Jim DeMint Wants to Compete With Skype

Finally a politician with the courage to go up against Skype.  A Republican – Doctor* DeMint – who loves government regulation has come out of the closet in favor of barring Skype users from discussing abortion with medical professionals.  No word yet on if he will allow an exception if you are skyping with your anti-choice priest.  What is clear, now Skype will face competition from SkypeDeMint.  SkypeDeMint – for all your abortion discussing needs.

Via Think Progress:

Now Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), one of the most die-hard anti-choice lawmakers, has jumped on the bandwagon by sneaking a radical anti-abortion amendment onto a completely unrelated piece of legislation. DeMint’s amendment would ban women and their doctors from discussing abortion over the Internet:

Anti-choice Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) just filed an anti-choice amendment to a bill related to agriculture, transportation, housing, and other programs. The DeMint amendment could bar discussion of abortion over the Internet and through videoconferencing, even if a woman’s health is at risk and if this kind of communication with her doctor is her best option to receive care.

Under this amendment, women would need a separate, segregated Internet just for talking about abortion care with their doctors.

Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said DeMint is essentially mandating “an abortion-only version of Skype.” She points out that a woman with high-risk pregnancy talking to her doctor through video conferencing would have to somehow switch to a separate communications system if abortion came up at all. “It is impractical, ridiculous, and, most importantly, bad for women in rural or remote areas who would not be able to discuss the full set of options with their doctor,” Keenan said.

In keeping with the anti-choice strategy of inching towards complete lack of reproductive choice, I wonder what the follow up to this amendment would be if it passes…

PS If you cannot discuss abortion over the internet, I wonder what impact this would have on blogs?

* Jim DeMint received his medical degree in the form of an MBA from Clemson.


NYPD Police Brutalize Musician, Threaten Crowd

NYPD, as part of a recent crackdown against musicians, arrested a man playing music illegally in a park in Chinatown.  The man, forced face down on the pavement with officers holding him down, displayed a bloodied face.  As of this time it appears he did not resist.  The crowd did voice their opposition quite loudly.  They were rewarded with threats of being maced and threatening movements made by one of the officers.

The video on youtube has been flagged inappropriate, making it harder for people to see, and artificially driving down its view count.

Police State USA

Just a few words, before the professor Gates arrest and subsequent arrest of DC lawyer Tuma fades into the memory hole.
We need abuse of authority laws with the same power as hate crime laws. We need to challenge the culture behind our police state.
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Open Letter to a PUMA Follow Up

Diamondtiger has been censoring any comments on his blog that effectively counter his argument (or even reference the censorship).  That’s what passes for free speech with the PUMA crowd I suppose.

Talk about hypocrisy:

Your Conscience has ended up in the SPAM FILTER because he/she could not be civil and respect free speech. Sorry – start bashing and being a dipstick – you end up in the garbage!

(My post tearing apart supporting McCain over Obama here.)  Another censored commenter has a sharp take on PUMA here, minus any responses from PUMA.

PUMA, Party Unity My Ass, stands for overriding the Democratic vote.  Why would they support free speech?

Fox News: Corporate Rhetoric

The Right Wing media loves a chance to present protesters (read “far leftists”) as the dirty unruly mob to their clean authority figures.  Clucking their tongues and barely disguising the pleasure they take in their tacked on umbrage, I’m sure they’ll call the people literally marching in streets “latte-sipping liberal elites” without skipping a beat.  From HuffPost:

Check out the line at the end:

“Griff Jenkins our own Griff Jenkins in the midst of the crowd giving them a chance to speak out, to tell what their message is, and they’re not even talking, all they’re doing is screaming and yelling at him, we’ll make sure he’s ok we’ll check back with him when he can get himself sort of away from that really raucus crowd.”

Actually, a the protestors did slip their two cents in.  One said the message of the march was “stop the torture, stop the war”.  But most of them (before the rousing chorus of “Fuck Fox News”) settled on variations of “Fuck the Corporate Media”.  The guy who laughs when asked if “he believes in freedom of speech” does so with good reason.  Beyond the ludicrous nature of a guy from Fox News asking that question, is the fact that as liberals they know the deck is stacked, and refuse to take part in the game.  Anything they say that does not fit the prepared Fox narrative will be ignored, twisted, or flat out lied about.

Griff Jenkins and Fox News were not giving the crowd a chance to speak.  They were going political dumpster diving in the hopes of portraying the Democrats as divided, radical, and un-American.  What they got (but quickly glossed over) was a rejection of their legitimacy as a news network.

A chance to “speak out” on Fox News is about as realistic as a “reality” tv show.  When a heavily biased and entrenched opponent controls how your words are used, why speak at all?  Why give them anything?  Just another way Corporations peddling media continue to aggressively push the myth of free speech in the face of corporate speech.

Everybody Loves Free Speech Zones!

Gary Chapell Hill over at pro-Hillary-at-any-cost blog The Confluence has an important piece up on free speech zones at the Unity event in NH:

As soon as we got there they informed us that we would have to move to “free speech zones”.  I will let the video speak for itself, but first I would like to post some commentary from the “progressive blogosphere” regarding these zones.  I will assume that they are just a bunch of hypocrites until they speak out against the suppression of free speech by the Obama campaign.

We should absolutely speak out strongly against this tactic.  And its not the first time the Obama campaign has resorted to it.  Although I find it darkly humorous (if predictable) that Hillary’s supporters have cast a blind eye to their failed candidate’s own use of free speech zones during this election.  In fact, the Democratic Party as a whole seems to have embraced the practice back in 2004!  Nice.

The Republican Party is a more natural fit, and they do not dissapoint.

Free Speech Zones have become a part and parcel of campaigns exerting nervous control over the percpetion of their events.  Obama supporters don’t want a handful of Hillary-or-bust nuts conveying a mainstream glow onto a fringe movement.

The thing is aside from being completely against the vest principles America has to offer, it is a poor strategy.  The media will break its back searching for anti-candidate protesters when it fits the sellable narrative.  Censorship accomplishes two things.  It ensures photos of the crowd lack bitter pro-Hillary slogans, and it allows anti-Obama protesters the chance to pose as free speech matyrs.

Its a stupid practice and it should stop.  The Obama campaign and we his supporters should take notice, even when its pointed out by utter hypocrites.

Lieberman Asks Youtube to Remove Terrorist Videos

No word yet on whether or not the videos are under copyright.  From the article:

In a blog posting, YouTube said it welcomed the dialogue with Lieberman but noted that “most of the videos” his office had drawn to their attention “did not contain violent or hate speech content” and had therefore not been removed from the site “because they do not violate our Community Guidelines.”

Lieberman made a mistake.  If he was going to call for the removal of material that showed people being killed, that’s one thing.  If he’s going to use strident language and simply flag videos he does not agree with, he weakens his own argument.  Although one wouldn’t expect such a stalward supporter of the war in Iraq to understand that sometimes it isn’t wise to overreach.