Beijing continues to erode any autonomy that still exists in Hong Kong. The latest out rage is their using a spike in the virus they manufactured and unleashed on the world to now postpone scheduled elections. Coupled with the enactment of a law that now makes all forms of protest illegal it is astounding that the world press is largely ignoring this story.
This article by Judge Napolitano is eye-opening and well worth the read.
I have been writing for years about the dangers to human freedom that come from government mass surveillance. The United States was born in a defiant reaction to government surveillance. In the decade preceding the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the villains were the Stamp Act and the Writs of Assistance Act. Today, the villain is the Patriot Act. Here is the backstory. In 1765, when the British government was looking for creative ways to tax the colonists, Parliament enacted the Stamp Act. That law required all persons in the colonies to purchase stamps from a British government vendor and to affix them to all documents in one’s possession. These were not stamps as we use today, rather they bore the seal of the British government. The vendor would apply ink to the seal and for a fee — a tax — impress an image of the seal onto documents. All documents in one’s possession — financial, legal, letters, books, newspapers, pamphlets, even posters destined to be nailed to trees — required the government stamps. How did the British government, 3,000 miles away, know if one had its stamps on one’s documents? Answer: The Writs of Assistance Act. A writ of assistance was a general warrant issued by a secret court in London. A general warrant does not specifically describe the place to be searched or the person or thing to be seized. It merely authorized the bearer — a civilian or military government official — to search where he wished and seize whatever he found.Repeal the Patriot Act – LewRockwell
The major media in this country are all in the pocket of the DNC. If it doesn’t fit the prescribed narrative it doesn’t air. It’s that simple.
Elizabeth Warren has decided to lower the bar on censorship. No longer do we need to find some keyword or “dog whistle” to characterize something as worthy of being purged from the public discourse. Now, this paragon of truthfulness has decided that even this vague standard is not a fuzzy enough criterion to determine who should be silenced. Misinformation is to be the new touchstone.
Of course, all this comes from someone who would not be where she is today if she was not a habitual liar. I won’t bother to recount them here because they are so well known. Suffice it to say that she is not guilty of “misinformation” but outright fraud. Even those who tend to agree with what she proposes are beginning to see her for what she is as her tanking poll numbers indicate. Her petty and vicious attack on Bernie Sanders at the debate over a private conversation the two had is an indicator of just how desperate she is.
But this issue is much bigger than Elizabeth Warren. She will be little more than a trivia question that no one will be able to answer on Jeopardy in a year. But this constant drive to proscribe speech that one disagrees with by assigning it to a category that everyone agrees is pernicious is dangerous. It threatens every person’s right to express themselves in a free and open exchange of ideas.
There are a lot of ugly words tossed about in this increasingly divisive political climate, but the most vicious and most dangerous are the ones that seek to limit other’s freedom to speak those words. No matter what side of the political aisle you are on our common enemy in an era when communication has become so easy is anyone who wants to limit that discourse when their real aim is to silence disagreement.
A case in point of how fear can make an otherwise free and reasonable people surrender their rights is in the area of the Second Amendment. I have to admit that this has never been a big priority for me because I do not own a gun. I have never even held, much less fired a real firearm. I was never in the military or law enforcement, and I never trained in using weapons. I have lived in NYC for my entire life where for law-abiding citizens at least, guns are not part of our cultural environment in the same way they are in other areas of the country. And I will state here and now that I do not intend ever to own anything that fires bullets and if I go to my grave having never fired a shot, I will not feel that I have missed anything.
I have become increasingly aware recently of this issue because it directly impacts a right guaranteed to us by our founding fathers in the Constitution. I disagree with the NRA and some of their allies in the sense that I believe common-sense regulations and valid registration is necessary. Waiting periods, background checks, and at least some degree of mandatory training all make sense to me. But such restrictions should also be balanced by protections that don’t allow for authorities to abuse or revoke the rights of citizens to bear arms.
But what is happening now in Virginia not only crosses that commonsense line, it obliterates it. Playing on the fears engendered by recent mass shootings, especially in schools, Democrats in the State Legislature are pushing through “Red Flag Laws.” The danger of laws like these goes far beyond the Second Amendment. As I understand it, these laws will allow just about anyone to report just about anyone else for just about any reason, and the reported party will have his gun or guns taken away before any due process taking place.
It could be argued that this might save lives, and if it saves even one life, won’t it be worth it even if some lose their guns? These types of laws are ripe for abuse, and it is not hard to imagine a scenario where a dispute between individuals can result in one calling the authorities to come and take the other’s guns based on whatever pretense this stupid law allows. “Well, so what,” you might say, Maybe he was dangerous.” Maybe. But we live in a country where “maybe” is never a good enough reason to seize the property of someone who has not even been credibly accused of a crime.
But this goes way beyond gun rights, which I will address in Part III.
I long for the days when we had a press that had standards and practices that would be concerned with truth and fairness. The only standard they seem to have now is based on yellow journalism.
I have always been pretty much an absolutist when it comes to free speech. No matter how offensive what you have to say might be to me I do not have any right to prevent you from saying it. I can respond to it, criticize it, denigrate it or simply ignore it. But l do not have any right to prevent, obstruct, punish or interfere with what you have to say.
That being said, it is well established that in a civilized society speech that has as its reason bringing harm to others should at the very least be regulated and in some cases – child pornography for example – should be illegal. Where the danger lies in a free society is in allowing these legitimate concerns be used to stifle opposing viewpoints. I contend that is precisely what is happening in the free world today, not just in the United States but in many countries with a supposedly free press.
Today I am beginning a series of articles on the attack on free speech and the increasing danger it faces. I hope you will join me and please contribute in the comment section.