Fat HeadFat Head wrote the following post Wed, 06 Jun 2018 18:52:02 -0400
The Magic Pill And The Anointed
As I wrote in my review, The Magic Pill is a beautiful film that shows how switching to a paleo diet produces astounding improvements in health for a handful of... Read more »
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Fight Hate Speech with More Speech, Not Censorship: ACLU's Nadine Strossen
by ReasonTV on YouTube

Nadine Strossen, who served as the president of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) from 1991 to 2008, is the author of the new book Hate: Why We Should Resist It with Free Speech, Not Censorship, which lays out a compelling argument against policies that try to restrict what individuals are allowed to say. Attempts to legally prevent and criminalize hate speech, Strossen writes, typically end up being used against the very people and groups they are intended to protect. What's more, she says, the alleged harms caused by ugly speech are routinely overstated.

Strossen, a professor at New York Law School in Manhattan, sat down with Reason's Nick Gillespie to talk about her new book, why hyperpolarization in American politics makes free expression more difficult, and the best ways to counter bad, stupid, and hate-filled speech.
  


Welcome To Progressive Utopia
by Pat Condell on YouTube

A society afraid of free speech is afraid of itself. Anyone who needs a safe space from other people’s opinions should be in therapy
  


Does Heckling Violate Freedom of Speech?
by Learn Liberty on YouTube

When someone tries to disrupt a public speaker, are they making an assault on freedom of speech, or just utilizing their own freedom of speech? Prof. Angus Johnston and journalist Brendan O’Neill share their thoughts.
  
Free Speech Online

Will Duffield joins us this week to talk about the freedom of speech in the internet era. How has the shift to digital communication changed interpretations of the First Amendment?

We discuss the implications of lower barriers to entry for ownership of the mechanisms for distribution of speech, draw a distinction between speech gatekeepers and speech enablers, think about whether big web companies are beginning to act like states, and have a conversation about “fake news.”
  


"Fake News" is Not an Excuse to Regulate the Internet
by ReasonTV on YouTube

Both Democrats and Republicans are missing the mark when they call for the government to control the flow of information on the internet.
  
The State of Free Speech and Tolerance in America

Americans Say Political Correctness Has Silenced Discussions Society Needs to Have; Most Have Views They’re Afraid to Share

Nearly three-fourths (71%) of Americans believe that political correctness has done more to silence important discussions our society needs to have. A little more than a quarter (28%) instead believe that political correctness has done more to help people avoid offending others.

The consequences are personal-58% of Americans believe the political climate today prevents them from saying things they believe. Democrats are unique, however, in that a slim majority (53%) do not feel the need to self-censor. Conversely, strong majorities of Republicans (73%) and independents (58%) say they keep some political beliefs to themselves.
  


Are Campuses Really More PC Today? (Unsafe Space Tour, Harvard University)
by Learn Liberty on YouTube

And are “Millennial snowflakes” really to blame? Steven Pinker, Robby Soave, Wendy Kaminer, and Brendan O’Neill discuss the past and present of campus speech codes. Excerpted from the Spiked Magazine 'Unsafe Space Tour' panel discussion at Harvard University.
  


DEBATE: Should We Limit Free Speech for Nazis?
by Learn Liberty on YouTube

Professors Laura Kipnis, Angus Johnston, and author Brendan O'Neill debate: Should We Limit Free Speech for Nazis? Excerpted from the Spiked Magazine Unsafe Space Tour panel discussion at New York Law School. Moderated by Tom Slater (of Spiked Magazine).
  
The debate serves only a single purpose - it is a recursive proof of Godwin's Law.
  
Is Trump a Threat to Your First Amendment Rights? - Banyan Hill Publishing

The chief user of free speech (albeit in constant Twitter chatter) is a far greater threat to free speech than anything happening on college campuses.
  
EXCLUSIVE: Documents expose how Hollywood promotes war on behalf of the Pentagon, CIA and NSA

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US military intelligence agencies have influenced over 1,800 movies and TV shows
  
It's blatantly obvious if you step outside the usa and observe that culture and their cultural artifacts from the outside. American media is mostly about rationalisation of violence on a huge scale. The American way is to launch a shoulder fired anti-aircraft missile at the neighbour whose dog shit on your lawn. Every country embeds their particular world view into their media, so there's no escape; however once recognised you can observe how the subtle manipulation weaves through the story lines.
  
Old news, but now documented. Before 2001, torture was done by "the bad guys" in films and series exported from the US, Americans were the objects tortured, after 2001 torture was done by "the US good guys", usually in season two in series or when the Man of Steel snaps the neck of Zot. Superman did not kill. Americans are now torturers and killers to "get results". Sad.
  
and unfortunately a huge portion of the population here eats that stuff up hook-line-sinker.
  
Actually, hate speech is protected speech

Here are the most popular slogans about speech, and why they're wrong
  
Sovereign ManSovereign Man wrote the following post Tue, 03 Jan 2017 11:21:38 -0500
The coming crackdown on Free Speech
The coming crackdown on Free Speech

It’s amazing what can happen in a week.

Before this publication went on hiatus last week, one of the last letters I wrote to you in 2016 was about the National Defense Authorization Act and its treasure trove of freedom-killing provisions.

Section 1287, for example, creates a new agency called the “Global Engagement Center”, aka Ministry of Truth.

It has one purpose: to combat fake news.

The Global Engagement Center will fund and train journalists around the world to push a never-ending flow of US propaganda and cripple any independent outlet that doesn’t conform to the official government narrative.

Sadly, this is not unusual.

Each year, Congress creates a new National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which is essentially the military budget for the following year.

But without fail, each year’s NDAA is crammed full of horrific provisions which either waste taxpayer funds on corrupt pet projects, or destroy Americans’ civil liberties.

You may remember the 2012 NDAA, for example, which President Obama signed into law on New Years Eve 2011.

That year’s NDAA contained a section authorizing the military detention of US citizens on US soil.

Now we’re getting the Ministry of Truth.

President Obama signed this year’s NDAA into law on Christmas Day, which means that the Global Engagement Center will be live and operational within six months.

Four days later on December 29th, he issued an executive order intended to punish the Russian government for manipulating the US election.

The order contains some incredibly vague language targeting anyone engaged in “cyber-related activities” that are “reasonably likely” to pose some threat, including “activities to undermine democratic processes or institutions”.

The order also threatens anyone who provides “goods or services” to those engaged in the aforementioned cyber-related activities.

Anyone deemed by the US government to fit those incredibly broad definitions can have their assets frozen instantly.

Now, the spirit of the order is to go after all the Russians and Chinese they think are complicit in hacking the US government and US corporations.

(Mr. Obama also expelled a multitude of Russian diplomats that the FBI suspects of being spies, raising the question of why these people were in the US to begin with.)

Yet such broad and vague language can easily be applied to ensnare just about anyone they want.

If you just happen to have sold a used mobile phone over Craigslist to someone who ends up being a hacker, you can be targeted under this order.

Same with anyone who uses the Internet (engages in “cyber-related activities”) to express strong anti-government opinions (“undermine democratic . . . institutions”).

Now, clearly that’s not the intention with this order.

But when enough time passes, rules and regulations have a strong tendency to be used in ways that dramatically diverge from their original intent.

Case in point: the US government has wrongfully seized billions of dollars worth of cash and property over the years through what’s known as Civil Asset Forfeiture.

Civil Asset Forfeiture is essentially a form of theft.

But it’s perfectly legal for local, state, and federal police agencies to steal from you because of technicalities that were written in laws passed decades ago.

For example, the Archaeological Resources Protection Act was passed in 1979 with the intention of helping to preserve historic sites.

Buried in the law is some vague language authorizing the recovery of any property that was stolen from historic sites.

Now, decades later, police agencies abuse the vague language from that law, as well as dozens of other laws, to give themselves the authority to seize your property.
Their theft of your property has nothing to do with protecting archaeological sites, but they still have the legal authority thanks to a 37-year old law.

So no matter how good the intentions behind a law or executive order, there’s always strong potential for nasty, unforeseen consequences down the road.

And between the NDAA’s Global Engagement Center and the President’s incredibly vague executive order, there’s some serious anti-free speech potential.

By the way, this is NOT just a US phenomenon.

Israel’s government is close to passing a bill that authorizes them to demand Facebook (and other social media platforms) to remove content that they deem threatening.

Germany’s government is talking about passing a similar bill to stop “fake news” during the election cycle, even suggesting that Facebook could be fined if it does not remove certain content within 24 hours of being told by the government to do so.

Yeah, clearly there’s a lot of garbage on the Internet.

Someone can write a post that Hillary Clinton’s campaign is running a child prostitution ring, and it gets retweeted by mindless automatons who believe everything they read.

But at the same time, there’s a lot of independent, boutique journalism out there, and many of these sites are being labeled “fake” because they don’t conform to the official government narrative.

After a terrible year for the status quo, between Brexit and the Trump election, politicians are clearly terrified of any dissent that threatens their position.

And now they’re putting together all the tools they need to stamp it out and keep you in line.
  
Freedom on the Net 2016 | Freedom House

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Internet freedom has declined for the sixth consecutive year, with more governments than ever before targeting social media and communication apps.

I'm assuming the UK's score is from before their new law took effect.
  
What means not assessed ? Spain and Portugal no target not one but Germany have very strict rules and score is 25 when this country send you a judgement notice at any time .
uff That map is more political
  
Not assessed would mean they didn't evaluate that country's policies.
  
I'm reading a new Neil Gaiman book, The View From the Cheap Seats. It is a collection of previously published non-fiction -- articles, introductions, speeches, etc. The first chapter is the essay below. I had to share it.

Neil Gaiman: Credo

What I believe.

I believe that it is difficult to kill an idea, because ideas are invisible and contagious, and they move fast.

I believe that you can set your own ideas against ideas you dislike. That you should be free to argue, explain, clarify, debate, offend, insult, rage, mock, sing, dramatise and deny.

I do not believe that burning, murdering, exploding people, smashing their heads with rocks (to let the bad ideas out), drowning them or even defeating them will work to contain ideas you do not like. Ideas spring up where you do not expect them, like weeds, and are as difficult to control.

I believe that repressing ideas spreads ideas.

I believe that people and books and newspapers are containers for ideas, but that burning the people will be as unsuccessful as firebombing the newspaper archives. It is already too late. It is always too late. The ideas are out, hiding behind people’s eyes, waiting in their thoughts. They can be whispered. They can be written on walls in the dead of night. They can be drawn.

I believe that ideas do not have to be right to exist.

I believe you have every right to be perfectly certain that images of god or prophet or man are sacred and undefilable, just as I have the right to be certain of the sacredness of speech, of the sanctity of the right to mock, comment, to argue and to utter.

I believe I have the right to think and say the wrong things. I believe your remedy for that should be to argue with me or to ignore me, and that I should have the same remedy for the wrong things that you think.

I believe that you have the absolute right to think things that I find offensive, stupid, preposterous or dangerous, and that you have the right to speak, write, or distribute these things, and that I do not have the right to kill you, maim you, hurt you, or take away your liberty or property because I find your ideas threatening or insulting or downright disgusting. You probably think my ideas are pretty vile, too.

I believe that in the battle between guns and ideas, ideas will, eventually, win.

Because the ideas are invisible, and they linger, and, sometimes, they are even true.

Eppur si muove: and yet it moves.
  
Why Academic Leaders Are Afraid of Free Speech

The coddling of students' minds has resulted in grave restrictions on their peers' First Amendment rights—and university administrators are too fearful to do anything about it.
  
This episode may be of interest to anyone who cares about free speech. Both audio and transcript are available at the link.

The Tyranny of Silence

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This week we are joined by Flemming Rose, the editor who defended Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten’s printing of 12 cartoons of the prophet Mohammed in 2005. We talk about the tradition of religious satire in the Western world, the importance of free speech to pluralistic societies, and the dangers of censorship—even self-imposed censorship—on those societies.