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How 'Silence is Violence' Can Became Compelled Speech

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Below is my column in the Hill newspaper on the rising concern over compelled speech on our campuses and our streets.

Here is the column:

“Silence is violence” has everything that you want in a slogan: Alliteration. Brevity. Simplicity. It also can be chilling for some in the academic and free-speech communities.

On one level, it conveys a powerful message that people of good faith should not remain silent about great injustices. However, it can have a more menacing meaning to “prove the negative” – demanding that people prove they are not racist.

In a prior column, I warned of the thin line between speech codes and speech commands, as people move from compelling silence to compelling speech: “Once all the offending statues are down, and all the offending professors are culled, the appetite for collective suppression will become a demand for collective expression.”

The line between punishing speech and compelling speech is easily crossed when free speech itself is viewed as a threat. It is not just the many cases of journalists, academics and others fired for expressing dissenting views. Even expressing support in the wrong way can be a terminal offense, like declaring “all lives matter” rather than “Black Lives Matter,” as in the firing of University of Massachusetts-Lowell Dean of Nursing Leslie Neal-Boylan or Vermont principal Tiffany Riley. While most of us support Black Lives Matter, it has become an official position of many schools — and variations are not tolerated. The concern is not only the establishment of orthodox values but the forced recitation of those values.
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CDC Bombshell: Only Six Percent Of 'Covid Deaths' From Only Covid!

Over the weekend the Centers for Disease Control dropped a bombshell report on coronavirus/Covid deaths: of the approximately 165,000 "Covid deaths" less than ten thousand died from Covid. The rest - a vast majority - had on average 2.6 serious additional diseases, with the addition in most cases of extreme advanced age. Is it time to begin litigating the damage done to the US and the world from the lockdown policies? Also today: the "largest protest in German history" over the weekend, as estimated millions turned out to oppose mandatory masks and lockdowns. Similar protests took place in London and in Spain. In the US...mostly silence. Today on the Liberty Report...
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Trump Must Back Iraq Withdrawal Promise With Action

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Earlier this month, while meeting with the Iraqi Prime Minister, President Trump reaffirmed his intent to remove all US troops from Iraq. “We were there and now we’re getting out. We’ll be leaving shortly,” the president told reporters at the time. 

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Know Your Rights. Don’t Talk to Cops at the Airport

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I confess to a dislike of the police; any police at any level. I dislike equally local cops, state troopers, federal law enforcement from a myriad of agencies and prison guards. I’ve always said, “Give a man a badge and a gun and you’ve created a monster.” I also believe that my opinion about law enforcement in the United States is in the minority.
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RNC/DNC Conventions Trot Out The Same Foreign Policy Losers

Ron Paul Institute Director Daniel McAdams joins "The Gaggle" host Peter Lavelle and Gaggle co-founder George Szamuely to discuss the national conventions of the Republican and Democratic Parties. Though there were many evident differences in style and in appeal to Americans, when it came to foreign policy there was, with one major exception, in general a single view: more war and more empire. Even as President Trump continues to promise to get the US out of the endless wars, speaker after speaker - including the nauseating Nikki Haley and Sen. Tom Cotton - kept hawking the same old neocon lies. Is there any hope?
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Judicial Tyranny in the Drug War

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If you still have any doubts about the tyranny of the federal government’s beloved “war on drugs,” perhaps the case of Juan Carlos Seresi, Vahe Andonian, and Nazareth Andonian will remove them.

Back in 1991, a federal judge named William D. Keller sentenced these three men to 500 years in jail for a non-violent drug offense—i.e., laundering drug money.

Yes, you read that right — 500 years!

Why, that’s just plain stupid. Any lawyer that has gone to any decent law school knows that most people die before they are 200 years old. What law school did Keller attend?

Or maybe it’s just plain vicious. Making known his intention to play a role in “winning” the “war on drugs,” Keller, who was appointed to the bench by conservative President Ronald Reagan, declared, “I intend to deter forevermore anybody doing anything like this.”
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Playing Stupid Games: US Rams Russian Military Trucks In Syria

The US continues to illegally occupy Syrian territory and to illegally confiscate Syrian oil, but it is also playing very dangerous military games with the Russians, who are in Syria legally at the request of their ally. This week a US military vehicle attempting to block Russian passage along a Syrian road rammed the Russian military vehicle. Several American soldiers were reported injured. What is the purpose of this risky adventurism? Today in the Liberty Report...
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To Capture and Subdue: America’s Theft of Syrian Oil Has Very Little To Do With Money

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Near the end of July, one of the most important recent developments in US foreign policy was quietly disclosed during a US Senate hearing. Not surprisingly, hardly anybody talked about it and most are still completely unaware that it happened.

Answering questions from Senator Lindsey Graham, Secretary of State Pompeo confirmed that the State Department had awarded an American company, Delta Crescent Energy, with a contract to begin extracting oil in northeast Syria. The area is nominally controlled by the Kurds, yet their military force, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), was formed under US auspices and relies on an American military presence to secure its territory. That military presence will now be charged with protecting an American firm from the government of the country that it is operating within.

Pompeo confirmed that the plans for implanting the firm into the US-held territory are “now in implementation” and that they could potentially be “very powerful.” This is quite a momentous event given its nature as a blatant example of neocolonial extraction, or, as Stephen Kinzer puts it writing for the Boston Globe, “This is a vivid throwback to earlier imperial eras, when conquerors felt free to loot the resources of any territory they could capture and subdue.”
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