BEN WEINGARTEN

Reader. Writer. Thinker. Commentator. Truth Seeker.

Tag: Leftism

PragerU’s Free Speech Lawsuit Challenges Silicon Valley’s Anti-Conservative Bias

On the heels of my comprehensive Gatestone Institute analysis on Big Tech’s jihad against counterjihadist speech, PragerU, the purveyor of educational videos on topics ranging from national security to private property rights — which itself has seen its counterjihadist content censored — filed suit against Google/YouTube.

The charge? Alleged ideological discrimination in restricting/disadvantaging PragerU’s content on the basis of PragerU’s conservative bent, in violation of its First Amendment rights.

I analyze PragerU’s case, and argue that lawfare is but one tool among many we must be using to preserve free speech in cyberspace.

Read the whole thing here.

On Big Tech’s Stifling of Counterjihadist Speech

When one thinks of the embodiment of “hate,” modern-day jihadists are perhaps without equal.

They murder those who refuse to submit to their totalitarian theopolitical belief system in the most vile and horrific ways, they revile and persecute non-believer “infidels” and engage in sex slaverymass rape and pillaging.

But when today’s sophist Left thinks of “hate,” it focuses its sights not on jihadists, but on those who forthrightly discuss the jihadist threat, among other advocates of non-leftist views.

That is the sad reality in light of the emerging story of the blacklisting of such individuals and organizations by major technology platforms, buoyed by purported civil rights organizations (largely funded by leftists) and journalistic institutions (largely composed of leftists) that in effect serve as fronts to legitimize attacks meant to destroy dissenting, largely conservative voices.

In my latest column at PJ Media, I focus on the narrower issue of the Left seeking to figuratively behead counterjihadists like Jihad Watch‘s Robert Spencer by threatening their ability to operate on the internet, whereby tech titans are unwittingly achieving the Islamic supremacists’ stated desire.

Read the whole thing here.

America’s Submission to Islam and the Censorship of the Left

By now you are likely aware of the recent events at Brandeis University.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, an Islamic apostate with a fatwa on her head, a fearless critic of Islam and a stalwart defender of women’s rights was slated to receive an honorary degree and deliver a commencement address at Brandeis. The degree was summarily revoked due to “past statements…inconsistent with Brandeis University’s core values.”

Ayaan Hirsi Ali. (Image Source: Getty/Michel Baret/Gamma-Rapho)

Ayaan Hirsi Ali. (Image Source: Getty/Michel Baret/Gamma-Rapho)

Many folks have admirably opined on this matter:

John Podhoretz spoke with a candor sorely lacking in this age of intolerant “tolerance,” when he said that the decision by Brandeis President Fred Lawrence was “nothing less than the act of a gutless, spineless, simpering coward.”

Charles Cooke spoke incisively to the irony of the situation that Ms. Ali was targeted despite tending “to side with a favored group — women — against a favored foe — religion,” in one of the “peculiar outcomes” of the “Left’s hierarchy of victims.”

Professor Jay Bergman spoke passionately to the hypocrisy of the matter in light of the honorary degrees awarded to Tony Kushner and Desmond Tutu despite their respective anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic remarks, seemingly in direct conflict with the school’s “core values.”

All of these critiques are legitimate, but what underlies them is something more fundamental: dhimmitude.

Dhimmis are non-Muslim citizens living as second-class citizens under an Islamic state, subjected to various social, political, and economic restrictions, along with a tax called a jizya. Dhimmitude is a phrase coined by author Bat Ye’or to reflect as one author puts it, “an attitude of concession, surrender and appeasement towards Islamic demands.”

What Brandeis did in caving to the likes of CAIR (Council of Islamic Relations) — an unindicted co-conspirator with Hamas in the 2007 Holy Land Foundation case — whose primary work seems to be to smear as “Islamophobes” and drown out all those critical of Islam (including abused Muslim women themselves), along with Brandeis’ Muslim Students Association (MSA), an organization which  was founded in America by Muslim Brotherhood members in 1963, represents nothing less than the epitome of Western dhimmitude.

Continue reading at TheBlaze…

Business Isn’t Capitalism

The Left has done an excellent job over the years of portraying Republicans as the “party of business.” 

There is an unfavorable implication to this title in a society in which many – unknowingly viewing life through a Marxian prism – aided by propaganda in academia and the arts, have a negative view of private enterprise as consisting of miserly Scrooges and evil Montgomery Burns’s accumulating vast wealth on the backs of the poor.

Mitt Romney (Center) pictured during his time at Bain & Company in an unfortunate pose by 2012 electorate standards. (Image Source: The Atlantic)

Mitt Romney (center) pictured during his time at Bain & Company in an unfortunate pose by 2012 electorate standards. (Image Source: The Atlantic)

To be for business in their zero-sum worldview is to be for those who have achieved wealth and status, the devils to the poor, meek and downtrodden angels, angels stuck in their position thanks to evil businessmen and an inherently unfair society.

The Left personifies (Soros and facts aside) or at least purportedly supports the underdog, and how can you oppose the underdog?

As with most all disinformation campaigns, this portrayal was based on a kernel, and perhaps even more than a kernel of truth. Republicans historically promoted economic policies such as tariffs that “protected” certain favored businesses, at the expense of consumers who thereby were forced to pay higher prices for goods.

From a cultural perspective, Leftist radicals were against “the man,” from Madison Avenue mad men to the dutiful suburban Ward Cleaver types who upheld the traditional order, and who were decidedly not Leftist radicals.

In more recent times, such lines have blurred to a degree, as politicians have conferred benefits upon shifting industries and constituencies, and in turn received funding and votes from varying blocs as the political winds have shifted (see the financial services industry in 2008 and 2012). Remember, despite there being “fat cat” Republicans like Mitt Romney, the chief venture capitalist in all the land, and overseer of many many Solyndras, is Barack Obama.

Continue reading at TheBlaze…

The Lebowski Economy: Creating an Infant Culture Where Government Decides and Self Sufficiency Subsides

“I mean, say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it’s an ethos.” – Walter Sobchak in “The Big Lebowski

When news broke that the Congressional Budget Office Report indicated that the equivalent of 2.5 million jobs would be lost by 2024 under Obamacare, to a chorus of laughable cheerleading that the “job-locked” would be “liberated” and America could now restore its national “work-life balance,” one man came to mind: Jeffrey Lebowski, properly known as the Dude, or, uh, His Dudeness, or uh, Duder, or El Duderino if you’re not into the whole brevity thing.

For I would submit that the explicit purpose of the progressive agenda is to create a nation of Lebowskis (Dudes) and Julias (Dudettes), or at least a two-class system in which big business and big labor are protected by government in the way that the Mafia protects your friendly local butcher, while Lebowskis and Julias are showered with benefits in exchange for votes.

If I sound cynical it’s because I’ve been watching a lot of “House of Cards” lately (culture matters).

Continue reading at TheBlaze…

Climate Change Versus Free Speech

If you dare to challenge the scientific establishment generally, and its global warming adherents specifically, you better have deep pockets and plenty of time on your hands. That is the takeaway of the last 15 months, and soon to be more, of Mark Steyn’s life — one of the recent victims of the Left’s war on speech whose case has arguably been the least-covered but most deserving of your attention.

For those unfamiliar, Steyn, author and contributor for the “National Review,” along with Rand Simberg of the Competitive Enterprise Institute are embroiled in a defamation lawsuit with noted climate scientist Michael Mann. Mann is the famous originator of the so-called “Hockey Stick Graph” climate model.

Michael Mann (R) is suing Mark Steyn (L) for defamation. (Credit: Michelle Siu/National Post//Pennsylvania State University)

Dr. Mann filed suit against Steyn, Simberg and the “National Review” on Oct. 22, 2012. In his complaint he leveled varying libel charges against each of the defendants. Herein I focus on the allegations against Steyn in particular since his prospective hockey stick beheading as sacrifice to the scientific gods upon the altar of global warming is the most well-chronicled, and based on the least compelling evidence against the two individuals in the case.

Steyn has incurred literally hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees over the last 15 months defending himself against the following charge from Dr. Mann [emphasis and hyperlinks added]:

“Mr. Steyn’s statement, published by NRI on National Review Online, that Dr. Mann “was the man behind the fraudulent climate-change ‘hockey-stick’ graph, the very ringmaster of the tree-ring circus” is defamatory per se and tends to injure Dr. Mann in his profession because it falsely imputes to Dr. Mann academic corruption, fraud and deceit as well as the commission of a criminal offense, in a manner injurious to the reputation and esteem of Dr. Mann professionally, locally, nationally, and globally…In making the defamatory statement, NRI and Steyn acted intentionally, maliciously, willfully, and with the intent to injure Dr. Mann, or to benefit NRI and Steyn. Accordingly, NRI and Steyn are liable to Dr. Mann for punitive damages in an amount in accordance with proof at trial.”

Got that? Make fun of a climate scientist and be prepared to lawyer up.

Now before we proceed, we need not get into the science of global warming or climate change or whatever it’s being called this week, “Climategate” or Rand Simberg’s comments comparing Michael Mann to a fellow former Penn State employee Jerry Sandusky for “molested and tortured data.” Nor do we need to discuss the fact that Dr. Mann’s initial complaint had to be amended, reflecting the fact that while he originally declared himself in a legal document (and on Twitter per the below) as a Nobel laureate, he actually was not (speaking of misrepresentation).

And I do not intend to debate the merits of the case, however weak from a non-legalistic perspective I think Mann’s position may be, given that the couple of phrases that offended Mann look mild compared to the typical invectives hurled at people who stake out what Mann himself pejoratively calls the “climate denier” position; and however hard it is to believe that Mann has suffered at all, given that as he has argued as recently as two weeks ago in a “New York Times” article “the overwhelming consensus among climate scientists is that human-caused climate change is happening.”

While all of these topics are ripe for discussion, and I urge you to research them yourselves, what really matters is the fact that Steyn, Simberg and the “National Review” were forced to defend themselves in a court of law in the first place.

Continue reading at TheBlaze…

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