C'est peut-être un peu pompeux ce que je vais dire, mais je préfère mourir debout que vivre à genoux.(Translated:“What I am going to say is perhaps a little pompous, but I prefer to die standing up than to live on my knees.”) - Stéphane Charbonnier, aka Charb, executed cartoonist and editor of Charlie Hebdo
The future must not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam. - Obama
Sadly, Obama’s wishful anti-free speech statement materialized into a reality for the ten murdered Parisian cartoonist journalists of Charlie Hebdo. Obama and Hillary, we should not forget, tried to dilute the First Amendment in a concerted effort with the Muslim Brotherhood to establish anti-blasphemy laws (the Istanbul Process) in accord with Islam’s Sharia Law. They worked again against freedom of speech, blaming their own Benghazi failures on… freedom of speech, when they tried to get YouTube to remove the Innocence of Muslims. Hillary announced she would pursue the director, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, have him arrested and incarcerated. And that is what eventually happened. Will she be our next pro-Islam, freedom-of-speech scorning president?
In the aftermath of the Thaw, the authorities began once again to use psychiatric hospitals to incarcerate dissidents—a policy which had many advantages for the KGB. Above all, it helped discredit the dissidents, both in the West and in the USSR, and deflected attention away from them. — Anne Applebaum, 'Gulag: A History of the Soviet Camps'
You know, it’s one of the ironies of this drive for civility that when you label argument or any kind of offensiveness as incivility and you write all these civility codes and you discourage people from vigorously arguing or engaging in satire that makes fun of other people or makes fun of their sacred cows. The irony is that you end up encouraging incivility because people don’t know how to argue. They don’t know what to do when confronted with an idea they really don’t like. They don’t have an administrator they go complain to, and so they just shout it down because they haven’t learned how to do anything else. — Wendy Kaminer, 'Worst Instincts: Cowardice, Conformity and the ACLU.'
To John Reed, Chair, Rita Ailinger, Robert Freedman, Paul Houlihan, Alan Milsted, Ingrid Muzy Murray, Laura Roskos, and Nancy Wiley: Of course, I could have chosen a hundred other quotes to preface this letter. In your case, Kaminer (see above) failed to mention that some don’t shout down opinions they do not like, but rather present a facade of deafening silence, which is probably even more effective, especially when carried out by those in power. With others still, actual punishment like banning and censoring, more in line with the KGB (see above quote), is the result of inability to formulate cogent counter-arguments.
To Editors Paul Pronovost, Cape Cod Times, and Ed Maroney, Barnstable Patriot:
When reading Seymour Hersh's comments, I immediately thought of you guys, ever burying uncomfortable local truths…
"The fundamental job of journalists is to be an outsider."
"The republic's in trouble, we lie about everything, lying has become the staple."
"I'll tell you the solution, get rid of 90% of the editors that now exist and start promoting editors that you can't control. I saw it in the New York Times, I see people who get promoted are the ones on the desk who are more amenable to the publisher and what the senior editors want and the trouble makers don't get promoted. Start promoting better people who look you in the eye and say 'I don't care what you say'. Just do something different, do something that gets people mad at you, that's what we're supposed to be doing" - Seymour Hersh, investigative journalist.
Contemplate! Contemplate just how much you've sold journalistic integrity for money and careerism.
People like you—with your censorious little minds and your narrow horizons—do more than anyone to inspire those of us who believe that free speech is the very cornerstone of our civilization: to guard it jealously; to defend it; and to insist upon it absolutely unfettered, undiluted, in full, without any form of compromise, no matter who claims to be offended and never, ever, to concede an inch. - Pat Condell
It was time to give myself a boot in the ass and stand up… for the Bill of Rights. Earlier that morning, I’d decided to skip it, for why bother when I already knew what the end result would likely be: massive student apathy.
Judicial Watch, a watchdog over government, legal, and judicial systems, had brought attention to the anniversary of the Bill of Rights and asked for volunteers to give local presentations throughout the country.
So, I wrote my local library, Sturgis Library, one of the oldest in the nation:
To Professor Sarah Polito, Department Chair, and the English Instructors of Cape Cod Community College:
Might just one of you actually care about Freedom of Expression? This week is Banned Books Week and today marks the 224th anniversary of the Bill of Rights. Not only was The American Dissident, a Journal of Literature, Democracy, and Dissidence, a 501 c3 nonprofit published in Barnstable, MA, banned from Sturgis Library thanks to its director Lucy Loomis, but I (my very ideas) was permanently trespassed on June 19, 2012 without warning or possibility of due process because I was critical of librarian hypocrisy… in writing; in particular: “Libraries should challenge censorship […]” and “should provide materials and information presenting all points of view”.
Clearly, the permanent banning proves my point on egregious librarian hypocrisy. Sturgis Library is my neighborhood library and boasts of being one of the very oldest in the nation. My taxes help pay for it and I can do nothing to stop that. Sadly, not one librarian in the entire Clams Library System of Cape Cod, which includes your very college library, cares. Indeed, The American Dissident has essentially been banned from the Clams Library System. The Cape Cod Times and Barnstable Patriot oddly refuse to report on this, despite my hammering on their doors.
In the past journalism was an act of courage, revealing truths in the face of powerful establishments and risking jail or even death. Today [journalism] is becoming the refuge of disconnected cowards.- NassimTaleb, essayist et al
To the rest of us free speech is far more sacred because when it is attacked there’s a lot more at stake than just feelings.- Pat Condell
Democracy fails when the local press refuses to publish newsworthy stories and/or the pros AND cons of stories published, especially when local citizens try their best to attract the press’ attention and political appointees are involved. In Barnstable, MA, where I live, not one of the local presses would publish the story I brought to their attention regarding my permanent trespass from publicly-funded Sturgis Library without warning or due process.
In fact, that very punitive action clearly supported my assertion (written criticism that led to the banning of not only me, but my ideas) that the director of the library, Lucy Loomis, was a flaming hypocrite because she did not follow written library policy that clearly stipulates her library “should challenge censorship” and “provide materials and information presenting all points of view”.
Thus, I put together a simple, reasonable proposal to require any library receiving public funding from the Town of Barnstable be accountable to the public. But the Town Manager and town councilors, amongst others, simply chose to ignore it. Welcome to Barnstable: Where Good Ole British Taxation without Representation Still Exists. Now, if that had been the inscription on the sign when entering town, I never would have moved here. In any case, neither the Cape Cod Times nor Barnstable Patriot would report on my proposal. Why? Was the idea simply too outside the chamber-of-commerce box to even contemplate?