Twitter Users: A Choice for Elon Musk: Principles or Profit? Losing Money or Loosing Face – Counter Information

Back in April of this year, the world’s richest man, Elon Musk, stated,

“Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated.”

A question: can you declare that you are for freedom of speech/expression and ban, or maintain a ban, on a person from expressing himself in a purportedly public forum and preserve your integrity? Whether the new owner of Twitter, Musk, steadfastly stands on the principle of freedom of expression looks like it is about to be revealed.

One question is whether the former president Donald Trump will be allowed back onto the Twitter platform.

Musk was critical of Twitter’s ban of Trump. He called it a “morally bad decision” and “foolish in the extreme.”

A section of the corporate sector (obviously, the corporate sector is not a monolith, as Trump and Musk both belong to this sector) is threatening a boycott of its advertising dollar if Musk allows Trump back on Twitter. This has set the stage for what could turn out to be a showcase of corporate infighting…

Senator Rand Paul Questions FBI Director Chris Wray on the Construct of the Domestic Surveillance State | Centinel2012

…At the core of the issue is a system created in the last 14 years where private social media companies and the intelligence apparatus, to include the FBI, have formed partnerships in the larger surveillance network.  The fact that FBI Director Chris Wray cannot and will not answer specific questions about the issues, only exemplifies the nature of the issue as it relates to unconstitutional violations of privacy…

The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : ‘How Do People Know the Truth?’: Biden Unleashes Tirade Over Musk Restoring Free Speech Protections on Twitter | Truth2Freedom’s Blog

President Biden has previously accused social media companies of “killing people” by refusing to impose robust censorship over a wide range of subjects. Many of those banned or censored were doctors with opposing views on the data and the science related to the pandemic.

Some of those doctors were the co-authors of the Great Barrington Declaration, which advocated for a more focused Covid response that targeted the most vulnerable population rather than widespread lockdowns and mandates. Many are now questioning the efficacy and cost of the massive lockdown as well as the real value of masks or the rejection of natural immunities as an alternative to vaccination. Yet, these experts and others were attacked for such views just a year ago. Some found themselves censored on social media for challenging claims of Dr. Fauci and others.

The Great Barrington Declaration was not the only viewpoint deemed dangerous. Those who alleged that the virus may have begun in a lab in China were widely denounced and the views barred from being uttered on social media platforms. It was later learned that a number of leading experts raised this theory with Fauci and others early in the pandemic…

Ninth Circuit Rules Against Transgender Woman in Beauty Pageant Competition . . . Citing the Musical Hamilton – JONATHAN TURLEY

A panel on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit seemed to be channeling the lyrics of the musical Hamilton in noting that “Everything is legal in New Jersey.” The panel ruled against  a transgender woman who brought a discrimination claim against a beauty pageant that allowed only “natural-born females” to compete. In a prior 2016 column, I discussed the racially discriminatory consideration of only “non-Whites” for the cast of the much-celebrated production. The majority opinion written by Judge Lawrence VanDyke noted the policy in upholding a policy that excluded trans women from the Miss United States of America pageant in Oregon.

In the 2016 column, I asked “if racial casting is permitted for plays, can other businesses claim that same right to discriminate as necessary to maintain an image or tradition?” That issue came up in the Oregon case of Anita Green.

Green has previously competed…

Irish priest refuses to back down over LGBT ‘hell’ stance — RT World News

3 Nov, 2022 21:14

HomeWorld News

Irish priest refuses to back down over LGBT ‘hell’ stance

Father Sean Sheehy has been condemned by his own bishop for giving a homily against abortion, homosexuality, and transgenderism

Irish priest refuses to back down over LGBT 'hell' stance

FILE PHOTO: Leo Varadkar takes part in a gay pride parade in Belfast, Northern Ireland, August 3, 2019 ©  AFP / Paul Faith

An Irish Catholic priest has refused to back down after he was censured by his own bishop for condemning the “mortal sins” of abortion and homosexuality. The priest maintains that his views are in line with the Church’s teachings, and that Ireland’s deputy prime minister, Leo Varadkar, will burn in hell for being gay.

Father Sean Sheehy, a resident of Listowel in County Kerry, came out of retirement on Sunday to fill in for a local priest currently on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Churchgoers were shocked, with several dozen walking out of mass, when Sheehy took to the pulpit to denounce the “rampant” sin in Irish society.

“What is so sad today is you rarely hear about sin, but it’s rampant,” he declared.

“We see it, for example, in the legislation of our governments,” Sheehy continued. “We see it in the promotion of abortion. We see it in the example of this lunatic approach of transgenderism. We see it, for example, in the promotion of sex between two men and two women.”

“That is sinful, that is mortal sin,” he continued, adding that “sin leads to hell.”

Once a staunchly Catholic society, Ireland legalized gay marriage in 2015 and lifted its constitutional ban on abortion in 2018. Both decisions were made following popular referendums.

Bishop Ray Browne of Kerry later apologized “to all who were offended” by Sheehy’s fiery homily. In a statement published on the diocesan website, Browne said that Sheehy’s views “do not represent the Christian position.” Browne later told Radio Kerry that Sheehy had been banned from giving mass in the diocese.

Russian Orthodox Church explains its attitude toward LGBT community

Read moreRussian Orthodox Church explains its attitude toward LGBT community

In an interview with the same radio station on Tuesday, Sheehy insisted that he did nothing wrong, and that his views on sin were in line with the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Speaking to RTE Radio on Wednesday, Sheehy said that gay politicians like Varadkar would “absolutely” go to hell if they didn’t repent.

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney called on Sheehy to retract his remarks, while a spokesperson for Varadkar said that although the deputy PM “profoundly disagrees with Father Sheehy’s views” he “respects his right to express his religious beliefs freely.” 

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which summarizes the Church’s main beliefs, describes homosexual acts as “acts of grave depravity” that run “contrary to the natural law.” The book states that gay people “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity,” but urged to suppress their desires. 

Rishi Sunak: How the US shaped Britain’s new leader – BBC News

Comment by tonytran2015: Is this a parade of “mutiple citizenship and diversity” ?

This year, it emerged he had retained his Green Card, giving him the right to live and work in the US as a permanent resident. He returned it in October last year, ahead of his first American trip as a government

The disclosure occurred around the time it was revealed his wife did not pay taxes as a UK resident…

What Do We Do When the Government is Lawless? | Truth2Freedom’s Blog

Even a cursory study of history would give one the feeling that we have been here before. This is a dangerous time for liberty in America.

Let’s put aside the supposed dangers of the invisible Wuhan Flu that is creeping from business to business all across America and take a hard look at the government over-reach that is destroying our nation.

My entire life I have been told that we are a nation of laws and that no one is above the law. Both of those statements no longer ring true with the introduction of a soft martial law quietly imposed on law-abiding American citizens.

Attorney General William Barr recently called it “house arrest” in a rare candid statement from another non-elected public official. Have you ever stopped and considered how many “appointed” public servants were actually manipulating your life?…

Hu Jintao: The mysterious exit of China’s former leader from party congress – BBC News


Footage of China’s former
leader, Hu Jintao, being asked to leave the stage at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing during the Communist Party Congress is drawing global attention as people try to work out what has just happened.

The Ninth Circuit Rules That There is no Chilling Effect in Forcing GOP Leaders to Hand Over Phone Records to Democrats – JONATHAN TURLEY

There is an important ruling out of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit this week where a divided panel held that Kelli Ward, the Chair of the Arizona Republican Party and former senatorial candidate, cannot withhold her cell phone records from the January 6th Committee. The impact on political speech could be not just chilling but glacial.

The court’s order denied Ward’s request to enjoin T-Mobile from providing her records to the Jan. 6 committee. What is striking about the ruling is the sweeping language employed by Judges Barry Silverman and Eric Miller. I do not view this as a partisan ruling but rather have concern over the dismissive character of the analysis over legitimate concerns raised by the forced disclosure of political associations under the First Amendment.

The J6 Committee issued a sweeping subpoena that previously encompassed even “Ward’s patient information.” However, it is her political associations that raised red flags.

The Supreme Court has repeatedly stressed that such demands for associational contacts are to be subject to “exacting scrutiny.” Americans for Prosperity Found. v. Bonta (APF), 141 S. Ct. 2373 (2021). The reason is the chilling effect on the key right “to associate with others for the common advancement of political beliefs and ideas.” Kusper v. Pontikes, 414 U.S. 51, 56 (1973). In her dissent to Americans for Properity Foundation, Justice Sonia Sotomayor acknowledged that the decision “presumes . . . that all disclosure requirements impose associational burdens.”

That was not evident in the majority opinion:

There is little to suggest that disclosing Ward’s phone records to the Committee will affect protected associational activity. Unlike the regulation at issue in Americans for Prosperity Foundation, which required organizations to reveal their major donors, this subpoena does not target any organization or association. The investigation, after all, is not about Ward’s politics; it is about her involvement in the events leading up to the January 6 attack, and it seeks to uncover those with whom she communicated in connection with those events. That some of the people with whom Ward communicated may be members of a political party does not establish that the subpoena is likely to reveal “sensitive information about [the party’s] members and supporters.” Americans for Prosperity Found., 141 S. Ct. at 2384. Grand juries—and, for that matter, civil litigants—routinely employ subpoenas for phone records, and any such subpoena necessarily reveals something about a person’s associations. We do not read Americans for Prosperity Foundation as establishing that all of those subpoenas are subject to First Amendment scrutiny.

To prevail, Ward must therefore identify some reason to think that compliance with this subpoena will burden association. The district court found that there is “no evidence to support [the] contention that producing the phone numbers . . . will chill the associational rights of Plaintiffs or the Arizona GOP,” and it determined that Ward’s arguments to the contrary are “highly speculative.” . . .

That is quite sweeping. It seems axiomatic that the forced disclosure of associational contacts with the head of the state Republican party will have an associational burden. The subpoena had the classic “fishing expedition” scope, including originally encompassing medical information.

The Court simply dismisses such obvious concerns and says “[b]ecause there is no indication that the compelled disclosure in this case would deter protected associational activity, the exacting scrutiny standard does not apply.” The court goes on to say that, if the standard applied, it would not make any difference because of the need to investigate “the causes of the January 6 attack and protecting future elections from similar threats.”

The majority also relied on an adverse implication rationale used in civil proceedings when someone invokes the Fifth Amendment’s Privilege Against Self-Incrimination, an inference that has long undermined this core constitutional right:

When the Committee sought to question her about those activities, she invoked the Fifth Amendment and refused to answer. In this civil proceeding, it is appropriate to draw adverse inferences from her assertion of the Fifth Amendment privilege—namely, that Ward’s conduct during the period in question went beyond simple discussions with her political associates, and that those with whom she communicated might have the information about her activities that she refused to provide. See Baxter v. Palmigiano, 425 U.S. 308, 318 (1976).

The dissent notes that the Committee was not compelled to supply any specific basis for believing that Ward encouraged or participated in the riot: “the Committee has not provided any evidence or plausible reason to believe that Ward’s contacts (whether political associates, family, or friends) were involved in the events of January 6 or explain why information about her communications has any bearing on the Committee’s investigation.” Instead, the majority relies on Ward’s use of her constitutional right to remain silent.

This does not exonerate Ward for any role that she may have had in this riot. However, the dissent noted that the lack of balance raises serious constitutional concerns over the analysis of the court:

Regardless of Ward’s position regarding the 2020 election, her right to engage in discussions with her political associates remains entitled to First Amendment protection against the government’s compelled disclosure of her political affiliations. Maj. op. at 6–7. We must be vigilant to protect First Amendment rights—even when raised by an individual alleged to have engaged in a nefarious “scheme,” Maj. op. at 6—because “[t]he weakening of constitutional safeguards in order to suppress one obnoxious group is a technique too easily available for the suppression of other obnoxious groups to expect its abandonment when the next generally hated group appears,” Communist Party of the U.S. v. Subversive Activities Control Bd., 367 U.S. 1, 166 (Black, J., dissenting). Because the majority has applied an erroneous legal framework, and the Wards’ claim that the Committee’s subpoena burdens Kelli Ward’s First Amendment rights at least raises a serious question on the merits, I dissent.

I agree that there is a compelling legislative and public interest in the investigation. That is why, while strongly disagreeing with the make up and approach of the J6 Committee, many of us still supported the investigation. Yet, that clear interest does not wipe away all countervailing constitutional considerations as the Democrats demand the political records and contacts of their political opponents.