Corporate media outlets like CNN, The Washington Post, and The New York Times have recently claimed President Donald Trump attacks the First Amendment when he criticizes corporate media outlets for unethical journalistic practices and labels them the “enemy of the people.” Nevertheless, Trump has taken no legal action against any member of the corporate media (unlike the previous President), and has not advocated doing so. On the other hand, just this past month, the aforementioned corporate media outlets were actively involved in lobbying Silicon Valley tech utilities to censor independent media outlet InfoWars. Isn’t that an actual attack on the First Amendment?
Milo Yiannopolus, Roger Stone, Paul Nehlen, Jared Taylor, Baked Alaska, Ricky Vaughn, and thousands of supposed “Russian bots” are just a few of those Twitter has permanently banned, seemingly for expressing unpopular political viewpoints. Wikipedia chronicles the various prominent accounts Twitter has banned and suspended. Nearly all belong to right wingers. Internet viewpoint discrimination goes beyond Twitter. YouTube (Google) routinely deletes accounts and videos of right wingers, particularly in the aftermath of the Parkland school shooting. The problem of Internet censorship is also not isolated to social media. Most notably, after featuring a joke about the woman who died at the Charlottesville protests, Andrew Anglin’s popular site The Daily Stormer has had to jump from host to host, prompting concerns among civil libertarians. Once a last refuge for free speech, the Internet has become increasingly less so. Perhaps we have reached the breaking point. Is it time to adopt an Internet Bill of Rights to protect our God-given right of free speech on the web? Continue Reading
Longtime Prohibition Party activist Leroy Pletten died earlier this year at the age of 68. Pletten, an anti-smoking activist, differed from his fellow party members in holding generally progressive views. In 2004 and 2008, as the running mate of Gene Amondson, Pletten served as the party’s vice presidential nominee. In addition, he had a major role in the party split between 2003 and 2007 as leader of the faction opposing multi-time presidential nominee Earl Dodge. His advocacy against Dodge continued after Dodge’s 2007 death, spreading even to wikipedia.
Image: Brendan McDermid | Reuters
Potential 2016 presidential candidates take heed. Donald Trump has delivered one of the best presidential announcement speeches in a long time. Continue Reading
Citizen Journalist Martin Olson, the man who videotaped Minerva Councilman Phil Davison’s inspirational 2010 speech, uploaded the full, official video of the speech to YouTube last week.
Olson, who operates the Stark County Political Report, which covers local politics in Stark County, Ohio, recorded Davison during the September 8 meeting of the local Republican Party Executive Committee, at which Davison sought the party’s nomination for County Treasurer. In his original posting of the video to the Huffington Post, Olson reported: Continue Reading
With over 16 years of service in the Minerva Village Council, free speech advocate Phil Davison has more legislative experience than the man the nation elected as president in 2008. Despite his political history, Davison did not gain notice until delivering one of the most impassioned speeches in recent memory. Now, as he considers higher office, a new moniker combines his fame with his political qualifications. Meet Phil Davison, America’s Councilman. Continue Reading
Ken Krawchuk at the podium
Last month I contacted the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania’s two time gubernatorial nominee Ken Krawchuk about footage of a January 2012 debate he moderated in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. The debate, sponsored by Democracy Unplugged, interested me because it featured Libertarian presidential candidate Robert Milnes of New Jersey. At the time, no publicly accessible videos of Milnes were known to exist. Following my request, Krawchuk posted video of the two hour-long debate to YouTube, enabling me and other viewers to see footage of Milnes for the first time. Continue Reading