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August 2015

Even Speech We Hate Should Be Free By Mick Hume

Those who want to limit freedom of speech are misusing Oliver Wendell Holmes’s famous 1919 line about ‘shouting fire in a theater’
In any debate today about how to respond to “offensive” or “inflammatory” speech, it is only a matter of time before somebody trots out that most familiar of talking points. “There is no right,” the opiner will say, “to shout fire in a crowded theater!”

Taken from a 1919 Supreme Court decision by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, the fire-in-a-crowded-theater standard seldom gets much scrutiny. It tends to shut down discussion rather than to open it up. But that shouldn’t be—it is a flame well worth extinguishing.

First, its meaning has been inflated and distorted beyond recognition.

The 1919 Supreme Court case concerned Charles Schenck, secretary of the U.S. Socialist Party, who was convicted under the Espionage Act for distributing anti-draft leaflets during World War I. The justices unanimously upheld Schenck’s conviction and dismissed his plea for free speech.
Writing for the court, Justice Holmes conceded that “in many cases and in ordinary times,” the defendant’s words would have been perfectly legal—but not in the extraordinary times of world war. The key issue, Holmes concluded, was “the circumstances in which it is done. The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic.”

The Ugly Misogyny of Big Climate: Mark Steyn

“A Disgrace to the Profession”: The World’s Scientists on Michael E Mann, his Hockey Stick and their Damage to Science

Before we start, a quick addendum to my post about “science journalist” David Appell’s false accusation that I doctored a quote in my new book. Mr Appell has now withdrawn the charge:

Fair enough. I’ll believe him. My bad. My apologies.

You might think he’d learned his lesson about making specific accusations about a book he hasn’t read. And yet, amazingly enough, he goes and does it all over again two inches down the page:

I wonder if Steyn has examined any of the other evidence for the hockey stick, some derived with independent mathematical techniques. Like Marcott et al Science 2013, PAGES 2k, or Tingley and Huybers.

I expect he hasn’t. If not, why not?

Yes, why not, Steyn? Ha! You’ve got no answer to that, have you?

In fact, there’s an entire section on other, supposedly “independent” hockey sticks, starting at page 171, and I devote pages 185-190 to Marcott et al.

Between apologizing for his previous false accusation and making his new false accusation, Mr Appell observes plaintively of himself:

Me, a poor freelancer scratching the floor for grains of wheat.

You might want to re-think your business model. Assuming people are as stupid as you wish they were doesn’t usually work out well.

The IKEA Murders: Sweden in Crisis by Ingrid Carlqvist

The mosque fire received huge attention, while the rape epidemic is basically ignored. When a Swedish woman and her son are brutally knifed to death in the most Swedish of all places – an IKEA store – the Prime Minister has nothing to say.

The normal democratic order, where citizens can contact politicians or the media to make their voices heard, has all but evaporated in Sweden. Newspaper websites have removed the reader comment fields, and the politicians hide behind a wall of officials who brand callers expressing concern “racist,” and hang up. Sweden is governed by a power that has shut down the democratic process.

Questions flooded the social media: Who are these people that are let into Sweden? How many of them are not innocent victims of war, but in fact war criminals and other criminals, hiding among the refugees?

The most relevant question is: Why has one government after another chosen to spend Swedish taxpayers’ money to support and shelter citizens of other countries, while some of them try to kill us?

The Iran Deal: How Christians Choose Sides by Susan Warner

It is astounding to think that the term “peace and justice” could embrace Iranian nuclear ambitions, but these post-modern Christian groups seem to be able to make the mental adjustments in order to advance their anti-Israel agenda.

Christian organizations such as Sabeel, Christ at The Checkpoint Conference and hundreds of other Christian groups that deny Israel’s legitimate claims to the land seem totally oblivious to the existential threat Iran poses not only to Israel but to all of Western civilization.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Pastor John Hagee’s Christians United for Israel (CUFI) is leading an all-out campaign against the Iran deal, in solidarity with Israel. And Hispanic Evangelicals are also raising their collective voices against the Iran deal.

“This deal is not only bad; it is very dangerous. It falls woefully short of what both Democrats and Republicans in Congress have said is acceptable. … This is not a partisan issue; it is a moral imperative. — Hispanic Christian leaders, in a statement published on July 24.

Marco Rubio Addresses the Anger in the GOP Electorate By Jim Geraghty

If you’re Marco Rubio, and you’ve launched your campaign on a theme of sunny optimism and cheery confidence that America’s best days are ahead of it, how do you adjust when the GOP electorate seems to be eagerly embracing the mad-as-hell-and-not-gonna-take-it-anymore style of Donald Trump?

You take it head on.

“People are rightfully angry and upset,” Rubio said to “yeah!” responses here at the Americans for Prosperity Defending the American Dream Summit in Columbus, Ohio.

“It’s good to let that anger motivate us, but we can’t let that anger define us,” Rubio said. “We’re not an angry nation. We’re a hopeful nation. What nation would you trade places with? Where would you rather be? This is still a great nation. But we’re just not living up to our potential.”

Rubio began by focusing on how “the economy is changing faster than ever before. The largest retailer in America, Amazon, doesn’t own any stores. One of the biggest transportation companies in America, Uber, doesn’t own any cars. Our policies are outdated. Big government and more regulation have never worked – and they’re a disaster in the twenty-first century.”

Rubio spent a good portion talking about education reform, from the need for a refocus on vocational training, “We need to give people the skills for the best-paying jobs… I promise you this: A welder makes a lot more money than a Greek philosopher. The market for Roman philosophers has tightened significantly in the past 2,000 years, and our students need to know that.”

In Alabama, Trump’s Wizard of Oz Act Leaves Some Fans Underwhelmed By Quin Hillyer

http://www.nationalreview.com/node/422942/print Toto the dog wasn’t needed in Mobile, Ala., Friday night to pull the curtain from behind The Great and Mighty Trump. Trump let his own curtain flutter open, showing to much of the audience the humbug within. In an hour-long verbal meanderthon at half-filled Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Trump allowed an atmosphere of electric excitement to […]

Trump’s rise is mirrored on the European right. By Kevin D. Williamson —

From Malmö comes the news that the Sweden Democrats, scrubbed-up neo-fascists who have forsaken the Roderick Spode uniforms, have become Sweden’s most popular political party, commanding the allegiance of a quarter of Swedish voters.

The 25 percent mark is of some interest: It’s about where Donald Trump stands in the most recent Republican primary poll and where Bernie Sanders stands in Democratic primary polls. It’s a little bit ahead of the 20 percent mark, where the Danish People’s party stands, and a little bit behind Nigel Farage’s UKIP, while in France, Marine Le Pen’s National Front took 25 percent of the vote in local elections earlier this year. Somewhere between one in four and one in five seems to be, for the moment, the golden ratio of pots-and-pans-banging politics.

For the right-leaning movements, the common issue is immigration. Senator Sanders, a professing socialist from Vermont, may seem like an outlier in this gang, but his views on immigration are substantially the same as those of Trump and by no means radically different from those of Marine Le Pen, even if his speeches are edited for progressive audiences; he charges that a shadowy cabal of billionaires (the name “Koch” inevitably looms large) wants to flood the United States with cheap immigrant labor to undermine the working class: “Bring in all kinds of people, work for $2 or $3 an hour, that would be great for them,” he says, with emphasis on the eternal infernal Them. “Real immigration reform puts the needs of working people first — not wealthy globetrotting donors.” Strangely, Sanders protests that Trump is a beastly beast for holding roughly the same views. “All kinds of people,” indeed — not our kind of people.

European Train Attacker Another Case of ‘Known Wolf ’Terrorism By Patrick Poole

Quick action by unarmed off-duty U.S. servicemen on a high speed train from Amsterdam to Paris narrowly averted tragedy yesterday as they subdued a terrorist gunman before he could begin his rampage. And according to multiple reports, the suspect in custody was known to multiple European intelligence agencies — yet another case of what I have termed “known wolf” terrorism.

Since last year, I’ve noted here at PJ Media that virtually all of the terrorist incidents in the West have been conducted by subjects who were already known to law enforcement and national security agencies, refuting the “lone wolf” narrative floated by authorities and the establishment media that such terrorist activity is random and unpredictable.

And such appears to be the case yet again in the case of what happened on the Thalys train.

Obama and the Iran Nuclear Veil: Covering Up Iran Nuclear Weapons Cooperation with North Korea? Posted By Claudia Rosett

In less than a month, Congress will vote on the Iran nuclear deal. It’s a terrible deal, in all its sanctions-melting, cash-bestowing, arms-and-missile-embargo-lifting, nuclear-enrichment-approving and self-sunsetting capitulation to Iran.

It’s even worse for having been rushed by the Obama administration to the United Nations Security Council for approval on July 20th, just six days after it was announced, and one day after the Obama administration officially transmitted a copy to Congress. And it’s worse still for relying on secret side deals between Iran and the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency to handle inspections pertaining to Iran’s past work on nuclear weapons — the “possible military dimensions.”

Team Hillary Reveals Lame Plan to Recover from her Email Scandal By Thomas Lifson

Hillary Clinton evidently thinks she can tough her way out of her email server problems by blaming others and deflecting attention, strategies she is already employing to no useful effect. Her latest gambit was revealed in an interview with friendly journalists at the Huffington Post. Sam Stein writes:

To get in front of these headlines, the Clinton campaign is plotting a three-pronged pushback strategy. The first, described by communications director Jennifer Palmieri in an interview with The Huffington Post, is an end-of-summer effort to educate the public on the classification process for national security material. The second, coming when Congress returns from recess, is to aggressively pivot to policy announcements, from economic and women’s issues to President Barack Obama’s Iran deal, which will receive a vote in September. The last is to “go on offense” on Clinton’s record as secretary of state, which the campaign sees as the ultimate target of her Republican critics.

As Chuck Ross points out in The Daily Caller:

…none of the pieces of that multi-part pushback plan…appear to involve the Democrat actually explaining why she used a private server, when she wiped it clean, and why she did so.

Of course not, for that would bring more grilling from the media, which have not been willing to accept the evasions and lies she has been offering. Unlike her other scandals, this time around there are forces on the left, armed with sympathetic media, that want to hold her to account.