Free Speech

Long a critic of Democratic investigations and special counsel Robert Mueller, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., does not care about the impending report, "just burn it up," he said.

"I don't really care what the Mueller report says, because the Mueller special counsel should have never been appointed," Nunes told Fox News' "Fox & Friends" on Sunday. "And I say that and we can take any part of this investigation and we can show you how fraudulent it is."

Nunes, the former chairman of the House Intelligencer Committee when Republicans were in leadership, rejected the search for 2016 election meddling collusion between Russia and President Donald Trump's campaign as "all a lie and a myth."

"You know, we can just burn it up," he said. "I mean, it is a partisan document, so there is going to be a lot of calls for that."

Nunes also ripped Democrats for obstruction in the House investigations into the political witch hunt of the Republican president on the basis of Democratic partisanship in Obama Justice Department.

"What we really need to see is what was the FBI's involvement with Fusion GPS," Nunes said. "I don't want to gloss over this for the viewers but Fusion GPS was essentially the Hillary Clinton campaign. They were hired by the Clinton campaign, so we need to see all of that and need the FISA fully disclosed.

"We need everyone that Mueller talked to, including his interactions with Jerome Corsi who you just had on the show."

Nunes' point with Corsi was investigators were leveraging a member of the media who was supportive of the president, and had no actual campaign ties. Regardless of whether he had spoken with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, it was not a crime.

Stifling the opposing political party supporters is not rooting out collusion, but violating free speech, Nunes said.

Source: NewsMax

Nick Givas | Media And Politics Reporter

Presidential historian and bestselling author Doug Wead said Friday that the founding fathers created the Electoral College to equally distribute power and protect the minority.

“Balance. Checks and balance and to give everybody a vote,” he said during an interview with “Fox & Friends.” (RELATED: Election Expert Says Electoral College Had Nothing To Do With Slavery)

“We could have the mainstream media and Hollywood and Silicon Valley all just go to a ballroom at the Ritz Carlton in Santa Barbara, California, lock the doors, pick the president and the country would be at peace. But the people in the rest of the country get to participate, too.”

Wead said the founders wanted America to be a republic, not a direct democracy. He also said they wanted to protect those in the minority by giving them more adequate representation.

WATCH:

“They wanted representation. It’s a republic. They didn’t want the minority view to be squashed,” he said.

“Socialism is defined by Isaiah Berlin and others. The reason it squashes free speech is because ultimately the speech of the community is more important than the speech of the individual. And our Constitution is our law. George Washington said that the Constitution was a guide that he would never abandon. Beto O’Rourke says it’s outdated.”

Wead also said it’s unlikely the Electoral College will be dissolved and accused liberals of seeking a scapegoat for their 2016 election loss.

“It’s not going to happen,” he said. “This is back to 2016. First it was Comey’s fault. Then it was the Russians fault. Now it’s Thomas Jefferson’s fault. It’s the U.S. Constitution is the problem.”

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Source: The Daily Caller

On the Friday edition of the Daily Daily Caller Podcast, we take a look at President Donald Trump’s executive order about free speech on college campuses, but that was not the most important part of what he did Thursday.

Democrats cave to their radical anti-Semitic wing yet again, and a large percentage of Americans have no idea what the First Amendment is. Plus, in our video interview, we talk with Tim Carney from the American Enterprise Institute on his new book, “Alienated America: Why Some Places Thrive While Others Collapse.” The audio of the interview is included in the audio version of the whole show, too.

Trump signed an executive order Thursday requiring colleges and universities to protect the First Amendment rights of students and invited speakers if those institutions want to continue to receive federal research grant money. Tens of billions of dollars are at stake, but that’s not the most important aspect of the president’s order.

He’s also requiring the publication of data on the average income of different majors from colleges so students thinking about majoring in various, less-employable fields of study can see exactly what they’re getting into. This could also undercut much of the Democrats’ push for “free college.”

If students know what they’re getting themselves into and willingly take out massive loans for degrees with low-wage jobs awaiting them — if they can find jobs at all — there’s no justification for student loan forgiveness, let alone cost-free tuition.

Democrats have caved, yet again, to their extreme wing of anti-Semitic “progressives.” Every Democrat running for president has announced they will not attend the AIPAC Conference in Washington, D.C., next week.

MoveOn, the left-wing activist group, called on all candidates to boycott the annual meeting of the Jewish group and everyone stepped up to heed the call. Things have changed significantly since the party balked at condemning the anti-Semitism of Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar just a few weeks ago.

A new survey showed a sadly small percentage of Americans have any idea what the First Amendment is. An even larger percentage have no idea what the Bill of Rights is. It’s a damning testament to the state of public education and why Democrats still win election.

Then we talk to Tim Carney about the role big government played in destroying communities across the country, even in times to economic boom. The answers in his new book will surprise you.

Please help spread the word about The Daily Daily Caller Podcast. Please take a minute to rate and review on iTunes, share on social media and be sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode:

The Daily Daily Caller Podcast is a daily look and mocking of the news from a conservative perspective. Hosted by Derek Hunter, it is available in audio form Monday-Thursday and will have a video option on Fridays.

Derek Hunter is a columnist and contributing editor for The Daily Caller and author of “Outrage, INC: How the Liberal Mob Ruined Science, Journalism, and Hollywood” from HarperCollins, available nowPick Up a copy, or several copies, here. Send compliments and complaints to [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @derekahunter.

Source: The Daily Caller

Students walk between classes at North Carolina A&T University just to the west of the line that divides Congressional Districts 13 and 6 on campus in Greensboro
FILE PHOTO: Students walk between classes at North Carolina A&T University just to the west of the line that divides Congressional Districts 13 and 6 on campus in Greensboro, North Carolina, U.S. March 14, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Mostoller

March 22, 2019

By Marti Maguire

GREENSBORO, N.C. (Reuters) – Before the Republican-led state legislature divided their city and even their college campus into two different districts in a bid to boost the party’s election chances, students like recent graduate Vashti Smith could vote for the Democratic U.S. congressional candidate and know that person could win.

Thanks to partisan gerrymandering – a practice the Supreme Court will examine on Tuesday in two cases that could impact American politics for decades – that is no longer the case. A U.S. House of Representatives district that once covered heavily Democratic Greensboro was reconfigured in 2016, with the voters in the city of 290,000 people inserted into two other districts spanning rural areas with reliable Republican majorities.

In adopting the electoral map, the legislature partitioned the campus of North Carolina A&T State University, the nation’s largest historically black public college, into two separate districts.

“We had one person representing us who shared our beliefs. Now we have two people who don’t really represent us,” said Smith, 24, a 2017 graduate who works with voting-rights group Common Cause, which is among the plaintiffs challenging the new districts.

After decades of electing Democrats to the state’s 12th U.S. House district by wide margins, Greensboro now has been represented by two Republicans, in the redrawn 6th and 13th district seats, since 2016.

Republicans and Democrats over the years have engaged in gerrymandering, manipulating electoral boundaries to entrench one party in power. Critics have said the practice has now become far more effective and insidious due to computer technology and precise voter data, warping democracy.

The reworked districts that helped President Donald Trump’s party gain House seats in North Carolina are part of the historic U.S. Supreme Court fight, along with a single Democratic-drawn House district in Maryland that resulted in a Republican seat flipping to a Democrat.

In separate lawsuits, federal courts in Greensboro and Baltimore last year sided with the challengers in North Carolina and Maryland, ruling that the contested districts violated the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law, the right to free speech and association, or constitutional provisions governing elections.

The Supreme Court’s ruling, due by the end of June, could profoundly impact American elections by either letting courts curb partisan gerrymandering or not allowing them to stop it.

‘THE SYSTEM WE HAVE’

Some Republicans and conservative advocacy groups have rallied behind the North Carolina legislators, arguing there is no constitutional right for a political party’s seat count to be proportional to its percentage of the statewide vote.

“That isn’t the system we have,” said Edward Greim, an attorney specializing in election law who filed a Supreme Court brief on behalf of a national Republican organization.

Centrist Republicans including former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and current Maryland Governor Larry Hogan are gerrymandering critics, filing a brief to show how the practice “amplifies the voices of partisans and drowns out the voices of moderates.”

In creating the 2016 map, North Carolina’s Republican leaders were open about maintaining a House delegation of 10 Republicans, joking that they would have preferred to make it 11 Republicans if possible in the state’s 13 districts. “I think electing Republicans is better than electing Democrats,” state House Representative David Lewis said at the time.

Using those words as evidence, more than two dozen Democratic voters, the North Carolina Democratic Party and two groups that advocate for fair elections sued.

For Smith, the new line dividing her campus along Laurel Street meant that each time she walked from her apartment to the library she entered a new district. It also meant, she said, that her vote was drowned out by her new district neighbors.

North Carolina A&T political science professor Derick Smith, whose window looks across the district line, said the boundaries were designed to disrupt a community known for its progressive politics, dating back even before the Greensboro sit-ins that were a key moment in the civil rights movement.

“They’re breaking up a community of common interest to create a partisan advantage for the party drawing the maps,” Smith said.

The Supreme Court last year failed to issue decisive rulings on partisan gerrymandering in cases from Wisconsin and Maryland.

Liberal and conservative justices alike have criticized gerrymandering as a form of partisan skullduggery. But for decades the Supreme Court has been uncertain about federal courts’ authority to curb this inherently political act.

North Carolina’s Republican legislators have said judges are not equipped to determine how much politics is too much in line-drawing. The plaintiffs said closing courthouse doors would embolden map-makers to be even more ruthlessly partisan.

PACKING AND CRACKING

Legislative districts across the country are redrawn to reflect population changes determined by the federal census each decade. In most states, redistricting is done by the party in power, though some assign the task to independent commissions in the interest of fairness.

Gerrymandering is carried out by cramming as many like-minded voters as possible into a small number of districts – called “packing” – and spreading the rest in other districts too thinly to form a majority – called “cracking.”

Greensboro has been at the center of several high profile lawsuits since Republicans won control of the state legislature in 2010, ending nearly a century of Democratic-led redistricting that often riled Republicans.

Republicans adopted a new map in 2011 and won nine or 10 of the state’s 13 House seats in every election since, unreflective of an electorate closely divided between the two parties. Seats were more evenly distributed in the past. In 2010, Democrats captured seven seats to six for the Republicans.

Last year, even though Democrats won roughly half the statewide vote, they won only three of the 13 House seats. Officials ordered a new election for one seat after allegations of ballot fraud favoring the Republican candidate.

The North Carolina case focuses on a 2016 map adopted after a court found that Republican legislators unlawfully used race as a factor when redrawing certain U.S. House districts after the 2010 census.

(Reporting by Marti Maguire; Writing by Andrew Chung; Editing by Will Dunham)

Source: OANN

U.S. President Trump displays executive order linking
U.S. President Donald Trump shows an executive order linking “free speech” efforts at public universities to federal grants during a signing ceremony in the East Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 21, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

March 21, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday signed an executive order linking “free speech” efforts at public universities to federal grants in an effort to combat what he considers a clamp down on conservative students’ abilities to share their views.

Under the order, the schools will themselves certify whether they are protecting students’ free speech rights, which are already guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment.

The order requires that schools ensure they allow students to express themselves in order to receive funds from 12 federal agencies that help fund universities and colleges.

Trump administration officials have suggested that the rights of speakers on college campuses have been trampled by student protesters, and that conservatives have been unfairly targeted.

Trump, who regularly decries the media as “fake news” and calls defamation laws “a sham,” has threatened retaliatory action related to free speech issues where he says the rights of conservatives are under attack.

In signing the order at the White House on Thursday, Trump took the fight to campuses, which receive billions of dollars a year from the federal government, including more than $30 billion for research.

“Universities that want tax dollars should protect free speech, not silence free speech,” Trump said.

But the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) said in a statement that public schools are already committed to free expression and the executive order “does not — and cannot — add to or subtract from our pre-existing obligations under the Constitution.”

A senior U.S. administration official said schools, not the government, would attest to their compliance with the executive order.

Private schools will follow their own policies, and the executive order will not impact student tuition aid programs, the official said.

“The goal of the order is to promote free speech more broadly across college campuses,” the official told reporters.

Trump had announced his planned order earlier this month at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington. The event featured activist Hayden Williams, who was punched at the University of California, Berkeley, in February while recruiting students for a conservative group.

Last year, the Justice Department filed a statement of interest in a free speech lawsuit filed against the university, accusing it of discriminating against speakers with conservative views. The case was settled in December, when the school agreed to modify its handling of “major events” on campus.

Trump’s executive order also calls on the Department of Education to make recommendations on financial risk sharing for financial institutions regarding school loans, the official said, but gave no details.

The AASCU said federal aid programs should be addressed through current law via Congress, and “not a unilateral order from the White House.”

(Reporting by Susan Heavey)

Source: OANN

Saagar Enjeti | White House Correspondent

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday directing the executive branch to tie university funding and grants to policies in place that protect free speech.

“People who are confident in their beliefs do not censor others,” Trump declared, adding that his government would now have grant-making ability to encourage free speech actions taken by private colleges. “You can be certain we will always support your rights and your freedom,” he added.

“We are here today to take historic action to defend American Students and American Values. In a few moments, I will be signing an Executive Order to protect FREE SPEECH on College Campuses,” Trump tweeted.

Trump signed the order alongside state officials and students from across the nation who have been assaulted on campus. “This order is part of the Trump Administration’s administrative and legislative efforts to support a focus on student outcomes and improve transparency, accountability, and affordability in postsecondary education,” the White House said in a statement.

U.S. President Donald Trump gives two thumbs up to the crowd during a campaign rally on the eve of the U.S. mid-term elections in Cleveland, Ohio., U.S., November 5, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

U.S. President Donald Trump gives two thumbs up to the crowd during a campaign rally on the eve of the U.S. mid-term elections in Cleveland, Ohio., U.S., November 5, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

“The order directs 12 grant-making agencies to use their authorities over federal grants, in coordination with the Director of OMB, to ensure those institutions that receive federal research or education grants promote free inquiry through compliance with all applicable federal laws, regulations, and policies,” a senior administration official told reporters Thursday.

The official continued that “the administration believes public colleges and universities should fulfill their obligation to uphold the First Amendment, and private schools should comply with their stated institutional policies regarding free inquiry.” (RELATED: Conservative Activist Gets Punched In The Face At TPUSA Event At UC Berkeley)

Trump first announced his intention to sign the order at the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) in early March, saying, “Today I am proud to announce that I will be very soon signing an executive order requiring colleges and universities to support free speech if they want federal resources.”

Trump made the announcement after being introduced by conservative college student Hayden Williams, who was punched in the face while tabling for a conservative student organization at the University of California at Berkley.

Source: The Daily Caller

A screen displays a chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average during trading on the floor of the NYSE in New York
A screen displays a chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average during trading on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

March 21, 2019

By Lawrence Delevingne

NEW YORK (Reuters) – On the morning of July 11, Paul Pittman was on a corn farm in Western Illinois, unaware his company had taken a devastating hit.

Just before the stock market opened, an anonymous short seller named “Rota Fortunae” posted on Twitter and financial website Seeking Alpha that Pittman’s small real estate investment trust, Farmland Partners Inc, had engaged in dubious transactions and risked “insolvency.”

The posting pushed shares down enough to make thousands of previously-purchased stock options profitable, according to a later expert analysis, in turn causing more selling by those on the other side of the trade who committed to buy shares at a higher set price. The accelerating losses were probably compounded by high-frequency trading algorithms activated by price swings and negative keywords, according to that analysis.

Pittman’s stomach churned when he checked his smartphone around noon: Shares were off almost 40 percent. (Graphic: https://tmsnrt.rs/2HyuFCE)

“The game was rigged,” Pittman, 56, told Reuters.

What followed exemplified a new, ugly phase in a war between companies and activist short sellers, with businesses fighting back against social-media fueled attacks and investors accusing executives of trying to muzzle critics.

Farmland sued Rota Fortunae – Latin for “wheel of fortune” – and other unnamed individuals alleging a “malicious scheme” to profit from the spread of false information and well-timed stock options. The short seller, a Texas-based individual whose identity has been kept secret, sent a statement to Reuters via an attorney that the litigation aimed to “intimidate and choke critical opinion” and that the idea of crashing the stock through “sophisticated trading” was “utter hogwash.” It is all under the watch of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which has been briefed on the matter.

The stand-off reflects a broader debate over how to balance the desire to keep public companies accountable with concerns over market manipulation.

Short selling, said to be as old as stock markets, used to be a low-profile affair where bearish investors relied on the media, analysts or regulators to take the lead in exposing over-valued companies. New tools such as Twitter and Seeking Alpha changed that, creating a small but prominent group of brash public activists.

Successful campaigns that exposed corporate fraud or dubious practices, including Carson Block’s Sino-Forest Corp takedown and Andrew Left’s shorting of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc, underscored short sellers’ role as market watchdogs. Such victories, coupled with elevated stock valuations, helped spur record numbers of short campaigns, according to industry tracker Activist Insight.

Activist Insight data show such campaigns can have a noticeable impact on stock prices. A 2017 working paper by researchers Yu Ting Forester Wong and Wuyang Zhao also showed they weigh on target companies’ investments, dividends and access to financing.

Block, Left and other prominent short sellers interviewed by Reuters say they do thorough research and help keep companies honest.

Yet targeted businesses say many short campaigns waged this decade amount to “short and distort” schemes. They accuse some activists of spreading false or misleading information to drive a stock down and then quickly cash out, a mirror image of “pump and dump,” where unscrupulous investors promote speculative stocks before selling out at the top.

Cases against short sellers are rare, though, given free speech protections and companies hesitant to put themselves under the microscope of regulators, lawyers say.

SHORT IDEAS AND OPTIONS

Recent research provides fresh fodder for the debate. Columbia Law School securities expert Joshua Mitts said in a working paper that he had looked at 1,720 pseudonymous short idea posts on Seeking Alpha between 2010 and 2017 and found that 86 percent were preceded by “extraordinary” options trading.

Mitts told Reuters his review of the posts found that, like with Farmland, many short sellers appeared to use fast-expiring put-options bought before the release of a report to spur more selling by underwriters.

“Shorts have to rely on good research, not trading tricks, to punish a stock,” said Mitts, whose work has led to paid consulting for Farmland and other companies.

He has also found other unusual trading patterns, including dozens of cases of “spoofing” and “layering,” illegal trading strategies of placing and canceling orders to create a false impression of demand or supply. Mitts said, however, that high-frequency traders were probably responsible, not activists.

Prominent activists deny engaging in practices described by Mitts and say they rarely use options. Instead, they would typically borrow stocks and immediately sell them in anticipation of a price drop, so they can buy them back for less and pocket the difference.

“I’m sure there are a few anonymous guys out there doing tricky stuff, but it’s not a systemic problem,” Left said.

One smaller short seller said he used put options in conjunction with Seeking Alpha posts to make larger bets given limited capital, but emphasized making unfounded claims could backfire.

“With options you can get totally destroyed,” said the investor, who requested anonymity. “A bad thesis can be debunked almost instantly.”

Activist Insight, which has analyzed hundreds of campaigns, found many cases where target share prices went up, not down.

So far Mitts is virtually alone in analyzing trading activity around short campaigns, but his findings have already drawn the attention of a top U.S. regulator.

SEC Commissioner Robert Jackson told Reuters the research was “important” and challenged his agency to “identify folks who are dancing a very fine line between trading and market manipulation.”

The question, Jackson said, was whether the regulator would go after short sellers who engage in fraud as forcefully as it investigates companies for bad behavior.

“I hope the answer to that question will be yes.”

A hint came last September, when the SEC brought a rare “short and distort” case against hedge fund manager Gregory Lemelson for making false claims about Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc, an allegation which Lemelson has denied.

Jackson said, however, laws on anonymity and free speech could limit any steps that went beyond straightforward cases involving false information.

On March 12, for example, a New York state judge dismissed a lawsuit against short sellers by Indian media company Eros International PLC, noting their opinions on Seeking Alpha and elsewhere were substantiated and therefore protected.

Still, companies are increasingly retaliating with lawsuits, hiring private investigators and using other aggressive tactics, according to some activists. Block, for example, said he has faced “constant” legal threats, at least one undercover operative, and a failed $50 million investigation to discredit his research.

“More than ever, bad companies are trying to shoot the messenger through any means available,” Block said.

FARM WAR

In the days after Rota’s post, Farmland issued a public rebuttal and Pittman, a former farmer and financial executive, said the company had to go on an “‘I am not a crook’ tour” in meetings and calls with investors and business partners.

Most were sympathetic, Pittman said, including farmers who had traded land for stock, but Farmland lost a potential partnership and had to cut staff from 17 to 13.

George Moriarty, executive editor of Seeking Alpha, said that courts have respected the site’s status as a neutral platform and that its staff vetted all posts. In this case, Rota made “limited factual corrections” after Seeking Alpha contacted him about Farmland’s rebuttal.

Still, shares have never quite recovered, and Rota told Reuters that Farmland has yet to substantively address his concerns.

Stock analysts said Rota’s language was dramatic relative to the underlying issues and instead focused on broader business challenges and the potential costs of fighting back. Farmland recently reported about $1.6 million in extra expenses over 2018, before insurance, citing Rota’s campaign. That included defending against a related shareholder class-action and legal costs from its suit against the short seller.

Mitts has submitted his opinion on put options in the case, a pattern he said he discovered independently during his academic research.

The short seller behind the Rota moniker told Reuters he planned to challenge Mitts’ assertions and would continue his defense of first amendment rights. Farmland’s lawyers said Rota’s free speech argument was undercut by his acknowledgement of payments received for research on Farmland.

Whatever happens in court, the SEC is watching. Rota submitted his Farmland analysis to the agency’s whistleblower hotline, while Farmland later briefed SEC staff on its side.

The SEC declined to comment, but on Jan. 29 it denied Farmland’s request for records on Rota and options trading because, according to a letter revealed in a court filing, related information was in an “investigative file” from an “on-going law enforcement proceeding.”

(Reporting by Lawrence Delevingne. Editing by Neal Templin and Tomasz Janowski.)

Source: OANN

Rep. Francis Rooney | Florida Congressman

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

This quote, attributed to Evelyn Beatrice Hall, is the embodiment of our First Amendment right to freedom of speech. Unfortunately, this constitutional right is under siege on university campuses across the country.

Many colleges and universities use dangerous and insidious methods to suppress free speech. One example is “free speech zones”, which are specifically delineated areas on a campus where “free speech” is allowed, converting these words into an oxymoron. An absolute truth, a right guaranteed under the Constitution, should not become a negotiable, transient issue of policy. When we go down the road of dismissing or flouting elements of the Constitution we are damaging the institutions which have flourished under it and risk inviting similar attacks on other constitutional rights.

At the University of Cincinnati, freedom of speech was limited to a “zone” that comprised only 0.1 percent of their 137-acre campus and required up to 15 business days’ notice for students to use the space. Additionally, a UC student group was told its members could be arrested if they went outside the zone while collecting signatures for a statewide ballot initiative.

In an ironic case at Kellogg Community College in Michigan, students were arrested for handing out copies of the United States Constitution without the administration’s permission. How incredible is this? In their greatest hopes, Marx and Lenin couldn’t have been bold enough to conceive of this.

Although the examples above have become all too common, not all colleges have succumbed to political correctness. In 2016, John Ellison, dean of students at the University of Chicago, sent an email to incoming freshman defending academic freedom and free speech while denouncing the politically correct invention of “safe spaces.”

Recently, the Nevada System of Higher Education adopted a similar position on free speech, stating, in part “History shows that when institutions of higher education attempt to censor or punish the free expression of ideas, they undermine their core function of promoting rational discussion, inquiry, discovery, and the dissemination of knowledge. It is not the proper response of NSHE and its institutions to attempt to shield individuals from ideas and opinions they find unwelcome, disagreeable, or even deeply offensive.”

We need more examples like the University of Chicago and NSHE.

This assault on the First Amendment is occurring with greater frequency on campuses every day and is wholly unacceptable. For this reason, I have introduced H.R. 1672, the Free Right to Expression in Education Act. This legislation, which was first introduced in the 115th Congress by Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, will prevent colleges from quarantining free expression and end the unconstitutional “zones” used to stifle student speech.

There are a multitude of other assaults on our constitutional right of free speech that must also be addressed, such as college professors that seek to indoctrinate and block free debate in classes, leading to groupthink — the phenomenon where the desire for conformity replaces rational thought. Banning conservative speakers from campus is another violation.

In combination with President Trump’s executive order cutting off research funding to schools that do not respect freedom of speech, we can stop this erosion of our constitutional rights. Higher education should be a platform for the peaceful but free exchange of ideas and open debate. Learning occurs when one’s beliefs are challenged and defended.  This is what the original idea of the university was all about.

In a climate of free expression our American ideals, as embodied in the Bill of Rights, will be championed rather than compromised. Zealously protecting our constitutional rights is critical for assuring the evolution of a generation of graduates who can think critically, accept differences of opinion and assure that our hard-earned freedoms are protected and nurtured in America in the future as in the past.

Francis Rooney (@RepRooney) has represented Florida’s 19th congressional district since 2017 and is the ranking member of the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. He previously served as U.S. ambassador to the Holy See under President George W. Bush from 2005 to 2008.


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.

Source: The Daily Caller

Rep. Francis Rooney | Florida Congressman

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

This quote, attributed to Evelyn Beatrice Hall, is the embodiment of our First Amendment right to freedom of speech. Unfortunately, this constitutional right is under siege on university campuses across the country.

Many colleges and universities use dangerous and insidious methods to suppress free speech. One example is “free speech zones”, which are specifically delineated areas on a campus where “free speech” is allowed, converting these words into an oxymoron. An absolute truth, a right guaranteed under the Constitution, should not become a negotiable, transient issue of policy. When we go down the road of dismissing or flouting elements of the Constitution we are damaging the institutions which have flourished under it and risk inviting similar attacks on other constitutional rights.

At the University of Cincinnati, freedom of speech was limited to a “zone” that comprised only 0.1 percent of their 137-acre campus and required up to 15 business days’ notice for students to use the space. Additionally, a UC student group was told its members could be arrested if they went outside the zone while collecting signatures for a statewide ballot initiative.

In an ironic case at Kellogg Community College in Michigan, students were arrested for handing out copies of the United States Constitution without the administration’s permission. How incredible is this? In their greatest hopes, Marx and Lenin couldn’t have been bold enough to conceive of this.

Although the examples above have become all too common, not all colleges have succumbed to political correctness. In 2016, John Ellison, dean of students at the University of Chicago, sent an email to incoming freshman defending academic freedom and free speech while denouncing the politically correct invention of “safe spaces.”

Recently, the Nevada System of Higher Education adopted a similar position on free speech, stating, in part “History shows that when institutions of higher education attempt to censor or punish the free expression of ideas, they undermine their core function of promoting rational discussion, inquiry, discovery, and the dissemination of knowledge. It is not the proper response of NSHE and its institutions to attempt to shield individuals from ideas and opinions they find unwelcome, disagreeable, or even deeply offensive.”

We need more examples like the University of Chicago and NSHE.

This assault on the First Amendment is occurring with greater frequency on campuses every day and is wholly unacceptable. For this reason, I have introduced H.R. 1672, the Free Right to Expression in Education Act. This legislation, which was first introduced in the 115th Congress by Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, will prevent colleges from quarantining free expression and end the unconstitutional “zones” used to stifle student speech.

There are a multitude of other assaults on our constitutional right of free speech that must also be addressed, such as college professors that seek to indoctrinate and block free debate in classes, leading to groupthink — the phenomenon where the desire for conformity replaces rational thought. Banning conservative speakers from campus is another violation.

In combination with President Trump’s executive order cutting off research funding to schools that do not respect freedom of speech, we can stop this erosion of our constitutional rights. Higher education should be a platform for the peaceful but free exchange of ideas and open debate. Learning occurs when one’s beliefs are challenged and defended.  This is what the original idea of the university was all about.

In a climate of free expression our American ideals, as embodied in the Bill of Rights, will be championed rather than compromised. Zealously protecting our constitutional rights is critical for assuring the evolution of a generation of graduates who can think critically, accept differences of opinion and assure that our hard-earned freedoms are protected and nurtured in America in the future as in the past.

Francis Rooney (@RepRooney) has represented Florida’s 19th congressional district since 2017 and is the ranking member of the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. He previously served as U.S. ambassador to the Holy See under President George W. Bush from 2005 to 2008.


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.

Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO: China's President Xi Jinping visits Portugal
FILE PHOTO: China’s President Xi Jinping attends a meeting with Portugal’s Parliamentary President Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues at the Parliament in Lisbon, Portugal, December 5, 2018. REUTERS/Pedro Nunes/File Photo

March 19, 2019

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese educators must respond to “false ideas and thoughts” when teaching political and ideological classes, President Xi Jinping said, in a sensitive year that marks the 30th anniversary of student-led protests around Tiananmen Square.

Beijing has campaigned against the spread of “Western values” in education, especially at universities, and the ruling Communist Party’s anti-corruption watchdog has sent inspectors to monitor teachers for “improper” remarks in class.

Addressing a symposium for teachers of ideological and political theory in Beijing, Xi said the party must nurture generations of talent to support its leadership and China’s socialist system, state media said late on Monday.

“It is essential to gradually open and upgrade ideological and political theory courses in primary, secondary and tertiary schools, which is an important guarantee for training future generations who are well-prepared to join the socialist cause,” media paraphrased Xi as saying.

“Ideological and political courses should deliver the country’s mainstream ideology and directly respond to false ideas and thoughts,” Xi added. The report did not elaborate.

The government has previously admitted that political education for university students was outdated and unfashionable, though the education minister said last year this problem had been fixed.

Xi alluded to that in his comments.

“We are fully confident of and capable of running ideological and political theory courses better,” he said.

“Thought on socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era should be used to educate people and guide students to strengthen their confidence in the path, theory, system, and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics and to boost patriotism,” Xi added.

Crackdowns on what academics and students can say and should think are nothing new in China.

Courses and speech at universities, in particular, are tightly controlled by the government, fearful of a repeat of pro-democracy protests in 1989 led by students and eventually bloodily crushed by the military.

In 2013, a liberal Chinese economist who had been an outspoken critic of the party was expelled from the elite Peking University.

A year later, the university, once a bastion of free speech in China, established a 24-hour system to monitor public opinion on the internet and take early measures to rein in negative speech, a party journal said at the time.

China aims to build world-class universities and some of its top schools fare well in global rankings, but critics argue curbs on academic freedom could inhibit those ambitions.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Tesla CEO Elon Musk attends the Tesla Shanghai Gigafactory groundbreaking ceremony in Shanghai
FILE PHOTO: Tesla CEO Elon Musk attends the Tesla Shanghai Gigafactory groundbreaking ceremony in Shanghai, China January 7, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song

March 19, 2019

(Reuters) – A tweet about Tesla Inc production targets by Elon Musk was “a blatant violation” of a court order to get his written communications pre-approved, U.S. securities regulators told a judge on Monday, doubling down on the government’s demand to find the Tesla CEO in contempt of a previous fraud settlement.

The Securities and Exchange Commission wrote in a filing in federal court in Manhattan that Musk’s Feb. 19 tweet to his more than 24 million Twitter followers claiming the electric vehicle-maker would build around 500,000 cars in 2019 contained or could have contained information material to Tesla or its shareholders.

The ongoing public battle between Tesla’s chief executive and the top U.S. securities regulator adds pressure on Musk, the public face of Tesla, who is struggling to make the company profitable after cutting the price of its Model 3 sedan to $35,000.

The regulator last month alleged that Musk had violated a September settlement of fraud charges by tweeting material information about Tesla without pre-approval from the company.

In response, Musk had argued that his “single, immaterial” tweet was in compliance with the settlement, and that the SEC’s push to find him in contempt infringed on his free speech..

The fraud settlement between Musk, Tesla and the SEC resolved a lawsuit brought by the regulator over claims Musk made on Twitter in August that he had “funding secured” to take Tesla private at $420 per share. The SEC called those tweets “false and misleading” and a go-private deal never materialized.

As part of that settlement, Musk stepped down as the company’s chairman and he and Tesla agreed to pay $20 million each in fines.

He also agreed to submit written communications that could materially impact Tesla for pre-approval to the company before publishing them.

“It is therefore stunning to learn that, at the time of filing of the instant motion, Musk had not sought pre-approval for a single one of the numerous tweets about Tesla he published in the months since the court-ordered pre-approval policy went into effect,” the SEC said in Monday’s filing.

Tesla has backed off a plan to close all its U.S. stores and said it will instead raise prices of its higher-end vehicles by about 3 percent on average. Last week, Tesla unveiled its Model Y crossover SUV, targeted to begin production in 2020.

Musk called the regulator the “Shortseller Enrichment Commission” on Twitter after the settlement, and tweeted that “something is broken with SEC oversight” just one day after the agency started pursuing the contempt order.

Legal experts have said the SEC could pursue multiple avenues, including a higher fine, imposing further restrictions on Musk’s activities or removing him from Tesla’s board or helm.

Tesla published a new communications policy in December for senior executives as part of the settlement. It called for Tesla’s general counsel and a newly designated in-house securities law attorney to pre-approve any written statements about Tesla that could be material.

A disclosure controls committee, made up of board members Brad Buss, Antonio Gracias and James Murdoch, was tasked with overseeing compliance with the new policy.

The case is U.S. SEC v Elon Musk, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 1:18-cv-8865-AJN-GWG

(Reporting by Alexandria Sage in San Francisco; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

Source: OANN

Neetu Chandak | Education and Politics Reporter

A Virginia student accused of sexual misconduct said Fairfax County Public Schools treated male students “disproportionately harsher” than female students in sexual harassment cases.

The 18-year-old male student, referred to as “John Doe” in the lawsuit, said the district violated his free speech, due process rights and did not investigate the situation properly. Doe was suspended and sent to a different school, according to the lawsuit given to The Daily Caller News Foundation by attorney Jesse Binnall.

A Robinson Secondary School female accused two male students of sexual harassment after her buttocks were allegedly slapped in December 2018. Surveillance video reportedly showed Doe did not hit the female student, according to the lawsuit.

Doe befriended the female student who was new to the school.

“Doe and Student A had classes together and would see each other at school outside of class,” the lawsuit said. “Doe flirted with Student A, which included friendly conversations, putting his arm around her and playfully poking her in class. Student A did not reject these overtures. In fact, she would often seek out Doe’s company and return his flirtations.”

The lawsuit claims the female student “colluded” with her friends to make false statements and the assistant principal was allegedly “seeking evidence that was inculpatory and ignored exculpatory evidence,” according to the lawsuit.

Binnall told TheDCNF one of the witnesses changed her story.

“If a male student and female student are both engaged in mutual sexual contact or touching on school grounds, it is common for the male student to be punished and for the female student not to be punished, based on gender,” the lawsuit said.

Pictured is a hand on a shoulder. SHUTTERSTOCK/Andrey_Popov

Pictured is a hand on a shoulder. SHUTTERSTOCK/Andrey_Popov

Doe’s punishment could affect his college wrestling scholarship and entry to a “prestigious” university unless his record gets cleaned by a judge, The Washington Post reported Sunday. A hearing is expected March 22. (RELATED: Education Department’s Budget Proposal Includes First Ever Teacher Voucher Program)

“He was never given a fair shot to make his case to prove that he was innocent in a school district that doesn’t even have a presumption of innocence,” Binnall said to TheDCNF.

John Torre, a spokesman for FCPS, would not comment on the specifics of the case to WaPo, but said the school district “thoroughly investigates all allegations of Title IX violations and takes action, where appropriate.”

Title IX does not allow sex-based discrimination to education programs receiving federal funding. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos proposed sweeping changes to Title IX to clarify students’ rights and schools’ legal obligations in November 2018.

FCPS is dealing with two other federal lawsuits over mishandling of sexual allegation cases, according to WaPo.

The district is the 10th largest in the U.S. and serves more than 187,000 students.

Robinson Secondary principal Matt Eline could not provide comment on the case.

FCPS did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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Source: The Daily Caller

Karl Notturno | Center for American Greatness

Hours after the horrific terrorist attack in New Zealand, a large number of articles asked the predictable question: shouldn’t tech companies do everything in their power to remove hate speech from their platforms and the internet as a whole?

On its face, the argument for purging hate speech from the internet is compelling: if festering hatred in dark corners of the internet spurs deranged people to commit senseless acts of violence, we should do everything in our power to expunge hate speech and hate groups from every platform we can.

This logic, however, is deeply misguided and will only lead to increased radicalization and unnecessary violence.

Even the most authoritarian and repressive regime cannot extinguish ideas and their very attempt to do so will often give the ideas newfound credibility. There is no reason to outlaw patently stupid ideas — they are easily rebuffed with argument. Forbidding the consideration of a certain thought is easily viewed as an admission that it is strong enough to be dangerous.

And this is why the attempt of many in the media, academia, and government to forbid the consideration of so many thoughts is exceedingly harmful. They have pushed certain assumptions as axiomatic truths and have effectively exiled anyone who dares question them.

If anyone asks whether large-scale immigration is a good thing, they are immediately labeled a xenophobic racist. If anyone questions whether the push to normalize transsexuality is wise, they are immediately denounced as a transphobic bigot. If anyone challenges the extensive push for globalization and the increased power of transnational institutions, they are immediately condemned as a nationalist and therefore as a white nationalist.

Censuring people does not make them agree with you. They won’t suddenly change their minds because you yelled at them. They may stop talking publicly about the issue, but they will continue thinking about it and having private conversations with anyone who will engage them. If anything, the severe condemnation will make them suspicious and wary and may even entrench their offending views.

And what happens when we have banished conversation of unpleasant topics and have exiled all the transgressors? They will naturally gravitate to the most extreme and radicalized groups, because those will be the only people who will be willing to have the types of conversations they want. And in that environment, the radicals will have the advantage, because there won’t be any reasonable people to fight back.

The more exiled the group, the more paranoid and prone to violence. And the growing push to purge them will make them feel even more hunted. Someone who feels hunted rarely stops to reexamine their beliefs — their fight or flight instinct kicks in, and all too often they will pick the former.

Many of our so-called public intellectuals have been sheltered from the uncomfortable questions that often start people down this path of radicalization. These questions have been deemed too “triggering” or offensive in and of themselves. Unfortunately, this means that these intellectuals do not have good answers to them. Instead of trying to come up with good answers, they try to shut up the questioners.

What many fail to grasp is that politics is a tool to avoid violence. Unpleasant speech is better than a mass shooting. Being triggered is better than someone pulling a trigger. And when we try to sanitize the public discourse and make the Overton window smaller and smaller to spare someone’s feelings, we simply push more people towards violence.

Isolation and ignorance drive radicalization. But you can’t cure someone of ignorance by simply shouting “you’re ignorant!” The black man who deconverted 200 Klansmen didn’t do it by telling them to go educate themselves. He talked to them — no matter how unpleasant their views were. That was the only way he could change their minds.

Instead of censoring the hate, we must engage the hate. That’s the only way we can avoid further violence.

Karl Notturno (@KarlNotturno) is a fellow at the Center for American Greatness. He also serves as director of A Soldier’s Home, a nonprofit that helps homeless veterans. He graduated from Yale University with degrees in philosophy and history.


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.

Source: The Daily Caller

The president of Pitzer College vetoed a resolution to suspend the college’s study abroad program at University of Haifa in Israel on Thursday night after the College Council overwhelming voted in favor of it.

Pitzer President Melvin Oliver announced he would veto the suspension hours after the council’s 67-28 vote.

“I fully respect the actions of the College Council, thus I do not make this decision lightly,” Oliver said in a press release.

“By singling out Israel, the recommendation itself is prejudiced. We do not solve one injustice by committing another. If implemented, the recommendation would unnecessarily alienate a large cross section of the College’s constituencies,” he continued. “The reputational harm to the College would be irreparable and as president of this institution, I cannot permit that to happen.”

A Pro-Palestinian “Gaza Beach” protestor holds a placard reading “BDS (Boycotts, divestment and sanctions) during a gathering on the sidelines of “Tel Aviv Sur Seine”, a beach event celebrating Tel Aviv, in central Paris on August 13, 2015.(KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)

Oliver highlighted one of the main complaints with boycotting Israel, and of the boycott, divestment and sanction (BDS) movement, which is that it singles out one country for not living up to a certain set of standards.

Daniel Segal, a professor at Pitzer College, introduced the initial motion to end the program back in November and is one of the most ardent supporters to end it. (RELATED: University of Michigan Denounces Professor That Allegedly Refused To Write Letter Of Recommendation For Israel Program)

“This shows a failure to appreciate that Palestinians are our fellow human beings, and a contempt for the college’s democratic process,” Segal said, according to The Student Life, a student run newspaper. “Because of the divisiveness of the president’s actions and his betrayal of the college’s core values, the president is doing grievous damage to the college I love and have served for 32 years.”

Earlier this week, Segal tweeted a photo of Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib posing with a #SuspendPitzerHaifa pamphlet.

“We regret today’s vote by the Pitzer College Council to uphold the Pitzer faculty’s misguided plan to boycott the college’s relationship with University of Haifa,” University of Haifa President Prof. Ron Robin said in a statement to The Daily Caller. “While such proponents of the BDS movement in the academic community utilize a free speech argument to justify boycotts of Israeli institutions, those who support these votes at Pitzer are actually undermining academic freedom and free speech by depriving students of their freedom to choose where to study abroad.”

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Source: The Daily Caller

Police officers stand guard as far-right protesters try to block first in the city
Police officers stand guard as far-right protesters try to block first in the city “Equality Parade” rally in support of the LGBT community in Lublin, Poland October 13, 2018. Jakub Orzechowski/Agencja Gazeta/via REUTERS

March 15, 2019

By Joanna Plucinska and Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk

WARSAW (Reuters) – Poland’s ruling nationalist party aims to stem a decline in its popularity ahead of two key elections this year with warnings that opposition support for LGBT education is a threat to Polish culture and should be blocked wherever possible.

The Law and Justice Party (PiS) has condemned a new school sex education program planned in Poland’s opposition-ruled capital Warsaw, calling it an infringement of traditional Catholic values by Western liberalism.

PiS has targeted LGBT rights as it strives to reverse a decline in popularity amid corruption allegations against financial regulators and questions about party chief Jaroslaw Kaczynski’s business dealings, among other things.

Poland’s European Coalition, an umbrella grouping of opposition parties, has passed PiS by two points ahead of May’s European Parliament elections, according to a new opinion poll. Parliamentary elections will follow in the autumn.

The approved lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) education program in Warsaw is meant to teach students about sexual orientation, discrimination and reproductive health, according to standards set by the World Health Organization.

Conservative politicians, Roman Catholic leaders and commentators argue such lessons will rob parents of the right to decide how their children should be educated and see children discovering their sexuality too early.

“The whole social mechanism of preparing a young person, first a child and then a youth, for future roles as women and men, to start a family, for the role of mother and father, is being questioned. It could be destroyed,” Kaczynski told a PiS party convention on Saturday.

He added that if the opposition prevailed in the coming elections, it would “continue this attack on families, on children,” and urged voters to help PiS foil such outcomes.

Over half of Poles think homosexuality is not normal but can be tolerated, while a quarter believe it should not be tolerated at all, according to a poll carried out in late 2017 by CBOS.

Poland remains one of Europe’s most devout countries. Roughly 90 percent of the 38 million population identify as Catholics and some 12 million attend mass every Sunday. But while PiS is popular in small town and rural areas of Poland, it draws much less support in larger cities like Warsaw.

ATMOSPHERE OF FEAR?

Some analysts said the PiS decision to zero in on LGBT matters in an election year was a strategy of playing on fear of the unfamiliar to win votes at a time when support for the PiS is floundering among young voters and urbanites.

“What the ruling party is doing isn’t a normal discussion about LGBT rights. Through certain connotations, linking this subject with a so-called threat to children, politicians are trying to create an atmosphere of fear,” sociologist Malgorzata Fuszara told daily Rzeczpospolita on Wednesday.

The tactic worked for PiS previously, analysts said, noting how in 2015 it used anti-migrant rhetoric to drum up support before its election defeat of the governing center-left Civic Platform.

“Here they’re playing on fear just like they did with migration. Only this time it’s not against migrants and Islamic countries but against the expansion of Western values,” said Aleksander Smolar at the Stefan Batory Foundation.

For their part, Polish bishops said in a statement that the Warsaw sex education program would undermine democracy by limiting parental rights and eroding free speech, as children would be instructed in ways at odds with Polish tradition.

PiS has used its electoral mandate to strengthen Catholic values, vowing to “lift Poland from its knees” in its fight against the alleged imposition by countries like Germany and France of a more secular, liberal way of life.

“We don’t want families to be replaced by a new social structure. We don’t want the state, specialists or experts to be the only ones to decide on how we raise our children,” said Zdzislaw Krasnodebski, a PiS ally in the European Parliament.

Polish schools do not currently offer formal sex education, instead teaching students how to prepare for “family life”.

Poland ranks second to last out of 28 European Union states when it comes to equality and non-discrimination, according to Rainbow Europe, an organization linked to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association.

Gay marriage is illegal in Poland and homosexual partnerships are not legally recognized.

PiS has long focused on bolstering the traditional family unit, comprised of a mother, father and children through social spending programs such as “500+”, which awards 500 zlotys ($131) a month per child to families with more than one child.

(Additional reporting by Marcin Goclowski Editing by Justyna Pawlak and Mark Heinrich)

Source: OANN

Tucker Carlson wondered aloud on his Thursday show exactly what CNN’s Jeff Zucker has done to deserve the First Amendment Award he was given Wednesday at the Radio Television Digital News Foundation’s First Amendment Awards ceremony.

WATCH:

“We spent the last two years almost alone in Washington, by the way, defending the idea that the unpopular ought to be allowed to say uncomfortable things in public,” Carlson began. “That was our understanding of free speech. But this is 2019. The point of the First Amendment Award is now just the opposite. It goes to the media executive who has worked most tirelessly to punish the people he doesn’t agree with and force them to be quiet. Given those new criteria, this year’s award went to—of course—CNN president Jeff Zucker.”

Carlson then mentioned that Zucker, who notably led the charge to get Alex Jones kicked off social media platforms, also chose not to defend Fox News last week when the Democratic National Committee decided to ban the network from hosting a Democratic primary debate.

“CNN’s mission is to tell the truth,” Carlson continued. “Well, maybe someone ought to tell Carter Page. CNN falsely suggested he was a Russian agent and helped destroy his life. Or tell the Covington [Catholic] High School students. Jeff Zucker’s network slandered and shamed and tried to destroy them on the basis of lies.”

Lawyers for Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann filed a $275 million defamation lawsuit against the network earlier this week, alleging that four television broadcasts and nine articles specifically contain defamatory statements about Sandmann. (RELATED: Nicholas Sandmann’s Lawyer Says He’s Likely Going After CNN Next, And The Stakes Could Be Higher)

Carlson then aired a clip of Zucker’s speech after receiving the award, in which Zucker alleges that the White House provides additional access to networks that agree to “follow the script.”

Carlson rebutted:

Fox News follows a script? Right. This is the only network on television where you won’t hear the same script every night. It’s the only news channel that deviates in any way from the other 10. They are united in total conformity. We are different. Zucker hates that. He prefers strict obedience. Jeff Zucker would shut down Fox News tomorrow if he could. Just the other day Zucker says that Fox News has ‘done tremendous damage to the country.’ How? By disagreeing with him and his friends. This is not the behavior of someone who supports free speech.

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Source: The Daily Caller

Jake Lloyd discusses the unprecedented attacks on free speech from tech giants like Twitter, Facebook, and Google. The Infowars audience weighs in on the hypocrisy of the Left attempting to hijack the free speech wave. Patrick Casey of the American Identity Movement joins to discuss real world activism and how it can be used to restore American greatness, and Will Johnson of Unite America First joins to discuss exactly how Google manipulates the flow of information for their anti-liberty See More agenda.

GUEST // (OTP/Skype) // TOPICS:
Patrick Casey//Skype
Will Johnson//Skype</span>

Source: The War Room

It is now clear that Trump isn’t waiting for a better moment. This was not an anomaly. It’s not an accident.

After he signed his third spending bill with no wall funding, which he claims to need, all sentient beings were forced to conclude that the president has no intention of ever doing anything we wanted on immigration.

In fact, Trump is steadily moving in the precise opposite direction of what he promised.

Illegal immigration is on track to hit the highest levels in more than a decade, and Trump has willfully decided to keep amnesty advocates Jared, Ivanka, Mick Mulvaney, Marc Short and Mercedes Schlapp in the White House. For all his talk about immigration, did he ever consider hiring people who share his MAGA vision?

A (diminishing) percentage of the base is annoyed when I point this out. They think that the moment something comes out of Trump’s mouth, IT HAS HAPPENED.

Yes, Trump talks a good game. He’s like a waiter who compliments us for ordering the hamburger, but keeps bringing us fish. The hamburger is our signature dish, juicy and grilled to perfection, you’ve made a brilliant choice … now here’s your salmon.

If he refuses to do what we hired him to do, he’s not getting a good Yelp review.

I’ve decided to discuss the Trump presidency in purely mathematical terms. It’s not his fault! He’s trying! Never has a president been under such attack! — these are more in the nature of “excuses,” not facts.

Under my new approach, I will provide a numerical evaluation of the Trump presidency, which I call:

TRUMP BY THE NUMBERS!

No editorializing, no invective, no opinion.

** ** **

NUMBER OF MILES OF WALL BUILT ON OUR SOUTHERN BORDER SINCE TRUMP HAS BEEN PRESIDENT:

ZERO.

** ** **

NUMBER OF MILES OF FENCE, BOLLARD OR GARDEN TRELLIS BUILT ALONG OUR 2,000-MILE BORDER SINCE TRUMP HAS BEEN PRESIDENT:

26.
** ** **NUMBER OF TIMES TRUMP HAS CLAIMED ON TWITTER HE’S ALREADY BUILDING THE WALL:

16 BY MY COUNT.

** ** **

NUMBER OF TIMES TRUMP HAS COMPLAINED ON TWITTER THAT CONGRESS WON’T GIVE HIM FUNDS TO BUILD THE WALL THAT HE SAYS HE’S ALREADY BUILDING:

AT LEAST 30 BY MY COUNT.

** ** **

NUMBER OF WALL “PROTOTYPES” DESTROYED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT:

ALL OF THEM.

** ** **

NUMBER OF EXECUTIVE ORDERS ENDING THE ANCHOR BABY SCAM — AS TRUMP PROMISES WHENEVER AN ELECTION IS COMING:

ZERO.
** ** **

NUMBER OF EXECUTIVE ORDERS ISSUED BY TRUMP RESCINDING OBAMA’S UNCONSTITUTIONAL AMNESTY FOR ILLEGAL ALIEN “DREAMERS”:

ZERO.

** ** **

NUMBER OF ILLEGAL ALIENS WHOSE PRESENCE HAS BEEN EXCUSED BY TRUMP:

11 TO 50 MILLION (depending on whether you believe the propaganda or the facts).

** ** **

NUMBER OF EXTENSIONS OF THE E-VERIFY SYSTEM TO PREVENT ILLEGALS FROM BEING HIRED OVER AMERICANS:

ZERO.

** ** **

NUMBER OF H1-B FOREIGN WORKERS IN THIS COUNTRY WHEN TRUMP TOOK OFFICE:

APPROXIMATELY 1 MILLION.

** ** **

NUMBER OF H1-B FOREIGN WORKERS IN THIS COUNTRY TODAY:

APPROXIMATELY 1 MILLION.

** ** **

NUMBER OF ASYLUM LOOPHOLES CLOSED:

ZERO.

** ** **

NUMBER OF TOP-LEVEL ADMINISTRATION JOBS OFFERED TO IMMIGRATION CONTROLLERS WHO ARE NOT NAMED “STEPHEN MILLER”:

ZERO.

** ** **

NUMBER OF TOP-LEVEL ADMINISTRATION JOBS OFFERED TO MEMBERS OF THE KOCH BROTHERS’ OPEN BORDERS NETWORK:

FIVE THAT I KNOW OF.

** ** **

NUMBER OF ATTORNEYS GENERAL TRYING DESPERATELY TO IMPLEMENT TRUMP’S IMMIGRATION AGENDA WHOM TRUMP MOCKED AND FORCED OUT OF OFFICE:

ONE.

** ** **

Apart from immigration, probably the single most important campaign promise Trump made was to end the carried interest loophole. Most Republicans would break out into a cold sweat if asked to raise taxes on George Soros. FINALLY, we had a Republican (or Democrat) who wasn’t beholden to Wall Street!

During the campaign, Trump said this tax scam allowed hedge fund managers to “get away with murder” and vowed to eliminate it. Americans who hadn’t voted for 30 years said: How do I register to vote?

Let’s take out the slide rule!

** ** **

NUMBER OF CARRIED INTEREST LOOPHOLES ELIMINATED BY PRESIDENT TRUMP:

ZERO.

** ** **

TOTAL CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS IN 2016 GIVEN BY GOLDMAN SACHS TO HILLARY CLINTON:

$388,000.

** ** **

TOTAL CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS GIVEN BY GOLDMAN SACHS TO TRUMP:

$5,607 (or 70 times less than Goldman gave to Hillary).

** ** **

NUMBER OF GOLDMAN SACHS EMPLOYEES PUT IN TOP ADMINISTRATION POSITIONS BY PRESIDENT TRUMP:

7 — or “more than Presidents Bush and Obama combined.”

(For someone unable to fulfill the most basic of his immigration promises, Trump has been amazingly competent in accomplishing the things Wall Street wanted, but no one else did.)

** ** **

NUMBER OF ACTIONS TAKEN TO DEFEND THE FREE SPEECH RIGHTS OF TRUMP’S BIGGEST SUPPORTERS BEING DEPLATFORMED AND CENSORED, SUCH AS MILO YIANNOPOULOS, GAVIN MCINNES, LAURA LOOMER AND ALEX JONES:

ZERO.

** ** **

PERCENTAGE OF THE BASE THAT TRUMP CAN AFFORD TO LOSE IN 2020, AFTER MILLIONS OF OLDER, WHITER AMERICANS HAVE DIED OFF, AND MILLIONS OF IMMIGRANTS HAVE TURNED 18 AND BEGUN VOTING:

ZERO.

Source: The Daily Caller

Media Matters President Angelo Carusone is currently leading a boycott campaign against Fox News host Tucker Carlson, a co-founder of The Daily Caller News Foundation, in an attempt to get him fired.

Carusone and Media Matters, which openly pine for the destruction of Fox News, have justified the left-wing boycott campaign by pointing to a number of statements that Carlson made on a radio shock jock show between 2006 and 2011.

But Carusone has his own track record of inflammatory statements. Carusone’s now-defunct blog includes degrading references to “trannies,” “jewry” and Bangladeshis. (RELATED: Media Matters Gave MSNBC Host Joy Reid A Pass)

Carusone posted a lengthy diatribe in November 2005 about a Bangladeshi man who was robbed by “a gang of transvestites,” as Carusone described it. Carusone was offended that the gang was described as “attractive” in an article.

“Did you notice the word attractive? What the fuck is that doing in there? Is the write[r] a tranny lover too? Or, perhaps he’s trying to justify how these trannies tricked this Bangladeshi in the first place? Look man, we don’t need to know whether or not they were attractive. The fucking guy was Bangladeshi,” Carusone wrote. “And while we’re out, what the hell was he doing with $7,300 worth of stuff. The guy’s Banladeshi! [sic]”

Carusone also chided police for not advising the public to “stay away from tranny bars, stay away from places [sic] where Eddie Murphy and Robert Downey Jr. have/are visiting, don’t fucking kiss a transvestite, don’t bring a group of transvestites back to your room, etc…”

The future Media Matters president titled his post, “Tranny Paradise.”

Screenshot/web.archive.org

Screenshot/web.archive.org

In another post that same month, Carusone downplayed a male basketball coach’s alleged sexual and physical abuse of his female players, adding, “light up Japs,” using what is considered an ethnic slur.

Screenshot/web.archive.org

Screenshot/web.archive.org

In another November 2005 blog post, Carusone praised former Democratic West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd, a former grandmaster of the Klu Klux Klan, as one of his ten favorite public figures. “In his lunacy, we trust,” Carusone wrote of Byrd.

Carusone made anti-Semitic comments on his blog as well.

He wrote in one October 2005 post that “despite his jewry, you KNOW he’s adorable,” referring to his boyfriend.

Screenshot/web.archive.org

Screenshot/web.archive.org

In another post, Carusone claimed that his boyfriend only leaned conservative “as a result of his possession of several bags of Jewish gold.”

Screenshot/Web.Archive.Org

Screenshot/Web.Archive.Org

Carusone did not return an inquiry from TheDCNF asking whether he sees any contradiction between his boycott campaigns and his own past comments. TheDCNF did not receive a response by press time.

Carusone previously dismissed concerns about his past anti-Semitic comments on the grounds that his longtime partner is Jewish.

Prominent conservatives have rallied behind Carlson.

Ben Shapiro derided Media Matters as “a political smear factory designed to perform precisely that function against anyone to the right of Hillary Clinton.”

“Our nation cannot maintain its culture of free speech if we continue to reward those who seek to destroy careers rather than rebut ideas,” National Review’s David French wrote in a column on Monday.

“And when you reward a Media Matters search-and-destroy fishing expedition with calls for boycotts or reprisals, then you are doing your part to destroy debate. It’s vengeful. It’s cowardly. And it’s exactly the online world that spiteful partisans want to build,” French added.

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Lloyd Billingsley | Policy Fellow, Independent Institute

President Trump recently announced a plan for an executive order that would deny federal research funds to universities that fail to support free speech.

Speaking on the topic, the president cited the case of conservative activist Hayden Williams, who was punched in the face at the University of California, Berkeley while recruiting students for the Leadership Institute. A better example of free-speech infringement at a  public university would be UCLA’s campaign against alumnus and teacher Keith Fink.

As a UCLA student, Fink won three national debating championships. He went on to earn a law degree, and in 2008, returned to the campus as a lecturer in the Department of Communication Studies. For a decade, students in many disciplines, including medicine and law, packed out his course, “Sex, Politics and Race: Free Speech on Campus.”

University officials, however, took a dim view of the course. As Fink told the Chronicle of Higher Education, “The fact that I use current events at UCLA as teaching examples to illustrate free-speech principles likely bothers the administration.”

UCLA bosses moved to limit enrollment to Fink’s popular classes, and even blocked admission by students who fit in under the cap. Fink’s department rigged a phony assessment and intimidated students who demonstrated in favor of the professor, chanting “Rethink, keep Fink.” Many students hailed Fink as one of the best professors on campus, but their voices fell on deaf ears.

Not a single UCLA professor or administrator stuck up for Fink. University of California president Janet Napolitano, a former Arizona governor and Department of Homeland Security boss, likewise failed to offer support.

After showing Fink the door, campus officials manufactured accusations against Fink’s supporters and even his college debate coach. Fink now runs a nonprofit to help students push back against free-speech violations, which extend far beyond his own case. When Manhattan Institute scholar Heather MacDonald came to speak at UCLA in 2017, she was harassed by rowdy students and outside groups, but administrators did nothing.

Trump’s threat to cut federal research dollars should be a wake-up call, since universities have no constitutional right to federal funds for any purpose. This fact was well-known within the Obama administration. In 2014, the U.S. Department of Education threatened to “terminate federal funding” of Tufts University for Title IX violations. Infringements of free speech are far more serious because they involve a fundamental right, and the nation’s free-speech zone includes the entire country.

UCLA faculty and students might wonder what would happen if President Trump succeeded in blocking research funds. UC campuses could partially compensate for the lost funding by cutting expensive diversity bureaucrats such as Jerry Kang, UCLA’s vice chancellor for “equity, diversity and inclusion.”

UCLA pays Kang a whopping $440,000 a year, more than the official salary of the president of the United States. California’s Proposition 209 already bars racial and ethnic preferences in state education, so the diversity bureaucracy amounts to wasteful spending. Some researcher might put that money to some legitimate use. Meanwhile, the president is getting some push-back.

Trump’s executive order is “unnecessary,” some journalists have argued, because public universities are already subject “to the full reach of the First Amendment.” The edict, Feldman contends, “would be telling universities what speech can or cannot be allowed on campus.”

In reality, UC bosses are already telling students and faculty alike that some kinds of speech are not allowed on campus, particularly speech that supports First Amendment free-speech rights. In 2011, when UC Davis students used those rights to peacefully protest tuition hikes, the administration deployed campus cops to pepper-spray them.

If embattled students were to support President Trump’s plan to block federal funding for intolerant universities, it would be hard to blame them.

Lloyd Billingsley is a policy fellow at the nonprofit Independent Institute in Oakland, Calif.


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.

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Amber Athey | White House Correspondent

A group of students at Sarah Lawrence College released a set of demands Monday, including free housing and food for students, to amend for alleged “injustices imposed on people of color.”

Members of the “Diaspora Coalition” presented the list of demands to President Cristle Collins Judd during a two-day sit-in at her office and accused the college of being an unsafe place for minority students and failing to properly commit to social justice.

“Sarah Lawrence was not founded on racial or economic equality and has not implemented sufficient strategies to dismantle systematic oppression to be sustainable or safe for marginalized people in an increasingly dangerous political climate,” the Diaspora Coalition asserted in its list of demands.

WATCH:

The 9-page list of demands includes the following:

  • Free winter housing with a “communal kitchen” containing “dry goods from the food pantry”
  • Free laundry detergent and fabric softener for all students
  • Special housing for students of color
  • Allow students to share meal swipes because “It is unacceptable that there are students with leftover swipes at the end of the semester when other students are going hungry because they run out of meal options.”
  • A mandatory first-year orientation session about “intellectual elitism”
  • On-campus jobs prioritize the hiring of international students
  • Prevent students of color from being educated about history by “racist white professors”
  • Reject funding from the Charles Koch Foundation and review the tenure of “racist” professor Sam Abrams
  • All students have unlimited access to therapy sessions
  • Permanent funding for minority student unions that is not paid for by the student body

The students also demand that they are not punished for sitting-in the president’s office or any other forms of “civil disobedience” they engage in to promote their list. (RELATED: Student Speaks Out After Wyoming College Faces Backlash Over Cowboy Slogan)

President Judd responded to the students’ demands Tuesday, writing in a letter, “[The Diaspora Coalition’s] document brings to the fore many pressing issues that students at Sarah Lawrence face, especially students of color, low-income students, first-generation students, LGBTQ+ students, and others, and I am grateful for the willingness of our students to share their concerns with me and the campus community.”

Judd promised to facilitate round-table discussions in order to “continue conversations” but declined to acquiesce to demands to punish politics professor Sam Abrams.

According to The Phoenix, the Sarah Lawrence College student newspaper, 36 members of the faculty have signed on to the list of demands.

Comparatively, just 27 faculty members signed onto a “defense of academic freedom, free speech, and mutual respect” in December. Judd authored the letter as a response to campus backlash against Abrams, who wrote a New York Times op-ed calling for ideological diversity on campus and criticizing the left-wing bent of campus administrators.

Abrams’ office was vandalized with “messages of intimidation” after publication of the op-ed and the Diaspora Coalition referred to him as “anti-queer, misogynist, and racist” in its list of demands.

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Nick Givas | Media And Politics Reporter

Campus Reform correspondent and University of Wyoming law student Jessie Leach spoke out on “Fox & Friends” Tuesday, after the school’s cowboy slogan drew controversial backlash.

The college released a promotional video back in July with the tagline: “The World Needs More Cowboys.” The slogan was met with criticism and tagged as sexist, despite the school’s mascot being an actual cowboy. (RELATED: Poll: Most College Students Think PC Culture Snuffs Out Free Speech)

“As The Leadership Institute Campus Reform reports all the time, there’s an outrage culture on our campuses,” Leach said. “And everybody wants to be part of the newest outrage and a couple people at the University of Wyoming I guess just wanted a bite at that apple. And so when I heard about the controversy I had two initial reactions. And the first is that these professors are completely missing the facts.”

WATCH:

“The fact is that when they claim that this slogan is sexist and that it’s xenophobic, cowboys exist all over the world. But beyond that my second reaction is that they’re completely missing the point,” she continued. “The point of the slogan is to say that the world needs more people with the cowboy spirit. And that’s the spirit of hard work, determination, self-reliance and integrity.”

Leach said faculty members complained about the tagline despite it’s popularity among the student body, and claimed it represented genocide.

“I just think it’s silly. I know that, you know, I was born and raised in Wyoming. I was born and raised Wyoming’s largest city. And I’ve never once related the words cowboy with genocide, xenophobia, anything like that,” she said.

“And, again, I go back to what the slogan is meant to be and it’s all about the spirit of the cowboy. Our communications director here at the university said that the spirit of the cowboy is not what you are but it’s who you are. And I’m so thankful that our university administration was willing to stand up to these criticisms because it’s obviously paid off. Our enrollment numbers are up for next year. And everybody wants to be a cowboy and the world needs more cowboys.”

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Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador gestures during his daily news conference at National Palace in Mexico City
Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador gestures during his daily news conference at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico February 15, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Romero

March 10, 2019

By Dave Graham

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Three months into his presidency, Mexico’s Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has already spent more time facing the press corps than his predecessor did in his entire six-year term.

And the people love it.

Standing at the center of a stage for his news conferences at 7 a.m. every weekday, Lopez Obrador has used the platform to swat at initial skepticism from financial markets and cement his hold on Mexico after a landslide election win last summer.

The president’s approval rates are soaring. But if in time things go wrong, he will still be out in front on his own.

Dictating debate much as U.S. President Donald Trump has via Twitter, the news conferences have muscled aside breakfast news programming and reduced other political leaders, including his own cabinet, to bystanders at Lopez Obrador’s parade.

“There’s nothing between him and the people, not even oxygen,” said Jesus Ortega, an erstwhile ally who ran the 2006 presidential campaign that Lopez Obrador lost by a whisker.

As promised, the veteran leftist has slashed public sector pay, given up presidential perks and launched one welfare program after another at rallies around the country, replacing existing social security schemes with more direct transfers.

Throughout, he has kept a steady stream of verbal fire trained on dissenting voices or checks on his power, including critical media, civil society groups or independent regulatory bodies – while reaffirming his belief in free speech and transparency.

Relentlessly hammering home his commitment to end Mexico’s chronic inequality, he has often used his media gatherings to denounce previous “neo-liberal” administrations he accuses of ruining Mexico, such as that of his predecessor Enrique Pena Nieto, who very rarely faced reporters at live news conferences.

Voters have lapped it up.

“He’s doing well,” said Joel Carrillo, a 52-year-old car valet in Mexico City who supports Lopez Obrador. “He’s taking away lots of privileges from the politicians.”

In his July election, Lopez Obrador triumphed with 53 percent of the vote. Now, as his administration reaches the 100-day mark on Sunday, the president has the support of almost four out of five Mexicans, according to one recent opinion poll.

“For the moment, he is completely invulnerable and completely indestructible,” said Agustin Barrios Gomez, a former lawmaker and board member of the Mexican Council on Foreign Relations (COMEXI). “He owns the country.”

Financial markets are not impressed.

Rating agencies have issued a series of warnings that Mexico’s creditworthiness may be downgraded if Lopez Obrador cannot turn around state oil firm Pemex, which ended 2018 with more than $100 billion of financial debt.

Lopez Obrador said the agencies were punishing Mexico for failed policies from the “neo-liberal” era. Still, a government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the president was more concerned than he let on about the agencies’ views.

If economic problems do arise, Lopez Obrador would struggle to evade blame, said car valet Carrillo.

“He’s not taking help from his ministers,” he said. “He’s taking all the responsibility on himself.”

ACHILLES’ HEEL

Diplomats, politicians and members of his own government tend to agree the economy is Lopez Obrador’s Achilles’ heel.

The president has pushed consumer confidence to its highest level since at least 2001. But that has yet to translate into tangible gains for the economy. Forecasters are paring back their growth expectations for 2019.

Car sales dropped in February by over 5 percent. By Friday, Mexico’s main share index had fallen for 10 consecutive days. Meanwhile, the latest data for Mexican retail sales and fixed capital investment showed significant declines in December.

Business leaders were furious when Lopez Obrador scrapped a part-built, $13 billion new Mexico City airport and triggered billions of dollars of losses on Mexican markets. His steps to undo measures by Pena Nieto aimed at luring private capital to the oil and gas industry further soured sentiment.

Lopez Obrador argued the airport was tainted by corruption. And he has long espoused the belief Mexico must keep its own oil – even if he has yet to entirely rule out continuing the auctions of oil and gas fields that Pena Nieto started.

The problem for Mexico, said Barrios Gomez at COMEXI, is that the rhetoric of Lopez Obrador and his more ideological allies have almost made investment a dirty word.

“When somebody says investment, in their minds they translate it as bourgeoisie getting rich,” he said.

And the more moderate aides were unlikely to pick a fight with Lopez Obrador over the economy because they owed him their jobs, noted Ortega, his former campaign chief.

For now, the president would continue to blame previous governments for economic difficulties, he added. But in due course, others would pay the price.

“When something goes wrong, he won’t hesitate to make heads roll,” said Ortega.

(Reporting by Dave Graham; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Andrea Ricci)

Source: OANN

Virginia Kruta | Associate Editor

Republican Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw had harsh words for Democratic Massachusetts Rep. Joe Kennedy III over H.R.-1, arguing that it would do the opposite of what Kennedy claimed it would.

Kennedy touched off the exchange Friday when he tweeted criticism of the GOP, saying that the Republican Party “stands unified against a bill to strengthen our democracy & increase transparency in our elections.” He referenced the North Carolina seat that currently stands empty due to alleged “ballot-harvesting,” arguing that H.R.-1 would prevent such issues in the future.

Crenshaw fired back, pointing out the fact that “even the ACLU” stands opposed to the measure. “TRUTH: it would legalize vote harvesting across the entire country, use your tax $ to do it, and limit free speech drastically. All in the name of ‘democracy,’” Crenshaw tweeted.

The ACLU was so concerned by the content of H.R.-1 that the organization sent a letter of opposition, saying in part that if passed the bill “would overly burden the speech and associational rights of organizations that engage in issue advocacy.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy argued that the bill constituted “a massive federal government takeover that would undermine the integrity of our elections,” and criticized Democrats for a lack of transparency in bringing the bill before the House.

“H.R. 1 wants to give American taxpayer dollars to political candidates and campaigns, regardless of whether you support them,” McCarthy added.

This bill will give candidates a government match of 6-1. Not a dollar for dollar. No, no, no. For the Politicians Act multiplies it. So if a citizen gives $200, the government gives $1,200. That’s why the new Democrat Socialist Party are so excited about this bill.

That’s why they made it a number one priority. Hard-earned taxpayer money should go to roads, bridges, or to giving a boost to struggling Americans, not to political campaigns.

Republicans on the House Committee for Administration — the only committee that has actually seen H.R.-1 — shared a satire ad designed to show Americans what the bill would actually do. (RELATED: This Political Ad Bashes HR 1’s Funding Of Campaigns)

Democrats have rallied around H.R.-1, and some are using it as a foothold to push for a lower voting age (16) and voting rights for illegal immigrants.

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Source: The Daily Caller

Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar made headlines this week for comments about Israel that many deemed anti-Semitic, but it’s not the first time she’s been in the spotlight for these types of remarks.

Omar, a Somali refugee, has been in Congress since January but she has had no shortage of comments that have drawn criticism in regards to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, being accused of espousing anti-Semitism on multiple occasions. Here’s a rundown of them:

Omar accuses Israel of “hypnotizing the world”:

On Nov. 12, 2012, Omar tweeted, “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel. #Gaza #Palestine#Israel.”

She sent the tweet during the Israeli Defense Forces’ eight day Operation Pillar of Defense, during which they were responding to rockets fired into Israel.

She defended the tweet in a January interview with Christiane Amanpour, saying, “What is really important to me is that people recognize that there is a difference between criticizing a military action by a government that has exercised really oppressive policies and being offensive or attacking to particular people of faith.”

Omar then reiterated that defense in a CNN interview a day later. She argued that she didn’t understand “how my comments would be offensive to Jewish-Americans.”

Bari Weiss, an opinion writer for The New York Times, called her out in a piece less than a week after her interviews with Amanpour and on CNN. Omar responded to her piece on Twitter, saying, “In all sincerity, it was after my CNN interview that I heard from Jewish orgs that my use of the word ‘Hypnotize’ and the ugly sentiment it holds was offensive.”

WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 08: Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the U.S. Capitol March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Omar waits until after her election win to reveal her support of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement:

In the days after she won her election for Minnesota’s 5th district, she announced her support for the BDS movement.

The movement seeks to punish the state of Israel for its treatment of Palestinians. Many of the movement’s detractors, including the Anti-Defamation League, suggest that the movement is anti-Semitic because it only seeks to punish one country for the treatment of certain people — the Jewish state.

“I believe right now with the BDS movement, it’s not helpful in getting that two-state solution,” Omar said during the primary debate a week before the election, according to Haaretz. “I think the particular purpose for [BDS] is to make sure that there is pressure, and I think that pressure really is counteractive. Because in order for us to have a process of getting to a two-state solution, people have to be willing to come to the table and have a conversation about how that is going to be possible and I think that stops the dialogue.”

Days after her election, her campaign appeared to change the congresswoman’s stance on the movement. (America’s First Two Muslim Congresswomen Officially Endorse The BDS Movement)

MuslimGirl reported that her campaign told them, “Ilhan believes in and supports the BDS movement, and has fought to make sure people’s right to support it isn’t criminalized. She does however, have reservations on the effectiveness of the movement in accomplishing a lasting solution.”

Omar suggests Israel is not a democracy in January:

The Democratic congresswoman said in an interview with Yahoo! News’s Zainab Salbi that “I almost chuckle” when Israel is called a democracy. She proceeded to compare Israel’s approach to democracy to Iran’s. (RELATED: Conservative Jewish Organization Condemns Omar’s Comments On Israel)

“And so when I see Israel institute, law that recognizes it as a Jewish state and does not recognize, um, the other religions that are living in it and we still uphold it as a democracy in the Middle East. I almost chuckle because I know that if we see that any other society we would criticize it, call it out,” Omar stated. “We do that to Iran, we do that to any other place that sort of upholds its religion. And I see that now happening with Saudi Arabia and so I am aggravated, truly, in those contradictions.”

Alex Wong/Getty Images

U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) listens during a news conference on prescription drugs January 10, 2019 at the Capitol in Washington, DC. Alex Wong/Getty Images

Omar says AIPAC buys congressional support:

Omar in February accused the pro-Israel lobbying group American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) of buying pro-Israel support from American politicians in a tweet last month.

The debacle began when Omar quote-tweeted The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald. He tweeted a link to a Haartez article about House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy promising “action” against Omar and Democratic Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib. McCarthy’s statement in the article was not explicit in what he thought required “action” should be, but it appeared to be in reference to their statements about Israel.

Greenwald’s tweet read, “GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy threatens punishment for @IlhanMN and @RashidaTlaib over their criticisms of Israel. It’s stunning how much time US political leaders spend defending a foreign nation even if it means attacking free speech rights of Americans.”

“It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” Omar added with a music note emoji. Then, after receiving pressure to explain who she was talking about, she tweeted “AIPAC!”

Her insinuation was met with widespread condemnation from both sides of the aisle — from members of Congress to Speaker Pelosi, who called it “anti-Semitic,” to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and President Donald Trump.

Later that day, she tweeted an apology.

“Anti-Semitism is real, and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes. My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole,” her statement read in part. “We have to always be willing to step back and think through criticism, just as I expect people to hear me when others attack me for my identity. This is why I unequivocally apologize.”

Two days after her apology, the House of Representatives passed a motion condemning anti-Semitism, which was added to an unrelated bill. The House voted 424-0, with two GOP members voting present.

Nearly two weeks later, Omar deleted the accusatory tweets about AIPAC as well as the one alleging Israel “hypnotized the world,” without any explanation. (RELATED: Omar Addresses The Now-Deleted AIPAC Tweet That Sparked Backlash)

WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 06: Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) participates in a House Education and Labor Committee Markup on the H.R. 582 Raise The Wage Act, in the Rayburn House Office Building on March 6, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Omar suggests members of Congress have an “allegiance” to Israel:

During a town hall last week, Omar implied that as a member of Congress, she was expected to maintain allegiance to Israel, saying, “So for me, I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay to push for allegiance to a foreign country.”

Democratic New York Rep. Nita Lowey pushed back on Omar’s comments days later, only for Omar to double down.

Omar responded, saying in part, “I should not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in Congress or serve on committee.”

In the coming days, members of Congress on both sides of the aisle criticized her comments. Some went as far as to demand she be removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Instead, Democratic leadership opted to introduce a resolution to condemn anti-Semitism. After multiple delays, language was added to the resolution to condemn hate and bigotry against most minorities. (RELATED: Chairman Engel Is Against Removing Rep. Omar From His Committee)

The resolution passed 407-23 with all of the votes against it coming from Republicans. Many of those Republicans cited their beliefs that the final draft of the resolution no longer accomplished the goal they set out to reach – a condemnation of Omar’s comments and of anti-Semitism in general.

Omar has yet to apologize or denounce the comments that started this saga.

Omar’s scheduled to appear at a fundraiser with Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) later this month

The Minnesota congresswoman is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at CAIR’s 4th Annual Valley Banquet. CAIR is a notable pro-Palestinian organization with ties to Islamic terror groups.

The U.S. Department of Justice listed CAIR as an un-indicted co-conspirator in funding millions of dollars to the terrorist organization Hamas. Additionally, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) named CAIR a terrorist organization along with al-Qaeda and ISIS in 2014. (RELATED: McCarthy Condemns Omar For Hamas-Linked Org Fundraising)

It’s unclear if she still plans on speaking at the event amid the latest backlash.

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Adelle Nazarian | Contributor

A groundswell of public support is building for Michael Goldstein, an administrator and adjunct professor at the City University of New York (CUNY), who claims that he is the victim of a “systematic and pernicious campaign” of anti-Semitism.

Goldstein, who teaches communications and government relations, has worked at CUNY’s Kingsborough Community College (KCC) for 20 years and is the son of the university’s former president. He penned a Feb. 13 op-ed in the New York Daily News titled, “A campus infected with hostility: A professor says he’s been targeted for being a conservative Jew.”

In the piece, Goldstein recounted what he described as an “unending campaign of harassment and belittlement” by which he was singled out for his politically conservative and pro-Israel views, as well as his allegation that CUNY and KCC have failed to take action to protect him and fellow Jewish staff members who have been targeted by a campus group called the Progressive Faculty Caucus (PFC).

Goldstein began being targeted in Feb. 2018 when a photo of his late father that hung outside his office was defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti and a death threat, including the words “F—k Trump Goldstein, Kill the Zionist Entity.” KCC declined to classify the incident as a hate crime and denied Goldstein’s requests for added security.

Goldstein later learned that the vandalism came a day after KCC professor and PFC member Katia Perea told an administrator, “I guess I will have to handle this myself,” when the administrator refused her request to fire him. Perea allegedly went from office to office at the college, showing staffers Goldstein’s private Facebook photos as “evidence” that he is racist and sexist.

New York City (Drop of Light/Shutterstock)

New York City (Drop of Light/Shutterstock)

Then, last May, more than 1,000 flyers were distributed around campus calling for Goldstein’s firing over posts on his private Facebook page that were Zionist and pro-Trump. The flyers included a picture of the Jewish professor’s 13-year-old daughter. Further, a PFC member who was appointed to a KCC food committee that Goldstein has chaired for eight years began investigating his activity on the committee for no apparent reason, according to Goldstein.

“I’ve never promoted any of my private or religious opinions in the classroom — or anywhere else on campus. Nor have I held any of the hateful views the flyers attached to me,” Goldstein wrote in the Daily News op-ed, adding that he now fears for his safety on campus.

“Sadly, such discrimination against Jews isn’t limited to Kingsborough or CUNY,” he wrote. “Other high-profile incidents of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism on campuses include University of Michigan, UCLA, Stanford University, Tufts and Connecticut College. The list goes on and on. None of this has anything to do with academic freedom or free speech. This is about anti-Semitism and religious discrimination, pure and simple. There is no longer a safe space in academia for individuals with opposing views — especially if you are Jewish or pro-Israel.”

Goldstein has experienced an outpouring of solidarity in the weeks following the publication of his op-ed, including thousands of shares of his article on social media, dozens of e-mails of support from concerned individuals all over the world and outreach from legal professionals who have volunteered to provide their assistance.

The professor is already being represented by The Lawfare Project, a New York-based legal think tank and litigation fund that states its mission is to protect the civil and human rights of pro-Israel and Jewish communities globally.

The Lawfare Project is largely viewed and recognized as the pro-Israel ACLU.

CUNY website (Sharaf Maksumov/Shutterstock)

CUNY website (Sharaf Maksumov/Shutterstock)

With the assistance of The Lawfare Project, Goldstein has filed complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the New York State Division of Human Rights. He says that during the past year alone, at least five complaints by Jewish staff members that were filed against the PFC have been filed internally with CUNY. The Lawfare Project represents Jeffrey Lax, chair of KCC’s Business Department, in an employment discrimination lawsuit against the college. Lax’s allegations included that Stuart Suss, a former interim president of the school, had said there are “too many Jews” on KCC’s staff.

Additionally, The Lawfare Project and Winston & Strawn LLP last year brought a lawsuit which accuses San Francisco State University (SFSU) and the California State University (CSU) system for anti-Semitic discrimination stemming from the exclusion of the Jewish organization Hillel from a “Know Your Rights” fair on SFSU’s campus in February 2017. The trial date is set for March 18.

Meanwhile, in Goldstein’s case, The Lawfare Project says it has sent multiple letters to the CUNY network’s chancellor and deputy general counsel as well as KCC’s president since August 2018, informing them that their lack of action to protect Goldstein represents a violation of school policy, state law and federal law.

Goldstein himself has filed a series of complaints with KCC’s Department of Public Safety since the initial anti-Semitic vandalism and death threat in February 2018; he has also filed complaints with the school’s chief diversity officer, the administrator responsible for handling discrimination complaints. Goldstein says KCC has not informed him which, if any, of the complaints have been opened for a formal investigation.

“We will not rest until City University of New York takes the appropriate steps to ensure Mr. Goldstein’s protection and puts an end to the discriminatory targeting and harassment of Jewish staff and faculty at Kingsborough Community College,” said The Lawfare Project’s Executive Director Brooke Goldstein.

The Lawfare Project issued a statement blasting KBCC’s President Claudia Schrader for failing to condemn the anti-Semitism that Goldstein experienced, instead blaming the media for potentially tarnishing the school’s image.

The statement read, in part:

Furthermore, on February 25th, in a college-wide e-mail addressed to the KCC community from the KCC President, there was no explicit condemnation of the anti-Semitism experienced by Goldstein; rather, the incidents were merely treated as “allegations of anti-Semitism”. While the e-mail claims investigations are ongoing, Michael Goldstein has not received any clarification on the status of his claims.

The CUNY administrator’s reaction underscores not only the college’s abject failure in preventing anti-Semitism, but also its refusal to come to terms with anti-Semitism on its campus.

The Lawfare Project will continue defending the civil rights of Mr. Goldstein and calls on the CUNY administration, as well as New York’s elected leadership, to seriously investigate the anti-Semitism plaguing their public campuses. It is time for them to take meaningful steps to hold perpetuators accountable and create a safer campus for all students and faculty.

Source: The Daily Caller

Nicole Neily | Contributor

“I will be very soon signing an executive order requiring colleges and universities to support free speech if they want federal research dollars,” President Trump announced on Saturday. “If they want our dollars — and we give it to them by the billions — they’ve got to allow people … to speak.”

These aren’t small sums we’re talking about; the National Science Foundation alone doled out over $26 billion for research at colleges and universities in 2017, and the Department of Defense and the National Institutes of Health partner with schools for research on a similar scale.

It should surprise (and concern) everyone that it’s taken the threat of an executive order to make the country’s universities take the First Amendment concerns of students seriously. Yet this week’s caterwauling from the ivory tower once again shows that perhaps adherence to Constitutional principles might not actually be the default setting on campus after all.

Some have said that an executive order targeted at public universities is unnecessary because those schools are already considered state actors, subject to the full reach of the First Amendment. Unfortunately, we’ve seen time and time again that those state actors do NOT, in fact, respect their students’ First Amendments rights on a regular basis; organizations like the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and the Alliance Defending Freedom have filed dozens of lawsuits against schools across the country over the past 10 years.

Without a doubt, the window of acceptable discourse on college campuses has grown increasingly narrow, and to hold a viewpoint of any kind—political, religious, or other — outside of that window poses a significant threat.

Most Americans are aware of the high-profile issues, where speakers have been shouted down, students’ personal information has been posted online, and physical assaults have taken place. It’s true that many of these problems are culturally-driven. That being said, students and faculty take their cues from administrators, who set the policies that shape the campus environment — and with that in mind, the fact that the president has drawn attention to this issue should frighten many of them.

This is because the under-reported — and frankly, more insidious — problem is that students across the country are simply choosing to avoid engaging on controversial topics at all out of fear. Students with unorthodox opinions face death by a thousand cuts if they choose to speak out; administrations have devised dozens of little methods to subtly discourage students from expressing unwelcome opinions, and they deploy those with precision. Consider that hundreds of schools across the country employ free speech zones, where open dialogue is “permitted.” In addition, student organizations are charged security fees — that is, if the school will recognize the groups at all — or face asymmetrical allocation of student fees.

Speech codes that ban “offensive” speech are confusing for students because they are overbroad and very much in the eye of the beholder. Unfortunately, it’s usually not constitutional scholars who decide what’s “offensive” and what isn’t — it’s often the school’s diversity and inclusion bureaucracy — and woe be the student who’s found to have transgressed.

And let’s not forget “Bias Response Teams,” which encourage students to anonymously report their fellow classmates’ speech through online university portals. Students who are reported through these programs are called in to explain themselves to university administrators, which is a terrifying prospect in and of itself. Even if a student is exonerated, this ends up being punishment by process. And, of course, these systems can very easily be weaponized.

The greater the hassle imposed, the less likely students are to decide that the juice is worth the squeeze. Sadly, many simply choose to keep their heads down and their mouths shut rather than face possible disciplinary consequences.

College campuses are the place where ideas should be vigorously debated—not selectively silenced. A critical function of universities is to expose students to a diversity of viewpoints, including those with which some may vehemently disagree.

Without a doubt, the devil’s in the details — and it remains to be seen how exactly how President Trump’s executive order will be crafted. But it’s past time that we ensure our college and university administrators do more than pay lip service to the idea of free speech for all — they must uphold it, too.

Nicole Neily is president of Speech First, a membership association committed to preserving college students’ First Amendment right to free speech.


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.

Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO: Silhouettes of laptop users are seen next to a screen projection of Facebook logo in this picture illustration
FILE PHOTO: Silhouettes of laptop users are seen next to a screen projection of Facebook logo in this picture illustration taken March 28, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

March 8, 2019

(Reuters) – Facebook Inc said on Thursday it had removed 137 fake pages, groups and Instagram accounts in the United Kingdom and a further 31 in Romania for engaging in hate speech and making divisive comments.

Facebook, Twitter Inc and Alphabet Inc have been under pressure from regulators around the globe to fight the spread of misinformation aimed at destabilizing elections by stoking hardline positions or supporting propaganda campaigns.

Facebook also said https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2019/03/combatting-vaccine-misinformation it would crack down on misinformation about vaccines, by reducing its distribution and providing users with more authoritative information on the topic.

The company said it would reduce the ranking of groups and pages that spread misinformation about vaccinations in its News Feed and Search features and would also reject ads spreading such information.

Earlier on Thursday, Nathaniel Gleicher, head of Facebook’s cybersecurity policy, wrote https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2019/03/removing-cib-uk-and-romania in a blog post that the individuals behind the fake pages, groups and accounts represented themselves as far-right and anti-far-right activists in the UK,

Some of the most popular pages that were taken down defended the role of migrants and Muslims in Britain, and highlighted hostile content related to Tommy Robinson, the former leader of far-right extremist group English Defense League, according to a blog https://medium.com/dfrlab/exclusive-facebook-takes-down-fake-network-in-the-united-kingdom-58350e0f3401 by Digital Forensic Research (DFR) Lab.

DFR, a small online forensics team of Washington-based Atlantic Council thinktank, has been working with Facebook to enhance the social network’s investigations of foreign interference.

Last month, Facebook removed hundreds of Indonesian accounts, pages and groups from its network after discovering they were linked to an online group accused of spreading hate speech and fake news.

Facebook said on Thursday the people behind the fake accounts frequently posted about local and political news including topics like immigration, free speech, racism, LGBT issues, far-right politics, issues between India and Pakistan, and religious beliefs including Islam and Christianity.

About 175,000 accounts followed one or more of these pages, and around 4,500 accounts followed one or more of these Instagram accounts.

In Romania, the page admins and account owners typically posted about political issues, including partisan news under fictitious bylines in support of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), Gleicher said.

(Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham, Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Maju Samuel)

Source: OANN

Paul Joseph Watson is in studio to break down the latest madness out of the UK when it comes to censorship of free speech and Islam now running the schools. Major news breaks as Matthew Whitaker steps down from the DOJ and Democrats announce subpoenas to 80 different Trump supporters.

GUEST // (OTP/Skype) // TOPICS:
Paul Joseph Watson//In Studio
Rob Dew//In Studio

Source: The War Room

Donald Trump Jr. lashed out at the left, the media and social media platforms for positioning themselves against conservatives and censoring free speech, in a “Tucker Carlson Tonight” interview Tuesday.

“Why is the press standing by as the First Amendment erodes?” Tucker Carlson asked Trump Jr.

“The majority of the press are now left-wing activists,” Trump Jr. told Carlson. “They are not on the side that is being stymied, they’re not on the side that is being oppressed.”

Trump Jr. began the interview by talking about his troubles with Instagram and how many of his followers informed him that social media platforms were censoring their content because of their conservative nature.

“I can do this because I have a big platform. I have a big soapbox, I can get it out there, but some of the little guys, they can’t,” Trump Jr. said. “They don’t have the ability. They end up just taking it.”

COVINGTON CATHOLIC STUDENT’S LAWSUIT A ‘SIGNIFICANT CASE’ OR NOT?

Trump Jr. went after “Big Tech” in an op-ed last Friday claiming some companies have been acting in a partisan manner to try preventing President Trump’s reelection.

“Unfortunately, Silicon Valley is showing us that tech companies, too, can manipulate information for partisan ends. Their censorship is increasing at an alarming rate, just in time for them to try to spoil my father’s re-election bid, but we won’t let them get away with it.,” Trump Jr. wrote.

He called the alleged social-media manipulation a “one-way systematic attack on free speech” while talking to Carlson.

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“To me, it reads like it’s a trial run for 2020,” Trump Jr. said. “I’m not saying every account is suppressed, but you do it enough. You take off ‘x’ percent of the top. You cut the message in half.”

“I think we have to start pushing back and I think we have to start pushing back hard,” Trump Jr. said. “If we don’t, we’ll never get the chance again.”

Source: Fox News Politics

Donald Trump Jr. discussed conservative censorship on social media during an appearance on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Tuesday night.

WATCH:

“Do you think, you talked to a lot of Republicans in Washington, do you think they understand the threat of woke capitalism, the alliance between the activist left and big business that is shutting down speech?” Carlson asked. (RELATED: Twitter Censorship Should Terrify Everyone)

“I have a platform to actually do something about it. There are guys, Kevin McCarthy has been pretty vocal about it, but the reality is that nothing has changed,” Trump Jr. answered. “I put up an Instagram post two weeks ago about the Smollett thing because I had the gall to be a little bit cynical about the entire ridiculous situation that was laid out and Instagram just deleted it.”

As Trump Jr. noted, Instagram took down his post about Smollett “in error,” last week.

He continued:

I sort of responded in my normal fashion rather aggressively, saying what’s wrong with this here is the problem yada yada and I got inundated, Tucker. Hundreds of people sending me DMs, ‘Don, my account was shut down because I tried liking one of your tweets, or I tried liking one of your father’s Instagram post that was like him and his grandchildren, nothing even controversial, and time and time again, I’ve had to follow you, Don, three times in the last week because they keep on unfollowing you.”

“So free speech doesn’t mean anything if people can’t hear you speak. And this alliance between the activists left and big corporations is preventing people from being heard,” Carlson responded. “So it is, in effect, an attack on free speech. The media benefits from our freedom of speech. They are the prime beneficiaries of the First Amendment and yet, they don’t even cover it and places like CNN actually encourage companies to the de-platform voices they don’t think should be heard.”

“Again, I think the majority of the press are now left-wing activists, they are on the side of that. They are not on the side that is being stymied, they are not on the side that is being oppressed,” Trump Jr. added. “Guys like me, again, I can do this because I have a big platform, I have a big soap box, I can get it out there but some of the little guys, they can’t, they don’t have that ability.”

GOP spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany has faced similar censorship issues with Instagram. She was asked to delete a post about Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s claims to Native American heritage.

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Source: The Daily Caller

Tim Pearce | Energy Reporter

The Mackinac Center, a free-market think tank, is stepping up efforts to promote right-to-work policies and regulations nearly a year after the Supreme Court banned union agency fees in the public sector.

Mackinac is expanding its operations from informing public sector union workers and fee payers of their rights secured by the June 2018 decision in Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). The free-market think tank launched a new campaign Tuesday, called Workers for Opportunity, to lobby state governors, lawmakers and regulators to adopt further right-to-work laws and protections.

The Supreme Court ruling in Janus found that agency fees – union fees paid by employees as a prerequisite to holding a certain job – violated public sector workers’ free speech rights.

The ruling initiated a furious struggle by right-to-work groups to inform union members and fee-payers of their right to drop union representation. Union bosses began fighting to keep employees on their membership rolls and limit the loss of revenue.

Just informing workers of their newly secured rights is a “shortsighted view,” Mackinac Center vice president of communications Lindsay Killen told The Daily Caller News Foundation. (RELATED: West Coast Union A Quarter Of Its Members Since SCOTUS Decision On Forced Dues, Filings Show)

Mackinac and other conservative groups, such as the Freedom Foundation operating on the West Coast, have made substantial gains in messaging union members and fee-payers. Tens of thousands have stopped paying union dues. The Freedom Foundation estimates its efforts in California, Oregon and Washington have cost unions roughly $36 million.

“Absolutely, we should be focused on informing public employees of their rights across the country … but we need a place for these people to go afterwards. A lot of these people are disenfranchised,” Killen said. “They left their unions for a reason. They left because they didn’t agree with the policies the unions were pushing or the environment that the unions forced upon them.”

Mackinac is operating in more than a dozen states, five of which involve direct operations with legislators or executive officials, to build out from the Janus victory against union power.

Mark Janus addresses the news media outside of the United States Supreme Court in Washington, U.S., February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis

Mark Janus addresses the news media outside of the United States Supreme Court in Washington, U.S., February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis

The Workers for Opportunity campaign has four aims: Expand transparency and access to public union membership rolls, implement more right-to-work laws, ensure union members are able to vote periodically to re-certify or cut off their unions and codify the right of union members to positively affirm that they want to be in a union.

Unions are using their own strategies to maintain union membership and dues. Some unions have taken greater care to work for their members to convince them to stay. Others are using more devious methods, such as instituting “window periods” controlling when members can opt out of a union or not.

“Just recently we heard of legislation in Kansas that would require public employees to contribute to their union as a charitable organization whether or not they choose to be a member of the union,” Killen told TheDCNF. “The unions are getting creative.”

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Source: The Daily Caller

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson said Monday he will sue to challenge President Donald Trump's policy setting up new obstacles for women seeking abortions, calling it "a transparent attack on Planned Parenthood" that would severely impair access to many types of medical care, especially for low-income women in rural areas.

It's the first of several legal challenges expected to be announced by Democratic-led states. A national organization representing publicly funded family planning providers said Monday it would file a separate lawsuit over the policy.

The new rules announced last Friday by the Department of Health and Human Services would bar taxpayer-funded family planning clinics from making abortion referrals. They would also prohibit clinics that receive federal money from sharing office space with abortion providers — a rule that Ferguson said would force many to find new locations, undergo expensive remodels or shut down.

Clinics that receive money under Title X, the 1970 law designed to improve access to reproductive health care for communities around the nation, provide a wide array of services, including birth control and screening for diabetes, depression and cancer. Beyond interfering in a patient's relationship with her doctor, Ferguson said, the rules could leave vast areas without such care for low-income residents.

"Rural communities currently have a shortage of health care providers," Ferguson told reporters. "This rule will make the shortage even more acute."

Abortion is a legal medical procedure, but federal laws prohibit the use of taxpayer funds to pay for abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the woman. Religious conservatives and abortion opponents have long complained that Title X has been used to indirectly subsidize abortion providers.

Ferguson said he would file the lawsuit in federal court in Spokane, in eastern Washington, after the policy is made official with its publication in the federal register and that he would seek a court order blocking it from taking effect. Eastern Washington has 20 counties, 11 of which would be left without Title X providers, he said.

Across Washington state, 14,000 patients received federally funded services at 85 of the clinics in 2017.

Ferguson said Trump's policy violates the Affordable Care Act, which protects providers and patients from government interference in the health care relationship, and a federal law that requires doctors to provide information about abortion and prenatal care to patients in an unbiased manner.

It also violates the Administrative Procedures Act by contradicting Title X regulations without sufficient justification, and it violates doctors' right to free speech and women's right to an abortion under Roe v. Wade, he alleged.

Erin Berry, Washington state medical director of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands, was one of many advocates who joined Ferguson at his news conference.

"I cannot imagine withholding information from my patients. It's unethical," she said. "Politicians have no business telling me what I can talk to my patients about."

Source: NewsMax

A man is silhouetted against a video screen with an Facebook logo as he poses with an Samsung S4 smartphone in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica
A man is silhouetted against a video screen with an Facebook logo as he poses with an Samsung S4 smartphone in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica, August 14, 2013. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

February 22, 2019

By Jonathan Weber

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Facebook’s new effort to bring outside experts into its content review process promises to be complicated and possibly contentious, if discussions this week at a meeting in Singapore are any indication.

Over the course of two days, 38 academics, non-profit officials and others from 15 Asian countries who were invited to a Facebook workshop wrestled with how a proposed “external oversight board” for content decisions might function.

The gathering, the first of a half-dozen planned for cities around the world, produced one clear recommendation: the new board must be empowered to weigh in not only on specific cases, but on the policies and processes behind them.

Facebook has long faced criticism for doing too little to block hate speech, incitements to violence, bullying and other types of content that violate its “community standards.”

In Myanmar, for example, Facebook for years took little action while the platform was used to encourage violence against the Rohingya minority.

But the company also draws fire for not doing enough to defend free speech. Activists accuse the company of taking down posts and blocking accounts for political or business reasons, an allegation it denies.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled the idea of an independent oversight board last November and a draft charter was released in January.

“We want to find a way to strengthen due process and procedural fairness,” Brent Harris, director of global affairs and governance at Facebook, said at the opening of the Singapore meeting. A Reuters reporter was invited to observe the proceedings on the condition that the names of participants and some details of the discussions not be disclosed.

Facebook’s initial plan calls for a 40-person board that would function as a court of appeal on content decisions, with the power to issue binding rulings on specific cases.

But as attendees peppered Facebook officials with questions and worked through issues such as how the board would be chosen and how it would select cases, they repeatedly came back to questions of policy. Rulings on individual postings would mean little if they were not linked to the underlying content review procedures, many attendees said.

Hate speech policies were a big focus of discussion. Many attendees said they felt Facebook was often too lax and blind to local circumstances, but the company has held firm to the concept of a single set of global standards and a deliberate bias towards leaving content on the site.

More than one million Facebook posts per day are reported for violations of the standards, which set detailed rules on everything from pictures of dead bodies (usually allowed) to explicit sexual conversations (usually not allowed).

The company has been beefing up enforcement. It now has an army of 15,000 content reviewers, many of them low-paid contractors, charged with checking posts that are reported for violations and deciding what to remove. Difficult decisions, or those involving politically contentious questions, are often “escalated” to the company’s content policy team.

One of the examples discussed at the Singapore meeting involved a post that was reported more than 2,000 times and reviewed 108 separate times by different content moderators – who concluded every single time that the post did not violate standards and should remain up.

But after it was escalated to content policy staffers who had more information about the political context, it was removed. Meeting participants appeared to be unanimous in agreeing that it should indeed have come down.

The room was split almost evenly on a second case, involving a phrase that some viewed as a violation of rules against hate speech but others read as a joke. In that situation, the content had remained on the service for many months before it was reported, and Facebook took it down.

(Reporting by Jonathan Weber; Editing by Neil Fullick)

Source: OANN

U.S. President Donald Trump waves as Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz departs at the White House in Washington
U.S. President Donald Trump waves as Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz departs at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 20, 2019. REUTERS/Jim Young

February 20, 2019

By Ginger Gibson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A former campaign worker for President Donald Trump filed a lawsuit on Wednesday seeking to invalidate all of the non-disclosure and non-disparagement agreements that campaign workers were required to sign before joining the president’s 2016 election campaign.

If the suit is successful, more campaign workers could feel free to speak publicly about the inner workings of the 2016 campaign apparatus, which has been the subject of immense public scrutiny after accusations that top campaign aides sought to work with Russia to influence the outcome of the election.

Jessica Denson has already attempted to sue the Trump campaign once before, over alleged gender discrimination. The new challenge, filed with the American Arbitration Association, seeks class action status and may be open to all former and current campaign employees.

The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment about the suit from Denson, who was a phone bank and outreach organizer in the 2016 campaign.

Denson’s attorney David Bowles told Reuters his client is asking to invalidate all of the agreements, “because they are wrong, and because they are sloppy.”

He added, that the agreements “are retaliatory, unconscionable and … suppress the free speech of campaign workers. They are sloppy because they would fail as a first-year law student drafting assignment.”

The complaint alleges that the campaign only sought to enforce Denson’s non-disclosure agreement because she filed a gender discrimination suit, which would be retaliation. Successful enforcement of the agreement could result in the former campaign worker being forced to pay large fines to the campaign.

The non-disclosure agreements have already been contested. Earlier this month, Cliff Simms, a former White House employee who wrote a book about his time working in the administration, filed suit after the Trump campaign tried to enforce the non-disclosure agreement he had signed.

The Trump campaign also sought to enforce a non-disclosure agreement last year when former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman penned a book about her time inside the administration.

Anyone who worked for the campaign and then entered the government or remained in the private sector could face “grievous financial penalty” for simply “criticizing the sitting President of the United States,” the complaint says.

(Reporting by Ginger Gibson; Editing by Tom Brown)

Source: OANN

A former staffer on President Trump’s 2016 campaign has filed a class action lawsuit in the hope of nullifying the nondisclosure and nondisparagement agreements campaign workers were made to sign.

The suit was filed by former staffer Jessica Denson and argues that the agreements – which the Trump campaign had staffers, volunteers and contractors sign – is unlawful. The agreements prohibit the signers from ever publically criticizing or disparaging Trump, his family and his company, and also bars them from disclosing private or confidential information.

While the Trump campaign has gone after numerous former staffers who have publically spoken out against the president – most notably Omarosa Manigault Newman and Cliff Sims – Denson’s lawsuit is the most wide-ranging attack on the campaign’s use of nondisclosure agreements to stifle criticism of Trump.

PRESIDENT TRUMP’S NATIONAL EMERGENCY DECLARATION SPARKS PROTESTS

According to a report by BuzzFeed News, the lawsuit could cover thousands of former staffers, volunteers, and contractors and, if the suit proves successful, could free them to talk publicly about their time on the campaign without fear of legal or financial repercussions.

Denson’s lawyers argue that the agreements campaign workers were made to sign are unlawful because they penalize employees from suing for things like workplace discrimination, harassment, unpaid wages and other issues.

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“The Form NDAs effectively strip employees, contractors, and volunteers of their ability to pursue any of their rights to redress workplace misconduct,” Denson’s lawyers wrote in the arbitration filing. “Anything and everything they could do will of necessity contain some information that a Trump Person could find disparaging or a disclosure of confidential information.”

They also argue that the NDA is too vague and gives Trump discretion to decide what is “private” and “confidential,” that it doesn’t have any time or geographic limits and “lacks a legitimate purpose.” Lawyers also contend the agreement should be voided as it permits a government actor to restrain a person’s free speech rights under the First Amendment.

Source: Fox News Politics

JUSTICE ISN’T BLIND   Lafayette Park, Washington DC 12pm Est 1/5/2019 This is a free speech rally that will be held at Lafayette park next to the Whitehouse. We can’t promote this event on social media really since we are being censored, which is one of the reason why we are rallying this weekend. We […]


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