Quick Takes – Censorship: By Red Tape; By Newspeak; By Show Trial

     Another “quick takes” on items where there is too little to say to make a complete article, but is still important enough to comment on.

     The focus this time: ‘Tis a pity you dared to say that…

     First, a little mood music:

     Carrying on…

     Campaign finance rules do not give “power to the people”, it takes power away from them.

“Collective political action requires grassroots fundraising. You cannot have one without the other. We know this is true because every successful political movement has had both. Practically, raising money from individuals in small amounts has a much higher per-dollar cost than raising massive amounts of money from a few wealthy donors, and building a lasting grassroots infrastructure to achieve political goals—as every successful movement has before—is an expensive proposition for all the reasons above.

“For those elites with access to unlimited money to hire the best, most skilled fundraisers, communicators, and marketers, this isn’t hard. But when individuals who aren’t rich, famous, or powerful attempt to start and build organizations to promote their own ideas and values, their efforts and message is often met with derision, or worse.”

     If hobbling people doesn’t work, you escalate to rewriting the language so that incorrect thoughts don’t have the words to express them.

“Most universities just give celebrities honorary degrees, but three years ago, Emerson College actually renamed its School of Communication after the mustachioed blowhard Ron Burgundy from the Anchorman movies.


“Some things have changed since then – the School of Communication is no longer prefixed by Burgundy (it was a one-day stunt), and Emerson College now has no tolerance for the word ‘anchorman.’

“…[T]he school’s Guidelines for Inclusive Language now forbid the use of “anchorman” among many other ‘man’ constructions”

     If that still doesn’t work, prosecute the thought criminals.

“In the UK, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) acquiesced to 40,000-odd people who signed an online petition demanding the prosecution of Nigel Farage, former leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), by signaling that they might open a hate speech investigation against him. UKIP had just played a major role in persuading the British people to vote for Brexit. The petitioners, ‘remainers,’ wanted to co-opt the CPS into their political retaliation.

“In France, the National Front’s leader Marine Le Pen was similarly charged with ‘incitement to discrimination,’ although she was ultimately exonerated. At various points, Le Pen has topped the polls for France’s next presidential election, and a National Front victory could mean the pursuit of a similar exit option from the EU for France. Like Farage and Wilders, if Le Pen was hobbled by a legal challenge, it might’ve benefited her political opponents.

“And in Germany, Justice Minister Heiko Maas, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government, hinted that members of the right-wing party Alternative for Germany (AfD) should be prosecuted for hate speech. Minister Maas also threatened to indict Martin Ott, Managing Director of Facebook’s European branch, for not blocking content that accused Merkel of letting ISIS recruits migrate into Germany. Additionally, German Federal Police raided the homes of 60 members of a ‘secret [right-wing] Facebook group’ to ‘combat hate postings.’

“Add to this the February detainment of an anti-immigrant party PEGIDA member for refusing to remove a ‘fluffy pig hat’ mid-protest.”


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