (because answers come so easily), we are never bored so we lose creativity, it steals innocence too quickly, it makes us impulsive with our buying and talking, it is creating narcissists, it creates filter bubbles that limit discovery, it hurts local businesses, it is filled with false evidence, it desensitizes us to tragedy, and it makes us lonely.

They want the real world.

Google that.

Ron Arnold is executive vice president of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise and coauthor of “Cracking Big Green: Saving the world from the Save-the-Earth money machine.”

Photo credit: Frederic Legrand – COMEO / Shutterstock.com

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Hollywood Reporter French-Kisses China In Sweet Surrender

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The Hollywood Reporter just gave a big sloppy French kiss to China. When offered an opportunity to expand their readership in the Land of the Dragon, they agreed to the terms of surrender: censorship of stories. The Hollywood Reporter said: No freedom of the press, no problem. And for an undisclosed about of Yuan, they sealed the deal with Chinese online giant Tencent.

Tencent is not as big a brand name in the United States as Fifty Cent, the popular rapper. But make no mistake about it: Tencent can buy and sell a hundred  and Fifty Cents out of their petty cash fund.

As a leader in Chinese social networking and gaming, Tencent gladly paid for the right to license content including articles and videos owned by The Hollywood Reporter. Of course, the final editorial approval lies in the hands of the Red Dragon–but who cares? Think of those millions of active new readers and online junkies on the other side of the world.

Tencent is quickly gobbling up influence in American entertainment circles. Recently, they partnered with Time Warner and Warner Music Group to stream HBO TV shows and more.

As a benchmark, the Hollywood Reporter’s website had about 10 million unique visitors in February of 2014. That’s double the number of 5 million views for Variety Magazine’s website in the same time period.

But with the new Dragon marriage, including more Chinese news-gathering, we can expect those numbers to possibly double before the end of this Year, designated on the Chinese calendar as the Year of the Sheep.

Only time will tell if this merger was sheer genius, or if the bulk of the Hollywood Reporter ‘s stories will get sheered either by Chinese censors or in voluntary surrender–I mean compliance–no, I meant surrender.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Facebook Rejects Ad For ‘I Am A Christian’ Movie

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Facebook rejected an ad by the producers of the film I Am A Christian because the company says it degrades people.

The film is to be about the life of a Sudanese woman, Meriam Ibrahim, who was sentenced to 100 lashes and death by her government for her refusal to renounce her Christian faith. Ibrahim was pregnant at the time, and her story captured international attention. She gave birth to a baby girl in prison.

The Sudanese high court eventually overturned Ibrahim’s sentence; and she, her husband, and two children took refuge in the U.S. embassy in Sudan. The United States government offered asylum; and after some high-level diplomatic negotiations with the assistance of the Italian government, Ibrahim and her family were allowed to emigrate to the U.S. last summer.

When the producers of the independent film I Am A Christian–slated to star Clueless actor Stacey Dash and Hercules actor Kevin Sorbo–tried to promote a crowdsourcing site for the project on Facebook, they received an opaque message back from the company.

As reported in the Christian Examiner:

In a press statement, Brian Harrington, a spokesman for the movie group, claimed Facebook sent a message which said the ad was not approved “because it doesn’t follow Facebook’s Advertising Guidelines for language that is profane, vulgar, threatening or generates high negative feedback.

“Ads can’t use language that insults, harasses or demeans people, or addresses their age, gender, name, race, physical condition or sexual preference,” the message added, according to Harrington.

He said a subsequent exchange with Facebook evinced a response that said the ad did not conform to Facebook’s “language policies.”

“We’ve found that people dislike ads that directly address them or their personal characteristics such as religion.

“Ads should not single out individuals or degrade people. We don’t accept language like ‘Are you fat?’ ‘Wanna join me?’ and the like. Instead, text must present realistic and accurate information in a neutral or positive way and should not have any direct attribution to people.”

The ad the producers wanted to put on Facebook asks:

“Are you a Christian? We challenge you to change your profile picture to this ‘I Am A Christian’ photo for one week! Change your picture now, and challenge your friends to do the same. Stand up and declare Yes, I Am A Christian!!!”

The photo with the ad also included a website link, www.YesIAmAChristian.com, and a message encouraging viewers to “Join the movement.”

i-am-a-christian

Apparently, asking Facebook users if they are Christian was the offensive message.

Meriam Ibrahim does not support the making of the film I Am A Christian because it is being made without her consent.

h/t: Daily Caller

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom