Second Amendment

Some Progressives Targeting the First Amendment, Too

It's not just the Second Amendment in their crosshairs.

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Many progressives have long believed America would be a much better place without the Second Amendment. These days, some of them seem to think we'd also be better off without the First.

That might sound like an exaggeration. But it's hard to square the First Amendment with a recent proposal in The New Republic: "Ban Facebook Before Elections." And yes, the headline accurately represents the text:

"If fake news truly poses a crisis for democracy," writes Jeet Heer, "then it calls for a radical response. Instead of merely requiring greater transparency of social media and empowering the courts to ban users and websites… perhaps governments should outright ban Facebook and other platforms ahead of elections.

"A model for this already exists. Many countries have election silence laws, which limit or prohibit political campaigning for varying periods of time ranging from election day alone to as early as three days before the election. What if these laws were applied to social media? What if you weren't allowed to post anything political on Facebook in the two weeks before an election?"

What, indeed? And what if this principle were extended for the sake of consistency? Perhaps The New Republic should be forced into silence before an election as well—along with the rest of the media. After all, letting some American citizens, but not others, speak their mind before an election is not exactly equal protection of the laws.

But then, many in the media really do think First Amendment law should be unequal. That was precisely the case before the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United, when campaign-finance law carved out an exception for media corporations so they could speak freely about politics when others could not. Huge numbers of progressives, and many media outlets, feel the decision allowing unions and non-media corporations to speak freely about politics was very, very wrong.

"The corrupting influence of money is not limited to bribery," intoned The New York Times back in 2012. When "outside spending is unlimited, and political speech depends heavily on access to costly technology and ads, the wealthy can distort this fundamental element of democracy by drowning out those who lack financial resources." Message: Corporations should stay out of politics, period.

Except, apparently, when it comes to guns. In the wake of the atrocity at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida, liberals have been pressuring internet content providers such as Amazon, Roku, and Apple TV to stop distributing NRA TV.

"The hashtag 'stop NRA TV' was trending on Twitter" recently, reports Ad Age. Now, according to Deadline, celebrities are getting in on the act. "Stop streaming the violent rhetoric of NRAtv," tweeted actress Alyssa Milano.

Stipulated: Content providers have every right to carry, or not carry, whatever they please. Nevertheless, urging big internet companies to drop NRA TV is not a stance that sits gracefully alongside the ferocious, and only a few months removed, defense of net neutrality.

Net neutrality required internet service providers to treat all digital content equally. As Free Press' "Save the Internet" campaign put it, "Net neutrality is the internet's guiding principle: It preserves our right to communicate freely online. Net Neutrality means an internet that enables and protects free speech… Without the net neutrality rules, companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon will be able to block political opinions they disagree with."

"#SAVENETNEUTRALTY," tweeted Alyssa Milano.

Critics said repealing net neutrality, as the Federal Communications Commission did last year, would let "the future of the internet… be decided by a few powerful gatekeepers whose monopoly control over Internet access allows them to decide what content reaches viewers." And that it would be "a radical departure that risks erosion of the biggest free speech platform the world has ever known." And that it would let "powerful corporate interests" turn the internet into "a digital dystopia, filtered by the vast censorship apparatus." (Fun fact: The New Republic also warned that repealing net neutrality would be "a blow to free speech on the internet"—before it began advocating the shutdown of Facebook.)

Now it seems to have struck a lot of people that having a vast, corporately run censorship apparatus might come in pretty handy after all—so long as it censors the right (which is to say the wrong) side in the gun debate.

Principles, it seems, are often just the rationalizations we use to justify sticking it to our enemies. It was ever thus.

This column originally appeared at the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

NEXT: A Jailed Model Claims to Have Evidence of Russian Meddling in U.S. Elections. Her Story Is Even Weirder Than You Think.

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  1. Some Progressive Targeting the First Amendment, Too
    It’s not just the Second Amendment in their crosshairs.

    …Said Barton Hinkle as he woke up from his 7 year long nap.

    1. I think you meant 70.
      Or you should have.

      1. There is nothing wrong at all with returning to the approach taken by many American courts during the 1950s, especially in the excellent prosecutions brought pursuant to the efforts of the esteemed Senator Joseph McCarthy. We see a return to that approach in some of our finest present-day prosecutions, such as our nation’s leading criminal “satire” case in New York. Who here would dare to defend the “First Amendment dissent” of a single, isolated, so-called judge in that case? See the documentation at:

        https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

    2. Kind of my first thought. Free speech is constantly under attack.

    3. Rip Van Hinkle?

  2. I’m SHOCKED!!! Yet ANOTHER suggestion of violating freedom of speech from the left?!? Who would have guessed? I mean, I’m sure some dickhead will now mention the right and flag-burning, but THE LEFT??! Wants to: put people in jail for disputing climate change, extort companies for research that runs counter to their narrative, strictly limit all campaign contributions from the right (but definitely not from unions on the left), ban any book, film or website it doesn’t agree with, and make the single largest tool for communication in human history a public utility to be censored or prohibited as the government sees fit.

    Yes, yes, the tolerant left is all about “free expression”.

    Fuck off, slavers…

    1. Look. Free expression doesn’t apply to intolerance, with intolerance meaning any disagreement with the left. Good, tolerant people do not tolerate intolerance. Therefore any disagreement with the left must be criminalized, in the name of tolerance and free expression.

      1. And the irony is that the Progs cannot be intolerant. Just as how non-whites cannot be racist. They have created a nice cudgel to blast anybody they disagree with.

        Conservative students need to don masks and bust up Progressive events. Fire with fire.

        1. No need to do/ that. Simply be prepared to meet Antica-Like antics with effective resistance. These pathetic little vermin have no stomach for actual confrontation. Meet their violent virtue-signaling with counter-violence and watch them scatter like surprised mice.

      2. I’m glad of your user name, because with logic like that, I honestly could not tell if you were being sarcastic or sincere.

        1. You new here?

    2. The people who brought you one man, one vote, one time are anything if not consistent.

      1. Helicopters and gravity are consistent as well.

    3. Really the left wants freedom of speech. They also want to have the last say of which speech is free.

  3. Never will happen, as the reality is any such social media ban will hurt the Left more than the Right.

  4. Anyone who decides who they will vote for based upon Facebook is too stupid to breathe.

    1. Unless they vote progressive. Then they’re right. That’s what I heard anyway.

      1. That is what my professor in virtue signaling told me.

  5. What if you weren’t allowed to post anything political on Facebook in the two weeks before an election?

    Why be a pussy about it? Just ban posting anything political on the Internet ever.

    1. (Censored)

      1. Someone thinks that something that was said was nasty! I was told that it was as a child, boy did my eyes get opened up when I got older!

    2. [redacted]

      1. [this comment intentionally left blank]

      1. I’m offended by all this nakedly political silence.

    3. “Just ban posting anything political on the Internet ever”
      That’s for later.

      Right now how are DNC house organs like WaPo and NYT’s going to tell the bien pensants what to believe, if not through their smartphones?

      1. Clearly. The democrats need to pass legislation that allows them to decide who is legitimate press or not. Them license them to discuss politics for us. I’m sure all views will be represented fairly and equally.

  6. It might make for a shorter, more efficient article to identify which parts of the Bill of Rights they are NOT attacking?

    I mean, the 4A and 5A are already deader than the first two, right?

    1. Here in Seattle cops keep showing up at my door in their jammies holding teddy bears and telling me I have to let them sleep in MY bed. Even when I have a perfectly good guest room.

  7. Looks like the principles of what Jeet Can Do amount to “Empty Your Mind,” and not much else.

    1. “Let your thoughts flow from you like a mudslide in the Hollywood hills.”

  8. Celebrities have too much spare time.

    1. Not to mention a sanctimonious attitude and a bully pulpit. But the way I see it they do more to harm their own candidates [John Kerry and Hilda immediately come to mind] than the ones they oppose.

  9. I don’t like to be needlessly mean, but sometimes people are really stupid.

    I mean, really smart people are often the worst kind of ignorant.

    1. I tend to get hung up on calling people who say stupid things intelligent to begin with. I always hear and read people who say “I have this really smart friend but boy is he stupid on some things”. Obviously everyone doesn’t know everything about everything, but truly intelligent people tend to know when they don’t know stuff and are willing to admit it.

      1. but truly intelligent people tend to know when they don’t know stuff and are willing to admit it

        That’s more of a description of humility, not intelligence. Often intelligent people are so full of themselves that they lack humility.

        1. How about we call it wisdom, like Socrates did?

          1. And that would be knowing enough to know what you don’t know.

            1. To use the old saying, there are some ideas that are just so stupid that they can only be blamed on higher education.

              It takes a lot of education to be REALLY stupid.

              1. And to quote the inimitable Ralph Cramden: “You know that I know that you know…”

                1. “Now when I bend ova, stahhhht fuckin”

                  1. Socrates Quote?

                    1. Well, Socrates WAS Greek after all.

          2. I think of wisdom this way:

            Wise people learn from the mistakes of others.

            Smart people learn from their own mistakes.

            Stupid people don’t learn.

  10. Very Progressive Progressive expresses his deep thoughts on the “no platforming” movement

    shorter: antifa is teh awesomes, everyone else is hitler, if you complain about ‘free speech’ you’re probably hitler too. or at least ‘hitler sympathetic’, which is something i learned from a quick google of mainstream sources.

    1. Is the link to nowhere part of the joke?

      1. works for me? (just checked it)

        here again just for you.

        1. I see now, it’s Twitter. My company blocks Twitter.

          1. Probably for the best. Twitter is only there for bilge like that fascist wrote.

          2. Your company is wise to do that.

    2. I love platforming, in particular 2-D platforming. We’re in the middle of a renaissance with great games like Hollow Knight, Axiom Verge, Shovel Knight, and many others. And this fascist wants to shut things down?

      Fuck him.

      1. This really creams my corn. What the fuck is up with 3/4 of new games coming out being 2D platformers? I blame hipsters.

        1. Because they are a great genre that had been underrepresented for a long time, and also it’s easier for small indie developers than working in 3D. Probably the most common genre though is still visual novels, but we just ignore them because they are so incredibly trash on average.

          1. I liked the walking dead games. Didn’t even watch the show, but I got totally engrossed in the games.

  11. They are targeting all the Amendments. The first two are the lynch-pin so that’s where they have to start.

    1. Emphasis on the “lynch.”

      1. New sport: Dropping commies from helicopters into woodchippers.

        1. Only in my dreams! For now…

    2. How many articles have you seen, in just the past couple of months, along the lines of “The Constitution is so Outdated; Let’s Trash it and Start Over.”

      Western Onion has lost its relevance.

      1. “When the founding fathers wrote the Bill of Rights they had no way to know that people would use those rights!!!.”

        1. They didn’t know about assault rifles, the internet, and Trump!

  12. At the risk of getting banned again by Reason – I agree completely.

    Hitlary for UberC?ckenFuhrer approves this message.

  13. Are the progs ready for a full-on censorship regime where the targets of censorship try to evade the law? Eg, on the eve of the election a “science-fiction story” appears about the people of the planet Uranus, and the censors have to scour the book to see if it’s a satire on American politics?

    1. Preelection Facebook posts to occupy the attention of the censors:

      “Just read a fascinating book about malaria and how to preserve public health by draining the swamp.”

      “Just had painful surgery, but if you have a cancerous growth it needs to be removed from the system.”

      “Just visited a farm and heard a bunch of donkeys braying. It sounded like nonsense.”

      1. Don’t worry. They’ll kill the people regardless of whether they’re actually breaking a censorship law.

    2. Given that they assume they will be the censors…yes.

    3. Overload the censors like this guy did.

      1. Didn’t work, they got trough it and issued his ten hour film of white paint drying on a brick wall an actual rating.

        1. Next project, film 8 minutes of snails mating at 3000 fps and send it to them configured to play back at 24 fps

          At 3000 fps played back at 24 fps, 1 minute of film becomes just over two hours (125 minutes). So 8 minutes becomes 16 2/3rds hours, of snails mating. 🙂

          1. Just make it 50+ hours. Don’t care how.

  14. You know what you can do with your factsplaining Hinkle…

  15. Anyone who has paid even the smallest amount of attention to college campuses the past few years will know that many of the most vocal on the Left are rabidly anti-first amendment.

    1. People used to go to college to learn how to reason and how to argue logically. Now they learn the opposite.

      1. People used to go to college to learn how to reason and how to argue logically

        Mostly they learned how to argue effectively. This is different from pure application of logic. Rhetoric has rarely been based purely in logic as it’s not effective. And politics were never pure math or anything.

        1. Thank you.

    2. I don’t understand how these people went 18+ years without once being exposed to the concept that the 1st amendment specifically protects unpopular and radical ideas.

      1. Homeschooling?

        Censorship-shackled religious schooling?

        Right-wing parents?

        1. lol yeah that sounds right………

        2. 0 for 3, shithead.

          1. @Finrod,

            Please don’t insult the shitheads.

        3. If it isn’t our new regular hatemonger, Arty. Did you make it back from your weekly book burning early?

          Fucking bigot.

    3. “Lock ’em in, burn it down.” Well, that was a Canadian college, but I expect that to start happening here soon.

  16. “A model for this already exists. Many countries have election silence laws, which limit or prohibit political campaigning for varying periods of time ranging from election day alone to as early as three days before the election. What if these laws were applied to social media? What if you weren’t allowed to post anything political on Facebook in the two weeks before an election?”

    Well, if we did that, I assume we’d have the bestest most awesome government ever, that everyone would love, bringing about mutual love and understanding for all, because you’re completely retarded!

    1. I love that. These kids whine that the government is only for the rich and the elite — then want to insure that the government is even LESS accountable by silencing criticism of them.

      Their idiocy is why I will never support forgiving student loans. Let those idiots suffer.

      1. “Their idiocy is why I will never support forgiving student loans. Let those idiots suffer.”

        I’m not as smart as a lot of these folks with their graduate school and big words, and I was able to realize that shackling myself with five figures in debt was not a clever way to enter adulthood. I also worked throughout high school and college for minimum wage, so I had a pretty good idea how much money $50,000 really is. I was repeatedly encouraged to quit my job and focus on my studies, and I didn’t listen, so maybe that’s why I turned out okay.

        Pretty scary. Attempting to be well-rounded was a liability to my education, apparently.

        1. If you need any evidence of the bullshit that is advanced degrees, just remember that I have an advanced degree and know you saved yourself.

      2. Their idiocy is why I laugh when the university endowment funds become the target of taxes.

  17. “(Fun fact: The New Republic also warned that repealing net neutrality would be “a blow to free speech on the internet”?before it began advocating the shutdown of Facebook.)”

    It’s almost as if these retards believe whatever it is they heard last. Nevermind if it undermines what they wanted 5 seconds ago.

    1. Eating too many Tide Pods affects their brains.

  18. interesting point on the “no-platforming” of the left

    – its not about silencing ‘speakers’; its denying the audience any freedom of choice

    @BretWeinstein

    De-platformers aren’t in conflict with speakers. The conflict is between factions within the audience:

    Rather than staying away, holding another event, or protesting at the venue, one faction asserts a right to control what others may listen to.

    It is a variant of book-burning.

    1. They have to maintain the illusion that they’re not shitting on the ideas that helped shape humanity. Like having independent thought.

      People want to be told what to do, but they don’t want to know that they’re being guided.

      1. Do you envision the type of “independent thought” found in conservative-controlled schools?

        Carry on, clingers.

        1. That wouldn’t be independent, Rev.

        2. Keep the hate alive, Rev.

          1. You forgot the scare quotes around “Rev.”

        3. Seeing as how in a “conservative education” you are probably taught that most of what you read and hear in any mainstream medium is leftist trash (and there is some truth to that) and that therefore you should question everything (save what you hear on Sundays, but no one’s perfect) then you absolutely are being raised with skepticism and a drive to seek the truth and think independently. That is precisely what a conservative education today will tell you (again, save for Sundays).

          1. My dad is more or less libertarian. Most of the rest of my family is more or less normal Republicans. I grew up being told not to believe shit unless I looked into it myself, got the facts, and thought it all through myself.

            I really cannot conceive of growing up in a family that told me “Oh yeah, every single thing they teach you in school is absolutely true! Oh, and white people are all evil, especially you since you’re a man. Nobody should own guns, and oil is killing the entire planet!!!” or whatever other dribble. There are valid points to consider in many left wing talking points, and I do, but to buy it all hook line and sinker makes you a lunatic. Even when they point out real problems, their solutions are always far worse than the problem itself!

  19. Ironic, that their rhetoric about this espouses concern about the voices of people with less resources being drowned out by well financed organizations when social media is about the only place where most people can post their views and they will be seen by someone. Now when many news organizations websites are eliminating or cendoring comments on articles.

    This is where that bemoaning of the disappearance of a shared narrative leads, the legal stamping out of any voices that will call that narrative into question.

    1. It’s entirely consistent with the lefty opinion on Citizens United. I agree that it appears ironic, but that requires taking their arguments at face value.

  20. I suppose these twats aren’t following the current supreme court case on wearing political tshirts in the voting booth.

  21. I think progs have always despised the 1A much more than 2A. In fact, their most recent collective hysteria about the Parkland shooting seems to not be so much about guns, but wanting to silence those who like guns. That said, it would be rich if progs could not post anything political on social media around election time, that would be like depriving them of oxygen.

    1. That is the progtarded way.

  22. Have they never heard of apophasis?

    Wikipedia:

    Apophasis is a rhetorical device wherein the speaker or writer brings up a subject by either denying it, or denying that it should be brought up. The device is also called paralipsis.

    As a rhetorical device, apophasis can serve a number of purposes.

    It can be employed to raise an ad hominem or otherwise controversial attack while disclaiming responsibility for it, as in, “I refuse to discuss the rumor that my opponent is a drunk.” This can make it a favored tactic in politics.

    Apophasis can be used to discuss a taboo subject, as in, “We are all fully loyal to the emperor, so we wouldn’t dare to claim that his new clothes are a transparent hoax.”

    When apophasis is taken to its extreme, the speaker provides full details, stating or drawing attention to something in the very act of pretending to pass it over: “I will not stoop to mentioning the occasion last winter when our esteemed opponent was found asleep in an alleyway with an empty bottle of vodka still pressed to his lips.”

    In the 1984 U.S. presidential campaign debates, Ronald Reagan used a humorous apophasis to deflect scrutiny of his own fitness at age 73 by replying, “I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.”

    1. In 2015, Trump said of fellow Republican presidential candidate and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, “I promised I would not say that she ran Hewlett-Packard into the ground, that she laid off tens of thousands of people and she got viciously fired. I said I will not say it, so I will not say it.” In 2016, he tweeted of journalist Megyn Kelly, “I refuse to call [her] a bimbo, because that would not be politically correct.” In 2017, as president, he tweeted of the leader of North Korea, “Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me ‘old,’ when I would NEVER call him ‘short and fat?'”

  23. “If you don’t stick to your values when they’re being tested, they’re not values: they’re hobbies.”

    ? Jon Stewart

    1. He occasionally had something of value to say. Too bad he subscribes to so many bullshit beliefs and exalts so many slaver shitbags.

  24. Shaming is the modern secular version of stoning. It is intended to kill heretics and other threats to secular orthodoxy.

  25. Shaming is the modern secular version of stoning. It is intended to kill heretics and other threats to secular orthodoxy.

  26. Shaming is the modern secular version of stoning. It is intended to kill heretics and other threats to secular orthodoxy.

  27. Shaming is the modern secular version of stoning. It is intended to kill heretics and other threats to secular orthodoxy.

  28. This doesn’t represent a change in principle, merely in application. The left only opposed censorship when they thought somebody else would get to be the censor.

  29. Whenever a leftard floats the idea of compromising the freedom of speech, I point out that without that freedom, blacks would still be slaves, women wouldn’t have the vote, and homosexuals would still be in the closet for fear of being imprisoned for sodomy. If that doesn’t shut them up, I just tell them to go fuck themselves.

    -jcr

    1. Whenever a right-winger voluntarily talks about the problems with liberals, I point out that if conservatives had their way blacks would still be enslaved, women would not have the vote but would still be being beaten without consequence, gays would still be getting smacked around in alleys (by police) and denied decent treatment in general, and children would still be taught nonsense in science classes to flatter superstition, among other things.

      Carry on, clingers. More right-wing authoritarianism in libertarian drag, please.

      1. Still haven’t gotten your meds adjusted, I see.

        -jcr

      2. Arty, you do understand that ‘comservatives’ Are the ones who ended slavery, right? Of course, even if you did, y guess is that you are so mendacious and disingenuous that it wouldn’t matter.

    2. Whenever a right-winger voluntarily talks about the problems with liberals, I point out that if conservatives had their way blacks would still be enslaved, women would not have the vote but would still be being beaten without consequence, gays would still be getting smacked around in alleys (by police) and denied decent treatment in general, and children would still be taught nonsense in science classes to flatter superstition, among other things.

      Carry on, clingers. More right-wing authoritarianism in libertarian drag, please.

      1. “children would still be taught nonsense in science classes”

        You mean like “there are no biological difference between men and women”

        You mean like “IQ is not a heritable trait”

        You mean like “all apparent differences between men and women are “social constructs” derived from a male, biased culture”

    3. Ya know John, I’ve always been a big fan of free speech… But your post is making me reconsider 😉 LOL

  30. Ban “Who’s the Boss?” reruns. Don’t ban Rerun though.

  31. While attempts to shut down political discussions are disturbing, the reference to to the Net Neutrality fight is a red herring. Net Neutrality was for ISPs, the companies that physically carry internet data on their wires, fibers, etc. As material quoted in the article says, “companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon”. They are quite distinct from “internet content providers such as Amazon, Roku, and Apple TV”. There is no contradiction between wanting the latter group of companies to refrain from carrying certain material, while insisting that the former group carry whatever the latter group (or anyone else) chooses to send.

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