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Free Speech Online Is Under Fire

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No doubt you know who Alex Jones is and maybe you've spent some time doing one of the following:

  1. Wondering how we've gotten to the point where someone could peddle conspiracy theories (lies) for a living.
  2. Wondering if there's any way we could ban Jones from the media, given the fact that his statements have incited harassment and outright violence.
  3. Wondering if we should add another caveat to the First Amendment, something along the lines of, "Free speech shall not include flat-out lies under the guise of information or entertainment, or infotainment."

Jones is facing several defamation suits from the parents of a victim in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. If you were one of these parents, wouldn't you do the same? I know plenty of people who'd feel outright murderous if someone claimed they were lying about the death of their child. Jones has poured salt on a very painful wound by claiming that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax and that the parents are part of the conspiracy. The parents have received death threats, and according to the lawsuits, Jones' conspiracy theory has subjected them to "public and private hatred, contempt, and ridicule." They feel their reputations are ruined because of Jones.

Yet, Jones' lies are protected by the First Amendment to the extent that, if they are defamatory, he doesn't face criminal charges. He can face civil suits, but for whatever reason, nothing I'm seeing in my research indicates that defamation is a crime. HG.org says, "The First Amendment does not protect individuals from facing civil penalties if they defame another person through written or verbal communication." In other words, someone can personally take issue with false, slanderous words, but the government can't.

However, even for a simple civil proceeding, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff: according to Cornell Law School , for Jones to be guilty of defamation he has to know the statements he made were false. Will Jones claim he actually believes his conspiracy theory is true? And will he furthermore claim he's not responsible for the actions other people took as a result of words he spoke with the intent to tell "the truth"? How can the plaintiffs prove he knows the Sandy Hook shooting wasn't a conspiracy?

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This is shaky ground and you can see why it's tough to make headway with the First Amendment in many defamation suits. It's also tough to tell whether Congress is infringing on freedom of speech with FOSTA . FOSTA stands for Fight Online Sex Trafficking. As of this writing, FOSTA is very recent. Congress was nearly unanimous in the passage of FOSTA, and that might seem like a good thing. Congress is finally agreeing on something, and that something is a bill meant to crack down on sex trafficking via internet. If a user of any online forum posts content that facilitates sex trafficking, the website on which they post is liable. This includes cases of prostitution. Already, Craigslist has removed the Personal Ads section because of FOSTA.

Any lawyer worth their salt will point out that prostitution is legal in some jurisdictions, such as Nevada. If someone from another state uses a site that's perfectly legal in Nevada to engage a prostitute, what then? And what if someone goes on Facebook and proclaims they're a prostitute, what then? Is Facebook liable for a statement of fact that leads a person from a state where prostitution is illegal to seek sex from a prostitute in a state where it's legal?

Basically, FOSTA is calling sites like Facebook and Craigslist potential houses of ill repute. We already knew they were, now it's just official. Now it's as if sites are a physical place where people make sex deals, even if they're not physical, per se.

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Some confusion is bound to arise. If sites can be liable for statements that lead to sex trafficking, can't they be liable for certain forms of cyberbullying too? It's a rampant problem: in a survey, 27 percent of women in college reported they've been victims of cyberbullying, while 25 percent of middle and high school students said the same. Cyberbullying can take the form of threats, and if it's a threat that could actually result in physical harm or death, it's illegal. Plenty of people have dealt with death threats on Twitter, but that site is still running strong.

Returning to the Alex Jones case, a woman named Lucy Richards was jailed for 5 months for threatening one of the plaintiffs, Leonard Pozner. The judge who jailed Richards said that Richards would "not be permitted to access a list of conspiracy-based websites upon her release, including InfoWars. ... Ms. Richards' arrest and sentencing are an ominous reminder of the danger posed by Mr. Jones' continuing lies about the Plaintiffs' alleged role in faking Sandy Hook."

In this case, InfoWars, that house of infamy, sounds culpable of inciting Richards to threaten Pozner's physical well-being. If Jones loses the lawsuit to Pozner, this could set a loose precedent that a website can be held responsible for death threats. Granted, the lawsuit is against Alex Jones personally, not InfoWars. But isn't InfoWars included in this because it's Alex Jones' megaphone? Without the site, you would have no widespread conspiracy theory, therefore no death threats.

Looking at the FOSTA bill and the Alex Jones case, you could easily conclude that the internet is on shaky ground as a forum for expression. There are nine types of speech that aren't protected by the First Amendment. Once a forum is liable for its users' violations of the First Amendment, that makes a forum an actor, not a forum. If websites have to proceed as actors married to their users' words, they'll have to tread very lightly.

Plenty of us want to see Alex Jones go down. But do we want to see the internet wrapped in red tape? The time is coming when it will be. All it takes is an idiot like Jones to ruin it for the rest of us. Enjoy this forum while it lasts.

 

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Daniel Matthews is a thirty-two years young freelance writer and musician from Boise, Idaho. In 2006 he earned his Bachelor's Degree in English with a Creative Writing Emphasis from Boise State University. Boise State's faculty includes two of (more...)
 

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Daniel Matthews

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Does anyone on here think Jones is justified in his Sandy Hook theory?

Submitted on Wednesday, Apr 25, 2018 at 7:56:07 PM

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lila york

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I have read other sources on this subject. a lot of evidence does not square. That one of the parents went online and collected a million or so from sympathetic donors does not help the case. Then Obama showed up with legislation less than 24 hours later to ban assault weapons. that did not help either. Then Connecticut collected some huge amount of money from the Feds to level the school and rebuild it. Which they were going to have to do anyway, because it was filled with asbestos. There are a lot of questions that have never been answered to my satisfaction. and that of many other observers.

Submitted on Wednesday, Apr 25, 2018 at 8:49:29 PM

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Reply to lila york:   New Content

If it were a conspiracy, wouldn't all of the parents of victims have collected money from sympathetic donors? Isn't there a huge gap between faking your child's death and getting money from random people? There's no guarantee of any return from faking your child's death. A conspiracy would involve all the actors you bring up banding together to ensure a particular outcome. Assault weapons were not banned.

Submitted on Wednesday, Apr 25, 2018 at 10:04:23 PM

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lila york

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No, assault weapons were not banned. There is a lot we do not know about how it was handled on the state and federal level. Not sure this issue is worth debating here. If you are interested there is a lot of information out there on it. All I will say is that there are discrepancies that have never been adequately explained.

Submitted on Wednesday, Apr 25, 2018 at 10:41:36 PM

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Reply to lila york:   New Content

I'm not sure the issue is worth debating either, because for one, you have your facts wrong. Newtown accepted a state grant to rebuild the school, "the Feds" didn't issue the money.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 26, 2018 at 3:38:55 PM

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shad williams

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The fed funds public education. The funding is fungible and therefore, yes, the feds funds rebuilding of public schools irrespective of local real estate taxes raised to repay bonds.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 26, 2018 at 5:20:38 PM

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Local governments contribute 44 percent of funds, federal, 13 percent .edcentral.org/edcyclopedia/school-finance/

Submitted on Friday, Apr 27, 2018 at 3:52:01 PM

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lila york

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I read that the federal government provided the state of Connecticut with the funds. I certainly could be misinformed on that.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 26, 2018 at 10:38:58 PM

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Reply to lila york:   New Content

Do you think the funding for a new school is part of a broader conspiracy? If so, was it a conspiracy to grab money, or what was it?

Submitted on Friday, Apr 27, 2018 at 3:55:48 PM

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lila york

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I have no personal knowledge on this subject. I read accounts critically and form an opinion. It looks bad to me on several fronts. The state was faced with a multi-million dollar tab prior to this event.

Submitted on Saturday, Apr 28, 2018 at 3:56:44 PM

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lila york

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To my mind the question is not if it happened, but how it happened, who did it and why. The murder of young children is so ghastly that it evoked the response in the nation one would expect .

Submitted on Saturday, Apr 28, 2018 at 4:32:07 PM

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Devil's Advocate

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The idea that everyone on the scene would have to have collaborated, in order for something to have been a conspiracy, is simply a product of spin doctoring. There's really no logic in the statement.

It's the same argument used by those who would have us believe the "official" 9/11 story. Lots of the people in charge at the time were completely clueless to what was happening. That doesn't mean it wasn't a big, fat conspiracy in action.

It's interesting that we're only seeing Alex Jones being charged. Others, such as Jim Fetzer, have been much more vocal about Sandy Hook, and have published their doubts.

If Sandy Hook wasn't a farce, you'd think everyone would have had Fetzer for dinner by now.

There are tons of anomalies in the story, and the only ones addressing them are the "conspiracy theorists".

Submitted on Wednesday, Apr 25, 2018 at 11:02:25 PM

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Just because there are anomalies, doesn't mean there's a conspiracy. There needs to be direct evidence, proof, eyewitness testimony. Listen to logic, evidence, Occam's Razor. Don't get lost in the labyrinth of lies that people like Jones use to make money.


How do I know you, Ms. York, and John Lawrence Re aren't trolls paid by Putin and Trump to come on a progressive forum and undermine the truth? Come on, show me the evidence.


^This is the exact type of thinking conspiracy theorists fall prey to each day.



Submitted on Thursday, Apr 26, 2018 at 4:11:37 PM

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I have the evidence regarding whether lila york and John Lawrence Re' are Trump and Putin trolls. I could assure you that they are not.

However, I cannot share that with you because it would reveal my sources and methods.

Hope you understand.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 26, 2018 at 5:25:35 PM

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"How do I know you, Ms. York, and John Lawrence Re aren't trolls paid by Putin and Trump to come on a progressive forum and undermine the truth? Come on, show me the evidence."

ROFL!! I think you just shot yourself in the foot. You talk like a shill paid to undermine people who can think for themselves instead of regurgitating MSM talking points as you do.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 26, 2018 at 8:09:20 PM

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Daniel Matthews

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Reply to Ms Nan:   New Content

You didn't read the rest of my comment.

Submitted on Friday, Apr 27, 2018 at 3:58:18 PM

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Reply to Daniel Matthews:   New Content
"There needs to be direct evidence, proof, eyewitness testimony. Listen to logic, evidence, Occam's Razor. Don't get lost in the labyrinth of lies..."

You should practice what you preach.

I have my doubts you've even analyzed any of the given accounts of what happened. Everything you're saying indicates you haven't. Nothing that has been presented passes any of the sniff tests you're quoting.

Until you've done any of the homework, you've got no business lecturing others on proper journalism, or calling anyone a "troll", even in fun. The fact that you use the term "conspiracy theorists" as a derogatory tells me enough.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 26, 2018 at 9:39:21 PM

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You said "This is the exact type of thinking conspiracy theorists fall prey to each day."

You rip Alex Jones hard as being a conspiracy theorist. What do you know about what happened on 9/11? How about the 7/7 London bombings? I know this, Alex Jones was spot on about what happened. They are not conspiracy theories, they are conspiracy facts. I spent some time about 10 years ago watching several of his videos and reading some of what he wrote. I have paid no attention to him for 10 years so I don't know what he has been up to. But, he understands some things. Do not dismiss him out of hand.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 26, 2018 at 10:10:49 PM

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Reply to lila york:   New Content

I agree completely lila, a lot of things do not square up. I don't know what happened at Sandy Hook. But, there are a lot of things that should be easily explained and need to be explained but they will not do it.

This video is not proof but watch a dad laugh and then get up to the microphone and start hyperventilating and act completely distressed. I have read that actors can use that as a technique to get into their role.

.youtube.com/watch?v=a7Wq4j3JFSA

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 26, 2018 at 10:40:37 PM

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You've got it, D.W.

Robbie Parker and about six other things I don't feel like listing are why Sandy Hook was a total scam. ...All right, I'll list one: How everyone in the entire town had their mortgage paid off.

I want to say this again and hope that I am not wasting my time in doing so: The twisted cult of totalitarian globalists can never achieve their goal of one-world government so long as the United States of America remains a cohesive political entity.

For America to fall, they need our guns...preferably with us surrendering them voluntarily, which would act to validate the insane code they follow in their Baphomet-worship theology. Hence, the myriad false-flag shooting events.

These people are truly deranged.

Submitted on Friday, Apr 27, 2018 at 2:20:02 AM

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Reply to pablo mayhew:   New Content

pablo, I have not paid much if any attention to Sandy Hook since not long after it happened. That is the first I have heard about the mortgage thing. I will take your word for it but, can that easily be verified?

As far as one-world government, I guess that is "their" goal. You have studied it more than I -- I think it is "I" and not "me." How "they" plan to get there? I have an idea which I will get to. Anyway, I think that even with hundreds of millions of guns in this country the country is outgunned by the militarized police backed up by the national guard and the military even though that would be unconstitutional. But when does that ever stop them anymore. They have crowd control weapons that will break up any crowd. That is why a revolution can never happen, at least in the usual sense. But, I think that maybe the only way they can be stopped is if enough of the police and military understand what is going on and come to our side and not theirs. (This is a topic way too long for a comment.) But last thing, "they" would have this country in the palm of their hands if they pulled off another much more horrific 9/11. It would be so simple, simply set of a nuke in an american city and blame it on who else? Terrorists. Hey, if they pulled off one 9/11 and gotten away with it, why not pull off another 9/11 ... CUBED!?

I have reasons for thinking a nuke is how they are going to do it...

Submitted on Friday, Apr 27, 2018 at 4:00:01 AM

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I certainly don't.

This shameless lying is outrageous.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 26, 2018 at 1:57:55 PM

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And in the end it will be Kool-Aid drinking liberals who will be responsible for the eventual rule of fascism when their irresponsible yearnings like this one come to fruition: "add another caveat to the First Amendment, something along the lines of, "Free speech shall not include flat-out lies under the guise of information or entertainment, or infotainment." Of course lost on the author is the repugnant fact that the government policies at which most of the heretic theories are aimed incite more "harassment and outright violence" in a day than a century's worth of conspiracy theories.

The attack against Alex Jones' admittedly common sense stretching explanation is a typical launchpad in the slippery slope to fascism. But I'll give this guy the benefit of the doubt by assuming he's only unwittingly doing the bidding of the deep state to silence all opposing views to anything it does or might have done by greasing the skids between a mockery of "conspiracy theories" and an eventual demonization of critical thinking.

Already one result of the McCarthy-ist conspiracy-theory-labeling has been the masterful job of neutralizing progressive opposition to imperialism..."not because the NY Times or NPR for example prefer endless war, but because the neocon controlled establishment to which they are welded benefits from the ancillary profiteering, and because the alternative to the policies of the US duopoly suggests an unsure financial future for the cronies in the oligarchy who continue to profit in spite of a wartime economy. Ultimately the neocon goal is to get the public to stop independent questioning and believe what they are told -- a sine qua non for a fascist state. But whether the US becomes de facto fascist depends on the media's success in accomplishing that goal.

What is becoming clearer is that with the transformation of the 60s anti-war generation into supporters of deep state objectives and military intervention using a Trump effigy as a foil, the MIC has achieved its all-time greatest victory. But it's the next coup -- a blue and red majority acceptance of endless war -- that will mark the bloodless segue to fascism. The blue majority is already thumbs up and on board with that. Bizzarely, it may be the rednecks they once reviled who derail it.

Submitted on Wednesday, Apr 25, 2018 at 11:42:46 PM

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Reply to John Lawrence Ré:   New Content

If you claim that something is an information it should not be a flat-out lie.

Free speech is for ideas and thoughts not lies disguised as information.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 26, 2018 at 2:02:57 PM

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Reply to BFalcon:   New Content

"Free speech is for ideas and thoughts not lies disguised as information." You just lied. Check your pants.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 26, 2018 at 2:55:45 PM

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Reply to John Lawrence Ré:   New Content

So, in your opinion, free speech is for lies disguised as information?

And, by the way, I didn't question somebody's right to block my claim if it is a lie.

Submitted on Friday, Apr 27, 2018 at 2:41:39 AM

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John Lawrence Ré

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Would love to see your score on the Millaer Analogy Test.

Submitted on Friday, Apr 27, 2018 at 6:52:06 PM

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What is your score?

Submitted on Saturday, Apr 28, 2018 at 2:45:40 AM

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Daniel Matthews

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Reply to John Lawrence Ré:   New Content

No policies were changed as a result of Sandy Hook. If anything, you should be railing on the bribery the NRA uses to promote things like "teachers with guns". Bizarre that you don't think about how close that makes teachers to police. Fascism, a police state, starts w/ policies that promote police presence in every institution, in every position of control, lurking around every corner. You throw the word fascism around without even qualifying it.


I would rather question people like Alex Jones, who is a tool for the closest thing to a fascist I've seen, Donald Trump, than I would question the innocent victims of a mass shooting.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 26, 2018 at 4:23:33 PM

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John Lawrence Ré

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Reply to Daniel Matthews:   New Content

My earlier post was not intended to ratify the theories of Alex Jones but to defend his right, no matter what, to propose those theories. I never mentioned Sandy Hook, NRA or teachers with guns. You're once again demonstrating the tug of identity politics in believing anyone who confronts the illogical menace in your position must belong to "the other tribe" and therefore be for the NRA and teachers with guns and believe Sandy Hook was a staged fiction. That kind of emotional, tribal reaction is the FIRST step toward fascism. The police state is the FINAL stage.

The slippery slope leading to that final stage begins with encroachment on fundamental rights like free speech, the right of assembly and the right to question authority no matter how obliquely, poorly or yes, even irresponsibly. Your insouciant toying with the idea of adding a caveat to the first amendment to exclude "flat out lies" is exactly how the slide begins. Once the central government becomes arbiter in determining what is a lie and what is the truth, and who is lying and who isn't, we the people take a step backward and you the individual lose a piece of yourself. And for the record, fascism is state corporatism. That does not mean, as many believe, corporations run the state, but rather the state is run like a corporation. That is, like a corporation developed around a product and marketing identity, the state becomes an exclusive instrument to promote a high concept. In a corporation, those who don't adjust to the corporate image and embrace the corporate philosophy are terminated. In the corporatist state, they're persecuted.

Fascism can arrive overnight when the military steps in and takes complete control, like Chile 45 years ago. Or slowly over decades as the state imperceptibly has the public believing wrongs are righteous and rights are traitorous, like here in the US, right now. Those on the left who should know better are suddenly embracing dangerous tendencies, like quesitoning individual rights. Fascism will arrive once we believe what we would never have believed if our minds were still our own. Don't want teachers with sidearms? Then hands off the first amendment.

Submitted on Friday, Apr 27, 2018 at 6:21:53 AM

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Reply to John Lawrence Ré:   New Content

But ... It Can't Happen Here...

I never read that book but I still say my favorite book ever is Babbitt, also written by Sinclair Lewis. I read it in college decades ago and remember only one thing other than I enjoyed it so much. The one thing I remember is that somebody, maybe even Babbitt, still had a little blob of shaving cream on his cheek left over from his morning shave...

I am not kidding, from my favorite book that is all I remember.

Submitted on Friday, Apr 27, 2018 at 7:23:01 AM

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Daniel Matthews

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Reply to John Lawrence Ré:   New Content

Fascism: "a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition."

I'm not advocating for altering the First Amendment, John. I'm saying that it's already legal to sue someone for defamation. If Jones loses the defamation suit, it will set the precedent that a site like InfoWars is in some way responsible for the actions of its users. FOSTA is based on this idea as well. I'm saying that's a dangerous and slippery slope. I'M AGREEING THAT WE SHOULDN'T f*ck WITH THE FIRST AMENDMENT THE WAY PEOPLE ARE NOW. I don't think you made an effort to understand my point.

Submitted on Friday, Apr 27, 2018 at 4:23:21 PM

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shad williams

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Reply to John Lawrence Ré:   New Content

I resemble your liberal, but in the opposite manner...then drive left my friend way past the radical edge...I think.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 26, 2018 at 5:27:57 PM

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pablo mayhew

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Reply to John Lawrence Ré:   New Content

"Conspiracy theory": a term weaponized in April 1967 to stifle dissent over clear inconsistencies contained in the abominable Warren Report.

Two words foisted on the American public when it began to appear obvious that Jim Garrison was making headway in proving CIA complicity in the cold-blooded message-killing of President John F. Kennedy.

"Conspiracy theory": The Allen Dulles-engendered mindscramble psyop that never dies--because people won't wise up, rise up and refute its very existence.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 26, 2018 at 7:44:14 PM

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Reply to John Lawrence Ré:   New Content

Superbly stated John Lawrence, I hope Daniel will take the time to read your response twice.
But, perhaps, his mindset and income won't allow that.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 26, 2018 at 9:58:02 PM

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Reply to Nelson Wight:   New Content

Thanks. The Celtics loss tonight after posting a nine point early lead was depressing enough. Some of the inane comments here aren't exactly mood changers. Sad to see the deterioration in attitude in those who perhaps in another era might have been in the vanguard against imperialism. I contend it's the MSM's manipulation of prejudice that's responsible.

Part of the problem is that researchers estimate the average adult attention span has decreased by 12 minutes in the past decade. MSM is keenly aware of that and has short circuited critical thinking by overloading Brandolini's Law which states that when dealing with trolls the amount of energy needed to refute their bullshit is an order of magnitude larger than than that which produce it. Its validity is in full, fuse blowing evidence tonight. At least there's still a game seven!

Submitted on Friday, Apr 27, 2018 at 6:54:05 AM

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Reply to John Lawrence Ré:   New Content

I watched sports my whole life but I haven't watched for a while. Are Robert Parish, Kevin McHale and Dave Cowens still on the team? I know Bob Cousy is retired.

Submitted on Friday, Apr 27, 2018 at 7:09:53 AM

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Oh, I almost forgot. Is one of my favorites Mel Counts still sitting on the bench? :)

Submitted on Friday, Apr 27, 2018 at 7:38:08 AM

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shad williams

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The comedy here is killing me!!

Submitted on Friday, Apr 27, 2018 at 12:22:22 PM

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I have left out a few, Jo Jo White and Don Nelson being a couple. Somewhere in the late '70s my brother and I became Celtics fans. We lived in the Denver area and never lived anywhere back east. As a younger fan I pulled for the Sixers. Of course, Wilt and the Sixers were never able to overcome Bill Russell and the Celtics.

Submitted on Friday, Apr 27, 2018 at 2:51:39 PM

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John Lawrence Ré

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Reply to David Watts:   New Content

Ha ha...no, but Tommy Heinsohn still is.

Submitted on Friday, Apr 27, 2018 at 4:12:54 PM

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Is Tommy still around?

I remember the several series in a row in the early '80s with Larry Bird and the Celtics against Magic and the Lakers. Fun stuff.

Submitted on Friday, Apr 27, 2018 at 7:17:36 PM

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He does the Cs' color commentary on their home TV broadcasts.

Submitted on Friday, Apr 27, 2018 at 9:22:58 PM

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I just checked and see that Red Auerbach died in 2006.

Submitted on Friday, Apr 27, 2018 at 11:49:33 PM

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Funny!



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Reply to John Lawrence Ré:   New Content

Yuh, J.L. - I've never noted that the adult attention span
could decrease that much without becoming negative.
Of course the way 'news' is transmitted is only in mini-blurbs
so if you connected longer you'd be way behind.

Submitted on Friday, Apr 27, 2018 at 10:37:24 PM

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I don't think that lying is an opinion.

If a person lies that should not necessarily be protected.

They can clearly label something as just an opinion and that should be protected.

By the way, do you (and others) also remember that at the time of the First Amendment duel was legal? That was a powerful deterrent against lying for all except the best shots.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 26, 2018 at 2:01:16 PM

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shad williams

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Then came the hydrogen bomb...then a bigger one. Now we or rather your nemesis has the "Satan", which is meant to send so called christians straight to their devil. You don't want to meet the devil do you? If not, you should straighten up and fly right. You've retreated into being a bit shaky lately.

I love you though!

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 26, 2018 at 5:18:10 PM

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shad williams

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You speak mucho mumbo jumbo and ooga booga too.

Alex Jones? Seriously. Conspiracy theories? You cannot petition the Lawd with prayer. Is FOSTA the answer to our petitions for peace? Is that the best that a congress in agreement can do?The answer is NO! NO mofo, NO, NO, NO!!

A big ass answer is to stop the entity that controls the US government from being at war directly and indirectly and preparing to do dumb ass sh*tty warlike crap all around the world! Do you think that the entity that is extractiing $700,000,000,000 from the "US" economy and foreign investors to pad the pockets of its insider corruptioneers and shove it onto the back of the peoples debt for fake financing is a more worthy target than The Jones fellow? Look at the deaths, now in the millions. Look at the destruction long in the billions. Someone has to pay for this.

Why not stop the work on that irrelevant fiction and the first amendment of an ineffective and dissed US Constitution and work instead on stopping the nonfiction that war is good?

What's it good for?

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 26, 2018 at 5:13:28 PM

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Daniel Matthews

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Reply to shad williams:   New Content

how is "war is good" a nonfiction?


It's important to protect free speech so that you can say, "War is bad". You can even write a very convincing article to that effect, which can influence others. Then, people can rise up in protest if the president goes to war. Unfortunately, the pres can go to war without any consensus from the people. We've given him war license. But maybe your article could influence him too. Just publish it on Breitbart.


The intent of my article is to say that someone like Jones who peddles conspiracy theories will make it harder to have free speech online because his lies provoke lawsuits, outrage, etc. Broadcasting lies to make money will make people wary of the internet as a free speech forum. A backlash will ensue and the internet will become less of a bastion for free speech.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 26, 2018 at 9:28:21 PM

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Reply to Daniel Matthews:   New Content

You are absolutely correct. The misnotion that war is good nonfiction is absurd. Forgive me. I miswrote.

Submitted on Friday, Apr 27, 2018 at 3:22:44 AM

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Bill Johnson

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I Am not allowed to voice my full opinion here. I am not allowed to display the symbols of my ancestors.


If I posted my opinions and symbols of my heritage here I will be banned from posting here.


All because some others choose to not like the opinions or symbols. This is what America has become- post only that which others will like and approve of or else!


So the problem is not just "out there" it is also "right here."

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 26, 2018 at 6:15:48 PM

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This website could ban you because of its own standards, but technically if what you're talking about would be considered "hate speech", it's not illegal.


Posting on a site is just like working for somebody. Although you can't be prosecuted for hate speech, your employer could fire you for it. This isn't what America has become, it's been this way ever since the First Amendment was ratified.


What America has become is a place where people walk the line between defamatory lies and "opinion" and muddy the waters of truth, opinion, and lies in order to make money off of suckers. It's going to backfire unless we remain aware and make sure our free speech right is protected.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 26, 2018 at 9:35:14 PM

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pablo mayhew

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Reply to Daniel Matthews:   New Content

Could it be that America has also become a place where some people express themselves through their emotions while others express themselves through their intellect(s)?

...Because it certainly appears that way to me.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 26, 2018 at 11:10:15 PM

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Reply to pablo mayhew:   New Content

You've got to be kidding. Who is America to you? The same entity that controls "America" is most certainly aligned with your state, unless your state is not in the west and nearly has its own financial system and adheres to international law and is not at war with half a dozen sovereign states. Maybe it is your America. It certainly isn't my america.

Submitted on Friday, Apr 27, 2018 at 3:17:22 AM

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pablo mayhew

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Reply to shad williams:   New Content

I don''t get it; what am I missing?

I said a bunch of people are reacting emotionally instead of thinking.

What are you saying?

Submitted on Friday, Apr 27, 2018 at 5:37:42 PM

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I'm sorry Pablo - I am jumping to conclusions like a bull in the proverbial china shop.

Submitted on Friday, Apr 27, 2018 at 6:13:59 PM

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Reply to pablo mayhew:   New Content

You just described the difference between democrats and Republicans.

Submitted on Thursday, May 3, 2018 at 1:28:23 AM

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John Lawrence Ré

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Reply to Daniel Matthews:   New Content

"It's going to backfire unless we remain aware and make sure our free speech right is protected." If that's your point, we're saying more or less the same thing. At least in regard to valuing the first amendment. Apparently I misunderstood, so as Gilda Radner would say: never mind.

Submitted on Friday, Apr 27, 2018 at 4:20:29 PM

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Reply to John Lawrence Ré:   New Content

Oops, hadn't gotten to this yet when I commented above. Sometimes we get lost in the heat of the moment. My post may not have been clear as to what I ultimately was saying. At any rate, I'm going to check out your articles.

Submitted on Friday, Apr 27, 2018 at 4:30:01 PM

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How about some more whine with that little ole poor me cheese?

Submitted on Friday, Apr 27, 2018 at 3:10:29 AM

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pablo mayhew

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Sandy Hook...as big a lie as 9/11.

And that's saying something.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 26, 2018 at 7:29:11 PM

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Well timed article, and good points made.

If all lies and 'fake news' were to be forbidden, many officials and businesses would be in trouble.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 26, 2018 at 8:58:45 PM

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Daniel Matthews

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Reply to Heidi Junger:   New Content

Thanks for the kind words Heidi!


Very true.

Submitted on Friday, Apr 27, 2018 at 4:53:07 PM

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Ms Nan

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Is Alex Jones loud and obnoxious? Yes.

But Mr Matthews, show me the evidence that Jones, did anything other than state his opinion that the official story on Sandy Hook doesn't add up? An opinion which thousands, if not millions of people share, by the way. That's what happens when evidence is hidden, people start to ask questions.

Stating your opinion is not a crime. Yet anyway.


Submitted on Thursday, Apr 26, 2018 at 9:14:11 PM

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Daniel Matthews

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Reply to Ms Nan:   New Content

I think the lawsuit will come down to this. What sucks is the fact that members of Jones' audience have taken his "opinion" to be truth and have issued death threats to people who don't deserve it. To those people who believe Jones, he's not just stating opinion, he's stating truth, and that's how he frames it.


In the end, though, it may be tough to prove he's not expressing an opinion.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 26, 2018 at 9:41:28 PM

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John Lawrence Ré

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Reply to Daniel Matthews:   New Content

Daniel, death threats are issued all the time on the web over opinions. The only liar we should be concerned with is the US government and its MSM mouthpieces. They don't just cause death threats, they cause actual deaths. Many.

Submitted on Friday, Apr 27, 2018 at 4:32:28 PM

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Nelson Wight

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Daniel, I read you as an educated, thinking, involved individual with some right-brain input. I'm not sure how
far you've got into conspiratorial emotive cogitation. You
seem to be somewhat conservative, like me, but raised in
a politically Republican household which today means little.
Bipartisan offers a singular import.
Many of these odd occurrences such as Sandy Hook, many
others and the latest missile strike on Syria aren't answered
by a single, simple explanation. We live in a society where
those who used to offer us governmental concern, overlook
and assistance/security no longer work for the people who
voted for or hired them into bureaucratic servitude. They
are rewarded by some unnameable, dark, deepstate global
cabal that exhibits no interest in us. They often, imho, work
against us and have a hand in many of these horrible catastrophes. You're young and still able to open your mind.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 26, 2018 at 9:37:11 PM

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pablo mayhew

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Reply to Nelson Wight:   New Content

Well put, Nelson.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 26, 2018 at 11:06:04 PM

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David Watts

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Reply to Nelson Wight:   New Content

Nelson, pablo said it right but I will add to it. Not only did you say it well, you said it about as well and maybe better than I have ever heard it said. In other words, you said it superbly! Maybe even better. But I can't think of a better word to use. Nelson, I am not joking...

Submitted on Friday, Apr 27, 2018 at 12:30:09 AM

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David Watts

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Reply to David Watts:   New Content

Nels, I just read your comment again. I think you really did say it better than I have heard it said...

Submitted on Friday, Apr 27, 2018 at 12:34:46 AM

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Reply to David Watts:   New Content

Thanks, Pardner. I truly admire/enjoy what you offer always

Submitted on Friday, Apr 27, 2018 at 10:22:48 PM

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Reply to Nelson Wight:   New Content

Likewise...

Submitted on Friday, Apr 27, 2018 at 11:51:02 PM

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Daniel Matthews

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Reply to Nelson Wight:   New Content

You're right, I was raised in a Republican household, but I'm a progressive democratic socialist. And you're also right that a single narrative isn't the right one, and the official version we hear of events from the primary channels is not ABSOLUTELY correct.


I believe many individuals and groups work to profit from tragedies, as is the case with 9/11, Sandy Hook, and countless others we could name. But I don't think that NECESSARILY means there is a conspiracy between individuals and groups to orchestrate those tragedies. My mind is open to entertaining theories, but I don't like it when people like Alex Jones try to make money from them by claiming they're ABSOLUTELY true.


Submitted on Friday, Apr 27, 2018 at 4:51:10 PM

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John Lawrence Ré

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Reply to Daniel Matthews:   New Content

Everyone believes the gist of their theory is the truth. But identity politics causes an individual to single out theorists whose views do not comport with the group to which he or she identifies. It's guttural, primal. Isn't that how it really goes? Attacking a small fish like Jones is exactly the kind of mishandled prioritizing that warms the cuckles of the deep state's heart...if it had one. But worse, it enforces in the public mind the idea that a conspiracy theory is dangerous per se IN ALL CASES, because the term itself becomes annealed as a badge of the irrational, the tin hat. So attack Jones as being wrong on the merits, but it would be better strategically regarding the point we both seem to agree on to keep "conspiracy theory" out of it.

Submitted on Friday, Apr 27, 2018 at 5:48:13 PM

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Reply to John Lawrence Ré:   New Content

I certainly admire the way you couch your responses. Thanks
Even though my family tribe was kicked out of Mass Bay Colony...and we were rewarded with a home in Belfast where
my grandfather's great uncle's shipchandlery was burned
flat by the British in 1812. Narrow-minded Church of England priest couldn't denounce King George.
We've been marrying French ever since.

Submitted on Friday, Apr 27, 2018 at 10:11:15 PM

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