Tag: Freedom of Speech

What is iCOP? Not What You Think


I almost choked on my beverage in the car when I heard an ad from cyber-security guru Kim Commando, warning that the government has enlisted the United States Post Office to spy on our social media content and report it back to certain agencies. Then the same story was being discussed on two different radio stations. From Business Insider:

According to a Yahoo News report, the law-enforcement arm of the US Postal Service is running a “covert” program that monitors Americans’ social media posts for “inflammatory” content and then passes those posts along to other government agencies.

The surveillance effort, which falls under the agency’s Postal Inspection Service, is known as the Internet Covert Operations Program, or iCop, the outlet reported. Prior to the Yahoo News Wednesday report, details of the program had not been made public.

Quote of the Day: Freedom of Speech


“Freedom of speech and thought matters, especially when it is speech and thought with which we disagree. The moment the majority decides to destroy people for engaging in thought it dislikes, thought crime becomes a reality.” – Ben Shapiro

Are we there yet? Has thought crime become a reality? It seems that way. Our freedoms are now under siege as they never have been before. An NFL quarterback is made to apologize for issuing a patriotic thought. A distinguished legal scholar at a New York University is fighting to keep his job because he expresses doubts about the BLM movement. And people everywhere are made to deny what they are seeing before their eyes — that they are witnessing rioting and looting, not peaceful protests.

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Trump has now issued an Executive Order that will promulgate a fairer situation for the users of social media such that the heavy hand of censorship by the companies will become a thing of the past. Meanwhile, the attorney for Candace Owens is also advising a lawsuit against twitter, as she has had one of […]

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photo of Jakub Baryla of Poland I wonder at the courage, convictions and impact of a single individual against a torrent of opposition, politically, socially, religiously, and morally. Consider the courage of the following individuals, and their reasons for standing up to the on-coming tide of socialism and secularism across the world: “We need tangible […]

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Coach Tea is a DJ, producer, podcast personality, and sound engineer for Comedy Central’s Roast Battle. He is also a counselor focusing on the rehabilitation and treatment of young men who have committed crimes. He and Bridget have a fascinating conversation about anarchy, “wokeism,” how unpopular a message of personal responsibility is in 2019, why happiness doesn’t exist without accountability, and how careful you need to be about creating the values systems by which you structure your life. They cover how religion has been hijacked, why trying to impose your moral authority on someone never works, living in a culture that rewards being a victim, how sometimes of “acts of service” are actually self-serving, and have an honest conversation about race, the criminal justice system, interactions with police, and freedom of speech.

Full transcript available here: WiW60-CoachTea-Transcript

Jews: The Canary in the Coal Mine for the Democratic Party?


A number of posts have been written about Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib and their anti-Semitic remarks, including my own. Many of us have speculated on the reasons for Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer’s silence regarding those comments, or their apologies on behalf of these two representatives. I’ve looked into the reasons for their not condemning their behavior, and the results were even more disturbing than I anticipated. (For the record, I don’t separate attitudes about Israel and the Jewish community.)

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While reading one book, another book was mentioned within its pages called “The Judgement of the Nations” by Christopher Dawson, copyright, 1942. I’d never heard of him. Here’s an excerpt: “A hundred years is a relatively short period. Yet the last hundred years have changed human life more completely than any period in the history […]

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QOTD: Saving Liberty


Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no Constitution, no law, no court, can save it; no Constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it. And what is this liberty, which must lie in the hearts of men and women? It is not the ruthless, the unbridled will; it is not freedom to do as one likes.

That is the denial of liberty and leads straight to its overthrow. A society in which men recognize no check upon their freedom soon becomes a society where freedom is the possession of only a savage few; as we have learned to our sorrow.

Formidable to Tyrants Only


The title comes from the Declaration of Independence. Third on the list of grievances, Ol’ Tommy J. has this to say:

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

Open Letter to Anonymous


An Open Letter to Anonymous, the Author of, “I Am Part of the Resistance inside the Trump Administration.” printed in the New York Times:

Mr. or Ms. Anonymous,

I just finished reading your opinion piece in the New York Times. I first take issue with the title. You are part of a resistance – where? Inside the Executive Branch, Congress, all over? You are not specific, but let me be specific. The people went to the polls in November 2016 and did not elect you President.

Quote of the Day – Freedom of Speech


Freedom to differ is not limited to things that do not matter much. That would be a mere shadow of freedom. The test of its substance is the right to differ as to things that touch the heart of the existing order. – Justice Robert H. Jackson writing for the 6-3 majority in West Virginia v. Barnette, 1943.

Freedom of  speech exists to protect the opinions and the speech we disagree with. It is not needed for things for which a broad consensus exists. There is no “hate speech” exception, because “hate speech” soon becomes equivalent to “speech with which I disagree.”

Penn Law’s Amy Wax on Being Ousted from Her First-Year Class


Amy Wax is the Robert Mundheim Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she specializes in social welfare law and policy as well as the relationship of the family, the workplace, and labor markets.

Professor Wax has become a controversial figure because of her politically incorrect comments advocating in favor of bourgeois values and the WASP culture from which they stem, and in her claims that black students had generally performed at lower levels than other students in her classes in context of a conversation about the downsides of affirmative action — comments that got her ousted from teaching the first year civil procedure class for which she had previously won an award for “teaching excellence.”

Heather Mac Donald and Frank Furedi discuss the hostility to free speech that has provoked disturbing incidents on campuses across the country and the ideology behind safe spaces, micro-aggressions, and trigger warnings. Their discussion, from a Manhattan Institute event held in June 2017, was moderated by City Journal contributing editor Howard Husock.

American universities are experiencing a profound cultural transformation. Student protests designed to shut downalternative opinions have become frequent and sometimes violent. Frank Furedi‘s What’s Happened To The University? A Sociological Exploration of Its Infantilisation explores the origins of the anti-free speech climate at U.S. and U.K. universities.

Germany Has Chosen … Poorly


Me, two years ago, after the Bataclan massacre in Paris:

There are two possible responses to the dispersed threat of Islamic terrorism: Increased surveillance and security in the hopes that you’ll catch terrorists in the same net you use to corral regular citizens, or an empowered, aware citizenry that can stop an attack dead in its tracks. I prefer the second option myself, not only because it works, but it errs on the side of freedom, and that’s always a good thing.

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  If you are celebrating the birth of freedom, with flags flying, grills sizzling, watching a parade, waving your sparklers, or just quietly contemplating our fundamental liberties that we sometimes take for granted, please review these stories. It is a time of growing uneasiness and lest you think it’s just you, it’s not. Everything is […]

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