Archive for the ‘Free Speech’ Category

Dear Brett Kimberlin,

I learned about you in 2010, and I wrote this article about you on October 11, 2010.

Flashback: Progressives Embrace Convicted Terrorist

You wanted me to shut up then, and you threatened to sue me.

Liberty Chick Threatened With Lawsuit

I did not go quiet.  And when you hit the radar again, as did you and your friends’ tactics, I didn’t shut up then, either.

As Hacked ChamberLeaks Emails Break, Left Scrambles to Hide Ties to Domestic Terrorist

Since then, you’ve done everything you could to try and shut me up, including falsely accusing me of crimes and inserting me into lawsuits.  And threatening even more lawsuits, based on more false accusations.  Your associates have bragged for a year that their relentless harassment of me, my family and those friends close to me has been all for your benefit. They have hounded people that I work with, trying to get me fired. They have defamed me repeatedly with false accusations of everything from drug use to murder.  They know every detail of my private life and they share it with the world.  They have terrorized me and others and tried to make us fear for our lives.  They, and you, have terrorized us long enough.

Convicted Bomber Brett Kimberlin, Neal Rauhauser, Ron Brynaert, and Their Campaign of Political Terrorism

Today, I go silent.  But that does not mean that I do not act. I take action.  And you should, too:

Going dark to urge congressional action: Who will protect the freedom to blog?

Mr. Kimberlin, Mr. Rauhauser and friends – when I am silent, I am strong.  It means that I am busy working.  And I assure you, I am anything but weak.  Count on it.  Always.

There are times when silence has the loudest voice.  ~Leroy Brownlow

Also, be sure to tell these attorneys the story of Aaron Walker.  And demand action.

John McCarthy
State’s Attorney for Montgomery County
50 Maryland Avenue, 5th Floor
Rockville, Maryland  20850
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Assistant United States Attorney Robert Dugdale
The United States Attorney’s Office
Central District of California
Criminal Division
312 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, California 90012
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
For some background on the harassment of me, read the summary I wrote months ago, before the incidents reached the peak level at which they are now.  For a larger picture of the long-term harassment and attempts to silence us, read Patterico’s summary.  I am named as a third party in one lawsuit in an obvious attempt to subpoena my emails, and Brett Kimberlin and his crew have crafted a false narrative to try and add me to another lawsuit, directly (read their wild conspiracy theories online that I was a “paid hatchet person” for the Chamber of Commerce and HB Gary (I was not), which they craftily weaved around the fact that HB Gary’s CEO knew how to Google).
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It’s been an extraordinarily busy few months for the FBI and cyber-related task forces.  The arrests of several prominent hackers associated with Anonymous have had the hacker collective pointing fingers at suspected “snitches” on the inside and lowering their profiles in recent months.  But as Occupy gears up for its American Spring, Anons are trying to gain footing again and mobilize for the cause.

Read the entire post at Big Government

by Liberty Chick & Adam Baldwin  ~  at BigJournalism.com

Police warn UC Davis protesters

UC Davis protesters encircle police to prevent them from leaving. Police issued multiple warnings to those in the path to clear access. Just prior to the pepper spray, Officer Pike gives a final warning to each protester, "Do you understand that if you stay here when the police squad comes, you will be subject to the use of force?

On Monday, students, faculty and supporters at the University of California, Davis, attempted a mass general strike to protest tuition hikes and to demand the resignation of Chancellor Linda Katehi after police pepper-sprayed eleven protesters who blocked a public access way at an #OccupyUCDavis event on November 18th. Students maintain it was Chancellor Katehi who requested the police remove the Occupy encampment and clear access to the facility.  The incident sparked a firestorm of media all across the world and has become a viral phenomenon, and now even an Internet meme.

We stand behind those calling for Chancellor Katehi’s resignation.  But not for the reasons they might think.

The events of UC Davis and the way in which the pepper-spray was handled has set a number of dangerous precedents.  In the setting of academia, the rights of the majority of students are being trampled on to appease the tyranny of a minority.  Further, the very system of law and order and its public servants instituted to protect the rights of the public at large have been undermined by incompetent leaders, unable to withstand the growing pressure of a noisy minority and the corrupt media that supports it.  Most importantly, propaganda has established a foothold that is now stronger than ever, and far more dangerous than the short-term effects of pepper spray.

Over the last week, we have seen the media pick up the UC Davis story and run with it, always highlighting the same twenty seconds of one Officer Pike, methodically pepper-spraying eleven “peaceful protesters,” as onlookers gasp and scream in horror and dismay.  The public was almost undivided in its immediate condemnation of the act.

But just as Winston Churchill once said, “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” Perhaps in this case, it’s not so much a lie, but a lot of omissions.

Continue…

by Adam Baldwin and Liberty Chick

UPDATE: UW-Stout has retreated.  “…Therefore, UW-Stout has reconsidered its decision to remove the two posters from outside the professor’s office, meaning he can display them if he so chooses.”  Popehat has the analysis.

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is one of America’s most sacred freedoms and our public universities often among its staunchest defenders.  But at the University of Wisconsin-Stout (UWS), it seems this sacred freedom is in the eye of the beholder.

UWS theater professor Dr. James Miller is relatively new to the short-lived, now cult hit TV series “Firefly.”  Some of his students are loyal fans and asked Dr. Miller to check it out for himself. He liked it enough to hang a Firefly poster on his office door. Given its remote location in the theater wing, where mostly only theater students would see it, who would have expected the poster to cause such a firestorm?

Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) reports:

On September 12, 2011, Professor Miller posted on his office door an image of Nathan Fillion in Joss Whedon’s sci-fi series Firefly and a line from an episode: “You don’t know me, son, so let me explain this to you once: If I ever kill you, you’ll be awake. You’ll be facing me. And you’ll be armed.” On September 16, UWS Chief of Police Lisa A. Walter notified Miller that she had removed the poster because it “refer[s] to killing.” After Miller replied, “respect my first amendment rights,” Walter wrote that “the poster can be interpreted as a threat.” Walter also threatened Miller with criminal charges: “If you choose to repost the article or something similar to it, it will be removed and you could face charges of disorderly conduct.”

In response to Walter’s censorship, Miller placed a new poster on his office door on the 16th. The poster read “Warning: Fascism” and mocked, “Fascism can cause blunt head trauma and/or violent death. Keep fascism away from children and pets.”

Walter escalated the absurdity. On September 20, she wrote that this poster, too, had been censored because it “depicts violence and mentions violence and death” and was expected to “be constituted as a threat.” She added that UWS’s “threat assessment team,” in consultation with the university general counsel’s office, had made the decision. College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Interim Dean Raymond Hayes then scheduled a meeting with Miller about “the concerns raised by the campus threat assessment team.”

Read the rest here at BigHollywood

“We know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less guess what you’re thinking about.”
—  former Google CEO Eric Schmidt at a Washington Ideas Forum last October


[Start at 16:02]

 Much has been said about Google’s evolution from a hip, niche technology outfit to a behemoth advertising machine over the years.  As the company has grown in its product offering, so has all that valuable user data – and their users’ online habits.  With almost 200 million users monthly of the Gmail service alone, there’s no shortage of juicy email content from which Google can serve up a cacophony of those automated “creepy” integrated advertising links in and around your email messages based upon your email habits.  When Google launched its Buzz product and automatically opted all of its users IN rather than OUT, the outcry for privacy and data protection was deafening.  And most recently, we’ve read the news reports of Facebook blocking the Google Chrome extension Facebook Friend Exporter, citing its violation of Facebook’s terms of service for vacuuming data right out of other users’ Facebook accounts without their permission.  Names, email addresses, websites, addresses and even phone numbers of users’ friends were being sucked out of their Facebook accounts straight onto Google’s servers where the information could be used by Google in any way they saw fit.  I share my info with my Facebook friends, but that doesn’t mean I want them extracting it for other applications they might want to use.  (But hey, how dare I complain, when Google calls this openness.)

Now, it’s copyrights that Google is seeking to hijack from users.

The Washington Post reports that under the fine print of the Google Terms of Agreement for Google+ there is a provision that robs photographers of the ability to sell their works if they upload their pictures on the site.

The Post noted:

Google’s Terms of Service on photography, Photofocus cautions, should be read carefully, especially these sections:

By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services.

You agree that this license includes a right for Google to make such Content available to other companies, organizations or individuals with whom Google has relationships for the provision of syndicated services, and to use such Content in connection with the provision of those services.

You understand that Google, in performing the required technical steps to provide the Services to our users, may (a) transmit or distribute your Content over various public networks and in various media; and (b) make such changes to your Content as are necessary to conform and adapt that Content to the technical requirements of connecting networks, devices, services or media. You agree that this license shall permit Google to take these actions.

Scott Bourne at Photofocus writes that there’s a reason he doesn’t use Google photo sharing services and won’t be signing up for Google+.

“If I do share images on Google services – under the current terms of service – I will risk genuine harm to my ability to earn income from those images. As a professional, I don’t see the reward of using the Google services as being worth more than the risk.”

At least this time Google had the courtesy to notify users upfront that they’ll have to abandon rights to their intellectual property–unlike the launch of Google Books, where Google uploaded copyrighted material without even asking the authors, which resulted in a class action suit.

Some will argue that the Google+ terms state that users do retain any rights they already hold, but the practical application of protecting those rights simply isn’t assured under Google’s model, and most certainly not under its current terms.  In these times of open source and file sharing, artists of all stripes can barely avoid making some of their content available for free to keep customers happy.  In fact, most will find it beneficial to do so to increase their traffic and to build up a customer following.  But many of those artists make their money in exclusive licensing agreements, the boundaries of which become a bit blurred by portions of Google policy, especially now that Google+ has launched. My mother is an artist and as someone who helps her market her work, the Google dilemma is one with which we struggle all the time.  Her artwork is quite unique and sometimes a customer may inquire about an exclusive licensing agreement to use a work of hers, for a line of fashion t-shirts, for example.  If she uploads photos of her paintings to Google+, it might be great to have millions of eyes looking at and sharing her work, but at the same time, she can’t necessarily promise her customer that the “exclusive” image he’s purchasing won’t show up in a Google ad or at a trade show booth someplace.

We frequently hear people in our country say, “we used to make things here in America, we used to create things.”  The truth is, we still do. We now create ideas, innovations, inventions, technology.  We create inspiration: words, music, art.  And while our society is speedily growing accustomed to sharing these creations collectively and openly, and expecting them at zero cost, we must remember that for some – for many, in fact – these creations are the very lifeblood of their creators.

Google itself started as the creation of two young college graduate students.  In the end, Google is built on the acquisition and use of more and more data from more and more people that is used to build marketing profiles and sell advertising. And that insatiable need coupled with a long track record of outright disregard for privacy and property rights should prompt users to exercise caution.

After all, these are the same do-as Google-pleases and take-whatever-Google-wants policies that Congress and the FTC are currently investigating.

“If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.” 

— Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt [video]

 

You may remember President Obama’s recent call for civil discourse this past January.  Well, it appears that the Left is still very much struggling with the #newtone online.  Unless, of course, you consider a persistent stream of steady death threats against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker a display of etiquette straight from the Emily Post Etipedia of manners.

Here’s but a small sampling from the #caring Tweeters:
(I prefer to view the video with this music as accompaniment…)

Initially, I’d written a summary here of some of the details around Gov. Walker’s proposal, including some of the positive highlights, like granting employees the right to choose whether or not to contribute dues to a labor union.  But then I decided, “nahhhh….why bother?”  Agree or disagree with some, all or none of the Governor’s proposal, everyone has something to contribute to the conversation.  But death threats are NOT an acceptable part of ANY conversation.

I’d thought we’d learned that by now, after documenting the same exact behavior in January.  With all the Big-Brother Twitter monitoring the Soros flunkies are doing out there, you’d think they would have posted and condemned this by now.

So much for that #newtone.

Video h/t Joe Haas and Kim Hedum.