American politicians – particularly those with an appetite for controlling
and regulating human behavior – get their “best” statist ideas from Europe. Trending
now is the desire to shut up people who say unwanted things about the things
they hold dear, such as homosexuality, transgenders, pedophiles, lesbians, ad nauseam. The list of subjects about which
one may not say offensive things is long and arduous.  They want to establish a secular Vatican-style
Index Librorum
Prohibitorum.

Who elected two New York
politicians Vatican Cardinals?


The first catalog
of forbidden books to include in its title the word index, however, was
published in 1559 by the Sacred Congregation of
the Roman Inquisition
(a precursor to the Congregation for the Doctrine of
the Faith).
The
notion of enforcing the deletion and/or punishment of “forbidden” texts or
statements in order to implement the “right to be forgotten” amounts to a
revival of the Inquisition.
New York State assemblyman David I. Weprin and
his colleague State Senator Tony Avella, have an appetite for  censorship.
Here is their idea. ZeroHedge
reported it on March 17th:
In a bill aimed at securing a “right
to be forgotten,”
introduced by Assemblyman David I. Weprin and (as Senate Bill 4561 by state Sen. Tony Avella), liberal New
York politicians would require people to remove ‘inaccu
rate,’ ‘irrelevant,’ ‘inadequate’ or ‘excessive’ statements about others
….Within 30 days
of a ”request from an individual,”
….“all search
engines and online speakers] shall remove … content about such individual, and
links or indexes to any of the same, that is ‘inaccurate’, ‘irrelevant’,
‘inadequate’ or ‘excessive,’ ”
….“and without
replacing such removed … content with any disclaimer [or]takedown notice.”
….“inaccurate’,
‘irrelevant’, ‘inadequate’, or ‘excessive’ shall mean content,”
….“which after a
significant lapse in time from its first publication,”
….“is no longer
material to current public debate or discourse,”
…“especially when
considered in light of the financial, reputational and/or demonstrable other
harm that the information … is causing to the requester’s professional,
financial, reputational or other interest,”
….“with the exception
of content related to convicted felonies, legal matters relating to violence,
or a matter that is of significant current public interest, and as to which the
requester’s role with regard to the matter is central and substantial.”
….Failure to comply would make the search
engines or speakers [or authors] liable for, at least, statutory damages of
$250/day plus attorney fees
.
Both
Weprin and Avella are Democrats.  Democrats have always had a hankering to
regulate or control what individuals may or may not say or do. But what, you
may ask, is “the right to be forgotten”?
It
is a European
Union
device originally conceived as a kind of American-style “don’t call” rule by which
individuals would request that their names and telephone and/or /Internet
addresses be excised from commercial firms’ databases so the individuals are
not bothered by “junk” calls, solicitations, or “spam.” But Weprin and Avella
have absorbed the notion and expanded it to mean the censoring information.
For
example, if Assemblyman Weprin and Senator Tony Avella wished that their names
no longer appeared in print or elsewhere in association with the concept of
censorship, an enacted law would allow them to bring suit against me or Google for
justly linking them with such an association, at least if my remarks wound up in
New York under the aegis of New York State law. They could initiate legal
action in order that the association be “forgotten” by a public that may not
wish to live under censorship.

Not.


Further,
the law would stipulate that I could not replace their names with avatars, or
apologize for citing their names or pen a “disclaimer,” or even mention that I had
been compelled under duress  and  the threat of legal action and financial ruin
to “take down” the posting. The posting would simply vanish without explanation.
But Weprin
and Avella carried that concept to actions to stifle or suppress any mention of
them, misinterpreting or ignoring the EU’s
own ruling
on the “right to be forgotten.”
The Court in its
judgement did not elevate the right to be forgotten to a “super right” trumping
other fundamental rights, such as the freedom of expression or the freedom of
the media.
This is not what
Weprin and Avella have in mind. They want to censor what they, or their
bureaucratic lictors,
decide is or is not inappropriate or “forgettable.” Tyler Durden of ZeroHedge
quotes Washington Post journalist Eugene Volokh as he elaborates on the
significance of the Weprin/Avella bill:
As
The Washington Post’s Eugene Volokh rages
,
under this bill,
newspapers, scholarly works, copies of books on Google Books and Amazon, online
encyclopedias (Wikipedia and others) — all would have to be censored
whenever a judge and jury found (or the author expected them to find) that the
speech was “no longer material to current public debate or discourse”

(except when it was “related to convicted felonies” or “legal matters relating
to violence” in which the subject played a “central and substantial” role).
Eugene Volokh “Eugene
Volokh teaches free speech law, religious freedom law, church-state relations
law, a First Amendment Amicus Brief Clinic, and tort law, at UCLA School of
Law, where he has also often taught copyright law, criminal law, and a seminar
on firearms regulation policy…”
Volokh
in his Washington Post article continued:
And of course the
bill contains no exception even for material of genuine historical interest;
after all, such speech would have to be removed if it was “no longer material
to current public debate.” Nor is there an exception for autobiographic
material, whether in a book, on a blog or anywhere else. Nor is there an
exception for political figures, prominent businesspeople and others.
But the deeper
problem with the bill is simply that it aims to censor what people say, under a
broad, vague test based on what the government thinks the public should or
shouldn’t be discussing. It is clearly unconstitutional under current First
Amendment law, and I hope First Amendment law will stay that way (no matter
what rules other countries might have adopted).
Remember: There is
no “right to be forgotten” in the abstract; no law can ensure that, and no law
can be limited to that. Instead, the “right” this aims to protect is the
power to suppress speech — the power to force people (on pain of financial
ruin) to stop talking about other people, when some government body decides
that they should stop
.
Who is
to determine what is
“inaccurate’, ‘irrelevant’, ‘inadequate’, or
‘excessive’ …. content”? Faceless bureaucrats charged with managing any information
you may encounter. You are not to decide for yourself what is ….“inaccurate’,
‘irrelevant’, ‘inadequate’, or ‘excessive’ … content.”
You
can imagine what Islamic “civil rights” organizations, such as the Council on American
Islamic Relations ( CAIR) would do with such
a law. They would run amok with lawsuits against anyone who seemed to offend or
defame Islam
or
Mohammad
or Muslims
and demand that someone’s book, column, or remark be removed from print or from
online publication. However, as Volokh reminds us, there is no “right to be
forgotten.” By the same token, there is no “right not be offended.” Which is
not the same thing as having a “right” not to be libeled, slandered, or defamed
(that is, if you are a living person and not some mystical deity or over a
century deceased).
Weprin
and Avella wish to insulate their favorite protected classes from ridicule, defamation,
and demonization because they are of the Left, and, not coincidentally, in
alliance with Islam. The Left and Islam are partners in the task of chipping
away at freedom of speech.
Weprin
and Avella would like to issue secular fatwa against speech they disapprove of.
Islam Watch has this advisory:
…There are many
scholars confirming the consensus on this ruling. For example, Imaam Is’haaq
Ibn Raahawayh stated that Muslim scholars unanimously agreed that anyone who
insults Allaah The Almighty or His Messenger or rejects anything that Allaah
The Almighty sent or killed any of the prophets of Allaah The Almighty
would  be considered a disbeliever. This is so even if he acknowledged all
that Allaah The Almighty revealed. Muhammad Ibn Sahnoon mentioned that scholars
have unanimously agreed that whoever insults or discredits the Prophet is a
disbeliever who is promised a severe punishment from Allaah The Almighty. The
ruling on such a person, according to the Muslim Ummah (nation), is death.
Additionally, anyone who doubts his disbelief or punishment is also a
disbeliever.
In terms of
forbiding certain kinds of speech or threatening dire punishment for uttering
or expressing it, there isn’t much difference  between an Islamic fatwa and the New York
Assembly and Senate bills. Both entities
want to shut up criticisms of their preferred icons: the Left wants to squelch
the

Smash Fascism with Antifa,
our brand of Fascism,
which is just a clueless derivative of Communism.


“defamation” of their favorite classes: homosexuals, lesbians,
transgenders, obesity, Muslims, and a long, long checklist of other
legislatively “protected” classes;  Islam’s list of protected classes is much
shorter, reserved almost exclusively by Islam, Mohammad and Allah. Both
entities wish to have the power to punish offenders financially or physically
or in one’s profession. It is an alliance of power-lusters that the
“hard” left and “Islamists” have actually hammered out over
a decade.

Pamela Geller
lives and works in New York City. Doubtless her blog, the Geller Report, would
be subjected to scrutiny by the “forgotten” speech police. She has inveighed
against the proposed Weprin/Avella legislation. In her March 18th column “Democrat
Unveils CRUSHING Bill To Suppress Non-Government-Approved Free Speech
,” she
writes:
The liberals are on a death march. The death of
freedom. The death of individual rights. The death of America.
First off, let me
say that such a bill would personally benefit me enormously. There is so much
hate, lies, defamation directed at me online, it is staggering. But I endure
the smears and lies because that is what is required under the First Amendment.
That said, I vehemently oppose this bill. We will wage war against this bill. This
bill would be the club to silence those who oppose the left. This bill would
scrub the information superhighway of their crimes.
Freedom of speech
is the foundation of a free society. Without it, a tyrant can wreak havoc
unopposed, while his opponents are silenced. Putting up with being offended is
essential in a pluralistic society in which people differ on basic truths. If a
group will not bear being offended without resorting to violence, that group
will rule unopposed while everyone else lives in fear, while other groups
curtail their activities to appease the violent group. This results in the
violent group being able to tyrannize the others.
Let
me just say here that Weprin and Avella are the legislative auxiliaries of Antifa
and CAIR and every other liberal/Left gang that has arisen over the decades to outlaw
and punish freedom of speech. As Antifa relies on physical force and physical
intimidation to suppress or extinguish freedom of speech, so do the proposed New
York censorship laws rely on threats and intimidation.
Come
and get it Mr. Weprin and Mr. Avella!