Example of Leftist Anti-Freedom Tactics

The First Amendment does not say “except” or “unless”. In fact it exists specifically to protect peaceful assembly and controversial and offensive speech from governmental intrusion.

After school, on a public (key word there, public) sidewalk next to the Downington STEM Academy in PA, Christian teen siblings Lauren and Connor Haines held signs protesting abortion, including one with a picture of a dead aborted baby, while peacefully discussing the issue with passersby. Their assistant principal Dr. Zach Ruff came out harassing, threatening and cussing them, while using his large girth to stand in front and impede viewing of their message.

The school authority’s message: “You can go to hell where they are, too. They’re not children. They’re cells. … I’m as gay as the day is long and twice as sunny. I don’t give a f*** what Jesus tells me about what I should and should not be doing. … You do not have my permission to speak and engage. You are harassing public school students, and I will call the police if you don’t shut up.”

Full 18-minute video:

During his assault on the First Amendment, the self-described “twice as sunny” principal (under PA law) assaulted Connor too, by getting within inches of his face and trying to rip a sign from him. That’s not all. Following the assistant principal’s pathetic example of bullying and threats, other students and parents (!) engaged in mob-scale harassment by sending Connor, Lauren and their families hundreds of messages, some profane.

These are the tactics of oppressors and anti-freedom mobs, folks: herd-mentality threats, intimidation, and authoritarian bullying.

Fortunately, this time, by eliciting legal aid from legal-defense nonprofit Alliance Defending Freedom (one I am proud to support tangibly), the good guys courageously prevailed over hateful authoritarian bullies. Ultimately the school had to apologize and acknowledge the violated First Amendment freedoms of Lauren and Connor, the vice principal was suspended, then resigned, and Lauren and Connor are free as they should be to exercise their free-expressive rights on public property.

Unfortunately it doesn’t end there. This is but a microcosm of public-school and college incidents of First Amendment violation all across the nation, hundreds of them and adding up yearly. With his PhD and “educational” background, Ruff very well could get a job elsewhere around students, where the same bigoted anti-Christian bullying can begin anew. And he’s far, far, far from the only one with that mentality. Protectors of freedom must be vigilant and call out the destroyers of freedom at every turn in this era of hate and intolerance of peaceful dissent.

You see, freedom is our greatest earthly gift and is God-ordained. Support and protect it, even when people freely express things that bother or offend you. No question, I wholly endorse and approve of Connor and Lauren’s message, and defend their right to say it. Even as an open and unapologetic social and fiscal conservative, I also am a governmental libertarian to the core, and defend the right of those peacefully expressing messages I don’t approve, to do so in the public arena…yes, even left-wing messages! Freedom is for all, not just liberals, conservatives or “moderates” (whatever that is…seems everybody from far left to far right thinks he/she is a moderate). This includes artistic freedom from the vicious viceroys of political correctness.

I fully am using my freedom of expression to post this…and folks, it has been happening for decades and is not going to stop. I have my ideals, opinions, and biases as well. I absolutely do preferentially post instances of left-wing violations of freedom, in large part to counter the intense bias of most mass media against the right, and against Christians. So be it. As long as I breathe, and as long as the left violates others’ rights (anymore, a given) there’s plenty more where this came from. Deal with it.

Don’t like my expressions of free speech, or others’? Ignore it, or argue non-violently. Don’t weaponize authority to squash others’ God-given and Constitutionally codified right to free expression! If you do, expect a well-earned backlash in support of freedom, and expect to lose — ideologically for starters, and in court if necessary.

Want to fight ideas you disapprove? Use facts, reason, logic, and levelheaded, rational counter-argument. Never threats, intimidation, bullying, or violence! And yes, that applies from the President (hardly a role model here) right on down to some spiteful vice principal, and ultimately, you and me.

Artistic Freedom vs. Political Correctness

When artistic freedom clashes with political correctness…

This essay, ironically on the website of a far-left newspaper, provokes one to answer the questions: what are the limits of artistic freedom? Please read it, then proceed.

Isn’t art supposed to be unfettered creative and ideological anarchy?

Ought artists be free to produce whatever they damn well please (or refuse to produce what they don’t)?

Should a poem that some interpret as racist be apologized for, by publisher and poet?

What literature or music should be censored or banned, and by whom? Why?

Who decides what sculptures must go up or come down, for what consistent, objective and reproducible standards, and why?

What about “art” offensive to other groups, like “Piss Christ” to Christians, or the Danish cartoons of Mohammed to Muslims? One, both or neither? If one, for strict consistency’s sake, why not the other?

Please answer these questions before proceeding. Be specific, and use logic and reason, not emotion.

This is a simultaneously fascinating and disturbing issue of free speech vs. societally (and sometimes governmentally) enforced artistic conformity.

Yes, governmentally enforced conformity: In Colorado, a crazed, power-mad, gestapo-like little state board keeps trying to compel a cake artist to commission art against his will, even after being rebuked by the U.S. Supreme Court.

This is raw tyranny, and selective too: why are they not likewise hounding Muslim or Orthodox Jewish bakers to produce similar images against their faith? All would be anti-freedom, not to mention anti-religious bigotry, and therefore, morally and legally (Constitution!) wrong.

Independent or self-employed artists should have complete and unfettered freedom of choice in the subject matter they may be commissioned to paint, draw or sculpt. The government must never force an artist to produce (or not) art against his/her will. Only the free market should determine if the art is worth purchasing or viewing.

Why? First Amendment. Simple as that. Last I checked, the literal, black-and-white words of the First Amendment do not say, “except” or “unless”. I challenge anyone, anywhere, to find those words anywhere in the Bill of Rights. Go for it.

When a societal, social-media hate mob, or worse, any level of government, can force one artist to do its bidding, or to apologize for art that bothered someone, somewhere, the freedoms of all artists, writers and musicians are at stake. Yet I hear nothing but crickets when listening to the artistic Left, specifically and in particular, for their outrage over these intrusions into artistic freedom. That silence is hypocrisy, and chickenshit cowardice.

So like that gnat that won’t go away, I’m quite deliberately going to pester them periodically with this issue and bringing it to their attention online, until the artistic Left is forced to either: 1) back off and support unconditional artistic freedom, or 2) admit that they hypocritically don’t want any freedom of expressions with which they disagree.

Yes, I’m being brutally honest and transparent with my agenda here. Now will the Left?

Endorsing Kelvin Droegemeier for White House Office and Science and Technology Policy

The audience of this BLOG knows that, as a third-party voter for President the last cycle, I think independently, evaluate actions and issues on their own merits and not through major-party lenses, have not hesitated to air grievances regarding the current occupant of the White House, and also, have credited the administration when it has made good choices.

This announcement is its BEST choice yet—a grand-slam home run.

The new White House science and technology advisor nominee, Kelvin Droegemeier, is as smart as they come, a former professor of mine in atmospheric dynamics (think I still smell those clouds of chalk dust flying off that board as he wrote equations at near-warp speed!), a sharp and well-published atmospheric scientist, mentor of many students, skilled communicator, and most importantly, a fundamentally good man who has served state and national science advisory roles, including the National Science Board in both the Bush-43 and Obama administrations.

Kelvin has a powerhouse 55-page CV: broad, deep and well-suited for any national science advisory role. Personally, I’ve known Kelvin for over 30 years and can vouch for his high character and unwavering integrity. He also is a keen dynamicist who can “out-math” some physicists I’ve known. Now, if confirmed, Kelvin gets the ear of the White House as perhaps the most influential meteorologist ever in government.

It’s telling how many atmospheric scientists (dozens, so far), whom I know to be firmly on the right or left sociopolitically, have one thing in common: they have supported this nomination on social media. There is a good reason for that. Kelvin is a true “servant leader” who has the interpersonal skills to build bridges across disparate groups and personalities, and before diving into something, makes sure he has the knowledge base to back up everything he says.

In addition to many of us who know Kelvin, and/or are familiar with his scientific and/or communications work, the American Association of Universities enthusiastically endorses him for the role. I hope this helps to offset some opposition he’ll have on purely partisan grounds from some members of the D side, at least to enough extent to get him resolutely confirmed.

Regardless of which of the two major parties is “in charge”, there always will be hyperpartisan hacks on both sides of the aisle ready to support or oppose a candidate without knowing a flipping thing about that person. That’s the ugly reality. It’s also the only reason Kelvin would not get a unanimous support vote, based on his background and endorsements.

Count this as one more on the endorsement pile. Kelvin Droegemeier has what it takes to skillfully navigate this mine field, and I endorse his nomination to the utmost degree.

The Senate committee will hold a confirmation hearing next Thursday at 9:15 a.m. CDT (10:15 a.m. EDT). Kelvin—go do us all proudly. In this climate (pun intended) it won’t be easy, but if anybody can, it’s you!

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