2018-01-02 04:50:34 UTC
California’s Ethics Rot
This is the prevailing culture in the state Hillary Clinton won so
overwhelmingly that she was able to claim that she really “won” the
election. You don’t want to live in that culture. It opposes the Freedom of
Opposing free speech is unethical. It also is undemocratic. But Californians
are increasingly incapable of seeing this. It is a case study in how a
culture rots. Some recent examples of how the rot is proceeding.
I. Mean Facebook posts are crimes.
In 2016, Mark Feigin posted five insulting comments on the Islamic Center of
Southern California’s Facebook page. Among them:
“THE MORE MUSLIMS WE ALLOW INTO AMERICA THE MORE TERROR WE WILL SEE.”
“PRACTICING ISLAM CAN SLOW OR EVEN REVERSE THE PROCESS OF HUMAN EVOLUTION.”
“Islam is dangerous – fact: the more muslim savages we allow into america –
the more terror we will see -this is a fact which is undeniable.”
“Filthy muslim shit has no place in western civilization.”
As a result, California is prosecuting him for allegedly violating Cal.
Penal Code § 653m(b):
Every person who, with intent to annoy or harass, makes repeated telephone
calls or makes repeated contact by means of an electronic communication
device … to another person is … guilty of a misdemeanor. Nothing in this
subdivision shall apply to telephone calls or electronic contacts made in
good faith or during the ordinary course and scope of business.
A First Year law student of reasonable mental acuity could tell you in a
trice that this was unconstitutional—that is, she could if she hadn’t been
marinated in the anti-democratic culture that is 21st Century California. It
is also an unethical and intellectually dishonest effort to use an
ill-fitting law to punish “hate speach.” Here, in part, is the analysis of
Prof. Volokh, a constitutional law specialist:
This can’t possibly be consistent with the First Amendment; indeed, in U.S.
v. Popa (D.C. Cir. 1999), the D.C. Circuit set aside a telephone harassment
conviction of someone who left seven racist messages on the voicemail of
then-U.S.-Attorney Eric Holder; and the court focused on the “political
message” of the speech, and not on Holder’s status as a government official.
Given that insults targeted to a particular person, related to a political
message, are thus constitutionally protected, so are more general insults
aimed at an ideology and all its adherents, whether that ideology is Islam,
Scientology, conservatism, gun rights, or anything else. Laws aimed at
preventing unwanted repeated messages to particular private citizens shouldn’t
be applied to messages sent to ideological organizations (or to public
officials). And this is especially so when it comes to annoying Facebook
posts, which the organization can simply block.
…I hope the court indeed promptly throws them out as unjustified under the
statute, forbidden by the First Amendment, or both. But if the courts accept
such charges, expect to see many more people, left, right, and otherwise,
prosecuted for posting insulting messages on many groups’ web pages.
II. No free speech on campus without permission!
Here is another example of The FIRE fighting the leftist totalitarianism
creeping into U.S. colleges and universities…especially in California.
Last October, Skyline College student Eric Corgas, President of its Young
Americans for Liberty chapter, was distributing copies of the Constitution
from a “small folding table” while he distributed America’s founding
document. He was accosted by a school administrator who told Corgas that the
school was “okay with you guys doing free speech,” and if“it probably…
were, like, not disruptive, it wouldn’t be an issue,” but first the group
needed to fill out a “free speech permit” for approval. The student,
A FIRE lawyer sent the school a letter explaining—why should any college
have to be told why it must respect free speech? Oh, right…California—that a
requirement for prior approval to express a political position violates
local standards that say its campuses cannot stop expressive activity
“solely because” the expressive group doesn’t get permission. FIRE attorney
Brynne Madway told Skyline President Regina Stanback Stroud also informed
the college thata 2012 decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
held that Oregon State University could not restrict off-campus newspapers
more than on-campus papers because the campus is “at least a designated
public forum” under state regulations.
“The outdoor areas of Skyline’s campus are, accordingly, at minimum a
designated public forum,” Madway wrote. The free-speech permit itself, which
includes a “check box” for Cariadus’s department to sign, invites the school
to discriminate against students by viewpoint and content because they have
to disclose their “topic or issue” and what will be “displayed or
distributed” during their activities.Thus requiring a permit to engage in
such expression “without narrow, objective, and definite standards” is an
unconstitutional prior restraint.
Then she pointed out that the school’s censorious ways were likely to be
expensive. That got their attention. Skyline charged its policies, and there
are no more “free speech permits.” That doesn’t mean that the campus isn’t
still hostile to the Constitution, or that the state culture that infects
isn’t still in the process of rejecting core American values in pursuit of
misguided hard-left agendas.
The Democrat Party appears to be confident that it can reject core American
principles and that the voting public will just quietly assent. It is
increasingly moving Westward and Leftward, rejecting the Constitution with
every step. California has rejected the rule of law by becoming a “sanctuary
state.” A California Congresswoman and the California Democratic Party are
advocating impeachment without the requirement laid out by the Founders. The
national party’s leader in the House, Nancy Pelosi, supported jettisoning
the principle of due process of law, even to the extent of forcing a
Democratic Senator, Al Franken to resign despite claiming innocence of
accusations against him. California’s universities, such as the University
of California, has tacitly sanctioned the use of violence to silence
unpopular opinions and speakers on campus.
Perhaps Democrats are counting on news media embargos on the truth keeping
the public in the dark until after election day. But California is awfully
big, and lurching toward liberal fascism at an increasing pace. I think–I
hope—that they underestimate the public’s commitment to liberty.
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