California’s Ethics Rot

This is the prevailing culture in the state Hillary Clinton won so overwhelmingly that she was able to claim that she really “won” the election. You don’t want to live in that culture. It opposes the Freedom of Speech.

Opposing free speech is unethical. It also is undemocratic. But Californians are increasingly incapable of seeing this. It is a case study in how a culture rots. Some recent examples of how the rot is proceeding.

I. Mean Facebook posts are crimes.

In 2016, Mark Feigin posted five insulting comments on the Islamic Center of Southern California’s Facebook page. Among them:

  • “Islam is dangerous – fact: the more muslim savages we allow into america – the more terror we will see -this is a fact which is undeniable.”
  • “Filthy muslim shit has no place in western civilization.”

As a result, California is prosecuting him for allegedly violating Cal. Penal Code § 653m(b):

Every person who, with intent to annoy or harass, makes repeated telephone calls or makes repeated contact by means of an electronic communication device … to another person is … guilty of a misdemeanor. Nothing in this subdivision shall apply to telephone calls or electronic contacts made in good faith or during the ordinary course and scope of business.

A First Year law student of reasonable mental acuity could tell you in a trice that this was unconstitutional—that is, she could if she hadn’t been marinated in the anti-democratic culture that is 21st Century California. It is also an unethical and intellectually dishonest effort to use an ill-fitting law to punish “hate speach.” Here, in part, is the analysis of Prof. Volokh, a constitutional law specialist:

This can’t possibly be consistent with the First Amendment; indeed, in U.S. v. Popa (D.C. Cir. 1999), the D.C. Circuit set aside a telephone harassment conviction of someone who left seven racist messages on the voicemail of then-U.S.-Attorney Eric Holder; and the court focused on the “political message” of the speech, and not on Holder’s status as a government official. Given that insults targeted to a particular person, related to a political message, are thus constitutionally protected, so are more general insults aimed at an ideology and all its adherents, whether that ideology is Islam, Scientology, conservatism, gun rights, or anything else. Laws aimed at preventing unwanted repeated messages to particular private citizens shouldn’t be applied to messages sent to ideological organizations (or to public officials). And this is especially so when it comes to annoying Facebook posts, which the organization can simply block.

…I hope the court indeed promptly throws them out as unjustified under the statute, forbidden by the First Amendment, or both. But if the courts accept such charges, expect to see many more people, left, right, and otherwise, prosecuted for posting insulting messages on many groups’ web pages.

II. No free speech on campus without permission!

Here is another example of The FIRE fighting the leftist totalitarianism creeping into U.S. colleges and universities…especially in California.

Last October, Skyline College student Eric Corgas, President of its Young Americans for Liberty chapter, was distributing copies of the Constitution from a “small folding table” while he distributed America’s founding document. He was accosted by a school administrator who told Corgas that the school was “okay with you guys doing free speech,” and  if“it probably… were, like, not disruptive, it wouldn’t be an issue,” but first the group needed to fill out a “free speech permit” for approval. The student, correctly, refused.

A FIRE lawyer sent the school a letter explaining—why should any college have to be told why it must respect free speech? Oh, right…California—that a requirement for prior approval to express a political position violates local standards  that say its campuses cannot stop expressive activity “solely because” the expressive group doesn’t get permission.  FIRE attorney Brynne Madway told Skyline President Regina Stanback Stroud also informed the college thata 2012 decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held that Oregon State University could not restrict off-campus newspapers more than  on-campus papers because the campus is “at least a designated public forum” under state regulations.

“The outdoor areas of Skyline’s campus are, accordingly, at minimum a designated public forum,” Madway wrote. The free-speech permit itself, which includes a “check box” for Cariadus’s department to sign, invites the school to discriminate against students by viewpoint and content because they have to disclose their “topic or issue” and what will be “displayed or distributed” during their activities.Thus requiring a permit to engage in such expression “without narrow, objective, and definite standards” is an unconstitutional prior restraint.

Then she pointed out that the school’s censorious ways were likely to be expensive. That got their attention. Skyline charged its policies, and there are no more “free speech permits.” That doesn’t mean that the campus isn’t still hostile to the Constitution, or that the state culture that infects isn’t still in the process of rejecting core American values in pursuit of  misguided hard-left agendas.

The Democrat  Party appears to be confident that it can reject core American principles and that the voting public will just quietly assent. It  is increasingly moving Westward and Leftward, rejecting the Constitution with every step. California has rejected the rule of law by becoming a “sanctuary state.” A California Congresswoman and the California Democratic Party are advocating impeachment without the requirement laid out by the Founders. The national party’s leader in the House, Nancy Pelosi, supported jettisoning the principle of due process of law, even to the extent of forcing a Democratic Senator, Al Franken to resign despite claiming innocence of accusations against him.  California’s universities, such as the University of California, has tacitly sanctioned the use of violence to silence unpopular opinions and speakers on campus.

Perhaps Democrats are counting on news media embargos on the truth keeping the public in the dark until after election day. But California is awfully big, and lurching toward liberal fascism at an increasing pace. I think–I hope—that they underestimate the public’s commitment to liberty.



Facts: College Fix



19 thoughts on “California’s Ethics Rot

  1. We don’t have to go to far from home to see the same thing.

    May 12, 2016 – But school officials maintain the issue wasn’t a matter of free speech, but of procedure. “We are disappointed that the student did not follow written procedures and fully address her concerns internally, prior to obtaining legal representation,” HCC President Guy Altieri said in a statement released Thursday.

    I am very familiar with this institution of higher learning and there have been much more egregious examples occurring during that President’s administration.

      • I discussed them with Jack privately. They are part of what led me to resign. Without the ability to access crucial documents, and relying only on staff comments I cannot make them public.

        • Chris marschner wrote, “They are part of what led me to resign. Without the ability to access crucial documents, and relying only on staff comments I cannot make them public.”

          That folks is what integrity looks like in print form, respect it.

    • I’m disappointed that the administrators did not follow written constitutional standards and fully apologize to the concerned student internally prior to the students need to obtain legal representation.

      That Guy Altieri prick literally stepped on the constitution twice by blocking the initial club request and then subsequent petition against that blockage and he has the unbelievable gall to criticize the student for seeking legal representation. Maryland is far more mild in its progressive dogma than California so it looks like the threshold for speech totalitarianism is not high.

    • My theory: it began in the Sixties. The young Sixties liberals were anti-America, pro-socialism and even Communism, and they gradually infiltrated the colleges, newspapers and TV news, and the Democratic Party.

      • So, if the modern Democrat Party wins the whole nation, then the US will have, after all these years, lost the Cold War to the Bolsheviks, even as the Bolsheviks lost their own country to the inevitable failure that socialism is…

      • Jack Marshall wrote, “The young Sixties liberals were anti-America, pro-socialism and even Communism, and they gradually infiltrated the colleges, newspapers and TV news, and the Democratic Party.”

        You know Jack, that’s really, really close to what Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt talked about in her book “the deliberate dumbing down of america”.

        You left out one key institution Jack, the public school system. Who was it that said something along the lines of “if you can indoctrinate a child when he is 7, you’ll have him forever”?

      • Neal Boortz shared the same theory about academia – liberals who didn’t want to go to Vietnam got Ph.Ds in various relatively easy subjects to extend their student deferments, then took over by numbers. The rest logically follows. The news media was already on its way there: Walter Cronkite was no young buck at the time of Vietnam (born 1916) and Edward R. Murrow was as liberal as he was publicly concerned in his hit piece on “the JUNIOR Senator from Wisconsin” Joe McCarthy.

        In fact recognizable liberal anti-Americans have been around, oh, since the Gilded Age, which gave us liberal journalist and later Soviet apologist John Reed (an early day, less slick but more flamboyant version of today’s media advocates for all things anti-Trump and anti-America) and wacky modern dancer Isadora Duncan (a recognizable forerunner of today’s anti-American celebrity culture).

        What is more, a great deal of today’s internationalism and feckless pacifism was recognizable during the 1920s and 1930s. The West, disgusted with what had happened in World War I, did very little while Poland, under the leadership of Josef Pilsudski (a hero who deserves to be better known) threw back the Soviets’ first move west and looked the other way as the Soviets swallowed up the Baltic states and crushed Finland in human wave attacks that made the Iran-Iraq war look tame. I don’t need to repeat what the west did, or rather didn’t do, as tyrants rose to power in Italy, Germany, and Japan. Instead they put their faith in diplomatic talk and unenforceable treaties like the Washington Naval Treaty (which Japan almost immediately broke by starting work secretly on the monster Yamato class battleships) and the Kellogg-Briand Pact, which supposedly outlawed war forever (while Japan was marching into Manchuria, Italy was crushing Ethiopian soldiers who fought barefoot with rifles and spears, and Germany prepared the Anschluss). The rest is history, of course, and the anti-American, anti-war liberals went to ground as the West and the US were finally forced into battle against these genocidal tyrannies.

        They didn’t stay underground, of course, although their ideas were still blunted during the early Cold War and the Korean War as the Soviets clanged down the Iron Curtain on eastern Europe and a slave state attempted to annex a free one. The threat of mutual assured destruction gave them a powerful counterargument to standing up to the Communist bloc, however, since many would prefer living, even under tyranny, to being incinerated.

        The Vietnam era led to the large growth of liberal academia, which merged with existing anti-American liberalism, and you know the rest. Anti-American liberalism had its heyday during the Carter administration and the Obama administration, and you saw what unmitigated disasters both were. It went into retreat during the Reagan administration and was pushed aside for much of the GWB administration, but it never went away, as Pete Seeger and friends led street concerts for peace while Reagan aggressively countered Soviet missile movements with forward deployment of our own tactical nukes and rent-a-mobs tried to shut down the port of Oakland while GWB moved armies and fleets into position to take down the Taliban and Saddam.

        Oddly enough, most of those same folks didn’t say boo when Clinton got American forces half-heartedly involved in the slow burn that was the Balkans and Obama sent American pilots into battle to help topple Gaddafi, leaving Libya a failed state.

        You can, however, bet the farm that if Trump starts moving sea and air fleets into position to put an end to Kim’s tyranny and destabilization of the Pacific rim. or deploying the Marines to decisively stop the disintegration of Syria, you won’t be able to throw a ball without hitting a protestor or get from your Soho restaurant to your Midtown show without going through a war zone. This is how it is and just how it’s going to be until we decisively confront the unofficial fifth column that much of the left has become and tell them no more of this. I don’t mean the policy-based liberals who can show you reams and reams of research supporting their proposals for this or that. I don’t mean the principled peaceful people who believe violence is always wrong and don’t follow their thoughts beyond that. I mean the cynics who use the other side’s actions only for political gain, the twisted America-haters like the now-deceased Lynn Stewart, and the out and out traitors and saboteurs, whether overt like Bill Ayers’ successors in antifa, or cloaked in the Bible like Berrigan’s successors.

        The left actually has some good ideas to offer, but, until they purge the poison that is anti-Americanism, a sizable chunk of this nation just won’t listen, and if they lean further into fascism and totalitarianism, none of this nation will.

        • Steve-O: “..liberals who didn’t want to go to Vietnam got Ph.Ds in various relatively easy subjects to extend their student deferments, then took over by numbers.”

          That could be responsible not only for their over-representation in the teaching community that lets them push their biases, but also for the rise in all the identity/grievance group courses of study, and other useless academic trends that tend to embed and further those views.

          • Bingo. By the time I got to college the useless “x studies” majors were proliferating. Frankly if I looked at someone’s resume and saw they majored in “x studies” undergrad that would tell me all I needed to know. I don’t need a grievance-mongering “black studies” major, a snarly “women’s studies” major or an out-of-touch “peace studies” major on my staff, thank you very much.

      • When I hear talk about how we must continue “investing” in education I know that we are not talking about investing in improvements in the academic experience but investing in perpetuating the entrenchment of the indoctrination regime

  2. Jack wrote, “…California is awfully big, and lurching toward liberal fascism at an increasing pace.”

    I think that ship sailed long ago for California, it’s just becoming more evident now that people are paying more attention to it. California is irretrievably broken with reality and it’s complete imbeciles like this…

    …that are driving them over the cliff into the abyss of delusions.

  3. “Every person who, with intent to annoy or harass, makes repeated telephone calls or makes repeated contact by means of an electronic communication device … to another person is … guilty of a misdemeanor.”

    Not being a lawyer, I don’t know how strict the interpretation of “intends” would be here, and it’s interesting to consider.

    If one doesn’t intend to harass, one just intends to assert certain viewpoints, and he happens to annoy or harass someone as an unintended consequence/fringe benefit of his actual intention, and this is enough to throw off the test of “intends”, then this law seems facially broken. I doubt many people set out with the intention to harass. If, however, the interpretation of “intends” is broad enough to cover something like this, as in, “overtly intends, or intended to do something that a reasonable person would consider having the most likely outcome of annoying or harassing”, then I wonder if this bit of law could be used against telemarketers.

    I mean, telemarketers obviously have the intention to sell their product, but it’s been scientifically proven that to the rest of the world, calls during the dinner hour are annoying, and I can make a laundry list of offenders that repeat often enough that it could reasonably be considered harassment.

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