Beyond the Cusp

May 2, 2022

Elon Musk Buys Twitter Promising Free Speech

Filed under: Israel — qwertster @ 1:20 AM
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There has been varied and copious reactions to Elon Musk purchasing Twitter. Some have hyperventilated, gone catatonic, feigned insult and virtually any negative panicked reaction one might imagine. While in the media a few thought that Elon Musk purchasing Twitter has potential to level the playing field and allow all sides at least some level of fairness, most of the media have reacted as if the current system was totally fair and needs no adjustment. We may be one of the smallest groups, those who have never had a problem with Twitter or any other net service we use. From our perspective, the entire debate depends on one’s interpretation of the First Amendment, which reads:

            Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

So, what speech is permitted by the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, as written by the Founding Fathers at the insistence of many of the individual states?

Painting of the Founding Fathers Signing the Constitution

Free speech intends to allow unencumbered exchanging of ideas, politics, cat videos, insults, fawning agreement, viral videos and anything short of threats of harm in any form. We fully expect a period where new limits, and limits are necessary, which guard against anything which crosses with the law. This will eventually lead to a Supreme Court decision and we think we know what the first challenge is to come. Early on there will come a challenge to hate crime laws as an impediment to free speech. The opposing argument will claim that such speech causes mental anguish and other emotional distress. In our opinion, even hate speech is protected if free speech meant the American Nazi Party was permitted a parade and hold speeches in Skokie, Ohio. This specific case explained how complete the concept of free speech was held, unlike today. Numerous Holocaust survivors resided not only in Skokie but along the proposed route the American Nazis intended. These survivors of the most heinous institution in human history, the Nazis and their murder of six million Jews and another six million other people declared deplorable and unproductive, had to witness what for them was an abomination. Free speech is preserved for exactly that speech we find most distasteful provided it remains within legal bounds. We all have to also accept that what is legally acceptable changes with every court challenge. One item the protestations got correct; the fur is about to fly.

Beyond the Cusp

September 23, 2017

Spreading Hatreds

 

You can feel it on Twitter, Facebook and the other social media. Hate is one of the subjects which infect most of what passes for news these days. Everybody has their own side and many people have defined their side’s rules for membership so tightly that they belong to a club of one. Needless to point out, even those in clubs consisting of them and only them believe that all those who are not in agreement with their club of one are wrong. Do not dare to disagree with the offended ones, as they will call down a fleet of defenders to rattle your cage. Then you will become offended and perhaps call in your reinforcements and then the flame wars are on. For hours, nothing posted is safe from ridicule and insult. Even some chat rooms have become poisonous pools dripping with sarcasm and mean spiritedness. The reality is that people on all sides are growing less and less tolerant of others. As stated above, the worst amongst us have withdrawn to the point that they are now an unstoppable force of one.

 

Many blogs are far to the left or to the right. Each finds their niche and from that point, they are off to defend the realm from those who would tear down the ramparts and destroy all that they hold dear and noble. They are always on the attack taking no prisoners along the way. Too many blogs monitor their comments removing any which state an opposing view with too great an ability. This past election in the United States was the perfect example of how far apart the two sides in the free western world have grown. The leftist camp was all in behind Hillary and the right extremes were all in behind The Donald. Well, that was the official line as the media and the power structure in the United States is based on there being only two parties who share the chance to lead. If one were to scratch the surface and peek below, they would find a few more political parties with only a remote few well enough known that any might be able to name. A few of the names which you might hear when asking are the Libertarian Party, Green Party, Constitution Party, Reform Party, Communist Party USA, New Black Panther Party, Socialist Party USA and maybe a few others largely depending on where in that great nation you do your asking. We could go into the long explanation for why third parties have such an uphill battle that they will almost always not be competitive. Perhaps the real and historic reason why would serve better.

 

Donald Trump & Hillary Clinton

Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton

 

Once upon a time, there were two major parties in the United States. Despite this, the first President, George Washington, was an Independent belonging to no party. President Washington did not believe that the United States should ever have political parties. Washington predicted that political parties, especially once two parties became all but exclusive, would be the only ones with power to be elected to major office. Here is the comment in his own words, President Washington,

“However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”

Despite his opposition to such, political alliances such as parties, the first two major parties were formed during his terms in office, the Federalist Party and the Anti-Federalist Party which would become the Democratic-Republican Party and finally simply the Democrat Party. The Federalist Party lost power and was replaced by the Whig Party which later split on the issue of slavery resulting in the formation of the Abolitionist Party which became the Republican Party soon thereafter. Once there came to be some consistency in the parties and to consolidate power after the Civil War, the Congress decided to pass laws making it difficult for other parties to place their candidates onto the ballot for President and Congress. States realized the advantage to having set standard parties and followed suit making ballot access laws more restrictive also exempting the two major parties. These laws allow for any party making a ballot in one election an easier route thereafter for as long as they are able to post what are considered viable candidates determined by their reaching a threshold of the popular vote. Despite such, it has been difficult to next to impossible for any third party to show consistently in sufficient states to pose a threat to the Democrat and Republican Parties. That is the story of how the United States came to the situation where you have professional politicians who hold office for decade upon decade starting as their high school president and then city council, state legislature, mayor, governor on to the House of Representatives and then on to the Senate or maybe the White House. Rumor is that it is difficult for a Senator to become President though it appears to be an easier possibility for a Representative or a Governor and even a Mayor. This is why many political stalwarts are so completely out of sorts over President Trump as he is an outsider who has never held any political office and thus completely unfit to be President. Additionally, he never served in the military and was not a commanding general who accomplished great victories like Washington, Grant and Eisenhower. The politicians look down upon the business world as a dirty line of work unbecoming statesmen such as themselves and that is why they are so free with passing regulations to limit the freedom of those unfit and unworldly lesser beings in the business world whose only real source of assistance to society is the campaign contributions they give to those very politicians. Perhaps President Washington was correct in his assumption that political parties would lead to unscrupulous behavior by those who were designed to be public servants and they might instead become self-serving.

 

In many ways, it is that exact system which has brought the United States to its present state. In all honesty, most western nations have fallen into the trap of two and at most three main parties between which the lion’s share of power rest. The current speed with which the world is progressing technologically has revolutionized communications and the means and influences which news is transmitted has brought about changes which few if anybody could have predicted leading to making it possible for people to find what became echo-chambers where they simply only hear those things supportive of their views. This has led to many becoming isolated in their own cocoon with venturing out being considered a risky venture. Largely because of this effect people are no longer capable or even desirous of understanding or even knowing of views other than those of their side. This makes each set of cocooned people isolated and spending their energies and time isolated but warm in their pool of reinforcing ripples. Everything around them measures their views as the best and often only answers to today’s problems and everybody spends most of their time reflecting within a mutual admiration society. The unfortunate thing is that everyone has apparently sought out their own echo-chamber and all are resting comfortable in their warm pools of self-reinforcement. The one interesting item is when the supporters of the most divergent extremes desire to protest, they will find the other arriving to oppose their right to be heard. Depending on the location of the confrontation and the political orientation of the reigning politics, the ensuing altercation will be predetermined. If the location be almost any college campus, then the more conservative side will be silenced. Each major city will have different priorities and the police may be instructed to assure the two sides are kept safely separated or they may be instructed to allow or even prompt confrontations. The media will be equally divided with the usual suspects supporting their preferred side. The media makes little difference as they will mostly be read or watched by people already in complete agreement. Few individuals actually attempt to become acquainted with the facts, opinions and views of the other side or sides. The fragmentation of the population will eventually lead to one outcome; the political class will utilize the separates societal groups in such a manner to grant themselves unparalleled power.

 

Currently, in the United States, the two major parties are not that far apart in their views. The hierarchy in both parties desperately desire centralizing all power and decisions in Washington D.C. right there on the Capitol Mall. They have slightly differing views as to what should be accomplished with said power. Both of the parties desire a completely unified one party structure where all of the power rests with the political class. The scary part is they were very close and this is part of why even the political class of Republicans, the ones who have been in Washington D.C. far too long and believe they are entitled to their own policy making, are so put out by the defeat of Hillary Clinton by an outsider who not only is not part of the grand plan, but one who is set on disconnecting and undoing everything accomplished over the past half century. The political class was so very close to total power and control that all they required was perhaps another decade of the right people in the White House. But Donald Trump was the worst possible person to have win the Oval Office. Had Bernie Sanders been permitted a fair fight and actually rallied sufficient support to win the Democrat nomination, then perhaps he might have prevailed against Donald Trump and the dream would have continued forward and possibly gained speed. Hillary Clinton was all in on the continuation of the Europeanization of the United States. Single Payer healthcare is the largest individual item to reach that goal and is still in play. This is part of why there is a core of Senators and members of the House of Representatives who are mostly known as the “Never Trumpers” and are still working hard on forcing the single payer plan as the sole answer to Obamacare. This has been what was behind the failure of the former attempts to repeal Obamacare. These central Republicans fighting not completely to foil Trump, though that is a plus, but to enact the final point for which Obamacare was enacted, European style single payer healthcare in order to drain the resources of the government such that the United States will no longer be capable of a strong military and will become no more of a world power than Canada (no insult intended to our friends in Canada). There has been minimal consideration of what will happen to the remainder of the western free world when the United States can no longer project power. That will leave the world open for any rising power to attempt to walk through and expand their power until fortune or a rival power brings their expansion to an end. This was the exact situation when Islam first rose to hold significant power around the year 625 leaving the Arabian Peninsula spreading across the Middle East and North Africa as the Roman Empire had fallen and the Byzantine Empire was in retreat though still had sufficient strength to protect eastern Europe long enough for other powers to build strength. With Islam becoming resurgent once again, this would be an inopportune time for the Western world to become weaker and potential of being relatively defenseless. The idea of making the United States more European than Cowboy is probably one of if not the most shortsighted ideas of all history. But that has often been the way of the world, just as the world sits on the brink of reaching a pivotal point where a great advancement is apparently close at hand, the entire house suddenly makes decision turning themselves into a house of cards which tumbles down into ruin. Let us hope, pray, do whatever each of us finds they are best suited that the leadership of the United States are not as short-sighted as those of former empires which self-destructed at historically the least opportune time. Should the United States cease being the preemptive power and sole-super power, the question is what will replace them and what will that civilization bring to the fore. We can only pray that humanity and the freedom of the individual remains at the fore of those who hold the power in their hands because otherwise we might find mankind enslaved for all eternity.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

April 27, 2017

Losing Free Speech Would be a Costly Mistake

 

Free speech as protected in the First Amendment does not protect “Hate Speech,” or so says Howard Dean. This is kind of funny as my remembrances were that unpopular speech was exactly the speech the First Amendment was meant to protect, and “Hate Speech” would most certainly be very unpopular. The proof of this is exactly what is playing out at University of California, Berkley Campus, often referred to as the home of free speech. It was at Berkeley in the 1960’s that freedom of speech was first tested and protected with the anti-war movement. It was back during this tumultuous time when the five rights delineated in the words of the First Amendment: ”Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Seems simply stated though courts have recognized that certain logical limits should be applied to “Freedom of speech” such as yelling fire in a crowded theater when there is no fire as such could lead to bodily harm. Causing bodily harm was an important limitation to most rights; you could continue any right up to the point of harming another soul. As distressing as it might be to hear honest and actual “Hate Speech,” it has been a right defended time and again as this is exactly the speech which is protected which is largely behind the reason that the ACLU defends the rights of the American Nazi Party to march and speak in public in the famous Skokie Case which occurred in Ohio.

 

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes formulated the clear and present danger test for free speech cases. In that case, Socialist Party of America official Charles Schenck had been convicted under the Espionage Act for publishing leaflets urging resistance to the draft. Schenck appealed, arguing that the Espionage Act violated the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment. In Schenck v. United States, the Supreme Court unanimously rejected Schenck’s appeal and affirmed his conviction. This conviction continued to be debated over whether Schenck went against the right to freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., writing for the Court, explained, “the question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent.”* Included in these evils would be bodily harm to individuals or a group of individuals. This is real and measurable harm, not like some other qualifiers in our society where it comes down to the desired opinion of the individual in question.

 

The problem with Howard Dean goes further than denying protections of the First Amendment to “Hate Speech” in his definitions. Mr. Dean defines “Hate Speech” in this case as the upcoming scheduled speech by conservative journalist Ann Coulter. We at BTC do not agree with Miss Coulter on any number of her positions but defend her right to speak to the group which invited her and anyone else who desires to hear her speak. But, Howard Dean desires that a committee of like-minded people such as himself be appointed to decide what constitutes “Hate Speech” and thus ban that which they disapprove. Should such be permitted, then how long before we are facing 1984 and Big Brother Watching for INGSOC (English Socialism) and its trinity of newspeak; “War is Peace,” “Freedom is Slavery” and “Ignorance is Strength.” These were considered “double-plus-good” and deviating and becoming emotional was considered you’re becoming a threat which is very much “double-plus-ungood.” This was presumably the Achilles Heel of INGSOC and the loose thread that if pulled hard enough, everything would unravel. Mr. Dean believes that the little snowflakes attending University of California Berkeley cannot handle reality given at face value. It is the leftist indoctrination and the permitting of the college indoctrination keeping these snowflakes, otherwise called students, from ideas which their professors would consider to be outside their own message and thus as “Hate Speech.” This would be when the professors inform the easily influenced snowflakes that they can escape Ms. Coulter and her viscous “Hate Speech” by running to their designated safe zone. This begs the question of what are they afraid of?

 

Ann Coulter

Ann Coulter

 

Therein lies the secret. One could ask the professors exactly what is it that they and Howard Dean are so afraid the children in their care might hear, dissenting opinions and arguments backed up with convincing facts and references to refute the lies they have been foisting on impressionable minds such that they can indoctrinate them and fashion them into fellow leftists. This education format is dangerous as it instills a singular outlook on the world which lacks the fullness of depth and only allows for understanding the leftist outlook. This leaves these students unprepared for the real world and the demands it will throw their way. Unfortunately, many of these delicate flowers find themselves a job in the middle of a flower patch full of fellow flower power advocates and never leave their comfort zone. Others will often need to lose a few jobs before they start to realize that there is an entire world out there just waiting for them to study and learn of other opinions which permeate the workplace. They will find that there really are men and women with diverse ideas and concepts which their college indoctrination did not prepare them for and unless they begin to receive such as potentially valid and weigh everything testing the concepts against the real world finding new ideas which work as well or better than what they had learned, they will live a life restricted and void of the ability for comparative reason. Once they are freed to become whomever they eventually define themselves as being, their lives will grow from that point. What is so pathetic is that in all too many instances, especially in the soft sciences, the outlook in such a college atmosphere is limited to singular leftist opinions integrated so as to replace any normative lesson with one based on a strictly limited leftist outlook. With “Trigger Warnings” and “Micro-Aggressions” (whatever in the world these are) demanded to be placed on any material which might shake up their world, the snowflakes are restricted to living life in their leftist cocoon. Many of these students tend to be hard sciences-challenged as they cannot accept that there are such items as correct and incorrect results. They have been taught that it is the effort that matters and not the correct answer. These sensitive and fragile egos cannot handle having to produce actual results as reaching the correct value in an answer has become more subjective in this new world being foisted upon all too many college students. What is remarkable is today’s speech police demanding the banning of all speech which contradicts or questions any of the leftist ideologies, were the very people demanding open and free speech be upheld when their speech was the undesirable ideas. When their ideas were the ones challenging the status-quo, the demand was to honor the spirit of the first amendment and permit all speech. Now that theirs is the established speech and the former status-quo has become the challenging speech, these former guardians of the freedoms of the First Amendment become stuffy old fuddy-duddy holders of the line, they now demand that only “Approved Speech” which will not hurt their little future indoctrinated leftist army by forcing them to think. You need understand one principle of this new age, groupthink must be maintained and all speech which counters groupthink must be banned and kept from ever reaching the ears of their subjects. That is the truth; they are no longer students in these institutes of higher indoctrination but are merely subjects there to be programmed and sent out in an as-is condition and most companies are required to retrain college graduates on how to perform their jobs. Remedial training at many technical companies includes simple algebra and geometry problems, as such skills were never taught effectively from kindergarten on through college. Other subjects no longer taught in anything resembling a rational or reasoned manner and especially not the traditional manner are such little items as history including, American history, Ancient History, Modern History, Civics, English, and any of the Humanities. Many classes now avoid inclusion of any men, especially white men and never any white men who had slaves. This makes the coverage of the founding of America rather different from traditional teaching of the subject. English no longer believes that any of the traditional white male authors or their compatriots such as Mary Shelley as she committed the crime of co-writing with men of her era. Other authors considered too Christian or traditional include William Shakespeare, Chaucer, Oscar Wilde, Edgar Allen Poe, J.R.R. Tolkien, Brothers Grimm, Alexandre Dumas, Aesop or even the story of Beowulf as it is too simplistic depicting good and evil and degrades women as Grendel’s mother is shown as evil despite her only crime presumably was being a woman, or so the argument is made. There are hundreds of authors, composers and masters of the arts who are now considered unworthy simply because they expound on the ideals of good and evil and the Judeo-Christian, white male perspective even if they may have been women as it is the good and evil ethics of Judeo-Christianity they cannot couch. When your belief system is that all things are in all ways equal you have no belief system, you have a cop-out refusing to experimentally compare and contrast one set of ideas against another and judge which one is more erudite, more morally correct, and honors humankind treating all equal (or as equal as such treatment was due people in the period in which one lived as it is completely unfair to judge a person from 1776 or from 1492 or from 92 or before that sometime BCE such as around 1050 BCE, approximately when King David conquered Yerushalayim and made it the Capital City of Israel from that time forward through time).

 

The willingness of the professors of the colleges and universities to deign whether anything or anyone is worthy of attention solely if they measure up to the standards of the modern secular humanist leftist version of quality is Stalinesque. Their idea of equality is no better than Charlemagne had a handle on it as the Inquisition followed him across the continent of Europe and felled many an innocent, thus is the reality when one utilizes an arbitrary system in deciding whether one is worthy of life or consideration. Students today are not even required to read philosophers such as Descartes, Kant, Machiavelli, Sun Tzu, Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Homer, Jules Verne, Ernest Hemingway, Bram Stoker, Isaac Asimov, Carl von Clausewitz or others. Instead, many classes only read often solely from obscure poets and writers from Africa and Asia with recent additions in many schools of Quranic based education in the public schools, apparently there is no separation of Mosque and State as there is Temple, Church, Synagogue and state, respectively. The classics in writing, music and art are considered now to be poisonous to student sensitivity. They are simply taught that their entire heritage, providing their heritage came from a Judeo-Christian basis, is to be destroyed and discarded as retaining any piece of Judeo-Christian ethics is a thought crime for which one will face ridicule and be ostracized. All that our modern society is built upon is taught to be contaminated and rotting through and through and the sooner we allow refugees from across the third world, the place of variety and where there are beautiful ideals to be explored and exalted as they are completely foreign to Western thought and custom and thus they must be superiorly equal, the sooner our societies can grow under new influences which will be simply wonderful, or so it is promised. I never thought that this phrase could ever actually fit in an article about modern society, but it can be said that as all civilizations and all philosophies are claimed to be equal but Judeo-Christianity and Eurocentric histories are to be considered to be of a lesser nature and to be cast down because some civilizations, some philosophies, some religious writings, some traditions are simply more equal than others and these are the ones which have nothing to do with Western culture and the developed world’s actual roots. The university campus is a self-hating reactionary place where normative thought is considered gauche and to be rejected with everything to do with Judeo-Christian history and development as that is the wrong path for the future. Really?

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

* Our thanks to WikiPedia for the previous examples from the life of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

 

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