Free Speech Threats

I see little blogging in the Second Life community about the threats to free speech. As a blogger in a couple of arenas, the changes being pushed by progressive and socialist liberals are direct threats to me and I think all of us. While a significant number may doubt or wonder how real or pertinent such threats can be to our SL community, I see it as very real and offer this information. Think.

Je Suis Charlie

Je Suis Charlie

This year, 2015, has seen a shift in the tactics of those opposing free spech. There is no one human or organization organizing the overall change. But, various people and organizations have vested interest in limiting the free exchange of ideas and information and they are learning what works to stop free speech. They are building on what works and finding new tactics. Those people that value free speech seem to be asleep at the switch, little or no response on any grass root level.

Mick Hume in July was writing about five new threats for Spiked, Battle of Ideas: Five New Threats To Free Speech Today. He points to things most people have heard nothing about.

The limiting of speech is in the main stream media’s best interest, they of course will be licensed to continue while the rest of us are prohibited – competition eliminated.

Consider the things that are happening; a priest in Ireland is facing jail for saying the Muslim religion is satanic. A sports fan there is in jail for singing a song.

As Mich points out the Je Suis Charlie signs had barely been put up before people were talking about how to LIMIT Free Speech to avoid offending anyone… That is the point of free speech, it usually does offend someone. Republicans offend Democrats and vice-versa.

So, we find self-censoring muted conformism is becoming the order of the day. In The Rape of the Mind, the author Meerloo points out how intimidation is used to stop speech and allow thinking to be shaped by removing contrary ideas.

Freedom is based on the idea of an exchange of ideas, which requires free expression of thoughts. Psychologists know how this works and they are being hired by politicians and governments to shape how citizens think by intimidating those that express contrary thoughts.

Mich points to the new threat from those who claim to support that freedom, yet seek to restrict it in practice. As he points out, the attacks on speech are not directly against free speech. But, against; hate, incitement, invasion of privacy, distortion of truth… all seemingly noble and worthwhile. But, the methods to achieve those goals is always limiting speech, removing free speech. You can’t say that…

Mich portrays the new Voltaire’s saying as: ‘I know I’ll despise and be offended by whatever you are going to say, and I will defend to the end of free speech my right to stop you saying it.’

Climate Change proponents have written to President Obama asking that he prosecute anyone denying climate change on RICO laws. (Reference: Letter) Imagine what would have happened at the height of American slavery if the then scientific opinion that black African races were subhuman had been allowed to stand as settled science. Or perhaps Aristotle’s ideas on women?

The new coercive lawsuit tactic of suing for what was said is especially effective in the United States where Tort Law reform is desperately needed. Frivolous lawsuits are very effective as their target, after  winning a case, must file suit to recover their damages from the frivolous suit and that is an additional expense with the odds in the current system against recovery.

In most of Europe the loser  in a lawsuit  pays all costs and that simple idea not present in American law reduces the number of frivolous coercive lawsuits. In the US the frivolous lawsuit is becoming a basic tactic to silence people. We will sue and fight until you are bankrupt, if you don’t shut up… The idea of hate and offensive speech is giving such lawsuits to silence people the cover of apparent legitimacy. Link for next page, below…

Link to additional page below…

More Assaults on Internet Freedom and Free Speech

The idea of a free press as the fourth estate of government has long been an enshrined belief in America. The Founding Fathers of America detailed the need of a free press uncensored by the government for a democratic republic to work in the Federalist Papers.

Along with a free press goes the idea of freedom of speech. I am never sure how many people realize freedom of thought is dependent on free speech. these are both things politicians want to control.

Now the Democrat Senator from California Diane Feinstein, and other Democrats in the Senate, are pushing to give the government the right to decide how a new ‘media shield law’ shall be applied and to select who is and is not a ‘reporter.’  Continue reading

Freedom of Information

The two countries most active in asking Google to remove content are Brazil and the USA.

Google has expressed the sentiment: The United States, too, has its fair share of censorship requests. While Google can’t be specific about legal matters, it appears that at least some of the requests come from overly-reactive local authorities.

Governments’ Attempts To Censor Google Have Doubled Since 2011

More details: Google Transparency Report

The Transparency Report

If you think Google, Yahoo, and Bing are providing equal access across the planet, think again. There are videos on YouTube that can’t see seen in some countries. There are search results that are not shown in some countries. It is not always the countries we may think of that are censoring our information.