Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Nazi Fears and ‘Hate Speech’ Hysteria are Being Amplified to Attack Civil Liberties

It doesn’t take courage to denounce Nazism. Moreover, it appears many of the people incessantly proclaiming how anti-Nazi they are, happen to be the same folks who have the most to answer for when it comes to all sorts of transgressions against the world over the past couple of decades. That said, I’ll give my my quick two cents on the Nazi, white supremacist hysteria currently being amplified by the corporate media.

The general proclivity to obsess about how one’s group, whether it be a nation, political tribe, or race/religion is superior to all others represents such an immature and unconscious way of seeing the world, it’s really hard for me to believe so many people still see reality through such a lens. This type of thinking tends to attract very insecure people. People who cannot look at themselves individually and be proud of the person they see. As such, they scurry around looking for a group with an established superiority myth which they can then latch themselves onto in order to feel better about themselves.

The good news when it comes to Nazism/white supremacy, at least here in the U.S., is that most people appear to be at least conscious enough not to fall for the most basic and primal type of tribalism — i.e., finding a race-based superiority cult attractive. In contrast, the more nuanced superiority cults, such as those based on mindless nationalism or political identity, are far more entrenched here at home, and present a much greater danger to our future.

Before some of you lose it, I wrote "mindless" nationalism for a reason. I think it’s completely normal and healthy for everyone to love and appreciate their own national/regional culture, this is not what I’m referring to. I’m talking about the hordes of mindless automatons who simply fly the American flag and constantly profess their super-sized patriotism, while being completely unaware of the multitude of evil and anti-American actions being done both at home and abroad in their names. It doesn’t seem to matter to these types that their government is acting in total opposition to the Constitution they ostensibly claim to uphold. These people might be less shallow than a self-professed Nazi, but they are far more dangerous to decent, ethical Americans at home, and billions of innocent people abroad. Political party tribalists represent a similar threat, as I’ve discussed on many occasions.

To summarize, Nazism has become almost as discredited as slavery within the minds of most humans. Meaning, it’s such a patently grotesque, childish and unconscious ideology, it can and will only attract very small pockets of people. In fact, given the rampant corruption, wealth inequality and societal decay we’re experiencing in these United States, I’m somewhat encouraged that the movement is as small and insignificant as it is. Of course, I could be wrong about all of this (we’ll have to see how things unfold if the empire collapses chaotically), but that’s how I see it at the moment. Should that ever change, of course I will fight Nazism, or anything similar with all my energy. In contrast, I think other forms of mindless tribalism, political and nationalistic, are far more likely to cause major disasters in the years ahead.

If I’m right about what I wrote above, why is the corporate media acting so hysterically in response to this small collection of hateful misfits?

A lot of really terrible people are trying to reinvent themselves by hyping up the Nazi threat. I’ve discussed this dangerous phenomenon in recent posts, but it’s important enough to keep hammering home.

Lesson number one. Don’t let terrible people get away with moral preening about some relatively insignificant Nazi threat when these are the very same people who have run this country and much of the world into the toilet bowl. Lesson number two. Don’t allow authoritarians to manipulate your emotions about white supremacy (or any other threat for that matter) as an excuse to take away cherished civil liberties. These types have been selling us on giving away our rights since 9/11, and they continue to use any threat they can to take away those that remain. Free speech is the holy grail for tyrants, and anyone who suggests we give up speech to protect ourselves presents a threat to us all. I came across two examples of this today in the normal course of my reading.

First, an attorney who works for UCLA named K-Sue Park, wrote an op-ed published in The New York Times titled, The A.C.L.U. Needs to Rethink Free Speech. It’s one of the most incoherent, authoritarian pieces I’ve read in a while and, although a painful read, you should definitely check it out. It doesn’t take much logic to recognize that her call for the government to decide which speech is acceptable and which is not, is actually far more dangerous to society than a few hundred Nazis getting together in Virginia, irrespective of the terrible loss of life.

Another example of this authoritarian impulse was penned by Leonid Bershidsky in his Bloomberg article, Facebook and Twitter Are Too Big to Allow Fake Users. To be fair, this article was written before the Charlottesville attack, so I would not characterize him as using the attack to push this narrative, but it’s a wildly dangerous view nonetheless. He writes:

"Social networks should be obliged to ban anonymous accounts. If they refuse to do so voluntarily, government regulators should force the issue."

This is a completely unhinged response to the problems of "trolling, fake news and cyberbullying," which he identifies. It’s the equivalent of taking a nuclear bomb to a knife fight. As someone who spends a great deal of time on Twitter, I can tell you that some of the most insightful and humorous accounts I follow are anonymous. This makes total sense because most people have jobs, and people with jobs can be easily fired or ostracized. Not because they’re writing pro-Nazi tweets, but because everything is essentially political these days, and if your boss happens to be a member of a different political tribe, it could affect your career. Did we already forget what happened to James Damore?

If social media companies suddenly banned anonymous accounts, the entire internet and discourse on it would instantly become 90% less interesting, creative and dynamic. Much of the promise of the web would be crippled by such a policy, and humanity would be far worse off for it.

Such a policy would crush political speech online, and limit it largely to those who create political content professionally. I could see why people in power would want to do this, but I can’t grasp how anyone else could be so naive to support such a agenda.

Ultimately, we need to recognize that fear is our biggest enemy. The corporate media tries to keep us in a constant state of fear, because it’s in a state of fear where we are most vulnerable and hence easily manipulated. Don’t succumb to fear. Stand strong, be courageous and don’t every give up liberties because some pundit tells you it’s what you need to do to fight whatever enemy they happen to be hyping at the moment.


Swedish police Chief: The Antifas, Not the Nazis, Start the Violence

This is a refreshingly realistic appraisal — especially coming from Sweden — of who the agents of violence are in political demonstrations.

The Nordic resistance movement, NMR, will not be the major problem when the national socialist organization demonstrates in Göteborg on 30 September. “On the contrary, it will be left-wing extremists who will start riots,” says Erik Nord’s Senior Officer to Radio Sweden.

The Nordic resistance movement, NMR, has applied for a demonstration near the Bokmässan (The Book Fair) in Gothenburg this autumn. According to GP, it is estimated that there will be approximately 1,000 participants.

The police previously announced that there is no legal basis for denying the organization of demonstration a permit. This is now confirmed by Erik Nord, Chief of Police for greater Gothenburg.

It would have been possible (to deny a permit) if the purpose of the demonstration was to create disorder.

But, according to Nord, it is not the national socialist organization that will be the big problem, but their left-wing opponents. “My general picture is that it is not this demonstration that will pose the greatest danger to order and security. We will certainly get riot-like situations around the demonstration. But these will first and foremost be instigated by the so-called counter-demonstrators. Then it’s our job to keep them apart to make sure that both gatherings can take place,” says Erik Nord to Kulturnytt.

It is precisely this the police in Charlottesville were alleged not to have done, and so did not protect the permitted demonstration and separate the different groups. Instead it allowed the left-wing extremists to attack the nationalist demonstration.

Erik Nord also points out that the lack of police resources is not reason enough to say no to demonstrations, and that the viewpoints in Sweden are designed in a way so that everyone can express their views.

It was Erik Nord who recently said he wants to revoke passports and citizenships for Islamic terrorists.


Wyoming Judge Appeals To Nation’s Highest Court After Losing Job For Being A Christian

"Does a state violate the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause or Free Speech Clause when it punishes a judge who has discretionary authority to solemnize marriages because she states that her religious beliefs preclude her from performing a same-sex wedding?" That’s the question Judge Ruth Neely from Pinedale, Wyoming, wants the Supreme Court to answer.

On August 4, she filed a petition with the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), asking them to review a March 7, 2017 ruling from the Wyoming Supreme Court. That ruling handed down a public censure and effectively removed her from a circuit court magistracy for answering a reporter’s question.

Each year about 10,000 such petitions are filed. Of these, only about 80 cases will be heard. But Neely’s petition already stands out above the crowd, giving her a far better chance than most.

That’s because SCOTUS does not usually take cases merely because a lower court got it wrong. They tend to take cases that fill three requirements. First, the case should be clean and uncomplicated. Second, they address important and emerging questions of constitutional law. Third, cases they take must have nationwide and far-reaching implications. Neely’s case scores high on all counts.

All Neely Did Was Answer a Hypothetical Question
Cases as clean-cut as Neely’s rarely come before the Supreme Court. There is only one fact that underlies the whole case, and this is not under dispute, but freely stipulated by both sides: On a Saturday morning in early December 2014, in answer to a direct question, she told a reporter she was unable to perform same-sex weddings because of her religious convictions.

The whole thing boils down to those words, and those words alone—spoken outside of business hours and outside of the courtroom setting. Neely did not then, nor any time since, take any official action towards a same-sex marriage. Nor has she ever spoken again on the issue.

Over the course of the last 33 months she has turned down numerous speaking invitations and remained mute on the subject. This self-discipline now helps to make hers one of the cleanest cases possible. There is one conversation between herself and one reporter, and nothing else to muddy the waters. If you want to isolate the question of free speech and free expression, it cannot get any more isolated than that. Score one for Neely.

This Is Also Cutting-Edge Constitutional Law
As for emerging constitutional law, Neely’s case is on the cutting edge. The telephone conversation with a reporter happened more than six months before SCOTUS voided marriage law across the United States with the Obergefell v. Hodges opinion, but she anticipated a question that would arise in its aftermath.

What prompted the reporter’s phone call was the case of Guzzo v. Mead that brought same-sex marriage to Wyoming by vacating Wyoming marriage statute (20-1-106). By the fall 2014, four federal circuits had struck down marriage laws within their jurisdictions, but none had spelled out the specifics of what should replace them.

Changing marriage law is not like changing the speed limit. Speed limits are a balancing act between individual freedoms and public safety. Marriage law is about the very foundations of human existence. While there is a reasonable compromise between 60 and 70 miles per hour, there is no halfway ground between a sexual understanding of marriage and an asexual understanding of marriage.

So the question Obergefell has raised across that land is this: can we craft laws that permit the peaceful coexistence of mutually exclusive views? Or must the disfavored view be driven out of public life altogether?

Banning Faithful Christians from Public Life
Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) rules, which the American Bar Association has pushed on the judicial ethics commissions of numerous states, have the predictable effect of driving anyone with a sexual understanding of marriage out of government service.

Neely’s case is not the only one of this type. Under similar rules in Washington state, Superior Court Judge Gary Tabor was "admonished" by the Commission on Judicial Conduct for publicly announcing he would not perform any same-sex marriages. As part of the discipline, he effectually agreed to perform same-sex marriages if he were to perform any at all. While this case largely slid under the radar, Neely’s case has raised the issue to national attention. It is time to address this question head on.

Such gag orders and compelled speech are driving people out of government service either directly, or by the mere threat of sanction. Should SCOTUS allow this trend to continue it would set a dangerous precedent for the future of any group with a disfavored view.

If You’re a Judge, You Can’t Voice Your Opinions?
Finally, the far-reaching implications of the Neely case are hard to overstate. The Wyoming Supreme Court, guided by SOGI theory, assumed that every Wyoming judge must, without exception, not only recognize the legality of same-sex marriages (which Neely does), but also personally perform them. This, despite there being no written law, anywhere, which requires this.

But the court went farther still. They next asserted that any judge whose speech questions this unknown and unwritten law is, by the mere act of speaking, undermining "public confidence in the judiciary." If a judge can be censured and removed merely for speaking disagreement with an unwritten law, what would prevent any judge, anywhere, from being punished and removed for speech disagreeing with any actual law or constitutional provision?

Is it constitutional to remove a judge who merely speaks in favor of removing the right to keep and bear arms? Should all those judges who publicly favored same-sex marriage before Obergefell vacated the laws of most states have been censured and removed? What about judges (either pro-life or pro-abortion) who openly acknowledge that Roe v. Wade was a legal abomination? Shall they be purged from our courts?

These questions are not just rhetorical. They are real. Wyoming’s censure of Neely opens the door to these absurdities and many, many more. It is high time we step back from the brink. Neely’s petition gives SCOTUS an opportunity to take in the big picture. What we do today will have far-reaching implications for the free speech of all public servants, and all citizens in general, long after same-sex marriage recedes into the footnotes.


Is an escape from censorship possible?

With Facebook and Twitter banning or vanishing offensive accounts, Google manipulating search results, Youtube "demonetizing" videos they don't like, and now domain name registrar GoDaddy unregistering web sites they disapprove of, those of us who reject PC groupthink desperately need an alternative.

Fortunately, we may have one: ZeroNet. I was lucky to attend a ZeroNet presentation recently at a Linux Users Group; here's a summary of what I learned. (Fair warning: my understanding or recollection may be inaccurate.)

First, you may be familiar with the BitTorrent technology used to distribute "pirated" music (and legitimate content like Linux CDs). The idea behind BitTorrent is that everyone who has a copy of the file makes it available on the Internet; when someone wants a copy, they download it in pieces from all over rather than from a single web server. This is all automatic, and invisible to the casual user.

Now, imagine that peer-to-peer sharing technology applied to web pages. Every time you read WendyMcElroy.com, your computer announces that you have a copy, and others can download it from you. Again, this is invisible to you. But it makes the web much harder to censor -- for example, if even one copy of a web page gets through the Great Firewall of China, before long everyone in the country can read that "banned" web page. (Or so the theory goes...it's still early days for testing.)

Next, imagine that domain names on this net are not allocated by central domain-name registrars...but instead are recorded on a blockchain, the same technology used by Bitcoin to maintain its ledger. The blockchain is public, distributed, with an immutable history and no central point of control. Just as no one can take your Bitcoins from the blockchain, no one can take your domain name. When I chatted with some Bitcoin enthusiaists a few years ago, they proposed this as one of the first non-monetary uses of blockchain technology. Now it's happening.

The chap who gave the presentation said that ZeroNet also has a social-networking component. It sounds a bit like Reddit, except without any central authority. Once you start a discussion group, you control it, and no one else can ban it.

I think this is the next step in the radical decentralization of the Internet, and for me it may be the most exciting development since Bitcoin. This is the ideal response to the social-justice pecksniffs* who want to ban offensive content from the web. I'm looking forward to installing it and giving it a spin.


An extraordinary example of bureaucratic over-reach in authoritarian Britain

A man with Down’s syndrome whose wife was ordered by their local council to stop having sex with him has received £10,000 in damages for a breach of his human rights.

The man, 38, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was considered unable to consent to sex, even with his partner, to whom he has been married for five years.

His wife was ordered to end their sexual relationship and threatened with criminal prosecution if she refused. She moved out of their shared bedroom and withdrew physical affection that might be interpreted as leading him on.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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