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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May 23, 2015

The Sad Truths About American Election 2016

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The one constant around the world is that everywhere one hears discussions about the upcoming 2016 American elections and the talk immediately turns to the potential Presidential results and how they will either improve or ruin the plans of our leaders, nations, areas, threats, trade or economies. The truth is that trying to divine the thoughts of the American public and how they will vote for in the Presidential elections is complete folly, especially if one is using the relations between in foreign affairs as their criteria. While across the globe the United States foreign policy or lack thereof is of vital importance and in many instances potentially critical and even deadly, the American public usually cannot see any further than their wallet. Yes, there are numerous Americans who understand and even use a fair degree of foreign policy knowledge and positions of Presidential candidates, I must sadly report that when we left the United States that number decreased and even with our presence in the voting booths the people voting their wallets probably outnumbered foreign policy wonks by a thousand to one if not a hundred-thousand to one. This is why the Presidential debates only have one which presumably is advertised as pertaining to foreign policy. The truth is that most of the questions end up actually being turned inside-out, upside-down and twisted all around until it actually sets the candidates attentions to foreign situations as it pertains to the effects it might have on the budget or social programs at home. Still, the choice of who will be the next President of the United States will have a determining effect on every part of the globe; it will just be whether it will be for better or worse. So, what should we seek as far as the most preferentially positive effect generally around the globe?

 

The usual rule of thumb is that a Republican President will be more involved in foreign policy than a Democrat President. This does not necessarily mean this is preferential as it also depends on whether the Republican President has advisors and other assets which drive a thoughtful and thoroughly researched foreign policy or if they have a more seat of the pants reactionary policy. An example of the former would be President Dwight David Eisenhower who though often derogatorily called a do nothing President actually was responsible for the reconstruction of Europe and the Far East policy after the fall of Japan and much of the American ascendance after World War II all while the United States enjoyed some of its best economic growth years in its history. Another President who also did well largely due to advisors was John Fitzgerald Kennedy whose advisors were very knowledgeable and who when tested by Russian President Khrushchev over the Cuban Missile Crisis set a strong and potentially dangerous posture of no nonsense strong response that eventually led to the Soviet Union to retreat from Cuba removing their missiles. Kennedy also answered the Soviet initial success and leads in the start of the space race to set the goal as the Moon and challenged the American space industries and NASA with, “We choose to go to the Moon! … We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” On the other hand, the United States has had Presidents from both parties who were unmitigated disasters when it came to foreign policy though I will not shame any by naming them and instead allow each to choose their own examples. From the juncture where many currently observe the two Administrations under President Obama, these could easily be defined by numerous presumably traditional friends of the United States, who would, if choosing to be totally candid, would describe these as total disasters with potentially the worst yet to come. Then there are some of the worst mischief makers and oppressors or would be conquerors who likely would heap praise on President Obama’s choice to not challenge anything which might prove challenging or potentially difficult and demanding taking a principled stand.

 

So, first off, let me assure those who might be misled into believing that the Americans generally have begun to awaken and see what a disaster President Obama has been for the world as a whole, if it were somehow made possible for President Obama to run for a third term, the American public would likely reelect him and even the Jewish voters who might claim that Israel is one of their top concerns would still vote for President Obama by an easy majority likely near to sixty-five percent against thirty-five percent voting Republican. Actually, there would be a sizeable percentage of the Jewish voting public who would refuse to vote Republican and simply stay at home which is the same as voting for whichever candidate proves victorious. With this established, this fact does not bode well for the Republican Party if the American public, which is made predominantly of ‘low-information voters’ who vote pretty much as they are advised by such criteria as, my family have always voted Democrat/Republican/Whig (OK, most families who had voted for the Whig Party have moved on since then), what’s his name on Comedy Central/Saturday Night Live/the Late Show/Family Guy/South Park character, Media such as ABC/CBS/NBC/FOX/CNN/PBS/MSNBC, print media, favorite personality/close friend/boss at work/union boss or whatever ridiculous source even to include Tarot Card reader’s advice, are the mainstay of the voting public which as time has passed has become more the norm. This is partly why the politicians fight over voting rules such as removing people from voter rolls through validation techniques to remove those who have moved, died or not voted in decades or the need for picture identifications, motor voter laws, and even register to vote outside the polling place and then enter and vote or permitting prisoners to vote even from death row as there is no area not pursued as a voting base that the party who thinks something is to their advantage will not use to the utmost of their ability. So, we have established that the American voting public is not necessarily the pure cerebral and reasoned public which Thomas Jefferson, Sam Adams, or James Madison envisioned, though probably Benjamin Franklin may have had the right attitude and worldly experience to realize how far the electorate would eventually slip. So, now what?

 

The next is choosing who will most likely be the candidate for each of the two major parties. Let us start with the Republican Party and the myriad of candidates there seeking to be the candidate chosen to represent the party in the elections in November 2016. The one thing we are assured is that the Republican candidates will mostly be breaking what President Ronald Reagan called the Eleventh Commandment, do not speak ill of thy fellow Republicans. The Republican candidates will refuse to bow out until it becomes mathematically impossible for them to win the nominations and some even then will continue just in case they can make a surge from out of the blue once the delegates are freed to vote however they choose, usually around the fifth ballot or later. With all the candidates, and a fair number of top ties candidates, it is quite likely that the Republican Party may reach its convention without any one candidate with sufficient numbers of delegates to win on the first or second ballot and there may be five candidates who are all actually closely matched in candidate count with none even remotely close to a majority or even a resounding plurality. This might lead to a lengthy and harshly fought convention which will go into the fourth day or beyond without reaching some resolution or producing a candidate. There appears now that Jeb Bush will have a loyal set of establishment delegates and the ‘movers and shakers and moneyed establishment supporting him while the Tea Party and Christian Right will be divided amongst a core of select candidates including but not limited to Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Dr. Ben Carson and Scott Walker; with the likes of Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Bobby Jindal will all have a base of support which may be sufficient to retain their hopes and finally there is Carly Fiorina who as the sole woman, might receive additional support as she is the only candidate against whom Hilary Clinton would not have the advantage of gender running to be the first American female President. The end result is whoever eventually survives the scathing attacks and fevered battle with the nomination may find themselves limping into the actual Presidential election race as damaged goods sorely injured by their own party. Oddly enough the one person who might mostly escape such infighting and scorn from their fellow Republicans might be Carly Fiorina simply because should she avoid falling prey to the gotcha media assaults most Republicans face, she could be the one without any damaged armor and slide between the barbs and arrows and prove the strongest candidate of them all and take the nomination with minimal damage and able to rally the Republican base and establishment as she belongs to neither but can make overtures to both.

 

That brings us to the Democrat Convention and the presumed coronation of Hillary Clinton as the ‘deserved one,’ the ‘chosen one.’ From the very beginning I have not believed that Hilary Clinton would survive to become the Democrat Party Presidential candidate in 2016 or ever as if she is cast aside this time it will be for good. Hillary Clinton’s most formidable and undefeatable opponent is Hillary Clinton of campaigns and offices past which will eventually make her untenable as a candidate. Her time as Secretary of State will tie her inexorably to President Obama’s disastrous foreign policy and much of the blame for President Obama’s failures will be heaped upon Hillary and she will be unable to escape this baggage. Additionally there will be the baggage from the entire Benghazi debacle, and even worse, her hearings before the Congress where the immortal words were uttered never to stop echoing in many ears where Hillary, referring to four dead Americans including two men whose heroic efforts became known making the inaction simply unacceptable and un-American and now forever tied to her stating, “With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided that they’d they go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make?” The absolute cynicism of her caustic remarks and the bald faced attempt to brush off any responsibility and to make any questions in this area as improper as that the reason for the hearings was not about those who gave their lives presumably in service of their country and for a mission which originated within the State Department, but to allow Hillary Clinton to be cleansed of any wrong-doing and to be vindicated and be lauded for striving to assure that such a situation never again presented such a deadly situation. The line of questions seeking to pinpoint blame was, in Hillary’s mind, completely out of bounds. Between Benghazi, the e-mail scandals, the missing records, scrubbed and sanitized memos and communications, Clinton Foundation contributions and influence peddling from her position as Secretary of State, foreign monies which likely were derived as payments for favors, the rise of Blumenthal communications concerning Libya where he had business interests while advising Hillary Clinton during her time as Secretary of State as well as numerous other scandals yet to surface, and Hillary Clinton is damaged even beyond the capability for the Democrat Party to attempt to repair her to make her presentable to the public. All the baggage which has been in the mainstream news about Hillary Clinton was originally being exposed now early in the process and before she announced her intentions to run for President such that it could be labelled old news already beaten to death if brought up during the campaign by the Republican side. The problem is that there seemingly is no end to the scandals as they just keep jumping out from everywhere. As the media and Democrat operatives keep attempting to put these scandals to rest and tie up all the loose ends they run into another problem and then a scandal which follows as night follows day and there is no putting this to bed as more and more loose ends keep appearing and the Hillary apologists are beginning to become somewhat short tempered as their patience dies. In the end Hillary Clinton and former President William Jefferson Clinton will be required to hang up their hopes of returning to the White House until Chelsey is old enough which will be fairly soon, so they should get her elected to some office, governor of the state of their choosing, Maryland sounds easy as does Massachusetts.

 

So, with no Hillary as their candidate, who can the Democrats turn to as their best bet? There are a number of people which have been mentioned as potential replacements should Hillary self-destruct. Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley though his having also been Mayor of Baltimore might be a slight drawback, Vice President Biden who has a history of foot-in-mouth disease but actually would be solid in foreign policy as even if a threat he made in a speech by his going off-script the adversary would never know for sure whether or not Old Joe might actually follow through. Bernie Sanders has also declared his interest and though we agree on very little I admire his forthrightness and honesty which are very admirable qualities and he can be counted on to do what he says and say what he means. Then we have Andrew Cuomo and Howard Dean who both are known for mouths beyond their control, Al Franken also has given a definite maybe which is quite comical as well as noncommittal though he and Biden debating would make for great comedy, and finally Ms. Elizabeth Warren whose credentials, or lack thereof, are equal to those of President Obama when he took up the mantle of Democrat candidate for President with a few critical differences making her worthy of a deeper look.

 

Though Senator Elizabeth Warren has claimed she is not running, this may not be left as her choice as she has a sizable supportive following without ever overtly seeking such. She is a far superior believer in the true Progressive way of which President Obama campaigned upon in his initial 2008 campaign. She is well spoken and needs little prompting from any crutches such as a teleprompter. Senator Elizabeth Warren is quick on her feet, knows what she believes and is very comfortable in stating her views unequivocally and with great passion. She is a strong supporter for individual rights though she does appear to place too much emphasis and burden upon government for protecting individuals from failure by providing a broad and sweeping system of safety nets and she does not appear to be adverse to a guaranteed minimal wage for everybody whether they be employed or not. She favors Obamacare with some modifications making it more workable, not less dependent on government as her adjustments would bring Obamacare closer to a single payer health plan than as it currently sits. Senator Elizabeth Warren is a believer in Keynesian economics where the government is the principle engine behind the economy. She also is opposed to free trade much of the time claiming instead to stand for fair trade which she has not fully explained. She is a through and through socialist progressive and like Bernie Sanders says what she means and means what she says and always sticking to that exact path. At least she would not produce any big surprises as the Democrat candidate or a President if successfully elected. Her largest area which is unfortunately untested and unknown is foreign policy. Here she would be untested and undefined and until such could be filled in she should not be taken as a serious candidate. But as I explained, foreign policy is the last and least of things on the average American’s mind so it is quite likely that with her populist political talking points and her appeal to those dependent upon government Senator Elizabeth Warren would likely gain a large popular appeal and could breeze to the Democrat nomination once Hillary Clinton realizes she had already failed and failed miserably, but it remains to be seen if she will even be willing to be dragged thus appearing to have the nomination and run in the primaries thrust upon her rather than actively sought. Though I have little in common with Senator Elizabeth Warren’s viewpoints and fear her lack of foreign policy experience or even exposure, I find that she would have little problem being elected as the next United States President, her biggest obstacle would be attaining the Democrat nomination and that is something remaining to be seen. The final note is that the next President of the United States will be the one who emerges as the victor in the Democrat nomination and only give the Republican candidate a one in three chance at winning the general election. But there is still a race to be run and we have to have the race just to prove every prognosticator to be so wrong it is embarrassing.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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