Category Archives: Freedom Of Speech

The Coming Obama Thugocracy

by  Michael Barone

"I need you to go out and talk to your friends and talk to your neighbors," Barack Obama told a crowd in Elko, Nev. "I want you to talk to them whether they are independent or whether they are Republican. I want you to argue with them and get in their face." Actually, Obama supporters are doing a lot more than getting into people’s faces. They seem determined to shut people up.
That’s what Obama supporters, alerted by campaign emails, did when conservative Stanley Kurtz appeared on Milt Rosenberg’s WGN radio program in Chicago. Kurtz had been researching Obama’s relationship with unrepentant Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers in Chicago Annenberg Challenge papers in the Richard J. Daley Library in Chicago — papers that were closed off to him for some days, apparently at the behest of Obama supporters.
Obama fans jammed WGN’s phone lines and sent in hundreds of protest emails. The message was clear to anyone who would follow Rosenberg’s example. We will make trouble for you if you let anyone make the case against The One.

Other Obama supporters have threatened critics with criminal prosecution. In September, St. Louis County Circuit Attorney Bob McCulloch and St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce warned citizens that they would bring criminal libel prosecutions against anyone who made statements against Obama that were "false." I had been under the impression that the Alien and Sedition Acts had gone out of existence in 1801-02. Not so, apparently, in metropolitan St. Louis. Similarly, the Obama campaign called for a criminal investigation of the American Issues Project when it ran ads highlighting Obama’s ties to Ayers.
These attempts to shut down political speech have become routine for liberals. Congressional Democrats sought to reimpose the "fairness doctrine" on broadcasters, which until it was repealed in the 1980s required equal time for different points of view. The motive was plain: to shut down the one conservative-leaning communications medium, talk radio. Liberal talk-show hosts have mostly failed to draw audiences, and many liberals can’t abide having citizens hear contrary views.

Corporate liberals have done their share in shutting down anti-liberal speech, too. "Saturday Night Live" ran a spoof of the financial crisis that skewered Democrats like House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank and liberal contributors Herbert and Marion Sandler, who sold toxic-waste-filled Golden West to Wachovia Bank for $24 billion. Kind of surprising, but not for long. The tape of the broadcast disappeared from NBC’s Website and was replaced with another that omitted the references to Frank and the Sandlers. Evidently NBC and its parent, General Electric, don’t want people to hear speech that attacks liberals.
Then there’s the Democrats’ "card check" legislation, which would abolish secret ballot elections in determining whether employees are represented by unions. The unions’ strategy is obvious: Send a few thugs over to employees’ homes — we know where you live — and get them to sign cards that will trigger a union victory without giving employers a chance to be heard.    Read More..

The Book-Banning Double Standard

by Mike McNally

The real threat to free speech isn’t Sarah Palin: it’s Muslim extremists and spineless publishers.

While America’s mainstream media has spent the last few weeks obsessing about the imagined book-banning proclivities of Sarah Palin, news of a very real threat to Western values of tolerance and freedom of expression has gone largely unremarked upon by those same commentators.

In London three men have been charged over a firebomb attack on the home of Dutch publisher Martin Rynja, who owns the UK rights to The Jewel of Medina, a historical novel by the American author Sherry Jones which tells the story of the relationship between Mohammed and his child bride Aisha. The novel is being likened to Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses in terms of its potential for inciting anger amongst Muslims. And sure enough, London’s resident mob of radical clerics has defended the attack on Rynja’s home and warned of more trouble to come.

The Jewel of Medina first hit the headlines in August, when the U.S. arm of Random House dropped plans to publish the book. The publisher said “credible and unrelated sources” had warned that the book “could incite acts of violence by a small, radical segment.” Random House has come in for heavy criticism for giving in to “threats of threats.” Rushdie himself said his publishers — which ironically still publish The Satanic Verses — had allowed themselves to be intimidated, while a Washington Post editorial concluded that the “intolerant fringe, newly empowered and emboldened by this victory, will be around for a long time to come. Leading cultural institutions must stand up to it — lest the most violent acquire a veto over our most precious freedoms.”

At least Rushdie, having endured years of living under police protection following Ayatollah Khomeini’s fatwa calling for his murder, is on solid ground. Not so the Washington Post. Along with most other U.S. media outlets, the Post declined to publish the Mohammed cartoons when that controversy raged back in 2005; perhaps it doesn’t consider itself to be a “leading cultural institution.” That said, we should welcome the paper’s newfound resolve: perhaps when The Jewel of Medina appears in the U.S. — the book has been taken up by another publisher — the Post will be first in the queue for serialization rights.   Read More..

Spencer: Obama Wages War on Freedom of Speech

By Robert Spencer

 

In Human Events today I discuss a recent disquieting initiatives by our anointed Next President, and their implications:

Last week the Governor of Missouri, Matt Blunt, issued a statement on the Obama campaign’s “abusive use of Missouri law enforcement.” What was striking about the allegations Blunt made was the eerie parallel between the Obama camp’s activity and the Organization of the Islamic Conference’s efforts to stifle all criticism of Islam and destroy the freedom of speech — also by means of legal intimidation — at the UN and elsewhere.

Blunt charged that four Missouri state officials along with the leader of Obama’s campaign in Missouri “have attached the stench of police state tactics to the Obama-Biden campaign.” In declaring an intent to prosecute those who spread what they considered to be falsehoods about Obama, they were, said Blunt, “abusing the justice system and offices of public trust to silence political criticism with threats of prosecution and criminal punishment.”

Such behavior, said Blunt, was “scandalous beyond words.” Obama and his supporters, he said, were trying to “frighten people away from expressing themselves, to chill free and open debate, to suppress support and donations to conservative organizations targeted by this anti-civil rights, to strangle criticism of Mr. Obama, to suppress ads about his support of higher taxes, and to choke out criticism on television, radio, the Internet, blogs, e-mail and daily conversation about the election.”

“Barack Obama,” he declared, “needs to grow up.”

Maybe he does, but what is most disturbing about this Missouri incident is that it takes place just as defenders of free speech are fighting a United Nations resolution called “Combating the Defamation of Religion.” The non-binding resolution, introduced by the 57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference, “notes with deep concern the intensification of the campaign of defamation of religions and the ethnic and religious profiling of Muslim minorities in the aftermath of 11 September 2001” and “stresses the need to effectively combat defamation of all religions and incitement to religious hatred, against Islam and Muslims in particular.”

The U.S. government opposes the resolution, pointing out that “defamation-related laws have been abused by governments and used to restrict human rights.”

But how long will this American opposition last? If Barack Obama values free speech so little, as this Missouri episode suggests, it is not at all beyond the realm of possibility that if he becomes president, he will acquiesce to the OIC’s attempts to criminalize criticism of Islam, and pressure the Supreme Court (to which he will probably appoint several key members) to declare a “hate speech” exemption to First Amendment protections.

And what about the liberals’ favorite anti-free speech tool, the Fairness Doctrine? Nancy Pelosi has said she’d like to re-impose the Orwellian-named “doctrine” to make sure that conservative talk radio will be “balanced” — hour by hour, minute by minute — by liberal talk radio. Can anyone doubt that a President Obama would sign legislation reviving the Fairness Doctrine?

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Radio Hall of Fame will not Bow to Homosexual Pressure to Dump Dobson

By Hilary White

image CHICAGO, August 1, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The National Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago has drawn the wrath of homosexual activists who object to the induction of Dr. James Dobson, a major figure in the US Christian pro-life and family movement. Wayne Besen, a homosexual activist, organised a campaign against the Hall of Fame that resulted in several hundred emails demanding that Dr. Dobson be removed from the list of nominees.

Dr. Dobson is the founder and head of Focus on the Family, one of the most prominent US Protestant evangelical organisations. According to homosexual activist Wayne Besen, Dr. Dobson is “an extremist who has built his empire on the backs of gays and lesbians” and “a bigot who distorts scientific research.” Focus on the Family is one of Besen’s favourite targets and he has set up a website meant to refute the medical and psychological research put forward by Focus on the nature and treatment of homosexuality as a disorder.

“It is an affront for the Radio Hall of Fame to honor James Dobson, a right wing demagogue,” said Besen.

Since the late 1970s Focus has been a leading advocate of traditional Christian social values, those most derided and demonized by the homosexualist and feminist movements. Dobson broadcast his first Focus radio broadcast in 1977 and currently reaches about 220 million people in 164 countries. In the 1980s, Focus became a key player in the efforts to bring together a coalition of Christian denominations to fight the “Culture Wars” over abortion, the defence of natural marriage and the rights of Christians in the public square.

Gary Schneeberger, vice president for media and public relations (PR) at Focus on the Family, said that Besen’s complaint is noisy and has generated a lot of media attention, but is lacking substance.

“The Focus on the Family broadcast was created as, and remains, a means of helping families thrive,” Schneeberger said. “If you were to analyze the content of our 32 years of broadcasts, only a minuscule number deal with public-policy issues, and an infinitesimal number deal with homosexuality.”

In a public statement, the chairman of the National Radio Hall of Fame (NRHF) showed no hint that it intends to bow to pressure to politicise its nomination. The nominations, he said, are based solely on the honouree’s contributions to radio.   Read more..

Can Britain Survive multiculturalism?

By Roger Kimball

Well, can it? Before you answer, take a look at the short video, available on YouTube, that the journalist Dale Hurd posted on CBN, the Christian Broadcasting Network, a few days ago.

image Don’t let the word “Christian” frighten you: this is not a proselytizing documentary but rather an educational one. Hurd begins with the by-now-familiar news that Britains’s top judge and the Archbishop of Canterbury have both publicly declared themselves in favor of instituting some elements of Islamic sharia law in Britain. Lord Chief Justice Lord Phillips recently decided that “Islamic legal principles could be employed to deal with family and marital arguments and to regulate finance,” while the Primate of All England called for a “constructive accommodation with some aspects of Muslim law.” He also notes that British authorities have been bending over backwards to cater to Muslim sensitivities. You might think of Fido as Man’s Best Friend, but Muslims think dogs are unclean. Hence the recent flap in Dundee, Scotland, over a police advertisement which portrayed a cuddly puppy called Rebel. “Islamic leaders” declared the advertisement “offensive” and police officials fell over themselves apologizing for their insensitivity. Mr. Hurd points out that Islamic kunophobia is so severe that police dogs in Britain “might have to wear booties when they search Muslim homes.”

He also notes how unevenly the enforcement of so-called “hate speech” legislation has been. When a Danish newspaper published some cartoons of a 7th-century religious figure, Muslims living in Britain took to the street and demanded blood: “Slay those who insult Islam” read one placard. “We want Danish blood,” shouted some protesters. But when a British news program on channel four exposed the violent rhetoric that is a staple at many British mosques, the police did not charge the Imams who preached violence. No, that might offend Muslims. Instead, they charged the news program for fomenting “racial hatred.” And then there was a blogger called Paul Ray who had the temerity to describe the Muslim drug gangs in his home town as “savages” and was promptly arrested on suspicion of a hate crime. According to Hurd, Mr. Ray fled Britain after the providing CBN with interview because of threats against his life.

The rhetorical apex of Britain’s accommodationist spirit was achieved when Jacqui Smith, the British Home Secretary, announced that henceforth that Islamic terrorism–that is, terrorism carried out by Muslims–would be rebranded “anti-Islamic activity” in order to “woo” Muslims. Would that George Orwell were around to update his disquisition on Newspeak: War is Peace, Hate is Love, and when Muslims blow up a bus in central London that is an example of anti-Islamic activity.

But let’s return to the Lord Chief Justice and his call for the application of “Islamic legal principles” in the case of “family and marital arguments.” What do you suppose that might mean? If you listen to some well-meaning folks–the people who tell you that, really, “jihad” is not about blowing up stuff and murdering people but is rather about the “inner struggle” to be a better person–then you might think that what the Lord Chief Justice recommends is something out of Court TV. Mr. Hurd’s documentary reminds us that this is not the case. (Andrew McCarthy, in his book Willful Blindness puts paid to all these euphemisms about the meaning of jihad by quoting Omar Abdel Rahman, the “Blind Sheikh” who masterminded the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993. “Jihad,” quoth Rahman, “means fighting the enemies.” He explained what he meant: “There is no such thing as commerce, industry and science in jihad. This is calling things . . . other than by [their] own name. If God . . . says, ‘Do jihad,’ it means do jihad with the sword, with the cannon, with the grenades and with the missile. This is jihad. Jihad against God’s enemies for God’s cause and his word.” Thus the Sheikh.)….   Read More..

Cross Stays on Mountain, Judge Rules

By Susan Jones, Senior Editor

image (CNSNews.com) – A federal judge in San Diego says a giant cross that looks over the city from Mount Soledad may stay where it is.
The cross, part of a national veterans’ memorial, has been at the center of a legal battle for 20 years. The cross itself is 29 feet tall, but including the base, it towers 43 above the ground.
“The Court finds the memorial at Mt. Soledad, including its Latin cross, communicates the primarily non-religious messages of military service, death and sacrifice,” Judge Larry Alan Burns wrote. “As such, despite its location on public land, the memorial is Constitutional.”
The ruling noted that unlike Ten Commandments memorials — which begin with the phrase, ‘I am the Lord thy God’ — an unadorned cross “issues no commands, instructions, or teachings, nor does it express acknowledgement of anything.”
The court noted that the only verbal elements contained in the memorial are those found in the plaques, bollards and paving stones under the cross — and no one has challenged those.
“Any exhortation emanating from this passive monument pertains to remembering the veterans who are recognized there,” the ruling said.
According to the Thomas More Law Center, a conservative public interest law firm, the memorial contains more than 2,000 plaques honoring individuals or groups of veterans. Some of the plaques honor Jewish veterans.   Read more..

The Coming Socialist America

By Jon Voight   ( Yes The Actor )

We, as parents, are well aware of the importance of our teachers who teach and program our children. We also know how important it is for our children to play with good-thinking children growing up.

Sen. Barack Obama has grown up with the teaching of very angry, militant white and black people: the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Louis Farrakhan, William Ayers and Rev. Michael Pfleger. We cannot say we are not affected by teachers who are militant and angry. We know too well that we become like them, and Mr. Obama will run this country in their mindset.

The Democratic Party, in its quest for power, has managed a propaganda campaign with subliminal messages, creating a God-like figure in a man who falls short in every way. It seems to me that if Mr. Obama wins the presidential election, then Messrs. Farrakhan, Wright, Ayers and Pfleger will gain power for their need to demoralize this country and help create a socialist America.

The Democrats have targeted young people, knowing how easy it is to bring forth whatever is needed to program their minds. I know this process well. I was caught up in the hysteria during the Vietnam era, which was brought about through Marxist propaganda underlying the so-called peace movement. The radicals of that era were successful in giving the communists power to bring forth the killing fields and slaughter 2.5 million people in Cambodia and South Vietnam. Did they stop the war, or did they bring the war to those innocent people? In the end, they turned their backs on all the horror and suffering they helped create and walked away.

Those same leaders who were in the streets in the ’60s are very powerful today in their work to bring down the Iraq war and to attack our president, and they have found their way into our schools. William Ayers is a good example of that.

Thank God, today, we have a strong generation of young soldiers who know exactly who they are and what they must do to protect our freedom and our democracy. And we have the leadership of Gen. David Petraeus, who has brought hope and stability to Iraq and prevented the terrorists from establishing a base in that country. Our soldiers are lifting us to an example of patriotism at a time when we’ve almost forgotten who we are and what is at stake.

If Mr. Obama had his way, he would have pulled our troops from Iraq years ago and initiated an unprecedented bloodbath, turning over that country to the barbarism of our enemies. With what he has openly stated about his plans for our military, and his lack of understanding about the true nature of our enemies, there’s not a cell in my body that can accept the idea that Mr. Obama can keep us safe from the terrorists around the world, and from Iran, which is making great strides toward getting the atomic bomb. And while a misleading portrait of Mr. Obama is being perpetrated by a media controlled by the Democrats, the Obama camp has sent out people to attack the greatness of Sen. John McCain, whose suffering and courage in a Hanoi prison camp is an American legend.

Gen. Wesley Clark, who himself has shame upon him, having been relieved of his command, has done their bidding and become a lying fool in his need to demean a fellow soldier and a true hero.

This is a perilous time, and more than ever, the world needs a united and strong America. If we live to see Mr. Obama president, we will live through a socialist era that America has not seen before, and our country will be weakened in every way.   Read More..