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Free Speech Social Media Truth

Welcome To The Algorithmic Memory Hole

Rod Thomson

“The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became the truth.” George Orwell, 1984

The algorithmic Memory Hole has arrived.

In doing some research recently, I found that I could no longer quickly locate items on Google that were at the top of the first page in the past year or so. These topics, such as the Obama administration keeping children separate from adults, are almost impossible to locate now. Articles “debunking” Obama’s policies being similar to Trump’s are everywhere.

And when looking for a current news item, I got a litany of first-tier and second-tier news and commentary outlets, all on the left, such as CNN (frequently the first option on news) the New York Times, Slate, Salon, BBC, London Guardian and so on — page after page and some repeated several times, before getting to even one on the right, usually Fox News.

I’m a reasonably advanced searcher. I was using the concept of Boolean string searches before Google. So I understand at 30,000 feet how their algorithm works. And yet I cannot find items at all that I previously found quickly.

There’s a good reason for this and you probably know what it is: They have changed their algorithm to emphasize “trusted” sources, by which they mean left-wing sources that reflect Google’s leftwing worldview.

There was last week’s news from Veritas interviewing whistleblowers at Google and leaking documents showing that Google is intent on not letting another Trump ever happen again. We know they’ve been placing their thumbs the scales for awhile, but this is a whole new level.

If you search “google whistleblower” you get all the appropriate results. Today. But what will be the results in six months or a year? Will you get the Daily Wire, Newsmax, the Spectator? Will you find Dave Rubin’s take? Or will it be Slate and Salon and CNN spinning Veritas as acting illegally and using controversial methods? Methinks think the latter.

And I realized with sudden clarity that here sat before me what we all have been reading about, but in an entirely new light: This is the algorithmic version of the Memory Hole made infamous in George Orwell’s dystopian 1984 novel. This is the modern step in how you erase history and alter people’s opinions in real time. Eventually, many things will just never have happened.

“The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became the truth.” George Orwell, 1984

Google employees become a little army of Winston Smiths coding away to fill up the memory hole.

They are not alone, of course. The social media giants of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (owned by Facebook) Pinterest and Youtube (owned by Google) have all been squeezing out conservatives through shadow-banning, demonetizing, de-platforming and outright banning. It’s  not just whackadoodles like Alex Jones. When it gets to comedians like Steven Crowder who was actually trying to follow all of Youtube’s rules and the mainstream pro-life outfit Live Action, you know the digital noose is tightening. 

Banks and credit card companies have begun closing the accounts of people based on those people’s opinion. It starts with the awful Proud Boys group and the neo-Nazi Stormfront site, but it never stops there.

Here’s my prediction on the final step, which may start before 2020 or after, but it sure feels as though it will eventually happen.

Once the noose has been tightened around conservatives, forcing them off social media and onto only their own websites, WordPress, Godaddy and other web hosting sites will eventually just start pulling the plug because of offensive this and offensive that. 

And then they will have totally shut up conservative voices, and we will have a totalitarian leftist country.

But it won’t end there. Not really. Heed the wise words of Martin Niemoller:

“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—

Because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—

Because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—

Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

In the end, as in 1984, liberals and progressives will also become the victims, because only the state will matter. They think that is what they want. They don’t.

Rod Thomson is an author, past Salem radio host, ABC TV commentator, former journalist and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. 


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Categories
Constitution Free Speech Liberty Truth

2019-2020: The Coming Battle To Save Free Speech

Rod Thomson

For conservatives, the idea that free speech — that most integral of constitutional protections ensconced in the First Amendment — is now under full-scale assault culturally, corporately and governmentally is not exactly news.

We’ve been feeling the hammer for some time now.

But 2018 saw the ugly head of creeping authoritarian impulses poke above the surface and smile the wicked smile of the tyrant seeing his moment.

In the end, this is not a conservative, liberal, libertarian, Republican, Democrat issue — it is a Leftist versus everyone else impulse. Yes, continually redefining the Overton window — the boundaries of societally acceptable speech — inward is being done on the left and largely excluding liberals at the moment. So liberals don’t see the leftists coming for them. Many don’t even realize the difference. But they will. (See the attacks by the transgender activists against feminists as an early volley.)

Authoritarian throttling of free speech is an animal that will eat us all in the end. But alas, it is up to conservatives and our voices — and hopefully elected representatives — to be the frontline defense against this assault. If we wait for others to come onboard, it will be too late. Our voices will be gone.

Andrew Doyle wrote in Spiked magazine:

“Who would have thought that in 2018 it would be deemed controversial to uphold the principle of free speech? Whatever else the events of this year have taught us, it is now clear that the fundamental human right to express oneself as one sees fit is under threat. With both major political parties supporting further hate-speech legislation and varying degrees of press regulation, and with Silicon Valley tech giants routinely censoring their users, the time is ripe seriously to consider how we might retaliate against the creeping authoritarianism of our age.”

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This is the very reason that The Revolutionary Act was launched two years ago. Our name comes from George Orwell’s dystopian 1984 novel in which he writes that in a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is the revolutionary act. In 1984, telling the truth through the exercise of any form of speech was punishable by the offender disappearing (death) and ultimately their very existence being erased from history through the memory hole.

We don’t live in Orwell’s 1984. But we are undeniably moving in that direction, and 2018 made it clear.

Of course, there remains the blackballing of wrong-think Hollywood actors and producers, right-think speech codes on college campuses and Antifa thugs in the streets of the most liberal cities and college campuses intimidating and attacking conservatives. But that is old school, inefficient free speech quashing.

The real fight now over free speech is in the digital realms that have come to dominate our lives, and where censorship is oh so real.

In the strictest sense, censorship can only be a legal violation when committed by the state. In the age of social media giants as the primary conduits of information, however, it is as tangible as any kingly edict of old.

Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Instagram, Google dominate the flow of information in a way inconceivable a decade ago. We now know that all of them purposely tip the scales in favor of the left, against conservatives — including shadow banning, suspending accounts, outright banning, fudging search results and more. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have even taken down and erased web sites with which they disagree. So far, those have been pretty extreme sites, thought to be on the extreme right but actually not on the right at all.

We have just learned that the leadership of the tech giants meet periodically to discuss what Twitter calls “healthy conversation” and that Facebook has created 1,400 pages of rules for their moderators to use to curate more right-think.

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Most conservatives, myself included, recoil at the idea of the government meddling in the decisions of private companies — particularly those involved in disseminating public information. But the ubiquitousness of just a half dozen companies in commanding most of the world’s information flow — companies that are run uniformly by leftists who meet periodically to coordinate how they will stop wrongthink (for which they use more soothing terms) should cause every freedom-loving American to be just short of terrified.

There are a couple of options, in addition to doing exactly what I am doing.

One, the Silicon Valley rulers could be determined to be quasi-monopolies, giving the federal government the authority to regulate them as it does utility companies. That strikes me as a pretty bad option as the government sometimes micromanages utility companies while also guaranteeing their profits. Really bad for information platforms.

Second is the idea of an Internet Bill of Rights. This sounds great on the surface, but once you read some of those proposed — largely by Democrats — you realize it has nothing to do with free speech. It folds together a lock-in for net neutrality, increased privacy rights for individuals, consumer choice for ISPs and more. So this just becomes a D.C. grab bag without actually addressing the elephant stinking up the living room.

Democrats think the elephant will only stink up Republicans’ living rooms, so they ignore it. So the Internet Bill of Rights is not a great idea unless it is grounded Constitutionally in the First Amendment. Does that seem likely coming out of Congress right now?

Third, the Silicon Valley giants’ legal standing as platforms could and should be challenged in court. In censoring based on content, they are acting more and more as publishers, meaning they should held to a much higher standard at many levels, not least of which is copyright laws. If they lost such a court challenge, they would instantly have to relinquish their censorial ways and revert to their earlier forms of being open platforms only to survive. This seems like the best option.

Of course, there are the alternatives social media sites, but they are so tiny as to be irrelevant. Even if that changed, it would just result in a further bifurcation information, placing Americans at even more distant extremes from each other.

Whatever happens going forward, and my fear is nothing but more egregious censoring by tech giants, 2019 and most certainly the election year of 2020 will be dangerous times for fundamental rights.

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.


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Categories
Conservatism Free Speech Liberalism Truth

Study: Americans Really, Really Hate Political Correctness

Rod Thomson

In one of the most encouraging studies in recent times, a group of leftist scholars out of England has found that the political correctness minefield driven by the left is wildly unpopular with Americans across virtually every category.

The British study group came to these results, without aiming for them, when it took a deep-dive look at political polarization in America. An unexpected unity arose among the vast majority of Americans across race, gender and income lines in really hating today’s politically correct atmosphere — and possibly those pushing it — which could have long-term, detrimental political ramifications for the Democratic Party.

The key takeaway from the study looking at political correctness is this: Fully 80 percent of Americans believe that “political correctness is a problem in our country.” Those numbers vary, but remain vast majorities across boundaries. Interestingly, even young people don’t like it, including 74 percent ages 24 to 29, and 79 percent under age 24. It seems that not only is political correctness deeply unpopular and a political anchor, but it also has no future.

The study Hidden Tribes: A Study Of America’s Polarized Landscape, was conducted by More In Common, which is a European organization made up of what appears to be mostly leftists and socialists. The researchers for the study include scholars Stephen Hawkins, Daniel Yudkin, Miriam Juan-Torres, and Tim Dixon — whose pedigrees include Harvard, Yale, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights. It was in no conceivable way a conservative organization or conservative researchers, which makes the findings all the more compelling.

The 10-month study period between December 2017 and September 2018 included a nationally representative poll of 8,000 Americans, six small focus groups and 30 one-hour interviews.

Researchers identified seven clusters of Americans when talking about immigration, white privilege, the prevalence of sexual harassment: progressive activists, traditional liberals, passive liberals, the politically disengaged, moderates, traditional conservatives, and devoted conservatives.

In those clusters, 25 percent of Americans are traditional or devoted conservatives, and their views are outside the American mainstream; 8 percent of Americans are progressive activists, and their views are far outside the mainstream; but about 65 percent of Americans are in some form of the middle, and the authors call them the “exhausted majority.” According to the report, this large number of Americans “share a sense of fatigue with our polarized national conversation, a willingness to be flexible in their political viewpoints, and a lack of voice in the national conversation.”

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Most of the “exhausted majority,” and virtually all of the traditional conservatives share a strong dislike for political correctness. The study did not define political correctness, which was probably necessary in that it is always changing — and that is part of what people don’t like. But it includes being required to use just the right words, and never the wrong words, in a broad range of topics and being required to treat people differently based on race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation and prefer certain categories over others.

So when Democratic U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono says that “men need to shut up” she is invoking political correctness. When the New York Times runs a column by Alexis Grenell (a white woman) under the headline “White Women, Come Get Your People,” she is using political correctness. When colleges have cordoned off free speech zones so that students don’t get “triggered” by potentially “offensive” words or thoughts, that is political correctness. Gender non-binary pronouns such as ne and ve are political correctness. Americans simply recoil at all of this and so much more.

Here’s a further breakdown. This is the percent of Americans by category who consider political correctness to be a problem in the country:

  • Blacks: 75 percent
  • Whites: 79 percent
  • Asians: 82 percent
  • Hispanics 87 percent
  • American Indians: 88 percent
  • Income under $50,000: 83 percent
  • Income over $100,00: 70 percent
  • Never attended college: 87 percent
  • Post graduate degrees: 66 percent
  • Traditional conservatives: 97 percent
  • Traditional liberals: 61 percent
  • Progressive activists: 30 percent

The takeaway is crystal clear. Other than the tiny percentage of Americans who are progressive activists, there is widespread, cross-category opposition to the sort of political correctness that makes it almost impossible to communicate without fear.

As a 40-year-old American Indian in Oklahoma told researchers in a focus group: “It seems like everyday you wake up something has changed … Do you say Jew? Or Jewish? Is it a black guy? African-American? … You are on your toes because you never know what to say. So political correctness in that sense is scary.”

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And politically, it is a poison issue. Remember progressive activists are only 8 percent of the population.

Yascha Mounk, a lecturer on government at Harvard University, reviewed the study for The Atlantic magazine. In that review, he admitted to a revelation that should really give Democrats pause:

“In the days before “Hidden Tribes” was published, I ran a little experiment on Twitter, asking my followers to guess what percentage of Americans believe that political correctness is a problem in this country. The results were striking: Nearly all of my followers underestimated the extent to which most Americans reject political correctness. Only 6 percent gave the right answer. (When I asked them how people of color regard political correctness, their guesses were, unsurprisingly, even more wildly off.)

Obviously, my followers on Twitter are not a representative sample of America. But as their largely supportive feelings about political correctness indicate, they are probably a decent approximation for a particular intellectual milieu to which I also belong: politically engaged, highly educated, left-leaning Americans—the kinds of people, in other words, who are in charge of universities, edit the nation’s most important newspapers and magazines, and advise Democratic political candidates on their campaigns.

So the fact that we are so widely off the mark in our perception of how most people feel about political correctness should probably also make us rethink some of our other basic assumptions about the country.”

This is an admirable insight and admission by Mounk. The sense among conservatives is that progressives, academics, colleges and other leftist bastions are far outside the mainstream of America. Inasmuch as they are pulling the Democratic Party with them, they are inviting electoral disaster for Democrats at some point.

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.


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Categories
America Free Speech Leftists Truth

The Rape of American Ideals

Rod Thomson

There was a time when Americans of every political stripe would proclaim proudly: I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

That time has disappeared, as the American Democratic left is now in full mob form to shut down free speech on campuses, on social media, on websites, in restaurants, at baseball diamonds, while mowing the lawn or while actually trying to hold a political rally.

This assault on American ideals is as un-American as they come.

Sen. Ted Cruz and his wife were hunted down at a Washington, D.C. restaurant by violent leftist mob bullies that Democrats have defended and lauded, who screamed in their faces until they were forced to leave.

“No—you can’t eat in peace…Your votes are a death wish. Your votes are hate crimes,” the group said in a statement, then tweeted: “You are not safe. We will find you.”

Leftist Democrat mob bullies have done the same thing to Trump spokeswoman Sarah Sanders, to Homeland Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, to White House Senior Advisor Stephen Miller, to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi many others. All Trump administration officials are targets and many for the first time require security in public and at home.

Leftist Democrat mob bullies do the same things to conservatives on college campuses and kids wearing Trump hats in a burger joint and black conservative Candace Owens at breakfast and on and on, crushing American ideals on their jackbooted march.

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Gov. Rick Scott, Congressman Ron DeSantis, and even Vern Buchanan and others have to keep their schedules secret until the last minute and hire a lot of extra security for every event. Because dangerous screaming leftist Democrat mobs show up at every event to disrupt and shout down. Even then, some have to be cancelled because the pitchfork mob is screaming at the gates.

Recall that a deranged Democrat Bernie Sanders supporter who thankfully was a terrible shot, tried to kill Republican congressmen at a baseball practice. Majority Whip Steve Scalise was seriously injured in the attack. Recall that Senator Rand Paul was attacked by his liberal Democrat neighbor while he was mowing the yard and ended up in the hospital with major injuries.

A Houston restaurant owner had to apologize amid a backlash of violent threats from the leftist Democrat mob after posting a smiling photo of himself with Attorney General Jeff Sessions. He also shut down all his social media accounts. Just recently, a leftist Democrat was arrested after attempting to stab Republican congressional candidate Randy Peters with a switchblade in Castro Valley, CA. Arsonists (presumably leftist Democrats) torched the Wyoming Republican Party headquarters. Leftist protesters stormed a GOP rally in Sarasota, Fla. in August and had to be removed by police.

There are literally hundreds more examples with linked citations for each one.

Even liberals who do not do everything the violent leftists want are in for abuse. Famously liberal law professor Alan Dershowitz said a woman at a party in Martha’s Vineyard threatened to “stab him through the heart” because while he disagrees with Trump policies, he does not support impeachment. “The Democrat Party has been taken over by radicals who have no interest in due process,” Dershowitz said, outlining the obvious. “They don’t want any dissent, they don’t want any argument.”

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These are all connected to the Democratic Party and its extreme and often outlandish rhetoric — including but not limited to Rep. Maxine Waters publicly calling for this — but also making such wild claims against Trump and Republicans that the easily led and emotionally aroused are sure to respond.

This is the reality of the facts that Americans must understand. Seeing the vile depths now being plumbed by Democratic Senators in the Kavanaugh hearings (which were also disrupted by screaming leftist Democrats, invited in by Democratic Senators) it is clear the Democrat Party bears very real responsibility for this raping of American ideals.

Here’s what everyone needs to know and remember: There is no equivalent to this on the right or in the Republican Party. None. Democrats are not targeted, harassed and screamed at in public places on any regular basis, if at all. There are nuts on both sides. But there is no broad scale, organized, funded, ongoing violent harassment except from Democratic leftists toward Republicans.

Free speech is not dead. But leftist Democrat mobs are stabbing it in the back over and over.

None of this comes from Trump or is on Trump, as the train was on the tracks long before he came down the elevator. It’s just become even worse, progressing like so many leftist, socialist revolutions ultimately do.

The question is: Do Americans really want these people in charge while this un-American stench on our ideals is such an important part of their base?

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.


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Categories
Censorship Free Speech Leftists Social Media

Small Conservative Outlets Are Being Shadowbanned En Masse

Rod Thomson

The Revolutionary Act is a growing conservative news and commentary site, but it is still quite small compared to the big conservative players. That doesn’t mean, however, that the giant social media censors do not Hoover it up for squashing. The suppressive algorithms clearly cover the conservative spectrum and hit rightist content providers regardless of size, strangling conservative content from cradle to grave.

InfoWars being eradicated from multiple platforms within hours of each other was a draconian and possibly monopolistic measure against a site considered to be on the right but was really its own conspiratorial wing of the political spectrum.

Candace Owens “accidentally” being suspended for tweeting exactly what the bigot Sarah Jeong tweeted — but changing the races to make a point — really, really made her point with the help of Twitter. And that point is: the hate speech identified by the formula written by Twitter coders represents the extreme leftist position. That can be built into any identifying algorithm because a computer program does not know definitions until they are given by those coding the program. So blaming the computer software really doesn’t cut it; the algorithm reflects the algorithm writers.

The most common method we see at this stage in the evolution of the left’s flexing its speech-bleaching muscle is shadowbanning on Twitter and demonetizing on Youtube. There are the well-known targets, including PragerU, Steven Crowder, Mark Dice and others. But the targets are really all over the conservosphere, and all sizes are being shadowbanned.

A few of the smaller but growing sites that have been hit and damaged by social media censors include: Liberty Nation, Patriot Retort, Sparta Report, Canada Free Press and Whatfinger News. I’m sure there are many, many more. What’s interesting is that it seems that most of these sites continue to grow in views and readers, despite the efforts of the social media censors. The demand for alternative views that reflect traditional American philosophies remains strong. (If you know of a conservative site that has been shadowbanned or otherwise censored on social media, please send us that information.)

I have a personal Twitter account (@Rod_Thomson) because it was clear when we started The Revolutionary Act less than two years ago, that Twitter was already tipping the scales against conservatives. Spending time and resources building a Twitter feed for TRA did not make sense. My own small but growing account had about 4,000 followers. It grew to more than 8,000 with solid engagement depending on the tweet. Suddenly — like overnight suddenly — engagement plummeted a few months ago.

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The material was the same but tweets that would average maybe 8 retweets and 15 likes and a few comments suddenly got 0 and 0. No engagement at all. I’m getting a little engagement now, but followers have actually decreased and the engagement is maybe one-tenth what they were. There’s no reasonable conclusion other than that Twitter’s anti-conservative algorithm shadowbanned even my small Twitter account. No one or almost no one is seeing tweets.

The same thing happened on the TRA Youtube channel. It is very small, but each video garnered 400 to 800 views. And that was growing as we just started the channel when we launched the web site. But suddenly, again, views on videos dropped to 50 to 100. We saw precisely the same dynamic as on Twitter. When I tried to boost a video to see the reaction, the boost was rejected for violating community standards. So, it was just as suspected.

Youtube could not demonetize us because we were not big enough to be making any money on the channel. But of course we can still be shadowbanned, which will block the The Revolutionary Act from ever being able to monetize. And in truth, we have put on hold any efforts with Youtube as they have been the most aggressive recently in cutting the legs out from under conservatives.

So far, we have not seen any such tampering with our Facebook page as engagement remains strong and followers continue to grow. The difference between our Facebook engagement and our Twitter and Youtube engagement is fairly astonishing. But it feels like only a matter of time before the left’s hammer of censorship falls on Facebook, too.

But the Revolutionary Act will not stop putting forth truth. We will follow on the founding words of George Orwell: “Telling the truth in a time of universal deceit is the revolutionary act.”

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.


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Categories
Constitution Fourth of July Free Speech Freedom Freedom of Religion Truth

Protecting Beautiful Freedoms For Even Ugly Actions On This Fourth Of July

Rod Thomson

On the Fourth of July, we celebrate American independence from a distant tyrannical king in 1776. But it wasn’t just a break from, it was a break to — to the beautiful freedoms encompassed in the First Amendment and supported throughout the Constitution, a break unheard of in history but one heard around the world.

As we stand 242 years later, it is not hyperbole to say that those beautiful essential freedoms are under attack perhaps like never before, because now the attack is on whether they are even proper and right — heretofore the American assumption. The two bedrocks underscoring our liberties are freedom of religion and freedom of speech, the first two in the First Amendment. They are supported by the concept of equally applied law and order. There has been a chipping away at those from college campuses to judicial opinions to state and federal laws.

But something different is happening now, at this moment, in real time: Ideas and actions fiercely antithetical to these essential American liberties are popping into the mainstream, winning some elections, and one of the two major political parties in the country is rapidly embracing the destructive ideas and actions. This is complicated by an untrustworthy media that leaves Americans increasingly in different information camps.

The good news is that, at this moment, on this particularly Fourth of July, it does not appear a majority of the American people are embracing this counter-American Revolution. And it may backfire on the Democratic Party that is accepting it — at least in the short term. The problem is the trend, and the speed at which this change is occurring, and thinking it will go away on its own is akin to thinking the British would have just left on their own. Trends such as this will gain momentum and adherents unless they are pushed back against, fought — beautiful ideas fighting ugly ideas.

And this is the call of our day to all freedom-loving Americans. We follow in the steps of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, every signatory to the Declaration of Independence, every debater of the Constitution, every Minuteman and Colonial soldier in the field of battle. These were all willing to sacrifice their lives, their fortunes and their futures for the essential liberties that generations of Americans — including millions upon millions of future immigrants — would thrive under for nearly two and a half centuries.

Those who believe it is right for people to be forced by government to create products for what violates their religion, must be defeated. Those who believe that access to free contraceptives is not only a right but more important than the religious liberties of those who do not want to provide those, must be defeated. Freedom of religion must be defended.

Those who would force people through coercion to say what they do not believe, and who would deny freedom of speech to those they disagree with, must be defeated. Those who would deny any speech that offends or hurts the feelings of someone else, must be defeated. Freedom of speech must be defended.

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We must keep the wall of tyranny far on the other side of the beautiful freedoms. Ugly speech by Nazis, Fascists, Communists, racists, white supremacists, black supremacists, anti-Semites, fake news providers, and the rest must be protected by the beautiful freedoms. As long as the worst and most hateful speech is protected, then we know that all speech is secured.

Growing parts of the country, including those dominating higher education, would seek to block all of what they determine to be ugly speech. No. There is no place to stop. It’s all free with the few exceptions for incitement to riot (and those very cautiously) or its not free at all.

We free Americans, who know history and understand the world, have a duty on this Fourth of July to not just remember and celebrate, but to be redouble our vigilance on behalf of the beautiful freedoms. We stand shoulder to shoulder with the founding fathers and our following forefathers who protected freedoms with pen and paper, soapbox, microphone and ballot box and, when necessary on the fields of Gettysburg, the trenches of France, the shores of Normandy and Iwo Jima, the mountains of Korea, the jungles of Vietnam and the sands of Iraq.

We can do no less.

Rod Thomson is an author, former journalist and current TV talking head, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.


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Categories
Constitution Free Speech Freedom Liberty Truth

Fighting For Liberty In The Fog Of Cognitive Dissonance

by KrisAnne Hall, JD

The Southern Poverty Law Center has put me on their “anti-government extremist hate group” list for four years in a row now. I have yet to comprehend how teaching the Constitution, the very document that created government, makes me “anti-government.” Nor do I understand how teaching historical facts and the words and principles of the founders of America makes me an “extreme hater.”

I am told that I should expect this kind of personal attack from Marxist groups like SPLC. However, the other day, someone called me an “anarchist” because I write articles that expose the unconstitutionally expanded nature of our government and how that is destroying our Liberty. This particular instance of name calling came from a conservative. I am not upset with this person and hold no fault with them.

Here is why, and the thought I would like you to consider.

Most of my writing deals with current laws and their Constitutionality based upon fact, law, and history. I work very hard to keep opinions out of it. When the true concept of limited government is presented it causes internal conflict, not just with liberals, but even within “conservative” groups.  

Americans have been, for generations, convinced to accept increasingly more government intrusion in our lives. Over the course of these years, our government has grown to exercise nearly unlimited power to regulate every aspect of our lives…from the milk and the cereal we eat in the morning to the sheets and bed that we sleep in at night. We have been conditioned not only to accept this but to believe that we need it.  

The consequence is that we are being consumed by these regulations and now have a government with unlimited power of surveillance. We have a government that actually believes that “shall not be infringed” can be interpreted to mean, “yes we can make reasonable regulations.” We have a growing society that believes the Freedom of Speech doesn’t actually mean “freedom” and doesn’t really apply to “everyone.” New generations could grow just as comfortable with even greater intrusions as we are now with cameras on street corners, computer and internet intrusions and cell phone surveillance.

Many Americans have become lazy in luxury, pacified in prosperity, or even simply complacent and compliant in their comfort. So when we attempt to present the truth about these intrusions upon our Rights and the destruction of our Liberty — because for generations we have been made to feel comfortable and safe within them — it scares people. 

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But fear does not overrule our rights and we have an obligation to shine the light of truth so future generations will not pay the price for our apathy, ignorance, or complacence. Samuel Adams warned: 

“Let us remember that ‘if we suffer tamely a lawless attack upon our liberty, we encourage it, and involve others in our doom.’ It is a very serious consideration, which should deeply impress our minds, that millions yet unborn may be the miserable sharers of the event.” The Boston Gazette, 14 October 1771

However, shining a light in a room where no light has been seen for days is painful…but we are talking not about days, this darkness has been consuming America for generations. Real Liberty seems radical in today’s environment of ubiquitous government presence. True Liberty seems extreme when Americans have become comfortable with the daily control of government. Real Liberty will challenge what we have believed to be true our entire lives. And it may even make people call you names and want to deny this truth.

Please do not get angry with them. It is what psychologists call “Cognitive Dissonance.”

You should expect it. Everyone must come about their awakening to Liberty in their own way. My personal awakening took years. If you read my story you will see that I was not born a “Constitutionalist” and had a complicated transformation. There is hope for those who have been taught lies their entire life. My story is proof. Unfortunately, some will never come to accept truth at all. But that does not change our responsibility; we have a responsibility to speak truth and seek wisdom. Be patient with those who resist knowledge. But more importantly, no matter how much they deny the truth, no matter how many names they call you, don’t stop speaking the truth!

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I promise I won’t. I am no more an anarchist than Thomas Jefferson, George Mason, or James Otis, Jr. I am not “anti-government,” I just know that our federal government was created to be very limited and specifically defined in its authority, and it must be that way for Americans to have the Liberty promised in our Constitution. I would love to live in a place where no government is necessary, I just understand the depravity of man will never allow that to be reality. So I stand with Thomas Paine and believe that “government in its best form is a necessary evil, in its worst form, an intolerable one.”

We can work together to break the Cognitive Dissonance. We can endeavor to speak truth with love, in patience. We can refuse to tolerate lies and manipulations in order to have comfort and peace. We can refuse the dictated narrative and make our voices be heard. 

We can say, “if there be trouble, let it be in my day so my child may have peace.”

Pick up your power to boldly proclaim truth at Liberty First University.

KrisAnne Hall is a former biochemist, Russian linguist for the U.S. Army, and former prosecutor for the State of Florida. KrisAnne also practiced First Amendment Law for a prominent Florida non-profit Law firm. KrisAnne now travels the country teaching the foundational principles of Liberty and our Constitutional Republic. She is the author of 6 books on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and has an internationally popular radio and television show. Her books and classes have been featured on C-SPAN TV. KrisAnne can be found at www.KrisAnneHall.com. Get the book “Sovereign Duty” to learn what the designers of our Constitution wanted Americans to do when their federal government became bloated and out of control. Find this book on Amazon, Barns & Noble, Wal-Mart, and many other merchants.


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Free Speech Propaganda Truth

Why The Federal Government Can Now Use Propaganda On Americans

By KrisAnne Hall, JD

Richard Stengel, former head of the office for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs at the Obama’s State Department from 2013 to 2016, former editor of Time Magazine, and a regular pundit on MSNBC, said in April of 2018, at a Council on Foreign Relations forum about “fake news,” that he supports the use of propaganda on American citizens. He then continued and said;

“Basically, every country creates their own narrative story and, you know, my old job at the State Department was what people used to joke as the ‘chief propagandist’ job.”

Keep in mind, that in 2013 Congress passed legislation allowing the federal government to fund and create propaganda they knew could be used to manipulate Americans on American soil. This legislation was called The Smith-Mundt Modernization Act, sponsored by Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), that failed in 2011 when it was submitted on its own. But in 2013 Thornberry and his co-sponsors buried this legislation in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014, where it surreptitiously was passed.

The Smith-Mundt Modernization Act overturned a prohibition against domestic propaganda that had been in place since 1948. This prohibition act was passed as a result of a series of events in American history that drew the concern of those who wanted to secure a free press and the freedom of speech of the American people. The concern began when President Woodrow Wilson established the Committee on Public Information through an executive order with the purpose of influencing American public opinion toward supporting the U.S. involvement in World War I. The man appointed to be the chairman over this committee was George Creel, a renowned investigative journalist and editor of the Rocky Mountain News.

In 1942, FDR established the United States Office of War Information by executive order to “truthfully inform” the American people about the government’s efforts in World War II. FDR appointed Elmer Davis, a well-known CBS News analyst, as director of OWI. Davis’ job was to coordinate information from the military and mobilize public support of the war. OWI was to create an avenue for the government to develop and disseminate the information that they believed people needed to know about the war.

“Our job at home is to give the American people the fullest possible understanding of what this war is about…not only to tell the American people how the war is going, but where it is going and where it came from.” (Elmer Davis. AP/Wide World)

In 1946 Rep. Sol Bloom (D-NY) introduced a bill that would grant the Secretary of State the power to give monetary, service, or property grants to nonprofit public and private corporations to prepare and disseminate informational materials. Although this act was intended to disseminate information abroad, there were no limitations to keep it from being used on the American people and opposition began to form. After having lived through two regimes of government propaganda and having seen the effects of such government propaganda machines as Joseph Goebbels’ Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, Congress decided this was not something they wanted to engage in.

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An AP press release stated “government cannot engage in news casting without creating the fear of propaganda which necessarily would reflect the objectivity of the news services from which such news casts are prepared.”

The Bloom Bill passed the house but failed in the Senate. In 1948, the Smith-Mundt Act was passed with three key limitations on the government. The first and most well-known restriction was originally a prohibition on domestic dissemination of materials intended for foreign audiences by the State Department. This restriction has been supported by the courts even in the face of Freedom of Information Act challenges. In November 1996 the federal District Court in Washington, D.C., decided that the material under the Smith-Mundt Act is not to be available, applying the Freedom of Information Act’s Exemption 3 to block access.

The Smith-Mundt Act is now found in 22 USC 1461-1a titled, Ban On Domestic Activities By United States Information Agency. The Smith-Mundt Modernization Act changed all of that. This act does several very destructive things.

First, it puts the President’s Board of Broadcasting Governors on the same level of authority as the Secretary of State. The Board of Broadcasting Governors is an independent government agency whose members are appointed by the President and whose sole function is to create American propaganda and disseminate this propaganda abroad.

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The Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 created a limitation for propaganda to be released in the United States. If such propaganda was requested, the information could not be released until 12 years after its publication. This was an additional protection established so that this government created information could not be used to influence current public opinion. The Smith-Mundt Modernization Act, eliminated that protection. The Smith-Mundt Modernization Act not only legitimized the heinous manipulation of mainstream media, but allowed Congress to fund it with taxpayer dollars

In 2011, I wrote a detailed analysis of the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act and its potential dangers. In spite of our concerns, many congressmen were adamant that this legislation would not be used to spend tax dollars to create propaganda to be used domestically. They told us it would just be used to create propaganda on foreign soil, nothing to worry about.

Six years later, did a former State Department Official just admit he created and used domestic propaganda, and believes it’s the right thing to do? We don’t need to be concerned, right? They are just trying to keep us safe.

KrisAnne Hall is a former biochemist, Russian linguist for the U.S. Army, and former prosecutor for the State of Florida. KrisAnne also practiced First Amendment Law for a prominent Florida non-profit Law firm. KrisAnne now travels the country teaching the foundational principles of Liberty and our Constitutional Republic. She is the author of 6 books on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and has an internationally popular radio and television show. Her books and classes have been featured on C-SPAN TV. KrisAnne can be found at www.KrisAnneHall.com. Get the book “Sovereign Duty” to learn what the designers of our Constitution wanted Americans to do when their federal government became bloated and out of control. Find this book on Amazon, Barns & Noble, Wal-Mart, and many other merchants.


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Categories
Constitution First Amendment Free Speech Truth

KrisAnne Hall On President Trump, Twitter And The First Amendment

By KrisAnne Hall, JD

President Trump has been blocking people from his @realDonaldTrump account. A federal judge says Trump is violating the First Amendment. Is the right to freedom of speech being violated by Trump through his actions on Twitter? The answer to this question requires a two-step Constitutional review process.

First, Twitter is a private forum, run by a private company. Something becomes a violation of rights when the government is the offender. People do not have their rights violated when Twitter, as a private company, censors and blocks persons from their forum. Private businesses still retain the right to refuse to do business with customers, regardless of the confusion created by the recent issues with photographers and cake bakers. Additionally, people do not have their rights violated when they are blocked on Twitter by another private individual. The principle here is: No government actor, no violations of rights.

But this is not only a question of Twitter blocking customers. This is a question of the President of the United States, a government actor, blocking discussion from his Twitter feed. So the question is: Is Donald Trump a private citizen or a government actor?

The argument could be made that the @realDonaldTrump account is Trump’s personal account and as a private account maintained by a private citizen, people being blocked do not have their rights being violated. However that argument fails the moment Donald Trump discusses “presidential business” on this “private” account. 

Trump transforms his private account into the account of a government agent through his own choice of topics discussed. Since Trump is president, he is a government agent. Since Trump uses his Twitter account to discuss presidential business the account is not private, it becomes a public forum. Therefore, those blocked by Trump on his @realDonaldTrump account are having their voice silenced by a government actor regarding public affairs. This is a clear violation of the right to freedom of speech.

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The quick fix for Mr. Trump is to not block anyone, or to stop using the @realDonaldTrump account to discuss public business and confine that conversation to the @POTUS account. That way he may maintain control over his truly private account and leave government business to the government account.

KrisAnne Hall is a former biochemist, Russian linguist for the US Army, and former prosecutor for the State of Florida. KrisAnne also practiced First Amendment Law for a prominent Florida non-profit Law firm. KrisAnne now travels the country teaching the foundational principles of Liberty and our Constitutional Republic. KrisAnne is the author of 6 books on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, she also has an internationally popular radio and television show and her books and classes have been featured on C-SPAN TV. KrisAnne can be found at www.KrisAnneHall.com.


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Categories
Culture Free Speech Government Liberalism Truth

2 Simple Reasons Why The American Left Instinctively Seeks Censorship

Rod Thomson

It’s pretty obvious to every conservative in the country by now that the American Left is where virtually all censorship resides. Not every liberal is a censor, but modern liberalism promotes censorship. Of course, you only know this if you get news and information from more outlets than the old, traditional media.

Whether it is college campuses run by the Left and instituting liberal-approved speech codes and tiny free speech zones on campus, their practical goal is censorship;

Or it is demonstrators and marchers who shout down conservative political opponents, refusing to allow them to speak and often threatening the institution that dared even allow them;

Or it is the violent, progressive, Communist, anarchist Antifa that roams the streets of our most liberal cities to attack conservatives or Trump supporters for being conservatives or Trump supporters;

Or it is the social media giants such as Youtube demonetizing conservatives for saying conservative things (Prager U is the most egregious example) or Twitter suspending conservative accounts for tweeting conservative ideas or Facebook blocking posts that are politically incorrect based on the recommendations of liberal organizations such as Snopes determining they are “fake news;

Or it is our public schools indoctrinating students with progressive ideals and punishing those who deviate, such as the New Prague Minnesota High School kid who came out during the national school walkout with a sign that said guns don’t kill people, people do, and the principle forcing him away — this was a consistent theme around the nation, no deviation from the progressive message at many schools;

Or it is the ever-expanding universe of political correctness determining things you cannot say without dire personal consequences, i.e. if a person has XY chromosomes and a penis, that person is a man.

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Each of these areas stem from the American Left, and we can all come up with more. Every one is dominated by progressive liberals and one of their consistencies is a sort of instinctive lurch to squash any speech with which they disagree. Their practical goal is censorship. We wrote about Boston’s liberal mayor shutting down free speech he disagreed with in August 2017.

One is hard-pressed to come up with a single example of an institution on the Right that seeks censorship, to shut down the speech of liberals.

So the question is why? What has happened where the very bastions fighting for free speech 60 years ago, such as universities and liberals in a general sense, are now the anti-free speech totalitarians?

There are at least two explanations.

• Government Knows Best. The instinct of liberals is that government is the best institution for solving societal woes. Not the family. Not the church. Not community organizations. Government. This, of course, is the antithesis of the thinking of the founders and framers of the nation, who saw the government as the single biggest threat to a society made up of individuals.

That’s why socialism is such a cozy fit for a progressive liberal: Benevolent government, run by the smartest among us, owning and distributing society’s wealth and making all the big decisions, is surely far better than selfish capitalists and ignorant masses making those decisions in chaos.

If you prefer central government decision-making over individual liberties — which is not the words, but most certainly the practice on the Left today — then of course you are hardly going to be in favor of uncontrolled speech by the masses.

• Liberal Ideas Don’t Win Arguments. This is going to trip some triggers — so perhaps a trigger warning is in order — but liberalism generally builds its belief structure on emotions, not on rational, data-driven, science-grounded arguments. This is why contradictions and inconsistencies are so common, and why liberals are so quick to resort to demonstrations and protests with signs and placards — those can capture emotional sentiments much better than reasoned arguments.

Consider these hackneyed banalities:

> A baby before the birth canal may be terminated at the mother’s whim, because it is her individual “choice” whether that is a human or not — despite science screaming the baby’s measurable humanity by 4-6 weeks, and what ultrasounds show is going on the whole pregnancy. Moments later when it is out of the birth canal, she cannot because the exact same act would be murder. Inside, can kill. Outside, murder. Same baby, just seperated by moments.

> Two dads or two moms — gay couples as parents — are just as good at parenting as traditional husbands and wives — despite the weight of fully available studies showing just the opposite.

> A man can believe he is a woman and not only is that acceptable and not a mental condition — which it obviously is — but we must contort our society down to school restrooms, showers and sports teams to accommodate gender-confused people. They obviously need compassion and help. That is not it.

> There are 63 genders. So far. Enough said.

> Hate speech is not free speech. No hate speech allowed!

These are laughable, and tragic, but hardly isolated.

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Let’s take a very recent example. The entire liberal establishment — from media to schools to activist organizations — used and propagandized students nationwide after the Parkland, Florida, shootings to push for gun bans even when it came out that the Broward County Sheriff, Broward County Schools, the state of Florida and the FBI all massively failed to do their jobs competently in this case.

A reasonable way to sum up their argument is that government failed at every level to protect us, we need to ban guns and have government protect us.

Conservatives can shoot a thousand holes in the arguments made about the need for gun control after Parkland.

But the reality remains: the more an institution is dominated by liberalism, the less that institution will brook any contrary speech. Alas it is true: Censorship is part and parcel with liberalism.

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Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever, and a lot of sources are not trustworthy. Whatfinger.com  is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time from good sources.