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Another Attack On Free Speech. This Time The Culprits Are New York Republicans.

Back in October of 2011, we took note of a report issued by New York Democrats in which Constitutionally protected free speech was labeled a “privilege” and not a “right.”

The report centered on internet comments. The Democrats wanted the ability to demand web administrators take down posts and comments that were deemed by someone to be flaming, trolling and a variety of other things that were “hurtful.”

One would think that every right thinking, Constitution loving believer of freedom would tell the Democrats to go pound sand.

However, such thought processes managed to skip New York Republicans (twenty-three of the forty-nine New York Assembly Republicans, plus one Independent and one Democrat to be precise) who have actually introduced a bill to require site administrators to remove posts and comments made by anonymous contributors when asked to do so.

The bill is being touted as an “anti-cyberbullying” measure by the sponsor:

“While the Internet is a wonderful resource for social networking, sadly it can also used to anonymously bring harm to others,” said [Assemblyman Dean] Murray [(R,C-East Patchogue)]. “My legislation addresses the dangers of cyberbullying and protects the victims of this offense. By demanding these online abusers come out from anonymity and identify themselves, they will hopefully think twice before posting harmful comments about others.”

Even if the anonymous postings were “cyber bullying,” there is no Constitutional provision for the government to stop such speech. Even worse is the bill clearly does not limit the measure to “cyber-bullying” type posts and comments:
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Quick Hits

Here we go again with some “quick hits” – stories of note that we want you to know about, but don’t flesh out into an entire post. And once again, our “Rule 5” lady reflects the start of the baseball season.

George Washington has been selected as the “greatest foe ever” of the British according to a headline in the Telegraph. Of course, the headline is somewhat misleading and one has to read the article to see the criteria:

To qualify, each commander had to come from the 17th century onwards – the period covered by the museum’s collection – and had to have led an army in the field against the British, thus excluding political enemies, like Adolf Hitler.

Personally, we think we would have chosen Napoleon Bonaparte as his desire was for to rule and conquer the British while George Washington simply wanted to break away from the British empire. However, when you consider the comparative resources at their disposal as well as the ability of Washington to take the field against the best army in the world while having mostly rag tag soldiers, we can see Washington being chosen.

That being said, we then started to think who would be chosen as “America’s Greatest Foe” under the same criteria.

Our first thought was President Obama, but as he has never led anyone, anywhere, much less onto a battlefield, he wouldn’t qualify. Then we realized that our first thought of our greatest foe is our current president.

That’s just depressing.


After a teacher in Charlotte, North Carolina broke up a fight between two middle school kids, one child was so grateful for the intervention of the teacher he gave her a hug.

Unfortunately, hugging a teacher is against school policy so the kid was written up and then suspended.
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Want To Learn To Be Squatter? Guess Who Is Paying For The Education?

Imagine if you will a piece of property near your home that is currently not occupied for whatever reason.

One night you see someone break the lock and chain on the door and go into the property. Mail starts to arrive and the utilities are turned on and you believe you have a new neighbor.

What you may actually have is a “squatter.”

A squatter is someone who will break into an un-occupied home or apartment and start to live there. In the minds of many, such actions would be called “breaking and entering.” At the very least, it is trespassing.

Yet under the law and because of several court decisions, once a person takes possession of a property – they have an interest in that property. This means an owner who is out of town may lose certain rights to their own property. At the very least, it is difficult to get squatters out of buildings. The end result is that a property can sustain a tremendous amount of damage from someone who broke in and is not paying rent or anything.

One of the groups that supports squatters and actively teaches people to be squatters is a group in New York City called “Picture the Homeless.” The group calls itself an “advocate for the homeless” and has the catchy slogan of “organizing for justice and respect” and “don’t talk about us, talk with us.”

The group also teaches people how to be squatters.

Two weeks ago, board member Andres Perez held a teach-in on how to wrest “control” of vacant apartments. He called it “homesteading.”

“The best time to enter a building is in the late hours,” he advised a group of about 20, who gathered in front of the half-empty East New York housing complex Arlington Village.

“You make sure you have your proper tools. You remove the chains and padlock, and then you go in.”

He then led them through the next steps — including filling out a change-of-address form at the post office and setting up utilities. After that, “nine out of 10 times the courts will allow you to be able to have control of the property,” he said.

Of course, when you break into a property, aren’t paying rent, and have no responsibility for that property, the results are predicable:
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Amidst The Hatred, There Is Always Hope.

There are many people in the world who hate those of the Jewish faith. Many of those people are Muslim. There are many people in the world who hate those of the Islamic faith. Many of those people are Jewish.

Jews, Gentiles, Muslims, Catholic, Protestants, Hindu…… it doesn’t matter. Too often the faith to which a person allegedly lovingly ascribes results in an accompanying hatred of those in another faith.

Certainly there is a great deal of hatred to go around and much of that hatred has a component of faith, or lack of faith, to it.

We don’t want to give the impression that we are some pollyannish believer who wants to gather everyone around a campfire and sing “Kumbaya” or “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing.” We are not that naive. We know there is great hatred in the world between those of certain religious beliefs and those without religious beliefs.

That being said, a story coming out of New York has caught our eye.

Coney Island Bialys and Bagels claims to be the oldest bialy bakery in New York City. Founded in 1920, it’s faced hard economic times and changing neighborhood demographics.

Now, the shop has been rescued by two Pakistani Muslims — and they’re keeping it kosher.

You read that right. A Jewish bagel store has been bought by two Muslims who are keeping the store kosher.

It is more than that though. One of the men who is taking over the store, Zafaryab Alimen, worked for the Jewish owners for over a decade.

Holy bagels and lox Batman! Jews and Muslims working together for over a decade!

There are going to be skeptics to this and maybe rightfully so. In the comments of the linked NPR article, there are accusations of the profits from the store now going to fund terrorism, rejoicing at the failure of a “dirty Jews,” etc. (And we would bet many of those who make those comments consider themselves “good ::insert name of religion here::”)
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Quick Hits

A new “Quick Hits” post and a Rule 5 boxer will help usher in the New Year.

The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has told the sponsor of the “Redneck Olympics” to stop using the term “Olympic” as the USOC has exclusive rights to the word.

Uh huh. Because we all know events like “mud runs, tire popping, bobbing for pigs feet and toilet seat horseshoes” are easily confused with the 100 meter dash, synchronized swimming, and gymnastics. (To say nothing of an Olympic torch being the same as a plastic pink flamingo on fire.)

We understand the idea that the “Olympics” wants to protect its brand name, but there is no confusion here or devaluing of the word “Olympic” when used by someone else. Given the USOC hits everyone for money and believes “America doesn’t send athletes to the Olympics, Americans do,” Americans have a stake in the name as well.

At least Harold Brooks, the sponsor of the Redneck Olympics, has a sense of humor about the whole thing:

Brooks says he’s planning on selling t-shirts that read “Redneck ________” with a picture of the word game hangman next to it. He says if the U.S.O.C. asks what goes in the 8 blank spaces after the word “Redneck” he’ll say it’s “Bull****”.


A Marine with no criminal history is facing a 15 year sentence for carrying a concealed weapon.
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Quick Hits – A Christmas Edition

Once again we have some items of interest and for this holiday season, a Christmas Rule Five lady.

It has been a tough year for the iconic “Toys for Tots” program. The Marine administered program provides toys for underprivileged children through monetary donations and donation of toys throughout the country and has been a model of accountability and trust during its 64 year history so it is sad to see some of the stories coming out of the organization.

In Brevard County, Florida, a Toys for Tots area coordinator and volunteer of 16 years recently stepped down from the organization after admitting he had lied about his military service record and an investigation into the alleged rape of a 16 year old girl.

In Chicago, the Toys for Tots program was rocked by what appears to have been an embezzlement this past spring of funds marked for the purchase of toys this holiday season.

These types of setbacks are difficult to comprehend much less for the charity to deal with. After all, what kind of lowlife steals money intended for toys?

While it is easy to focus on the slimeballs, we should also applaud the people who have helped with the issues. In Florida, the Marines told the volunteer he was essentially no longer welcome in the program and thereby demanded accountability for the actions of a volunteer. The Marines did not wait for the result of the criminal investigation. In their eyes, lying about military service was enough to demand he walk away.

In Chicago, an anonymous donor stepped in and gave $25,000 to the charity to make up for the embezzled funds.

A generous donor stepped forward today, saving Christmas for a local charity after an alleged theft left organizers unable to buy toys for thousands of needy Chicago-area kids.

A man came in with a $25,000 check to cover the missing amount, said Toys for Tots Chicagoland treasurer Janet Malpede.

The donor’s only stipulation? That he remains anonymous and that the gift be in memory of Sid Luckman, the Chicago Bears quarterback during the 1940s who led the team to four championships.

After news became public this week, the phone has been ringing constantly, Malpede said. Beyond the $25,000, others have made generous offers, including a donor who gave $1,000 in toys through Target, Malpede said.

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New York Democrats Say First Amendment is a “Privilege.”

The Democrats in the state of New York have taken on a powerful foe – the First Amendment.

In response to concerns of “cyberbullying,” the Democrats have issued a report on the issue, and what they feel should be done to combat the issue.

In the report, the Democrats say:

PROPONENTS OF FREE SPEECH HAVE LONG ARGUED THAT A SOCIETY THAT PUTS PEOPLE ON TRIAL FOR THINGS THEY HAVE WRITTEN OR SAID IS NO LONGER A TRULY DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY. THE POWER OF THE WORD HAS BEEN UNDISPUTABLE; IT HAS BEEN ESSENTIAL TO PRESERVING DEMOCRACY AND, IN FACT, ITS FOUNDING PREMISE WAS TO PRESERVE THE EXCHANGE OF IDEAS: A “MARKET PLACE” WHERE CITIZENS COULD SORT THROUGH BELIEFS AND IDEAS WHICH BEST RESONATED WITH THEM AND DISCARD THOSE THAT DID NOT,74 THEREBY ALLOWING FOR THE CREATION OF AN EVER-EVOLVING, OPEN SOCIETY. MOREOVER, THEY CONTEND THAT FREEDOM OF SPEECH IS RECOGNIZED AS A HUMAN RIGHT UNDER ARTICLE 19 OF THE UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS, SO IT CANNOT AND MUST NOT BE LIMITED.

AND YET, PROPONENTS OF A MORE REFINED FIRST AMENDMENT ARGUE THAT THIS FREEDOM SHOULD BE TREATED NOT AS A RIGHT BUT AS A PRIVILEGE – A SPECIAL ENTITLEMENT GRANTED BY THE STATE ON A CONDITIONAL BASIS THAT CAN BE REVOKED IF IT IS EVER ABUSED OR MALTREATED. (emphasis ours)

(We apologize for the caps, but that is the manner in which the report was released.)

The report makes the argument that as “free speech” is a “privilege,” the state can regulate speech. In this case, the “free speech” that has a bull’s eye on it is what they define as “cyberbullying” to be:
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