Freedom Of Speech
I saw this disturbing headline over the weekend: "Survey Shows Shocking Percentage Of Americans Are Unable To Name A Single First Amendment Right."
According to the survey conducted by the Freedom Forum Institute, 40% of those polled could not name even one of the five rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. Another 36% could name only one. Not surprisingly, freedom of speech was most commonly cited, followed by freedom of religion.
I bring this up because of other headlines in the past 24 hours. As you know, there have been growing concerns about censorship by the tech giants that control our social media platforms, which are so important today.
Yesterday, Apple, Facebook and YouTube purged their platforms of all materials belonging to Alex Jones and his "Infowars" site.
Now, as you may know, I am no fan of Jones. He peddles in conspiracy theories, including the belief that the Bush Administration attacked us on 9/11. That is simply obscene.
But if Jones can be purged from social media platforms, who's next? And who gets to decide? Some on the left are demanding even more censorship.
I appreciate that Apple and Facebook are private companies with their own standards. But they claim to be open platforms for promoting free speech. Mark Zuckerberg has gone so far as to defend Holocaust deniers.
So what are the standards? Who is defining "hate speech"? So far, Facebook has refused to remove Antifa or Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. How are they considered more acceptable than Jones?
These are all important questions that we must grapple with as a society committed to free speech and open debate. But it is a hard debate to have when 40% of the public is completely ignorant of its First Amendment rights. Our educational institutions at all levels are failing the Republic.
And given the increasing intolerance of the left, it is essential that we do everything we can to educate our fellow citizens and defend our cherished rights.
I am glad I mentioned the assault on Candace Owens in my report yesterday because I suspect you may not have heard about it otherwise. It made virtually no news beyond a few conservative media outlets.
Let's try a thought experiment. Imagine that an outspoken liberal black woman was having breakfast with a white friend, and four white men wearing MAGA hats at a nearby table see her and start texting their friends.
Imagine that within minutes a mob has formed and begun yelling disgusting things at her and her companion. Imagine that this mob starts throwing liquids on them as the verbal harassment increases.
Imagine that the police have to be called to ensure their safety and that the white demonstrators start yelling racist remarks at the black and Hispanic police officers.
Now you might think that this is 2018. Something like this would never happen today. But if it did happen, surely it would be the lead story on the nightly news. And the theme would be, "Look at the hate Donald Trump has unleashed. These Nazis must be stopped!"
But something like this did happen -- in the "City of Brotherly Love" of all places!
Instead of the victim being a liberal black woman, the victim was Candace Owens, a conservative black woman. The table nearby didn't have four people wearing MAGA hats. Instead they were members of the radical group Antifa. They did contact their friends, and in short order a very dangerous situation erupted.
By the way, these leftists, all of whom were white, were screaming that Owens was a "race traitor." That's because she has told her fellow black Americans that the left's agenda of welfare instead of jobs and race baiting is not serving their best interests.
This is the left's identity politics. If you are a conservative black woman, you are seen as a traitor to your race. If you are a white woman who voted for Trump, you are labeled a traitor to your gender. There's no room for free thinking on the left, much less free speech.
But in this one incident we see the hatred on the left toward any minority who dares to embrace conservative ideas.
We see the bias of the media that not only twists the news that does happen, but censors the news it doesn't want you to know about.
We also see the violent atmosphere the fascist left is creating, which, if it is not stopped, will end in tragedy.
The Leading Cause Of Death
Ask anyone what the leading cause of death in America is and they will probably say heart disease or cancer. And they would be right, at least according to the statistics gathered by the federal government at the Centers for Disease Control.
As you can imagine, there are important public policy implications for monitoring these statistics. But how would you feel if the stats left something out, something that deliberately wasn't being measured? It turns out that is exactly what is happening.
Ironically, the government does not consider abortion to be a "cause of death," even though that is its only purpose. You don't have a "successful" abortion without a dead baby.
A team of researchers at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte compared abortion rates from 2009 to other measured causes of death. While the study was conducted in 2016, it has garnered new attention in recent days. What they found was shocking.
Induced abortion, if counted among the causes of death, was by far the leading cause of premature or preventable deaths in America -- almost twice the number of deaths attributed to heart disease and cancer, and responsible for approximately one-third of all U.S. deaths.
Moreover, there was a tremendous racial disparity, with abortion accounting for 64% of all Hispanic deaths and 61% of all black deaths.
While heart disease and some cancers are preventable, abortion is worse because no one deliberately sets out to get cancer and heart disease. And even if bad lifestyle choices affect their health, that is their life, not someone else's.
Other forms of death -- accidents and chronic disease -- do not morally compromise us as individuals or as a nation. And we mourn them as we should.
But abortion, as a cause of death, not only kills unborn babies, it also assaults the founding principle of America that we are all created equal and endowed by our Creator with the unalienable right to life.