Tag: Censorship

YouTube Blacklists Dennis Prager

 

Another Progressive machine decides to limit free speech by denying easy access to the educational videos of Prager University: YouTube.

I guess we shouldn’t be surprised. YouTube has decided that 21 Prager University videos need to be placed on “restricted mode,” a category meant for inappropriate and objectionable adult and sexual content. The videos all run only five minutes or less.

Shut Up! You Don’t Get a Lawyer!

 

shutterstock_265415651In the 1970s, Hillary defended a child rapist. Later audio recordings showed that she knew him to be guilty. But as difficult as it must have been for him to associate with such a criminal, we acknowledge that people accused of crimes — even if obviously guilty — have the right to an attorney. And as much as it may gall us in some instances, we can’t rightly criticize attorneys who take such cases. John Adams defending the British soldiers charged in the Boston Massacre is perhaps the most notable instance.

But while we can hold an attorney blameless for taking the case of a criminal suspect, there are other cases where the attorney should be blamed. A case in point: Ralf Hoecker, Turkish strongman Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s German lawyer, who is trying to use the law to silence Erdoğan’s critics in Germany, starting with a TV comedian who read an insulting poem. Not only is this an assault on the liberty of the lawyer’s fellow citizens, but Erdoğan is notorious for silencing critics in his own country by jailing reporters and even seizing whole newspapers.

In other words, Hoecker is serving a dictator — and not merely selling him jewelry or providing accounting services — but actually serving as an accomplice to Erdoğan’s tyrannical conduct.

Google Is a Monster, But We’re Dr. Frankenstein

 

shutterstock_14906359In 2013, the United States Department of Justice started a program called Operation Choke Point. Unable to ban industries they deem undesirable, they decided to make it hard or impossible for those industries to work with banks and credit card payment processors. Every single one of the now-undesirable industries, like adult entertainment, is legal.

Operation Choke Point categorized certain industries as “high-risk,” which had the effect of making fearful banks shut down accounts. The program is a way for the Administration to stifle or severely damage industries it simply doesn’t like. Unsurprisingly, the Administration’s biggest targets was the firearms industry. Operation Choke Point led to many banks shutting down the accounts of gun stores:

Another industry deemed undesirable is payday lending. To be fair, many feel it’s an unsavory business, that too often takes advantage of people. However, it is a legal industry, as evidenced by the “EZ-Credit” or “Instant Cash” storefront you’ll probably pass on your way to work today.

Celebrate “Freedom Day” with a Free Speech Documentary!

 

Can-We-Take-a-JokeI am pleased to announce that the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia will be holding an advance screening of the FIRE-supported documentary Can We Take a Joke? to celebrate “Freedom Day” on April 13! Can We Take a Joke? is a documentary about the threats outrage culture poses to comedy and free speech, and features interviews with famous comedians including Adam Carolla, Gilbert Gottfried, Lisa Lampanelli, Heather McDonald, Penn Jillette, and more.

If you are from the Philadelphia area (or plan on being in Philadelphia on April 13) and would like to attend the screening, please email Haley Hudler at haley@thefire.org. To learn more about Can We Take a Joke?, visit the film’s Facebook page, follow its Twitter account, and sign up for email updates at its website. You can also check out an exclusive outtake of Penn Jillette’s interview from the film below.

And if you’re a college student, there’s still time for you to apply for free exclusive screening rights to show the documentary on your campus between April 13 and April 20! The deadline is fast approaching, however, so make sure to apply ASAP.

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I use adblock. I recommend it. It makes ads go away. I worry sometimes if I’m not doing something stupid to websites I should be supporting–I’d like to be able to find out, I’m not too unreasonable or entitled… What I am is yellderly, only I don’t yell. I’ll get back to this later. I […]

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The following YouTube video was censored by German authorities, presumably because it is hate speech. Yet it is not at all hateful or extreme. It is a fearful 16 year old girl asking her government to offer her the protection from intimidation by some immigrants to Germany and to adopt a sensible immigration policy. She […]

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In December last year Shurat HaDin Israel Law Center conducted an experiment. It created two Facebook pages: ‘Stop Israelis’ and ‘Stop Palestinians’. It then posted parallel inflammatory items to each. After a while it reported both to Facebook. Only the ‘Stop Palestinians’ one was taken down. The Law Center explains: Preview Open

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My title is an exaggeration, but it is based on this article in N.R.: Islam and Twitter The Saudis have been investing in media and web sites with the apparent intent to smother criticism of Islam or sharia law. Combine this with the extreme political correctness that already is dominant in Reddit, Facebook etc, and the […]

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Gone with the Wind Needs to Go

 

gone-with-the-wind-scarlett-ohara-rhett-butler-pic-5 But what does it say about us as a nation if we continue to embrace a movie that, in the final analysis, stands for many of the same things as the Confederate flag that flutters so dramatically over the dead and wounded soldiers at the Atlanta train station just before the “GWTW’’ intermission?

The above didn’t appear in The New York Times or Slate. Nope. It appeared in the New York Post. I’ll give you a moment to emit a gentle sigh of regret about the ironclad nature of O’Sullivan’s First Law.

GWTW would never be made today. The story, characters, and dialogue speak of a time and place that has mercifully passed into American history. Even if you can dispute the film’s racism, it undeniably displays a cavalier attitude toward slavery and the lives of American blacks during Reconstruction. Even the most robust of viewers must wince a little at several moments through out the film.

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Stephen Dawson has a nearby post about the use of the word “nigger.” Actually, the post simply called attention to The Daily Shot‘s contention that President Barack Obama’s use of “nigger” in a podcast interview didn’t get much attention beyond our borders. The comment thread ensuing shifted into a discussion of the use of “nigger.” […]

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Censoring in the Name of Anti-Censorship

 

shutterstock_217939057Apparently, the National Coalition Against Censorship is really concerned about censorship. So concerned, apparently, that some folks agreed to sponsor a quartet of plays at the Greenwich Village’s Sheen Center for Thought and Culture as a benefit event for the group. They asked Neil LaBute to contribute a short play… and subsequently cancelled the entire event.

LaBute’s career as a playwright and filmmaker has attracted controversy since his first film, In the Company of Men, which was both about misogyny and accused of being misogynist. So it should have come as no surprise that his contribution here would be, um… different. But apparently the sponsors of the event were surprised when LaBute titled his work “Mohammad Gets A Boner.” That was too much for the New York Times, which would not print the title in its reporting, though it hasn’t had a problem with The Vagina Monologues for many, many years, the sensitive dears.

Gloria Kadigan, the founder of Planet Connections where the event would held, knew the play would be “a discussion of whether or not it’s all right to poke fun at religion or religious figures”  but didn’t know the title of the play or its specific contents. So when she found out that the play would actually poke fun at Islam, it was all far too much.

Could Charlie Hebdo Have Published in Your Country?

 

13610541.jpgThe website spiked-online.com has an interesting thought experiment: could Charlie Hebdo have published in Great Britain, that ancient bastion of free speech and an independent press?

They come to answer in the negative, because complaints from all sorts of left-wing groups would pressure organizations to refrain from carrying the magazine, and it would have gone under from lack of revenue.

Now, I think that’s a fair prediction as far as it goes, but so what? Shouldn’t individual citizens be free to organize and express their displeasure about a magazine? As long as violent coercion and/or the power of the state are not brought to bear, are these not the methods societies should use to moderate themselves?

FIRE Files Four Free Speech Lawsuits in One Morning, Launches New Litigation Project

 

Today, my organization, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), has a big announcement about a major step in the decades-long war against unconstitutional speech codes at America’s public colleges and universities. Below is my statement from FIRE’s press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.:

Twenty-five years ago we had reason to think that the “temporary insanity” of campus speech codes had come to an end.

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As my fellow gamers are no doubt already aware, E3 (the Electronic Entertainment Expo) is taking place in Los Angeles this week. Traditionally, E3 is where console makers present their yearly plans to the public, as well as where game developers and publishers reveal upcoming products. The press loves it, so that advertising potential plays […]

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Protip from Dartmouth Student to UCSB and Stanford: Run Over Free Speech with Your Car — Greg Lukianoff

 

Being offended is what happens when you have your deepest beliefs challenged. And if you make it through four years of college without having your deepest beliefs challenged, you should demand your money back.

I have been saying that in speeches on campus for more than a decade. Even though the line often gets a laugh, the idea that students have a “right not to be offended” seems more entrenched on campus than ever.