LIBERALS ON THE WARPATH TO KILL FREE SPEECH!
PROTESTS AND DEMONSTRATIONS SEND RIGHT WINGERS INTO A STRATOSPHERIC PAROXYSM OF APOPLEXY AND UBER PATRIOTIC INDIGNATION AND HATE
Although it’s hard keeping up with the latest Trump Administration “actions” when it comes to dismantling the liberal and progressive agenda enacted by Democrats and Barack Obama, I’m sure you all remember Milo Yiannopoulos, the gay, performance artist and Breitbart editor, when liberal storm troopers shut down his appearance at UC Berkeley a couple of weeks ago. This incident ended badly for Milo when a video surfaced where he more or less, kinda, maybe he did maybe he didn’t, he was shown promoting homo sex between adult men and underage children. This, of course, probably exceeded the liberal Berkley storm troopers goals when they protested his appearance there but sometimes there are unintended consequences from actions, something the Trump Administration hasn’t come to grips with yet.
Then along comes another student free speech attack at liberal arts Middlebury College in Vermont. In this case, Middlebury liberal storm troopers shouted down 74 year old Charles Murray, author of “The Bell Curve,” a 1994 pseudo science exploration into the genetic basis for African American intellectual inferiority. The publication of this piece of “gerrymandered scholarship” was greeted with the very same kinds of protests by liberal storm troopers on college campuses back over twenty years ago.
The uber liberal Southern Poverty Law Center (you know, the folks who actually track ultra right wing groups like the KKK and Stormfront) calls Murray “a white nationalist who uses racist pseudoscience and misleading statistics to argue that social inequity is caused by genetic inferiority of Black and Latino communities and women and the poor.” This “argument” more or less follows the line of reasoning that gained credence back in the day that Blacks were not “future oriented” (B.F. Skinner) because rather than investing in homes they bought cars. Missing from this formula, however, was the fact that African Americans not only couldn’t buy homes in decent neighborhoods (red-lining) nor could they obtain residential mortgages for homes in their own neighborhoods. Car loans, however, with their high interest rates and built-in guarantee of payment (auto repossession) were available.
But as for the Middlebury College shut down of Charles Murray? (Actually he was moved to a secure location and was able to give his pseudo-scholarly-talk via a closed circuit television hook-up.) I can already hear Rush waxing apoplectic about the hypocritical liberal free-speech defenders protesting Charles and others. Then, natch, he will spend the next ten minutes of his radio program informing his Alternate Set of Facts believer audience about how we liberals and progressives have been destroying America for decades.
What’s behind the militant protests by liberal free speech storm troopers? The short answer is Trump. But there’s actually another, more nuanced, explanation. We liberals have simply had it with Republicans, conservatives and right wingers. We are finished being understanding and waiting for Rush, Ryan and company to come to their senses. This tactic has resulted in the election of Donald Trump. Sure, Rush, Michael Savage and Alex Jones are convinced that the millions of folks who have protested Trump’s elections are being organized by the Democratic Party and financed by George Soros. Which is fine. Every time I hear some dumb ass, right wing blowhard on cable television expounding upon this theory, it just makes me even madder.
As long as we are fighting folks who believe that Obama is the Anti-Christ (still, by the way, pulling the strings that have resulted in all this mess with the Trump/Putin/Russian connections), who believe that 9-11 was a government job and the Sandy Spring slaughter was a fake event, that Mexicans are pouring across the border, that illegal aliens are taking all those good paying jobs that Rust Belt Whites should have, we liberals and progressives are left with nothing to talk about with these folks. It has become clear that the only way to counter this scourge of fake news and Alternate Sets of Facts reality that no one lives in except them, is to take the fight to the streets. It seems to be the only option to stem this tsunami of right wing destruction based on non-facts, conspiracy theories and lies. Or college campuses as it were. And even if this results in violence, bloodied heads and, yes, as has happened before, death, it must be done. Our country is at stake.
IN OTHER NEWS
While we were all being entertained by Jeff Sessions’ rather laughable attempts to “parse” his testimony before his confirmation hearing and his written response to the same question Senator Al Franken (D-MN) asked about his meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, this is what’s been happening in the Red States across the country: criminalizing protesters.
First let me recap for a moment. Here’s what the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States actually says:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Now one could argue that this speaks to Congress making laws but when it comes to Civil Rights, the Supreme Court has ruled that Federal Laws apply to states as well. Peaceably assemble? Yes, some protests are not peaceable but once again the Supreme Court has ruled that local laws cover broken windows and torched cop cars and states cannot squelch demonstrations based on these considerations.
Like Voter ID Laws, the new crop of anti-protest laws are being enacted by pretty much the same crop of right wing states: North Dakota, Tennessee, Iowa, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Florida to name a few of the sixteen states who have proposed such dumb legislation. Let’s take a look at a couple of these proposals and see what they are proposing:
Tennessee: If a motorist hits and injures or kills a protester who is blocking a street, the motorist is absolved of all responsibility and liability.
Iowa: Blocking highways can be punishable by a $7,500 fine and five years in prison.
Mississippi: Similar legislation as in Iowa, but with a $10,000 fine.
Washington State: pending legislation would make it a felony to commit “economic terrorism,” defined as intentionally breaking the law to intimidate private citizens or to obstruct economic activity.
Minnesota: Protesters would be required to pay the costs of police coverage for policing demonstrations.
North Carolina: would make it illegal to “threaten, intimidate or retaliate” against pubic officials.
North Dakota (site of the extended Dakota Pipeline protests): enacted measures that expand the criminal trespass law, raise penalties for riot offenses, criminalize wearing masks and hoods while violating the law.
This is what’s been happening around the country while we were all distracted by Trump and his merry band of Fascists. It’s unlikely that given the Supreme Court’s current make-up that any of these laws would pass muster. On the other hand, Trump now has a chance to appoint an Associate Justice so who knows? It would take a year or more for challenges to these laws to make it to the Supreme Court.
Don’t forget also that Trump and his anti-liberal minions have been working day and night to repeal just as much of the liberal/progressive agenda as humanly possible while we are distracted by Jeff Sessions attempting to absolve himself of any and all responsibility for lying under oath at a Congressional Hearing.
Until Trump’s election it was Voter ID Laws, defunding Planned Parenthood and repealing Obamacare that were front burner issues for us. With Trump and a greatly expanded field of battle, we are in a whole new ballgame, one that even makes the George W. Bush Administration seem almost benign by comparison. Criminalizing protests? Allowing coal companies to poison our rivers? Cutting NOAA’S satellite program that monitors Climate Change; Cutting EPA’s Great Lakes pollution program by 97%; rolling back Dodd-Frank rules to prevent another economic crash; eliminating Justice Department programs that monitor police departments accused of discrimination; cutting Federal funds for sanctuary cities; etc. and etc. and etc.
With this national disaster facing us, it is no surprise to me that thirty years of liberal and progressive jawboning and verbal persuasion that simply haven’t worked, has been jettisoned. It’s frustrating to see the country one loves taken apart piece by piece. It makes us angry. We are at the end of our patience. Warfare seems to be the only option. We seem to be entering the kind historical period when England passed such restrictive laws and regulations on the Thirteen Colonies back in the 1700’s that finally resulted in the American Revolution of 1776.
Have A Great Day!