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Beck Debunks Nevada Chicom Solar Plan but Reid Has Another One

By: James Simpson
DC Independent Examiner

Harry Reid Digging In on New Solar Project Near Bundy Ranch – Businesswire

UPDATE 1 pm Tuesday, April 15. The BLM lists over 50 separate solar, wind and other alternative energy plants being planned in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon and Wyoming. These plants, if constructed, will literally blanket the West and Southwest with solar panels and windmills. The environmental impact will be devastating to the entire area. The magnitude of this project clarifies exactly why the BLM has been chasing ranchers and just about everyone else out of these rural areas. California has a mandate to achieve up to 33 percent of its energy from “renewable” energy sources by 2020, so a disproportionate number of these new plans target California. But there are dozens in other states. The Moapa Southern Paiute Solar Project described later in this article covers 2,153 acres near the Bundy ranch. According to the BLM, “The project supports president Obama’s New Energy for America plan, which sets a target of 10 percent of U.S. energy be met with renewable energy by 2012 and 25% by 2025.” Did you know that our president has mandated we pay to have 10 to 25 percent of our energy converted to “green” sources?

Original Article

The Blaze yesterday reported that the Communist Chinese energy company ENN, which had planned to build a massive solar energy complex on 9,000 acres in Clark County, Nevada, gave up on the project last June. On Friday, this column had erroneously reported the project as being current. While the Blaze was correct on this point, it missed the larger story. The effort to bring solar power to the southwest did not end with the ENN project. This is a massive endeavor covering six states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah. More are planned and Sen. Harry Reid is right there in the middle of them.

The BLM said that rancher Cliven Bundy’s cattle were a hazard for the endangered desert tortoise, and for that reason, no cattle could graze that land. While the solar installations are not to be on the land in dispute, they would cause so much damage to other areas that the BLM plans to “mitigate” the effects by using the land for the tortoise. In March 2014 the BLM published what it calls a “mitigation strategy” to offset damages to the natural environment by large scale solar energy development. In its own words:

The “Regional Mitigation Strategy for the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone” recommends a strategy for compensating for certain unavoidable impacts that are expected from the development of the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone (SEZ) in southern Nevada. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is required to manage the public lands in a manner that will protect the quality of ecological and environmental values and provide for wildlife habitat in a way that does not result in the permanent impairment of the productivity of the land. While the BLM places a priority on mitigating impacts to an acceptable level onsite, there are times when onsite mitigation alone may not be sufficient. In these cases, which are likely to occur with utility-scale solar development, which often involves a long-term commitment of resources over a relatively large area, the BLM is considering requirements for regional mitigation for those unavoidable impacts that could exacerbate problematic regional trends. (Emphasis added.)

Utility-scale solar energy is destructive to the environment. Solar panels blanket vast swaths of land, making it useless for anything else. Little can survive underneath, and the structures often kill birds, either because they fly into them or are fried in the intense heat generated from reflected sunlight. Just like wind power, solar is hugely expensive, four times the cost of gas-fired plants, and produces far less electricity. The Ivanpah solar farm that opened in February in the California desert takes up five square miles. It will produce enough energy to light 140,000 homes, 1.1 percent of California’s 12.2 million occupied housing units, at a construction cost of $2.2 billion.

Furthermore, as with Solyndra, all the new “green” energy projects require vast government subsidies. The Ivanpah plant survives on a $1.6 billion federal loan guarantee – you can kiss that money goodbye – and an investment tax credit that expires in 2016. This need for continual subsidization means government must get involved, and when government gets to pick winners and losers, it is a prescription for political corruption. With these “green” energy projects, the only greening done is in the pockets of well-positioned politicians and their cronies, and that is its true purpose. Does anyone in their right mind really think Cleanface (the Mob’s nickname) Harry Reid cares a whit about the desert tortoise?

So while the Chicoms might have enough sense to pull out of this boondoggle, that certainly won’t stop old Cleanface. On March 21, 2014, Reid participated in a ground breaking ceremony for the Moapa Southern Paiute Solar Project. This facility is much closer to the Bundy Ranch. There may not be Chinese Communist money behind it, but if Reid is out there digging in with a shovel, you can bet he is digging for gold. Referring to the Bundy Ranch situation, Reid announced Monday that “this thing is not over…” When asked by a reporter about reports of Reid’s involvement with the Communist Chinese solar energy plant, Reid noted that the ENN project is dead but said nothing about the Paiute project. So the BLM will certainly not give up on its claim to the land. How that works out remains to be seen.

If seen to its conclusion, this project will destroy vast areas of the Southwest covering six states, threatening environment and economy for an energy project that will cost countless billions in tax dollars. It will ultimately fail, as they all do, and we taxpayers will be left holding the bag, while corrupt politicians like Cleanface Harry Reid will go laughing all the way to the bank. This is the real scandal, and it should cause an uproar from all Americans, but especially those who live in the affected states. Whatever the legal arguments are, the BLM has clearly been abusing its authority, and most decidedly not in the interest of the desert tortoise or any other inhabitant, human or animal. It is said over 50 ranchers have been driven from their land in Clark County. The land should be reopened to ranchers and the plans for solar energy farms and other boondoggles abandoned. Cliven Bundy has done all Americans a huge favor by bringing this to our attention, and those 600 plus individuals that traveled to his ranch to stand by his side are true patriots.

Alex Jones at Infowars.com originally broke the story of Reid’s involvement in the Ranch fiasco. He also uncovered this new Paiute project. He has done yeoman’s work here. Getting to the truth in these fast moving stories takes time. Beck contributed by discovering that the Chinese abandoned their project last year, but he has missed the true dimensions of this story. Harry Reid is one of the most corrupt politicians in U.S. history. With his son first serving on the Clark County Board of Commissioners and then shilling for the Chicoms, while his senior advisor takes up a leadership position in the BLM, you have to know something is up. Get with it, Glenn.


Three Cheers for the Thomas Jefferson Center

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression noticed my recent article on “Obama’s War on Journalists,” and pointed out that three of their “Jefferson Muzzle” awards are aimed squarely at the Obama administration.

We think they are right on the money.

And we’re not the only ones who think that the Obama administration is muzzling journalists’ free speech, along with a complicit broadcast media. As AIM chairman Don Irvine pointed out, veteran journalist Sharyl Attkisson, who recently left CBS News after two decades there, made comments to that effect as well. The Emmy-award winning Attkisson, who was also the recipient in 2012 of Accuracy in Media’s Reed Irvine Award for Investigative Journalism, was on Fox News Channel’s “Media Buzz,” this past weekend, and told host Howard Kurtz that she often felt pressure to stay away from stories that reflected badly on the Obama White House.

“There is pressure coming to bear on journalists for just doing their job in ways that have never come to bear before,” Attkisson told Fox News. “But it is particularly aggressive under the Obama administration, and I think it’s a campaign that’s very well organized, that’s designed to have sort of a chilling effect and to some degree has been somewhat successful in getting broadcast producers who don’t really want to deal with the headache of it.”

More than just headaches are involved if you look at the Obama administration’s unprecedented history pursuing leakers under the Espionage Act. This aggressive pursuit of leakers threatens to engulf those they leak to—the journalists—as well. An FBI affidavit labeled Fox News journalist James Rosen as a probable criminal “co-conspirator” in a spying case with Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, who has pleaded guilty and will serve a 13-month sentence. “What was truly shameful about the DOJ’s investigation was that it never actually considered Rosen a criminal co-conspirator; the accusation was merely a means by which to circumvent the requirements of the Privacy Protection Act,” writes the Thomas Jefferson Center (TJC) regarding this case. They awarded the first of the 2014 Jefferson Muzzle awards to the U.S. Department of Justice for its role subpoenaing two months of Associated Press records, and its treatment of James Rosen.

The second winner of the awards was the White House Press Office, for “dramatically limit[ing] professional photojournalists’ access to the President.” In essence, photojournalists are “routinely prevented from taking pictures of President Obama while he is performing his official duties because the White House categorizes such events as ‘private,’” yet official photos of these events are later released to his followers via social media. “Writing in The New York Times, the current director of photography for the Associated Press, Santiago Lyon suggested that these glossy official images are at best, visual press releases, and at worst, pure propaganda masquerading as news,” writes the TJC.

Comparing the Obama administration policy on news photographers in the White House to previous administrations, TJC wrote that photos of President Obama and his staff “working together in the Oval Office have never been allowed, even though such pictures were routine in the past.”

To add insult to injury, if a person tries to point out government hypocrisy commercially, the full force of that government may be used to shut them down. Dan McCall, selling merchandise such as T-shirts through Zazzle.com, “juxtaposed an image of the National Security Agency’s (‘NSA’) official seal with the words, ‘Spying On You Since 1952,’” along with other parodies of the NSA and DHS. The NSA sent him cease and desist letters claiming that he had “violated a federal law making it a criminal offense to misuse the NSA trademark.” The Department of Homeland Security sent him a similar letter for another design. McCall quit selling his designs for a couple of years, but in late 2013 he filed a lawsuit to assert his first Amendment rights. “Here, the facts were such that the only plausible explanation for the agencies’ cease and desist letters was to suppress government criticism,” argues the TJC, which gave the third award to the NSA and DHS. “No reasonable person would believe that the designs were affiliated with, or supported by, the NSA or DHS.”

You can read the rest of their nine awards on the Thomas Jefferson Center website.

Roger Aronoff is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and can be contacted at [email protected]. View the complete archives from Roger Aronoff.


From One Locksmith to Another – A Reply

By: T F Stern
T F Stern’s Rantings

There’s an open letter From One Locksmith to Another in the April issue of Locked-In, by C.D. Siems, president of the Greater Houston Locksmith Association (GHLA), of which I’m currently a member in good standing. It starts off reminding us that we’ve been licensed by the State of Texas for quite some time, as if we were unaware of our status as subjects of the state; but it goes down hill from there.

Apparently the president of the GHLA consider ‘scammers’ as a priority focus item when dealing with legislative issues placed before the membership, enough to request each member to donate $ 200.00 toward paying a lobbyist to take our ‘cause’ to Austin.

“…Scammers crawled into the picture and the State did little but collect their fees from our businesses and each locksmith with nothing in return. Nothing in return includes doing a very poor job inspecting The Licensed Locksmith, doing even less than that when it comes to arresting the scammers we hear so much about and finally our State Representatives not seeming to give a rats behind about the security of the Great State of Texas and its Citizens.”

First off, define ‘scammers’. Are they unqualified tradesman who goes about pretending to be locksmiths or are they locksmiths who conduct business but aren’t licensed here in the State of Texas?

That last part about the security of the Great State of Texas assumes that we, that is all of us have ‘voluntarily’ traded individual liberty for security; a dangerous path to travel, as once liberty has been relinquished it seldom if ever is returned. The truth is that licensing of the locksmith industry, the DPS/PSB overseers, mandated continuing education in order to maintain a license…all this violates the principles of American citizenship.

This is really a free trade issue, something which needs to be left up to the consumer under the antiquated notion, “Let the Buyer Beware”. It has been a mistake from day one to license the locksmith industry; yet another step toward pure communism where the state controls all aspects of life.

Somewhere along the way far too many of our fellow citizens have taken the approach that it’s up to the state to protect us from making poor decisions, or in the case of communism, any decisions. We have defined and boxed the world in a neat little package, identified what a locksmith is and does just short of inventorying each key on the rack in order to convince the public that the world is now secure. In the words of an old partner, “Pure male bovine excrement”!

Consumers have the responsibility to investigate the credentials of those who perform work; but somehow that aspect of individual responsibility been delegated to some state agency; we no longer have to worry about it, isn’t that what America has transformed itself into?

H. Verlan Andersen in his book, Many Are Called But Few Are Chosen, explained this principle of living in a free market society as well as anyone.

“If we desire for ourselves the freedom to enter a trade or occupation when and where we choose, we should allow our fellow men this same right. If we believe we should be left free to purchase goods or services from any person who offers them for sale, how can we forcibly restrict the freedom of other members of the buying public and still live the Golden Rule?”

Andersen goes on to destroy the supposed justification for overseers or governing boards which limit competition via licensing restrictions and which dictate who is qualified and who isn’t, “…there are not two groups of men—the qualified (*) and the unqualified; there is only one group and every member of it is unqualified to some extent.”

Siems pointed out that the board which oversees the entire locksmith industry doesn’t have a qualified (*) locksmith sitting among that distinguished group.

“We have also managed to get a Locksmith on the Private Security Board, (PSB), but as yet have not been seated.”

While they may not recognize their guilt, the board members of the GHLA, and other larger locksmith associations are proponents of the very system which has enslaved the locksmith industry.

For crying out loud, we don’t need a total sycophant sitting on the PSB to lend an air of legitimacy to their usurpation of powers,…powers never intended under our constitutional republican form of government.

Ezra Taft Benson explained The Proper Role of Government in a talk given many years ago. It’s available for anyone interested in understanding how our representative form of government is intended to work; but clearly, those involved in making sure the security of the Great State of Texas is managed as if we lived in communist Russia don’t give a ‘rat’s behind’ about individual liberty.

“The important thing to keep in mind is that the people who have created their government can give to that government only such powers as they, themselves, have in the first place. Obviously, they cannot give that which they do not possess. So, the question boils down to this. What powers properly belong to each and every person in the absence of and prior to the establishment of any organized governmental form? A hypothetical question? Yes, indeed! But, it is a question which is vital to an understanding of the principles which underlie the proper function of government.”

Instead of working to further erode individual rights of locksmiths whose only desire is to conduct business in the free market system to the best of their abilities, the GHLA and all other professional locksmith associations should be doing all that is within their power to restore the sacred values of America; life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to our now corrupted market place.

“Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficient… The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding.” Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

Count me out when looking for a $ 200.00 donation for a lobbyist to further enslave the locksmith industry.

T. F. Stern
GHLA Membership # 577

This article has been cross-posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government & The American Constitution.”


The truth about the Bundy’s vs. BLM


I had the privilege and opportunity to learn to make a calf suck a bottle to save her life. It’s going to take a lot to revive the calves that were nearly dead when they were returned to the Bundy Ranch because they had been separated from their mothers during the roundup, and a few most likely won’t make it.

I’m headed back to the Bundy’s today at 1:00pm. I hope you’ll meet me up there. Take I-15 North towards Mesquite, get off at exit 112, and I’ll be on the left-hand side of the road, about 2.5 miles down. Give yourself about an hour and a half for traffic.

This isn’t my normal, nice, politically correct email, so hang on to your seats. I can tell you that after everything I’ve seen, this roundup was not about grazing fees.

First and foremost, like all Nevadans, I love my country and support my government. I proudly support Nevada being home to military installations needed to defend our nation, the federal government test site to develop the equipment necessary for that defense, and any of the other federal lands and facilities needed to conduct the true business of our federal government. That said, I struggle to see the compelling federal issue of where cows eat.

I spent a majority of my time in Bunkerville over the last week with the Bundy family and their supporters. During my time in Bunkerville, I couldn’t help but think about Nevada’s upcoming 150th birthday and that the federal government continues to patronize our state by trying to overstep and police our Nevada citizens. I wonder when the federal government will think Nevada is mature enough to set our own grazing rules or enforce our own laws.

I didn’t meet one Nevadan supporting the BLM or their removal of the cows. If Nevadans don’t care about which land is used for grazing, why should a bureaucrat who works for the federal government get to trump that?

I had the opportunity to meet the American-minded Bundy supporters from all over our country. They were peacefully protesting the BLM’s actions, and I’m excited to report the Bundy family was successful in keeping the peace until the BLM stopped their roundup and returned the Bundy’s cattle.

I’ll also report the actions of some spineless, poor-excuses of BLM staffers. An armed BLM officer picked up Mr. Bundy’s elderly sister from behind, a total sneak attack, and body slammed her to the ground; there is video footage. This woman is the mother of 11 and just survived cancer. Following that brutal incident, another BLM officer ordered his dog to attack Mr. Bundy’s son, Ammon, and as Ammon Bundy was trying to get the dog off his leg, the Nazi-minded bully tazed him twice, once in the neck and the second one right above the heart. As if that wasn’t enough, the brutal BLM thugs beat up Dave Bundy, a pilot out of Las Vegas, detained him, stole his iPad because it contained the brutal footage, confiscated many other items out of his car, transported him to Henderson where he was further detained, then released him in the middle of street. They didn’t stop there. No, they detained two more young guys while they were herding some more cattle in Overton.

These men and woman are Americans attacking Americans. I’m speechless. If you saw the number of police agencies united, I’d hope you’d be curious. We are talking about dozens of our finest SWAT members from Metro, Metro black & white cars, EMT, fire rescue trucks, detention buses (a.k.a. Paddy wagons), over 50 Ranger and BLM vehicles, numerous highway patrol vehicles, and a Black Hawk Helicopter on the Moapa airfield, just to name a few. We watched the Waco Massacre and Ruby Ridge; was the BLM preparing for a “Bunkerville Slaughter”? I believe in my heart because of these last two disasters, Americans from all over our country traveled from afar to stand with the Bundys and let our government know enough is enough. I’m proud to stand with my fellow Americans.

The numbers do not calculate. The federal government had the authority and an open checkbook to spend 10 million dollars or more for a maximum return of $200,000. Here’s how I calculate that number: the BLM might collect maybe 400 heads of cattle, taking into account the number of cattle they would kill while rounding them up. From the round up, the cattle would go to auction. How much do you think you’ll pay for a half-dead, beat up cow? Let’s say they were able to successful auction off 400 cows for $500.00 each (I’m being very very generous). The brainiac head of BLM authorized 10 million dollars or more to maybe recoup $200,000. Really? As a CEO I’d fire that decision-maker immediately. In their minds, maybe it’s worth getting rid of the cows, or just killing them, so the cows won’t destroy equipment for a project they might want to implement.

The BLM tried to paint their actions as enforcing the law; however, there are several other reasons why the BLM chose to pick this fight. It cannot be a coincidence that the place where the Bundy’s have grazed their cattle for hundreds of years would suddenly become an animal refuge for desert tortoises; is it really desert tortoises? If so, why would the BLM be euthanizing them? That’s right, BLM has EUTHANIZED 700-800 desert tortoises. Trust but verify. Click here to read one of many stories about it.

We’re also seeing reports that the BLM land in Gold Butte is very desirable for energy projects, which may have prompted this sudden strong-arm tactic. Don’t trust me, verify it. Click here to read the BLM’s own report on the project.

A major concern in all of this was how the BLM treated the cattle. It is completely irresponsible that after years of conversations, the Feds would begin their roundup during the season when calves are being born. In this mess, newborn calves were separated from their mothers; some were trampled in their holding pens and left for dead. A helicopter acted as a cowboy to herd the cows, causing a few to have heart attacks and die. The conditions of the holding pens where they kept the cows for days were heartless and cruel. Where was PETA?

I do want to comment about the upstanding citizens who came to show their support, including the Oath Keepers, a non-partisan association of current and formerly serving military, police, and first responders who are committed to defending the Constitution. They are honorable men and women who acted professionally and respectfully. There were many groups of freedom fighters who traveled from all over our country to stand together. I have a very serious request to all agency officers and that request is, “not to obey your superiors when given a direct order to attack your fellow Americans fighting for the freedoms granted to us by our Constitution”. Take a sick day or a vacation.

I didn’t become an elected official to join an elite club; I ran for office to protect the people and be a true voice for the people. I take my oath seriously. It’s time for Nevada to stand up to the federal government and demand the return of the BLM lands to the people of Nevada. BLM has shown their true colors and agenda. As elected officials in Nevada, it is our responsibility to be leaders on this issue and work together, Republicans and Democrats, to make sure this doesn’t happen ever again. Together we need to write legislation to protect our state’s rights from the Feds.

Never forget, “This land is your land, this land is my land”…

Yours truly,

Michele Fiore


Forum: Do Ethnic Or Religious Sensibilities Trump Free Speech? Should A Line Be Drawn?

The Watcher’s Council

Every week on Monday morning, the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum with short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture or daily living. This week’s question: Do Ethnic Or Religious Sensibilities Trump Free Speech? Should A Line Be Drawn?

Liberty’s Spirit: Absolutely NOT. As Voltaire said {paraphrased} about freedom of speech “I may not agree with what you say, but will defend to my death your right to say it.” Freedom of speech is the right to insult people as much as you want and for them to insult you back. It is a precarious slippery slope deciding what is or is not permitted speech, because that tyranny will change depending upon who is in power at any given time. Additionally, without free speech society could not challenge, grow and develop into democracies. No ruler, potentate, oligarch or tyrant would ever allow anything they did to be challenged especially, by free speech. This is why free speech is a crime in the majority of countries in the world.

In fact, the first line of freedom is freedom of speech. It is why it is one of the 5 freedoms enshrined in the First Amendment. These are the rights that the founding fathers knew to be the most essential in order to preserve a democratic society. Freedom of speech may allow haters to vent their ignorance but it also allows you to answer them and to fight them. This is why the Fairness Doctrine and Net Neutrality are so insidious, and why free speech advocates are enraged that the Obama administration is going to turn over certain operations of the internet to the UN. This organization is run by tyrants, absolute monarchies and oligarchs. The importance of the internet is exemplified by the fact that the overt first acts of these dictatorship is to cut off or severely limit access to the internet or internet programs like twitter.

The UN, in fact, may best be described as “Animal Farm,” without the human element of compassion. It is important to remember that the UN directorate, which is beholden to Islamist nations for their positions (due to voting blocs), is also pushing for a blasphemy law promoted by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). This law would punish anyone who questions Islam on any level. It is important to note that Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration support such a law curtailing freedom of speech. These laws and dictator-run-groups are meant to cut off and prevent freedom of speech on every level. It is beyond comprehension how anyone in the political class of the United States would support curtailing our most basic freedoms, but our President and presumed democratic nominee for 2016 do apparently support tyranny.

Freedom of speech is not easy. But it is important to note that freedom of speech is the hallmark of the enlightenment period. Without it all humanity would revert back into serfdom. Meant only to serve the political classes’ desires and wants, just as our ancestors were forced to serve the ruling/royal classes during much of human history. Like the novel “1984,” the march forward into a better world would end and we would see another Dark Ages. Something, by the way, the international political classes are trying to engineer by promoting and capitulating to Islamist aggression coupled with political correctness and cultural relativism worldwide, including in the United States.

Simply Jews: No.

Sorry, it was a partial answer only. Here is a full one:

No. No.

GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD: Oh, that’s easy!


Perhaps the most contentious issue in Free World?

If liberty of expression is not highly valued, as has often been the case, there is no problem: freedom of expression is simply curtailed in favor of other values. Free speech becomes a hot issue when it is highly valued because only then do the limitations placed upon it become controversial.

The first thing to note in any sensible discussion of freedom of speech is that it will have to be limited. Every society places some limits on the exercise of speech because speech always takes place within a context of competing values. In this sense, Stanley Fish is correct when he says that there is no such thing as free speech (in the sense of unlimited speech).

If free speech were ‘absolute,’ you could even lawfully kill somedobby, as long as you were doing it to make some statement.

On all sides of the debate, we can agree that speech is necessary for democracy. Governments ought not to abridge speech en masse. Government must show how the speech in question poses a genuine danger.

FreeSpeechDebate has an excellent piece up that systematically knocks out 19 arguments in favor of Speech Control. Well worth checking out, here is just a killer sample

The ‘globalisation’ argument:

‘The 2005 Danish You Know Who cartoons demonstrated how free speech in the West, even if harmless at home, can have violent repercussions around the world. In an era of instantaneous electronic communications, overly broad freedoms of speech can have dangerous consequences.’


It is illegitimate a priori to suggest that one society’s norms of democratic citizenship must be abridged because members of another society dislike its exercise. By analogy, in many societies, electronic communications revealing scantily clad Western women also provoke hostility, which, however, would scarcely justify calls for Western women to start covering themselves up.

JoshuaPundit: Our Supreme Court has weighed in on this a number of times, and originally came up with an excellent dividing line in Schenck v. United States where Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. coined the “clear and present danger” doctrine. Simply put, if speech was intended to result in a crime and had a good chance of succeeding, it was no longer protected speech.I largely agree with that doctrine. It’s a necessary line for the protection of a civil society.

Since then, our courts and our politicians have steadily chipped away at that doctrine, with various ‘hate speech’ codes in universities and other institutions being upheld whether they advocated crime and violence or pose a clear and present danger or not. This is a huge danger to the First Amendment that, frankly, comes with the Left’s increasing use of identity politics to foster division in this country. A president like Barack Obama who makes use of this as a major part of his political strategy is the natural result.

This danger to our traditional freedom of expression from this new ‘right to be offended’ has spread over the American landscape, the more so because the use of partisan identity politics is unequal, as is the fear of retaliation. An Al Sharpton, a Gloria Alred or a Louis Farrakhan can freely indulge in blatant sexism, racism or anti-semitism with no consequences, while it is open season on anyone not belonging to one of the protected groups who is guilty of what Orwell would have called thought crimes.

Another part of what I’ll call the Fear Factor is the introduction into America of fundamentalist Islamism and the Muslim Brotherhood by our last three presidents. While hardliners belonging to other religions may be unpleasant and call names, Islam mandates the violent death of those whom ‘insult’ its doctrines,its prophet or its Qu’ran and a significant number of Muslims agree with that view entirely. The fear of Muslims and how they might react to something has become so pervasive in our media, military, law enforcement, academia, and politics that in itself, a significant amount of Islam and how it is practiced and proselytized in the West has become that clear and present danger Justice Homes spoke about, any number of decent, peaceful Muslims not withstanding. It has even infected our Supreme Court to the point where one Supreme Court Justice has been open about abrogating our First Amendment and another certainly leans in that direction in order to avoid any possibility of angering restive Muslims.

These threats to our First Amendment freedoms are something we are going to have to deal with in the future if we wish to retain them at all.

The Razor: Tricky question.The cliché is the limit of free speech is yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater when there isn’t one, so free speech isn’t without limits. Another example would be personal threats. One isn’t free to threaten to kill another. The problem is once you draw the line it’s difficult to stop moving it.

Take for example the Islamic extremists in the UK who threaten non-believers. Is that protected speech? I would say it is. However if the extremists threaten to kill David Cameron or move from the general to the specific, such as threatening to kill Jews or a British soldier, then in my view they’ve crossed that line.

But the question really is nowhere near that limit. It’s really about offensive speech. Muslims and their Leftist useful idiots have become quite adept at using speech codes to silence opposition to Islamic extremism in the UK as well as on American college campuses. These codes have nothing to do with protecting against threats and everything to do with silencing opposing voices through the justification of causing offense. The “logic” behind such codes is that there is an equivalent between mental anguish and physical pain; therefore the old adage that “sticks and stones my break my bones but words can never hurt me,” is false. Words can hurt just as much as physical abuse. That’s bulls**t. This twisted logic also assumes that humans can exist in a social state of non-confrontational bliss, which is also bullocks. Such a state assumes a level of conformity in thought and action that simply isn’t achievable without social engineering on a scale that has only been glimpsed in books like Fahrenheit 451 and 1984. Given that such utopian social engineering underlays both Leftist and Islamic ideologies, I suppose it’s not a surprise to find these unlikely bedfellows united in their promotion of speech codes limiting the free expression of contrary ideas and opinions.

It would be nice to live in a completely free society, one without lines, but the real world demands we must set boundaries and that means drawing lines. But these lines should be set as close to the ideal as possible, meaning that the cases that cross the line and the impact such crossing has affects as few people as absolutely necessary.

The Independent Sentinel: No. People shouldn’t be rude but it’s the price we pay for free speech. Sensibilities never trump free speech.

People shouldn’t be sued or have to accommodate others for their inherent right to free speech simply because someone is offended. If every time we speak, we have to think of who we might offend, we lose far too much freedom.

I was giving a lecture one day and I referred to my flip chart. Everyone’s gasped. I had no idea why. Apparently it’s an insult to Philippine people. Where do we stop if we have to worry about people’s sensibilities? Do we have to know insults in other languages and do we have to know the origin of words because they might have been offensive once?

The recent event on the Bundy ranch should have everyone offended. The government, in addition to the whole martial law thing, set up free speech zones far from the ranch. They made a point of calling them free speech zones. Using those words was meant to send a message that the rest of the areas are not free speech zones. It was done deliberately because they want us to get used to the idea.

All of America is a free speech zone!

Bookworm Room: No. Free speech must trump any ethnic or religious sensibilities. It’s that simple. Once you start carving out little exceptions, you stop having free speech, no matter how little those exceptions are initially. And once you lose free speech, you lose freedom which is easily lost and almost impossible to regain.

Part of living in a free society is having a thick skin. One of the most terrible things the Left has done to America is to turn various ethnic, religious, racial, sex, and gender identity groups into panicked, hysterical bundles of over-exposed nerves. Few things are more dangerous than an angry, aggressive coward fighting for what the coward perceives to be his survival — and that’s what we’ve all been trained to be over the last forty, and especially the last twenty years.

The Glittering Eye: No. Your free exercise ends where my freedom of expression begins. The First Amendment is pretty clear on this subject and, since it’s incorporated, that applies to state and local governments as well.

There is no guarantee of not being offended by the speech of others, either explicit or implied.

AskMarion: In the end each of our relationships with and to God is all that matters, and so I believe it is with countries and societies as well. As for organized religion, I have gone through my phases with religion(s) in general, individual churches and practicing at all, throughout my life. And looking at America’s changing relationship with God and His principles on which our nation was founded and the corresponding decline in America, American society and in our standing in the world, I would say that there is a fine line between the importance of freedom of speech, basic principles and ethnic or religious sensibilities.

I believe that in the end, if you do not have freedom and the right to speak out you lose it all, or at best life becomes very difficult, but in order to have freedom and allow freedom of speech, it requires civility, understanding and some compromise by all. For if you destroy the vehicle that allows you your freedoms, even if they aren’t perfect, you will soon find yourself living in anarchy and in a place that just might not allow you any freedom or at least not the freedoms that are important to you.

We are now seeing the exact opposite of what our Founders envisioned. We are living in a country where you can be destroyed, fired, and singled out for speaking up or donating to a cause that aligns with your religious beliefs, especially if you are a Christian, in deference to groups that have made huge strides in their freedoms in the past 10-years, because average Americans were willing to compromise.

Thomas Jefferson and the other Founders believed that they were inspired by God and that God had his hand on America. They believed that there definitely should not be central religion, like in Great Britain, but they believed that our country and Constitution would be best served if based on Judeo-Christian principles…. and they absolutely supported prayer at governmental events and in school as well as the mention of God and posting of the 10 Commandments in founding documents and governmental buildings and monuments. That is the basis for the huge misunderstood principle of separation of church and state, that is nowhere mentioned in the U.S. Constitution.

So yes… sometimes what is best for the society or country as a whole, must prevail. There are few absolutes, so although generally freedom of speech must be the measuring stick, sometimes common sense or the greater good must prevail because there is no freedom in chaos.

Well, there you have it.

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