Tag: Civil Liberties

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. DC Politicians, Big Tech Companies Making Violence More Likely, Not Less

 

By using current events as pretexts for further restricting the ability of people to speak and to communicate, national government politicians and “big tech” companies are increasing the likelihood that people will resort to violence to get their point across.

Politicians and “big tech” claim restricting speech and communication will reduce “conspiracy theories” and the planning of violent actions. But, driving such topics into hidden corners tends to reinforce them and to encourage the people involved to become more extreme and potentially violent.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Multi-Front Attack on Free Speech

 

Free speech…free expression generally…is under attack in America and throughout the Western world to a degree not seen in a long time. I think there are specific phenomena and (partially-overlapping) categories of people which are largely driving this attack, to wit:

The Thugs. As I pointed out in my post The United States of Weimar?, illegal actions against political opponents, ranging from theft of newspapers to direct assault and battery, have in recent decades become increasingly common on university campuses, and now are well on track to being normalized as aspects of American politics. Incidents of political thuggery are reported almost daily: just the other day, pro-Trump women at an upscale DC hotel were verbally attacked and apparently physically assaulted by members of a wedding party that was heavy on Democrat attendees; including, reportedly, some top officials from the DNC. A pro-free-speech film was reportedly interrupted by two men wearing masks. Interruption of movies they didn’t like was a tactic used by the Nazis prior to their obtaining official censorship powers. The film “All Quiet on the Western Front” was plagued by Nazi disruptions when released in Germany in 1930. And attempts to shut down dissident speakers on college campuses, such as this, have become so common as to now be almost the default expectation.

David French of National Review and Chad Benson of Radio America fill in for Jim Geraghty and Greg Corombos. They commend Justice Roberts for joining the four liberal justices to protect Americans’ civil liberties from warrantless cell phone searches. They also consider the affects of incessant and inappropriate protesting. And they compare Trump’s new family detention policy to Obama’s, finding a difference only in outrage from activists and the media.

Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Illinois House Passes Firearms Restraining Order

 

We passed a “Firearms Restraining Order” bill in the Illinois House Wednesday. I spent a lot of time on this bill, and have written about it on my blog. I believe it strikes a balance between preserving civil liberties and Second Amendment rights with the responsibility we have to protect public safety. Here are my initial floor comments on the bill:

Member Post

 

I’ve just posted an article on my blog about a Firearm Restraining Order bill that I’ve been negotiating in the Illinois House. My aim is to help deter the instances of mass shootings while protecting civil liberties. I’ve also posted a video discussing the bill: Preview Open

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America endure three bad martinis today as two more GOP Senators bail on the plan to overhaul Obamacare and a new effort to vote on a clean repeal is already in grave danger of failing. They criticize President Trump for keeping Obama’s infamous Iran Nuclear Deal without giving his advisers enough time to develop a new policy. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is another source of disappointment today as he declares his intention to increase the use of civil asset forfeiture, which allows the federal government to seize the property of suspected criminals — without charging them with a crime.

Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. “Prom Accommodation” Is Bad for American Muslims

 

Several weeks ago a school in Brooklyn was petitioned to move their prom to an earlier date. As reported by The Blaze, the petition had been organized several months before but faculty claim it had not been brought to their attention. The petition was in relation to the beginning of Ramadan. Muslim students at the school wanted to be able to participate in both prom and the beginning of the great Islamic fast.

Initially I was not sure why prom would have anything to do with Ramadan. I have participated in fast-breaking during Ramadan and nothing I observed seem to conflict with what happens at a prom. After the prayers are said almost everyone breaks the fast with dates and milk. Good dates, not bad dates. Then lots of delicious food is brought out and since it is obvious I am a Christian (in general I almost always wear a cross necklace) the merits of Christianity vs. Islam are passionately but civilly discussed. In other words, it is a delicious respite from the insanity of regressive western culture. And aside from skin color and clothing, it’s virtually indiscernible from a Baptist potluck. Theology is being discussed and food is being eaten. That’s Baptist. That’s an ecumenism I can get behind.

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Tonight’s national news segment once again, showed another bomb threat called into Jewish Centers across the United States. This has been, alarmingly, almost a nightly event.More evacuations, fear, questions with no answers, as of yet. I thought I heard this was the act of one deranged person who was apprehended, yet it continues? Christians are […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A Dissenting Voice

 

I want to ask you a question. Do you gravitate to news that agrees with your point of view, be it political or other? Do you want to hear the dissenting voice? How important, as a Ricochet paying customer, is it important to you? While Ricochet promotes itself as a conservative blog, we know that the many members that make up this site are from varying backgrounds, to say the least.

We have all faiths or no faith, we have different education levels, incomes levels, political views. This site is promoted as primarily politically-leaning, yet we enjoy poets, photographers, comedians, artists, doctors, lawyers, journalists, TV personalities, military, and so forth. What makes it such an interesting site is there is a community atmosphere, where all views are welcome. You get to know personalities, personal challenges. We even pray for each other – that’s right. There are groups within groups, on every interest you can imagine. It’s all monitored by a code of conduct – called respect. The sky is the limit with regards to topic and discussion, but there are no personal attacks allowed. People become friends, and support each other.

A case in point is the support of @TitusTechera and his summer in America, a citizen of Romania. His trip was funded by members who wanted Titus to come to America. We wanted to share with him who we are, and show how much we value him. What would Ricochet be without Titus? Another example is our @Claire. I fell in love with her books, her talent, her writing by accident. My sister found her book Menace in Europe, in a pile of used books in a thrift shop in Amish country, small-town America (sorry Claire). She saw the book, bought other things, went back to her car, got out of the car and went back in and bought the book. She could not forget the cover or the story. My sister read it in amazement and shipped it to me in FL. She said you have to read this book!!

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. You’re From The Government? Come In!

 

shutterstock_148619159“Encryption” generally conjures up images of clandestine communication between spies, saboteurs, hackers, and the mildly paranoid, often typing away furiously on a keyboard in a dark room until someone says “I’m in!”

The truth, however, is far more mundane. Almost everyone in the West — and certainly everyone reading this — uses some kind of encryption technology on a weekly, if not daily, basis. You may not be aware that you’re using it, but you’re using it nonetheless. If you like buying things on Amazon, doing your banking from home, or paying your bills from your computer, you rely on ubiquitous, relatively inexpensive, and strong encryption. Companies also use it in a myriad of other, equally mundane, ways that are essential to their business. Encryption makes the world go ’round.

Unfortunately, it’s also useful to those trying to make the world stop. That, understandably, has FBI Director James Comey worried. In order to help fight criminals and terrorists, Comey has been calling for greater cooperation between industry and the government on encryption. Specifically, Comey wants industry to design its encryption technologies to be quickly accessible to law enforcement and national security. Just last week, Comey testified before congress to that effect (from the NYT):

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

Let me give you a hammer. It’s my own hammer. A regular carpenter’s hammer, nothing special, but it is mine, and I like it. I’m giving you my hammer because I need you to build a bridge for me. It’s a very useful and very needed bridge, and building it will be beneficial to you, me, […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. 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.