Entries in the Category "Censorship"

NAACP: No Free Speech for you, Mr. Meyers

We all know about the furor of protest by Rev. Al Sharpton and other African-American public figures over a cartoon by the New York Post's Sean Delonas showing a chimpanzee shot and killed by the police (as had just actually happened to a pet chimpanzee gone berserk). Said one of the cops: "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill."

From the NAACP point of view, this was regarded as a racist attack on President Barack Obama. They called for protests and a boycott against the New York Post and demanded the firing of the cartoonist and the paper's editor. This was advocated by both the NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous and its chairman, Julian Bond.

This brings us to Michael Meyers, a former assistant director of the NAACP, personal assistant to its late executive director, Roy Wilkins, and a protege of Dr. Kenneth Clark, whose research played a major role in the Supreme Court's decision that declared public-school segregation unconstitutional in Brown v. Board of Education.

Meyers is a well publicized defender of the First Amendment and he publicly objected to "this exercise in sheer racial rhetoric." He stated that "all political pundits deserve a wide berth for social criticism and for parodying and poking fun at and criticizing our political leaders, no matter the skin color or race of the public official."

So during the NAACP's annual meeting at the New York Hilton Hotel, Meyers rose following a member's speech calling for a boycott of the New York Post but also of all the national enterprises of its owner, Rupert Murdock. At the microphone, Meyers began: "I wish to speak in opposition."

Chairman Julian Bond sharply cut off Meyers stating: "I do not recognize you. Your views are not welcomed here."

Bond cut off the microphone and summoned security personnel to escort Meyers out of the room.

Why the suppression of opposing viewpoints? Why do they choose to suppress free speech when those viewpoints run counter to the current leadership?

Did you know that Meyers is the creator and head of the New York Civil Rights Coalition? He directs the "Civil Rights and Race Relations Project" in the city's schools. His volunteers work to "help equip students with the critical thinking skills and information they need in order to challenge common stereotypes and myths about people because of skin color, religion, national origin, disability, sex, ethnicity, or sexual orientation."

They would "use Socratic teachng methods, role play, Devil's advocacy, courtroom scenarios and mock trials to engage the students in examining all kinds of stereotypes."

It goes to show how the NAACP is more intent on reviving the racial stereotypes in order to maintain their power and influence, and sacrificing free speech in the process. Racial equality and harmony indeed.

Real Clear Politics - Cartoon Protest Pits NAACP Against Free Speech

Is there freedom of the press in China? Ask ITN's John Ray

Chinese police roughed up a British reporter today for filming a small Free Tibet protest near the national stadium in Beijing.

Eight Free Tibet campaigners have been arrested during a protest at which a British journalist was also held. ITV News reporter John Ray was arrested and released soon after the incident at the Chinese Ethnic Culture Park, near the National Stadium.

He was taken away by police as members of the campaign group handcuffed themselves to each other and bicycles.

Mr Ray, who has been based in Beijing since 2006, is ITV News' first China correspondent. ITN, which makes ITV News, said it would be making the "strongest possible" protest. A spokesman said: "John Ray is a fully accredited China correspondent who was doing his legitimate job as a journalist.

A spokesman said: "The IOC has learned through media reports that a British journalist was allegedly assaulted today while covering a demonstration near an Olympic venue in Beijing.

"We intend to protest in the strongest possible terms to the Chinese authorities and seek assurances that the treatment meted out to Mr Ray will not be repeated."

Link

Link - IOC condemns police manhandling of British journalist

One reason not to trust the MSM

lawyers: don't say cancer, say human health implications ...wtf???

Fox News edits Ron Paul's answer to electability question

Carl Cameron of Fox News asked Ron Paul in last Thursday's Fox News debate in South Carolina about whether he is electable.

How did Ron Paul respond?

Well, you wouldn’t be able to find his answer if you watched the rebroadcast of the debate, because Fox News cut Dr. Paul’s response!

But don’t worry… Thanks to the wonders of YouTube, you can see Ron Paul respond here.


AT&T modifies its TOS to combat "critics"

Update 10/3/07:
AT&T PR bots promised that they would only terminate a user's DSL service if they promote violence or peddle in child porn. Yet, their TOS has not been changed to reflect that. Hmmmm.

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AT&T has rolled out new Terms of Service for its DSL service that leave plenty of room for interpretation. From our reading of it, in concert with several others, what we see is a ToS that attempts to give AT&T the right to disconnect its own customers who criticize the company on blogs or in other online settings.

In section 5 of its legal ToS, AT&T stipulates the following:

AT&T may immediately terminate or suspend all or a portion of your Service, any Member ID, electronic mail address, IP address, Universal Resource Locator or domain name used by you, without notice, for conduct that AT&T believes (a) violates the Acceptable Use Policy; (b) constitutes a violation of any law, regulation or tariff (including, without limitation, copyright and intellectual property laws) or a violation of these TOS, or any applicable policies or guidelines, or (c) tends to damage the name or reputation of AT&T, or its parents, affiliates and subsidiaries.

Translation: "conduct" that AT&T "believes" "tends to damage" its name, or the name of its partners, can get you booted off the service. Note the use of "tends to damage": the language of the contract does not require any proof of any actual damage.

Read more from Arstechnica.com

Do not upload videos to Break.com

Please note that if you upload any type of media to www.break.com, you are agreeing to sell, assign, or transfer your copyright to TMFT Enterprises, LLC, a Delaware limited company and its affiliated entities.

So if you upload some cool photos of babes frolicking on the beach, or a personal video of some cool guitar playing, you are NOT ALLOWED to post this content on any other media site (i.e. liveleak.com, youtube.com, weakgame.com, etc.).

Sometimes you need to read the fine print. TMFT Enterprises state that whatever you uploaded to their site, they would assert that they are given a non-exclusive, fully-paid, world-wide, royalty-free license to publicly display, publicly perform, distribute, and reproduce your content, portions, or works in any manner and in any medium.

Already, these shady charcters are sending cease-and-desist letters to youtube.com, digg.com, and other social/media sites if they happen to see an indentical media file that has been uploaded to their site.

So how to avoid this unnecessary hassle? Do not use www.break.com.

Thanks!

YouTube cracks down on Bowl Videos

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Setting aside the reasoning that the videos violated the copyright of organisations such as Collegiate Images, LLC, 20th Century Fox, and ESPN, it is absolutely displeasing to see them cracking down on users that were posting videos such as the great and exciting 2007 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl where Boise State defeated Oklahoma in overtime, or the winning field goal by Boston College over Navy in the Meineke Car Bowl.

The bowl postseason is something that most people want to remember, either at the stadium where the game is being played, or in front of the television set, or sitting in front of the computer. Any of these users trying to sell these videos for profit? Of course not. Everyone knows that on espn.com, you can see the full highlights for about a week, then it gets put in their archive section, where you need to pay a subscription fee to access it.

Perhaps ESPN, Fox, and other collegiate groups want you to pay them to watch those exciting games again online or force you to wait till the DVD disc comes out.

Imagine if it will lead to independent video takers going to the bowl games and being able to show raw footage of these games without censorship or pressure? Sure, it lacks the sound effects of the Fox theme song or the multiple-view angle, but it will preserve the spirit and passion of the fans themselves.

If these groups are busy cracking down on illegal bootlegs of these wonderful games, how about posting them on YouTube under their official accounts? If they want to get users to visit ESPN.com, FOX.com, or anywhere else, they should post these videos. All in the name of good publicity.

What's next? It will promote users to rip the videos from TiVo and other DVR recorders into Divx or Mpeg format, burn them to disc or file, and distribute via friends, or DC++, or BitTorrent. It's nothing new, and this will always happen.

No Santa Claus Allowed

santa.jpgA Christmas-themed event to raise money at a public elementary school in Warwick, N.Y., has been altered to accommodate a parent's complaints that the program would illegally spotlight a "religious" figure - Santa Claus.

"Breakfast With Santa" has since been changed to "Winter Wonderland Breakfast," and -- in an effort to be inclusive of all beliefs.

The parent, who did not wish to have her name used (obviously!), wrote a letter to the school board asserting that Santa represents Christmas -- a Christian holiday -- and by law, a public school is not allowed to promote religion.

In the parent's letter, it said, "I look forward to sponsoring an event that is within the law and inclusive of all. This is not an argument about religion; it is about the law of our land. Discrimination is simply detestable."

In the end, Santa Claus was finally allowed, after the school agreed to have Frosty the Snowman at the event too.

Mike Johnson, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, called it "just absurd." "My general reaction is probably the same as 95 percent of Americans when they hear about something like this," Johnson said. "It's ridiculous that we have to think twice about whether it's OK to celebrate Christmas in public."

While acknowledging that Saint Nicholas, a Dutch bishop who had a reputation for giving gifts in secret, "clearly was the original figure that Santa is based upon," he noted that "most people would recognize Santa Claus himself as a secular-type figure."

Honestly, Saint Nicholas is not mentioned in the Bible or any other religious texts. Clearly, the complaining parent is a bit too paranoid about discriminating someone or some group out there.

Plus, the event was on a Saturday and attendance is optional, so how this is discrimination?

Complaining Parent has been classified as a "Scrooge!"

Hey, Merry Christmas and Bah Humbug to you too!

CNSNews.com - Santa Claus Deemed Too 'Religious' for School Fundraiser

Marquette University: Anti-Dave Barry

A Dave Barry quote:

"As Americans we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy that is dangerous, powerful, and relentless. I refer, of course, to the federal government."

This quote was seen on Ph.D. student Stuart Ditsler's office in Marquette University. On Sept 5, Philosophy Dept Chair James South sent Ditsler an e-mail stating that he had received several complaints and therefore the quote was taken off his door. South wrote, "While I am a strong supporter of academic freedom, I'm afraid that hallways and office doors are not `free-speech zones.' If material is patently offensive and has no obvious academic import or university sanction, I have little choice but to take note."

FIRE has an article on this.

Come on here, the quote can be true if our government chooses to intrude on the rights and privacy of the people that are being governed by it. I have to imagine if Distler had Homer Simpson's quote on alcohol, would that get removed?

YouTube Trying to Censor 'They Came' video

YouTube has been trying to ban the video "They Came" created by conservative columnist Michelle Malkin

It shows Islamic extremists persecuting against people who disagree with them or going against their religion.

YouTube has even "threatened" to cancel Michelle's account if she keeps on trying to post the same video or another similar one. This has led to other YouTube users to post her videos across the whole online community.

The debate is whether this video is totally inappropriate. But then we should go and start removing videos that depict sniper or suicide attacks against American and Iraqi police forces. Or videos showing Islamic protestors calling for the death of Rushdie and other authors that have critcized Islam.

If people choose to disagree with the video, then they should post their own response to it, instead of trying to ban it or going after the author itself.

Harry Potter causes more school shootings?

harry_potter.jpgLaura Mallory, a mother of four from Loganville, GA, is on a quest to get the Harry Potter books on the banned list allegedly arguing that they promote the Wiccan religion and violence.

She inherently believes that Harry Potter promotes evil and is responsible for the rash of deadly assaults at schools during the last two weeks. The wizard books would promote a decadent culture where school shootings happen.

Of course, she reasoned that reading the Bible would not cause any problems. She even stated that children would be unable to differentiate reality from fantasy. Plus it is unsuitable for children to "cast" spells and imitate Harry Potter in class.

This is Mallory's second public campaign against the popular fiction series after trying to do so back in August 2005.

The Gwinnett County Board of Education responded that banning Harry Potter would also include other well known books such as "Macbeth" and "Cinderella."

Daily Mail - 'Ban Harry Potter or face more school shootings'

Update 10/05/06

The Board of Education of Georgia will conduct a hearing over the Harry Potter books after Mallory's appeal. At every level of the school process, her request to have all Harry Potter books removed was denied. The case will be ruled in December.

Campus Speech: Georgia Tech

Effort loosens Tech's muzzle

By RUTH MALHOTRA, ORIT SKLAR

Published on: 08/18/06

In March, we filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Georgia Tech for its blatantly unconstitutional speech policies.

Our love of liberty and for Georgia Tech have compelled us to take this stand so every student's rights to free speech and religious liberty will be respected.

The purpose of the lawsuit has been seriously distorted in the media and on campus. The suit was filed to hold Tech accountable for selective enforcement of its speech codes. This resulted in mainstream conservative speech being banned as "hate speech." Politically charged, far-out-of-the-mainstream leftist speech was considered part of the "intellectual diversity" purportedly valued by Tech.

We also challenged Tech's unlawful refusal to fund religious and political groups.

This week, we won a decisive victory when a federal judge ordered the repeal of Tech's speech code. The speech code violated our First Amendment rights because it prohibited any kind of student speech that administrators subjectively deemed intolerant or offensive. It was not a narrow policy that only affected campus housing, but was used against us several times to censor activities all around campus.

Over the past three years, we've had our speech censored, and we've had our protests shut down by campus police. Tech officials have repeatedly warned us against speaking out on important public issues when we did not conform to their unbalanced agenda. Contrary to the spin that the administration and many in the media have placed on the case, we have never sought the right to "insult" or "demean" any person. Our desire is to debate ideas, not attack individuals.

The nature of speech codes, however, has proved to be arbitrary and one-sided. Consider this: Our peaceful and respectful protests — including one against the feminist play "Vagina Monologues" and another against affirmative action — were aggressively silenced. But Georgia Tech has done nothing to stop the blatant personal attacks that we have encountered.

The "tolerant" left has used explicit racial and sexist slurs against us. Students handed out fliers in dorms calling Ruth, a person of Indian descent, a "Twinkie" (yellow on the outside, white on the inside). On Internet sites, we've seen swastikas superimposed on our faces. We have received an avalanche of vile, personally insulting hate mail. We have even been physically threatened. All the while the administration stood silent.

Although such reactions are disturbing and we are disappointed that fellow students would act in such a manner, we don't need a speech code to protect ourselves. We simply want the opportunity to speak and express our ideas without fear of censorship or punishment.

We believe in legal equality for all students in the marketplace of ideas. May the best ideas win. But Georgia Tech believes that its ideas are not strong enough to withstand scrutiny, and it apparently has decided that it knows all the answers to the major political and even religious issues of the day. That is why it pushed to silence us. That is why it de-funds student political and religious organizations at the same time that it tries to teach us what our religious beliefs should be (to give you a hint: Georgia Tech prefers Buddhists over Baptists). This is disingenuous, unconstitutional and demonstrates the selectivity in enforcement.

With this week's court order, we won an important victory for free speech. But the case is not over, and we will not rest until the school we love abides by the Constitution that protects us all.