Tag Archives: free speech

FAU’s Suppression of Faculty Speech is Now Federal Law (Video)

On December 11, 2017 the jury in the TracyvFAU 10-day trial returned a verdict in favor of defendant Florida Atlantic University. The federal case involved the work of over 12 attorneys and close to 500 separate legal briefs. Yet the decision’s implications for the First Amendment and free speech can be summarized in five minutes.

Trial attorney Matthew Benzion discusses Florida Atlantic University’s unlawful use of an “Outside Employment/Activities Policy” to fire Professor James Tracy and restrict faculty and staff speech before-the-fact–a policy that is now effectively part of federal law and can be arbitrarily used to police and reprimand any public employee’s personal activities and online speech.

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Suppressing Dissent Guarantees Disorder and Collapse

The frantic efforts of am exploitive elite to eliminate dissent only accelerates the regime’s path to collapse.

Charles Hugh Smith
Of Two Minds Blog

(December 6, 2019)

Regimes that are losing public support always make the same mistake: rather than fix the source of the loss of public trust–the few enriching themselves at the expense of the many– the regime reckons the problem is dissent: if we suppress all dissent, then everyone will accept their diminishing lot in life and the elites can continue on their merry way.

What the regimes don’t understand is dissent is the immune system of society: suppressing dissent doesn’t just get rid of pesky political protesters and conspiracy theorists; it also gets rid of the innovations and solutions society needs to adapt to changing conditions. Suppressing dissent dooms the society to sclerosis, decline and collapse.

Dissent is the relief valve: shut it down and the pressure builds to the point that the system explodes. Regimes that no longer tolerate anything but the party line fall in one of two ways: 1) the pressure builds and the masses revolt, tearing the elite from power or 2) the masses opt-out and stop working to support the regime, so the regime slowly starves and then implodes.

Here in the U.S., the suppression of dissent is the work of the corporate media and the Big Tech monopolies: Facebook, Twitter and Google.  As Mark St.Cyr and I discuss in a new no-holds-barred podcast (1:08 hours, 4 segments), Big Tech is effectively suppressing dissent via shadow banning, de-platforming and de-monetization:

— shadow banning: the audience who gets to see your content is throttled back to a fraction of your pre-shadow-banning audience. The mechanics are shrouded in secrecy, Stasi-style.

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CBS News Targets YouTube, Only More Censorship Will “tame the Hate”

60 Minutes
CBS News

(December 1, 2019)

To grasp the phenomenal scale of YouTube: consider that people spend 1 billion hours watching videos on it, every day. It is the most used social network in the U.S. More queries are typed into the website’s search bar than anywhere online except Google, which owns YouTube.

But the site has come under increasing scrutiny, accused of propagating white supremacy, peddling conspiracies and profiting from it all. They recently agreed to pay a record $170 million dollars to settle allegations that they targeted children with ads. YouTube is being forced to concentrate on cleansing the site.

We visited the company’s headquarters in San Bruno, California, to meet Susan Wojcicki, the 51-year-old CEO in charge of nurturing the site’s creativity, taming the hate and handling the chaos.

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel: Free Speech Not “For Free”

This week Angela Merkel, a German-Polish Marxist who has served as the Federal Republic of Germany’s chancellor since 2005, warned against the “propagation of hate”, cautioning those who may tend to speak their minds, that freedom of speech is not “for free.'”

Echoing the rhetoric of a public relations campaign underway throughout the West against “hate speech,” Merkels’ comments came in an address to the German Parliament on November 27.

Merkel came under fire in 2016 for agreeing with Turkish President Erdoğan to prosecute a German comedian for publicly reciting a poem satirizing Recep Erdoğan in a performance that sought to illustrate the limits of free speech in Germany.

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Citing First Amendment, Indiana University Refuses to Fire Controversial Professor

Editor’s Note: A major US research university has refused to terminate a tenured professor’s employment for exercising his constitutionally-protected right to free speech. The university’s ostensible respect for the First Amendment elicited positive reactions from “students, academics and lawyers, many of whom praised the provost for publicly excoriating the professor’s opinions while respecting one of the nation’s basic freedoms,” the New York Times observes.

There is notably no mention by the “newspaper of record” of the TracyvFAU First Amendment case where in 2015 a Florida public university successfully sidestepped the First Amendment by firing a tenured academic for questioning his university administration’s efforts to censor his similarly protected speech.

Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs
New York Times

(November 22, 2019)

A provost at Indiana University has earned praise for harshly condemning a professor’s views while respecting the First Amendment.

The provost did not mince her words about the opinions of a professor on her campus. His views were racist, sexist and homophobic, she wrote in a statement this week. They were “vile and stupid,” she said, and “more consistent with someone who lived in the 18th century than the 21st.”

But the provost, Lauren Robel of Indiana University Bloomington, was equally clear on another point: The First Amendment prohibited the university from firing the professor, Eric Rasmusen, for expressing those views. “That is not a close call,” wrote Professor Robel, who also teaches at the law school. 

The unusually candid statement quickly drew attention from students, academics and lawyers, many of whom praised the provost for publicly excoriating the professor’s opinions while respecting one of the nation’s basic freedoms. 

Conflicts over academic freedom and private speech have long been mainstays of college campuses. There was the case of Steven Salaita, the professor whose job offer was revoked by the University of Illinois in 2014 over his criticism of Israel. And John McAdams, the professor who was reinstated by a Wisconsin court last year after Marquette University suspended him for criticizing a graduate student on his personal blog.

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British MP Kicked Out of Labor Party Over Religious Beliefs

Catholic News Agency
(November 22, 2019)

London, England, Nov 22, 2019 / 01:00 pm (CNA).- A former member of parliament has spoken out after being deselected as a candidate for the U.K.’s Liberal Democrat Party because of his Catholic faith and views on same-sex marriage and abortion. 

Image credit: Rob Flello

Robert Flello sat as a Labour Party MP in the House of Commons for over a decade, representing Stoke-on-Trent from 2005 until 2017. In 2019, he switched parties to the Liberal Democrats and was selected as their candidate for his former constituency. Flello, a practicing Catholic, was informed on Nov. 12–just 36 hours after his selection as a candidate–that he had been de-selected and would not be permitted to represent the Lib Dems in the election. 

Flello is now calling for the Catholic Church in the United Kingdom to “start speaking out” and defend its social teaching, and for Catholics in the U.K. to question their local candidates about their thoughts on religious freedom. 

Robert Fell speaks on redefining traditional marriage in 2013. Earlier this month he was deselected as a candidate for the U.K.’s Liberal Democrat Party because of his religious beliefs.

“However they try to dress it up, the simple fact is that you can’t be a practicing Catholic and a Lib Dem Candidate,” wrote Flello in an op-ed published on Nov. 20 in the Catholic Herald magazine. He said that “someone, somewhere” objected to him within the party and officials “got worried and pulled the plug.” 

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