Sheep Led to the Slaughter: The Muzzling of Free Speech in America

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As Orwell warned, you cannot become conscious until you rebel

by John W. Whitehead | Rutherfoed Institute | September 2, 2015

“If the freedom of speech be taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”—George Washington

The architects of the American police state must think we’re idiots.

With every passing day, we’re being moved further down the road towards a totalitarian society characterized by government censorship, violence, corruption, hypocrisy and intolerance, all packaged for our supposed benefit in the Orwellian doublespeak of national security, tolerance and so-called “government speech.”

Long gone are the days when advocates of free speech could prevail in a case such as Tinker v. Des Moines. Indeed, it’s been 50 years since 13-year-old Mary Beth Tinker was suspended for wearing a black armband to school in protest of the Vietnam War. In taking up her case, the U.S. Supreme Court declared that students do not “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.”

Were Tinker to make its way through the courts today, it would have to overcome the many hurdles being placed in the path of those attempting to voice sentiments that may be construed as unpopular, offensive, conspiratorial, violent, threatening or anti-government.

Consider, if you will, that the U.S. Supreme Court, historically a champion of the First Amendment, has declared that citizens can exercise their right to free speech everywhere it’s lawful—online, in social media, on a public sidewalk, etc.—as long as they don’t do so in front of the Court itself.

What is the rationale for upholding this ban on expressive activity on the Supreme Court plaza?

“Allowing demonstrations directed at the Court, on the Court’s own front terrace, would tend to yield the…impression…of a Court engaged with — and potentially vulnerable to — outside entreaties by the public.”

Translation: The appellate court that issued that particular ruling in Hodge v. Talkin actually wants us to believe that the Court is so impressionable that the justices could be swayed by the sight of a single man, civil rights activist Harold Hodge, standing alone and silent in the snow in a 20,000 square-foot space in front of the Supreme Court building wearing a small sign protesting the toll the police state is taking on the lives of black and Hispanic Americans.

My friends, we’re being played for fools.

The Supreme Court is not going to be swayed by you or me or Harold Hodge.

For that matter, the justices—all of whom hale from one of two Ivy League schools (Harvard or Yale) and most of whom are now millionaires and enjoy such rarefied privileges as lifetime employment, security details, ample vacations and travel perks—are anything but impartial.

If they are partial, it is to those with whom they are on intimate terms: with Corporate America and the governmental elite who answer to them, and they show their favor by investing in their businesses, socializing at their events, and generally marching in lockstep with their values and desires in and out of the courtroom.

To suggest that Harold Hodge, standing in front of the Supreme Court building on a day when the Court was not in session hearing arguments or issuing rulings, is a threat to the Court’s neutrality, while their dalliances with Corporate America is not, is utter hypocrisy.

Making matters worse, the Supreme Court has the effrontery to suggest that the government can discriminate freely against First Amendment activity that takes place within a government forum. Justifying such discrimination as “government speech,” the Court ruled that the Texas Dept. of Motor Vehicles could refuse to issue specialty license plate designs featuring a Confederate battle flag because it was offensive.

If it were just the courts suppressing free speech, that would be one thing to worry about, but First Amendment activities are being pummeled, punched, kicked, choked, chained and generally gagged all across the country.

The reasons for such censorship vary widely from political correctness, safety concerns and bullying to national security and hate crimes but the end result remains the same: the complete eradication of what Benjamin Franklin referred to as the “principal pillar of a free government.”

Officials at the University of Tennessee, for instance, recently introduced an Orwellian policy that would prohibit students from using gender specific pronouns and be more inclusive by using gender “neutral” pronouns such as ze, hir, zir, xe, xem and xyr, rather than he, she, him or her.

On many college campuses, declaring that “America is the land of opportunity” or asking someone “Where were you born?” are now considered microaggressions, “small actions or word choices that seem on their face to have no malicious intent but that are thought of as a kind of violence nonetheless.” Trigger warnings are also being used to alert students to any material or ideas they might read, see or hear that might upset them.

More than 50 percent of the nation’s colleges, including Boston University, Harvard University, Columbia University and Georgetown University, subscribe to “red light” speech policies that restrict or ban so-called offensive speech, or limit speakers to designated areas on campus. The campus climate has become so hypersensitive that comedians such as Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld refuse to perform stand-up routines to college crowds anymore.

What we are witnessing is an environment in which political correctness has given rise to “vindictive protectiveness,” a term coined by social psychologist Jonathan Haidt and educational First Amendment activist Greg Lukianoff. It refers to a society in which “everyone must think twice before speaking up, lest they face charges of insensitivity, aggression or worse.”

This is particularly evident in the public schools where students are insulated from anything—words, ideas and images—that might create unease or offense. For instance, the thought police at schools in Charleston, South Carolina, have instituted a ban on displaying the Confederate flag on clothing, jewelry and even cars on campus.

Added to this is a growing list of programs, policies, laws and cultural taboos that defy the First Amendment’s safeguards for expressive speech and activity. Yet as First Amendment scholar Robert Richards points out, “The categories of speech that fall outside of [the First Amendment’s] protection are obscenity, child pornography, defamation, incitement to violence and true threats of violence. Even in those categories, there are tests that have to be met in order for the speech to be illegal. Beyond that, we are free to speak.”

Technically, Richards is correct. On paper, we are free to speak.

In reality, however, we are only as free to speak as a government official may allow.

Free speech zones, bubble zones, trespass zones, anti-bullying legislation, zero tolerance policies, hate crime laws and a host of other legalistic maladies dreamed up by politicians and prosecutors have conspired to corrode our core freedoms.

As a result, we are no longer a nation of constitutional purists for whom the Bill of Rights serves as the ultimate authority. As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, we have litigated and legislated our way into a new governmental framework where the dictates of petty bureaucrats carry greater weight than the inalienable rights of the citizenry.

It may seem trivial to be debating the merits of free speech at a time when unarmed citizens are being shot, stripped, searched, choked, beaten and tasered by police for little more than daring to frown, smile, question, challenge an order, or just breathe.

However, while the First Amendment provides no tangible protection against a gun wielded by a government agent, nor will it save you from being wrongly arrested or illegally searched, or having your property seized in order to fatten the wallets of government agencies, without the First Amendment, we are utterly helpless.

It’s not just about the right to speak freely, or pray freely, or assemble freely, or petition the government for a redress of grievances, or have a free press. The unspoken freedom enshrined in the First Amendment is the right to think freely and openly debate issues without being muzzled or treated like a criminal.

Just as surveillance has been shown to “stifle and smother dissent, keeping a populace cowed by fear,” government censorship gives rise to self-censorship, breeds compliance and makes independent thought all but impossible.

In the end, censorship and political correctness not only produce people that cannot speak for themselves but also people who cannot think for themselves. And a citizenry that can’t think for itself is a citizenry that will neither rebel against the government’s dictates nor revolt against the government’s tyranny.

The end result: a nation of sheep who willingly line up for the slaughterhouse.

The cluttered cultural American landscape today is one in which people are so distracted by the military-surveillance-entertainment complex that critical thinkers are in the minority and frank, unfiltered, uncensored speech is considered uncivil, uncouth and unacceptable.

That’s the point, of course.

The architects, engineers and lever-pullers who run the American police state want us to remain deaf, dumb and silent. They want our children raised on a vapid diet of utter nonsense, where common sense is in short supply and the only viewpoint that matters is the government’s.

We are becoming a nation of idiots, encouraged to spout political drivel and little else.

In so doing, we have adopted the lexicon of Newspeak, the official language of George Orwell’s fictional Oceania, which was “designed not to extend but to diminish the range of thought.” As Orwell explained in1984, “The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of IngSoc [the state ideology of Oceania], but to make all other modes of thought impossible.”

If Orwell envisioned the future as a boot stamping on a human face, a fair representation of our present day might well be a muzzle on that same human face.

If we’re to have any hope for the future, it will rest with those ill-mannered, bad-tempered, uncivil, discourteous few who are disenchanted enough with the status quo to tell the government to go to hell using every nonviolent means available.

However, as Orwell warned, you cannot become conscious until you rebel.

*(THOSE GENTLE GIANTS ARE BACK)* – Pack Of Armed Teens Terrorizing, Robbing Cab Drivers In Philly…

Updated 8 minutes ago

Philadelphia police are searching for several teen suspects wanted for armed robberies targeting taxi drivers.

The robberies happened between August 23 and August 26.

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In two of the incidents, the suspects threatened the taxi drivers with a gun and demanded money.

In the first incident, the suspects were picked at 16th and Sansom Streets and dropped off in the 1500 block of Deal Street. In the second robbery, the suspects were picked up at 12th and Race Streets and dropped off again on Deal Street.

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In the most recent incident, a 50-year-old male cab driver picked up a customer and dropped him off at an empty lot in the 4200 block of Orchard Street. The cab driver was approached from behind by two suspects. One of the suspects struck the victim in the back of his head with a handgun.

The suspects took the victim’s wallet, which contained $100, before running away.

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All three robberies have involved a gun and the same description of all three suspects. All the suspects are believed to be in their teens.

Anyone with information is urged to contact police.

Read more:
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‘EL HOMBRE NO ES CONSERVADOR’ – In Miami — and en Español — Jeb Bush punches back at Donald Trump’s ‘blah blah blah’

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Alas, candidates don’t always get to run the races they expected.

His early poll numbers slipping — and Donald Trump’s rising — Bush veered from the happy talk Tuesday. He took the Republican frontrunner head on, in sharper terms than he has before, and tried to position himself as the un-Trump — the candidate who will outlast the feverish summer-of-Trump phenomenon.

“El hombre no es conservador” — the man is not conservative, Bush told reporters after a Miami campaign stop. “Besides, he tries to personalize everything. If you’re not totally in agreement with him you’re an idiot, or stupid, or don’t have energy, or blah blah blah.”

This is the Bush some of his Florida supporters and donors have been waiting to see, a candidate with a little more edge and a little more fire who picks his shots at Trump.

Yet attacking the celebrity candidate is still a risky strategy. In seeking a two-man, Trump-vs.-Bush contest, Bush might burn Trump — or he may get burned himself, leaving an opening for another candidate to emerge as the GOP’s top choice. Some Miami Republicans hope that will be Sen. Marco Rubio, who has been biding his time in the middle of the pack.

Bush debuted his criticism of Trump — that he’s a phony Republican — a couple of weeks ago. Things ramped up Monday after Trump posted a Web video overlaying Bush’s remark last year — in which he said that illegal immigration is an “act of love” — with mug shots of three men charged with murder who were in the U.S. illegally.

“Love?” the Instagram video says. “Forget love. It’s time to get tough!”

The video, which fails to mention that Bush supports deporting serious criminals, drew quick comparisons to ads Bush’s father, George H.W. Bush, ran in 1988 against Michael Dukakis over convicted felon Willie Horton. It also showed that Trump, for all of his dismissing of Bush as a rival, still considers him a top competitor worth going after.

Bush’s camp responded Monday afternoon by suggesting a President Trump would be soft on crime. By Tuesday morning, Bush had released a video of his own featuring clips of Trump interviews that, strung together, make the former Democrat sound liberal. “The Real Donald Trump,” the campaign titled it, riffing off Trump’s prolific Twitter account, @realDonaldTrump.

Trump’s campaign declined to comment. Then Trump took to Twitter.

“Yet another weak hit by a candidate with a failing campaign. Will Jeb sink as low in the polls as the others who have gone after me?” Trump wrote.

He later posted another Instagram video, this time with clips of Bush and his brother former President George W. Bush praising Democrat Hillary Clinton.

While Bush has chosen to poke Trump on issues, polls show Trump’s popularity isn’t based on ideology. Republicans like that Trump “tells it like it is,” according to a Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register poll of Iowa voters released this week. Forty-one percent of Trump’s supporters consider him “moderate,” compared to 35 percent who label him “conservative.” (Ten percent called him “liberal” in the poll, and only 4 percent used the term “very conservative.”)

Bush told reporters at La Progresiva Presbyterian School in Little Havana he decided to hit Trump “because he attacks me every day with barbaridades” — atrocious insults.

“That’s what he does, and it’s not good, because there are millions of people who today think their future isn’t as it should be,” said Bush, whom Trump has repeatedly characterized Bush as “low energy.”

Bush spoke mostly in Spanish. He’s bilingual and bicultural, and the country’s two major Spanish-language broadcast networks, Univision and Telemundo, are based in Miami and sent their reporters to ask questions. But Bush’s tough answers will almost certainly get less press coverage in early-primary states like Iowa and New Hampshire because they weren’t in English.

Before speaking to reporters, Bush fielded questions from high-school students, some of them so young that they were born after Bush moved into the Florida Governor’s Mansion in 1999. The campaign used back-to-school as a chance for Bush to talk about the voucher program he created that allows needy families to use corporate funds to pay for private school.

“It allows your parents to make a choice that they might otherwise not be able to have,” Bush said.

He asked one girl, a senior, where she planned to go to college. She said she didn’t know yet — and countered with a question about what the government could do to secure financial aid for students in the country illegally who might be unable to pursue professional careers because of their immigration status. Bush responded with his pitch for reforming the immigration system and giving so-called “DREAMers” brought into the country illegally by their parents a path to U.S. citizenship (others who qualify should earn “legal status,” he said).

Bush noted his wife, Columba, was born in Mexico — and that one of his daughters-in-law (nuera, one of the few words he stumbled on in Spanish) is Iraqi-Canadian. His young granddaughters, he said, are “Texan-Mexican-Canadian-Iraqi Americans.”

A boy asked Bush about his favorite food — these were students, after all — and he said “Mexican,” endorsing a new restaurant, El Wapo Taco in Coral Gables, as “authentic.” He later posed for selfies.

Once he was mobbed by reporters, Bush showed flashes of the politician Florida veterans remember from his days in Tallahassee. He pushed back at a reporter’s question of his use of the term “anchor babies” — “C’mon,” he said — and refused to hit Chris Christie over Christie’s remark that foreign visitors in the United States might be tracked like FedEx packages so they don’t overstay their visas.

“It came out wrong,” Bush said of Christie’s phrasing, perhaps recalling his own verbal gaffes.

Bush also declared himself unworried about internal tumult inside his campaign, which has reined in spending and cut ties with three fundraising consultants in the past week as it has become clear that the path to the Republican nomination will be rockier than Bush’s team had planned.

“I had a great fundraiser last night,” Bush said, referring to a reception at the Coral Gables home of auto executive Manny Kadre. “I did seven fundraisers last week. I promise you that when you look at the results on September 30th, that we will be fine.”

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Massive manhunt on for suspects in killing of Illinois police officer

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Local, state and federal police are searching for three men in connection with the shooting death of a police officer in in Fox Lake, Illinois. The officer’s gun and pepper spray were taken after a foot pursuit.

The suspects are two white men and a black man who are considered to be armed and dangerous, authorities said.

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The Fox Lake officer, identified as Lt. Charles J. Gliniewicz, was pursuing people described as suspicious around 8 a.m. local time Tuesday when he was shot, Lake County Undersheriff Raymond Rose told reporters. Police responding to the scene to help found him in a marshy area. He died at the scene.

Gliniewicz was a 32-year veteran of the Fox Lake Police Department and the father of four boys.

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“Not only did Fox Lake lose a family member, I lost a very good friend,” Mayor Donny Schmidt said during an afternoon press conference, referring to Gliniewicz as “GI Joe.”

“He was a dear friend to the entire Village of Fox Lake,” Schmidt added.

“He’s got four sons who are going to have to go on alone,” Terry Resetar, the slain lieutenant’s mother-in-law, told the Chicago Tribune.

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An officer who responded to Gliniewicz’s call could be heard on the scanner saying: ” … send everybody you possibly can … officer is down …” the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Helicopters and police K9 units have been brought in from multiple jurisdictions. Police are going door-to-door in the far northwestern suburb of Chicago.

The Federal Aviation Administration has instituted a no-fly zone over the area, giving police helicopters freedom to search for the suspects without other aircraft getting in the way.

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“If [residents] see anybody in their area … that doesn’t belong or doesn’t look right, they should call 911,” Rose said.

Grant Community High School and St. Bede School are on lockdown, while School District 15 in McHenry and Gavin South Middle School and Gavin Central Elementary School in Ingleside are on soft lockdown, according to their websites.

Along with the soft lockdown, the school district made the decision to dismiss students at 4 p.m. instead of 3 p.m., Schmidt said.

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Metra has suspended commuter trains on the Milwaukee District North Line, which runs between Fox Lake and Chicago Union Station.

Netherlands to Withdraw Government Welfare from ‘Asylum Seekers’…Cue Leftist Outrage

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When a scared, destitute stranger and his entire family from a foreign country enter your home uninvited and demand you take care of them for the unforeseeable future (like feeding them, housing them, providing their medical care etc.) surely you comply. You must! Because compassion. Wait, you don’t let strangers into your house and provide for them for all of time? RACIST.

The Netherlands have gotten realistic about these “asylum seekers” and how long they can stay free of cost. Why? A number of reasons. Obviously because the Dutch are racists who don’t have hearts and cannot show any kind of goodwill towards these poor people flooding across their borders from Syria and Libya. The other reason is because, well, the Netherlands can’t afford to let foreigners mooch off the government dole. But you won’t see the second reason in the leftist media much. Remember, facts are secondary to feelings.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte has defended the measures, saying it was “crazy” to offer indefinite assistance to those who failed to qualify as refugees.

“We are talking about the group that can go back, whose governments would take them back, but they don’t want to go back,” he said.

The Dutch have probably seen what’s happened to Germany, so in an effort to protect their treasury and their citizenry, they’re telling “asylum seekers” the free welfare train stops at Platform Realism. All passengers must disembark. Please, mind the gap. Right, that British reference was there for a reason:

In Britain, more than 60 per cent of asylum applications are rejected. Most people then have a right to an appeal, but the majority still receive negative decisions. The cost of then ejecting people forcibly is expensive, leading to accusations that the Government is deliberately making life as difficult as possible for failed asylum seekers to force people to leave.

Of course the UN, who doesn’t let foreigners in their symbolic houses either, has said all of this Netherlands not allowing a free flow of immigrants into their country and mooch off the government stuff, is just wrong. Because, you guessed it… racism. What else?

But the changes have been criticised by charities and the UN itself, whose Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination said the basic needs of migrants should be provided unconditionally.

“As long as they are in the Netherlands, they have to enjoy minimum standards of living,” said Ion Diaconu, who helped write a UN report criticising the Dutch policy proposal.

That’s right. Not giving foreigners free stuff is racist. Remember that when a foreigner breaks down the door to your home and demands asylum.

If you defend your household? Well that’s double-secret racism. Because, tolerance.