Yes. We Are Extremely Dangerous to THEIR Version of “Democracy”

A participatory public, a viable community of engaged citizens working toward building a more informed citizenry, is the greatest threat to what they see as “their democracy”  What they fear most perhaps is the public coming to understand their their version of “democracy” isn’t actually democracy at all.

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Yes. This is Extremely Dangerous to THEIR Version of “Democracy”

by Scott Creighton

Sinclair’s script for stations

How Sinclair Broadcasting puts a partisan tilt on trusted local news

Sinclair VP of News: Announcement from KSNV News 3, Las Vegas, March 23, 2017

(In this video, Sinclair VP of “news” says everything but his company’s info is “fake news” including “national news”)

Everything but the sanctioned “official version” of any event will soon be classified as “fake news” and an “extremely dangerous threat to our democracy

To that you can add any information shared via social media or websites like mine that expose:

  • the truth about the fake “Russian hacking” story
  • questions about their hastily constructed American Gladio operations
  • questions about their faked “chemical agent” attacks
  • the truth about our “moderate” terrorists in Syria and elsewhere (White Helmets anyone?)
  • the truth about the risks of mandated vaccines (or mandated useless insurance policies?)
  • the truth about the unlimited influence of the corporate state on our political leaders (by far the largest lobbyist in D.C. is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce… not AIPAC or the NRA)
  • the truth about the ongoing war on our constitution financed and supported by Big Business (just watch David Hogg brag about his corporate backing on CNN recently)
  • the truth about Israel’s illegal and immoral genocide against the Palestinians in Gaza and the apartheid state they run in the West Bank

Check out what Facebook recently did to silence Palestinian voices trying to get information out of Gaza. The idea of them violating Facebook’s “community standards” is a fascinating one. It’s the same language used to strip me and others from our audiences over at Youtube and the same language that Paypal used to strip me of my account (and income) which I have had since 2011.

“Community standards” and “our democracy”

Makes you think doesn’t it. What are the “community standards” in a fascist system? What has “our democracy” become?

They aren’t actually lying are they? It’s more like a clever play on words. If “our community standards” at Facebook means an Orwellian fascist state that allows ZERO DISSENT from the public… then they are completely accurate in their description of what they are doing.

By the same token… if by saying the truth posses “an extremely dangerous threat to our democracy” apparently that implies that “their” version of “democracy” may not necessarily coincide with what YOURS might be. Right?

They imagine a world where they are able to manipulate the population to the point where they can EXPECT to have you elect a candidate as criminal and as flawed as Hillary Clinton was WITHOUT worrying about their efforts falling short. They want stability and control. And what stood in the way of that? Social media.

People sharing information about Hillary Clinton put a stop to her coronation. Accurate information. We could list all the things she did but that’s water under the bridge now.

But Clinton wasn’t so much what angered the powerful. It was their lack of control that frightens them and that fear breeds anger.

Here are two quotes you should consider as we dive head-first into the void. Separated by centuries, their wisdom is universal and timeless and we had better remember it before it’s too late.

Yes. A participatory public IS extremely dangerous to their version of “democracy”

They understand this. It’s about time we did.

The Death of the United States Constitution: It’s Time to Make America Free Again

“We can pretend that the Constitution, which was written to hold the government accountable, is still our governing document. In reality, however, the Constitution has been steadily chipped away at, undermined, eroded, whittled down, and generally discarded to such an extent that what we are left with today is but a shadow of the robust document adopted more than two centuries ago. As John W. Whitehead warns in this episode of On Target, if constitutional illiteracy is not soon remedied, freedom in America will be doomed.”

Gilmore Lawsuit: A SLAPP in the Face of Democracy

by Scott Creighton

SLAPP = Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation

SLAPPs are Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation.  These damaging suits chill free speech and healthy debate by targeting those who communicate with their government or speak out on issues of public interest.

SLAPPs are used to silence and harass critics by forcing them to spend money to defend these baseless suits.  SLAPP filers don’t go to court to seek justice.  Rather, SLAPPS are intended to intimidate those who disagree with them or their activities by draining the target’s financial resources.

SLAPPs are effective because even a meritless lawsuit can take years and many thousands of dollars to defend.  To end or prevent a SLAPP, those who speak out on issues of public interest frequently agree to muzzle themselves, apologize, or “correct” statements.” anti-SLAPP.org

Why should one believe this new lawsuit filed against this website and others deemed “conspiracy theorists” or “fake news” is a Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP)? Because the ones bringing it have essentially said so:

The motivation . . . is the broader implications of the new era of the saturation of these fake news outlets,” Brennan Gilmore

If my case makes these conspiracy theorists think twice about just outright attacking someone without any type of journalistic review, then good.” Brennan Gilmore

We’re really trying to set a new paradigm for how people like Alex Jones and Infowars operate, to inject some consequences, legal consequences into that world and hold them accountable for the terror they cause. We don’t think the First Amendment protects blatantly defamatory speech that inspires violence and hatred of victims of terrorist attacks and mass shootings.” Andrew Mendrala

“The suit filed today by Georgetown Law’s Civil Rights Clinic seeks damages to compensate Mr. Gilmore for his reputational injuries and emotional distress, as well as punitive damages to deter the defendants, and others like them, from visiting such harm on other private citizens in the future.” Georgetown.edu

SLAPPs can be brought by businesses or the state and there is an interesting article recently published that is WELL WORTH the read (thank you Nancy for the link) which exposes the long history of using SLAPPs to silence growing dissent against our government or the establishment leaders:

Because they target speech, SLAPPs often take the form of defamation lawsuits. The modern tort of defamation — false speech that harms another person’s reputation — has its roots in historical efforts by the powerful to insulate themselves from the destabilizing influence of bad PR. In 1275, a formative British defamation statute forbade anyone to “be so hardy to tell or publish any false news or tales whereby discord or occasion of discord or slander may grow between the king and his people, or the great men of the realm.” No fake news, in other words, that hurts the king’s ratings…” Ian MacDougall  from Harpers Mar. 2018

Fake news that hurt the Queen’s ratings perhaps? Could that be part of what is behind this particular SLAPP?

In this day and age SLAPPs are typically brought by business interests against activists but what if there were another thread that linked participants together, something that bound them to one another and served as an underlying motivation which made them more than mere random citizens filing a lawsuit?

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Evan Mascagni column: Protecting free expression for Virginians: it’s common sense

(New anti-SLAPP law… in Virginia. Written in Jan. of 2017)

By Evan Mascagni, Richmond Times Dispatch

Perhaps no person in the history of American politics has framed the importance of advocating for individual liberties better than Thomas Paine, one of our nation’s Founding Fathers.

In his pamphlet, “Common Sense,” Paine made a clear and decisive argument that Americans must seek independence and pursue freedom.

“Man did not enter into society to become worse than he was before, not to have fewer rights than he had before,” Paine wrote, “but to have those rights better secured.”

Sen. Glen Sturtevant Jr. and Del. Terry Kilgore have introduced important legislation in Richmond to protect the free expression and speech of Virginians (SB 1413 and HB 1941, respectively), and they need the support of their colleagues to advance it without delay. Paine’s words resonate now more than ever. Virginia lawmakers have an opportunity to secure one of the most sacred rights: the right to freely express how you feel and say what you believe without fear of reprisal.

Without this critical piece of legislation, Virginians can be silenced through a legal mechanism known as strategic lawsuits against public participation (or “SLAPPs”)…

[read more here]

What is a SLAPP?

from the Public Participation Project, anti-SLAPP.org

The rights to speech and petition are enshrined in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Free speech and healthy debate are vital to the well-being of a democracy. In fact, the United States Supreme Court has said that the right to petition the government is the very foundation of our democracy.

SLAPP = Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation

SLAPPs are Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation.  These damaging suits chill free speech and healthy debate by targeting those who communicate with their government or speak out on issues of public interest.

SLAPPs are used to silence and harass critics by forcing them to spend money to defend these baseless suits.  SLAPP filers don’t go to court to seek justice.  Rather, SLAPPS are intended to intimidate those who disagree with them or their activities by draining the target’s financial resources.

SLAPPs are effective because even a meritless lawsuit can take years and many thousands of dollars to defend.  To end or prevent a SLAPP, those who speak out on issues of public interest frequently agree to muzzle themselves, apologize, or “correct” statements.

Here is a link to the section on Florida anti-SLAPP law which was just strengthened in 2015

learn more here

Empty Suits: Defamation law and the price of dissent

(strategic lawsuits against public participation. SLAPPs target people or organizations that have spoken out on matters of public concern… wealthy, often corporate plaintiffs pursuing defendants of modest means… resort to the legal system to intimidate and silence them” by their own statements in the press both the plaintiff and the lead council in this matter have admitted this REPEATEDLY. This is their plan and their overall agenda with this frivolous lawsuit against me. In this case it isn’t Big Business doing it but rather the State Department funded Georgetown University’s law school combined with their connection to the complicit media who also have a FINANCIAL stake in shutting down alternative news sites. “No fake news, in other words, that hurts the king’s ratings” Or hurts the Queen’s coronation to the throne. Thank you very much for the link Nancy.)

UPDATE: Another recent case of another SLAPP getting slapped down in court (sorry for the pun but thanks again Nancy)

(H/T Nancy) by Ian MacDougall  from Harpers

… In 2010, Calhoun decided to take action. That year, she joined Black Belt Citizens Fighting for Health and Justice, a community group composed chiefly of local retirees. Its primary mission was to oppose the storage of coal ash at Arrowhead, which was bought out of bankruptcy that same year by Green Group Holdings, a national waste-management company. For years, Black Belt Citizens engaged in a fierce but civil dispute with Green Group. Eventually, however, the company’s patience with its activist rivals grew thin. In April 2016, it filed a $30 million defamation lawsuit against Calhoun and three others affiliated with Black Belt Citizens in federal court in Mobile.

The story of Green Group and Black Belt Citizens is growing ever more common as social media transforms traditional forums of speech. The internet has made it possible for activists to reach a mass audience — even a global one — at zero cost. At the same time, their targets have turned to the courts to impose a cost on that activism. It’s not cheap, after all, to defend even a frivolous lawsuit.

But there is a second element to the story, a more unsettling and pernicious one — a shift in how speech values are prioritized in the United States. The Supreme Court’s First Amendment docket, once dominated by cases litigating the speech rights of individuals — flag burners and pamphleteers — is now rife with cases concerned with the speech rights of corporations, cases that put corporate entities on par with, and often elevate them above, their human counterparts. Meanwhile, the country has witnessed a broader retreat from the long-standing aversion to restricting free expression, both on campuses and in statehouses where legislators have worked to criminalize anti-corporate speech. As the norms that once checked litigious companies erode, activist groups like Black Belt Citizens are at increasing risk of being snuffed out.

In the late Seventies, an Environmental Defense Fund attorney named Rock Pring began to notice something unusual. With alarming frequency, corporate polluters were suing environmentalists who had spoken out or filed lawsuits against them. A few years later, Pring, by then a law professor at the University of Denver, set out with a sociologist colleague named Penelope Canan to study the phenomenon. In a 1988 paper, they came up with a name for these cases: “strategic lawsuits against public participation.” SLAPPs target people or organizations that have spoken out on matters of public concern. Their operational logic is grounded in resource asymmetry — wealthy, often corporate plaintiffs pursuing defendants of modest means, frequently activists. Instead of engaging with their less moneyed critics, the plaintiffs resort to the legal system to intimidate and silence them.

Because they target speech, SLAPPs often take the form of defamation lawsuits. The modern tort of defamation — false speech that harms another person’s reputation — has its roots in historical efforts by the powerful to insulate themselves from the destabilizing influence of bad PR. In 1275, a formative British defamation statute forbade anyone to “be so hardy to tell or publish any false news or tales whereby discord or occasion of discord or slander may grow between the king and his people, or the great men of the realm.” No fake news, in other words, that hurts the king’s ratings

To succeed, SLAPPs don’t need to have much legal merit, and as a rule they don’t. “SLAPPs are losers in the courthouse but winners in the real world,” Pring told me. By capitalizing on the uncertainty and the cost — in time, energy, and money — of the litigation process itself, Pring and Canan observed in their 1996 book SLAPPs: Getting Sued for Speaking Out, the suits “encourage the active to return to the vast ranks of uninvolved and apathetic Americans.”…

By then, the lawsuit had taken on a taboo quality in Uniontown. Residents “were so afraid that they didn’t want to use the word ‘lawsuit’ — not out loud,” Eaton said. If they spoke of the case at all, they did so only in whispers and coded language — “it” or “the thirty million dollars” — he told me, as if speaking about it directly might get them sued too.

In October, after three and a half months, a magistrate judge in Mobile recommended that the lawsuit be dismissed. Most of Black Belt Citizens’ statements “were protected by the First Amendment as opinion and/or rhetorical hyperbole concerning a matter of public interest,” she wrote…

[read more here]