The Silencing

The Silencing

How the Left Is Killing Free Speech

Book - 2015
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"Free speech and freedom of conscience have long been core American values. Yet a growing intolerance from the left side of the political spectrum is threatening Americans' ability to freely express beliefs without fear of retaliation. USA Today columnist and Fox News contributor Kirsten Powers calls it "The Silencing." Powers chronicles this forced march toward conformity in an expose; of the illiberal tactics deployed to shut down debate on some of the most important issues of the day. How is it that liberalism, once associated with open-mindedness and reason, has become a vehicle for irrational prejudice, ideological conformity, and the marginalization of dissent? What is happening to free speech in America?"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Washington, D.C. : Regnery Publishing, 2015
ISBN: 9781621573708
1621573702
Branch Call Number: 323.443 P873S 2015
Characteristics: xiv, 289 pages ; 24 cm

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s
ScienceMommy
Jun 12, 2017

I only just started this book...but wanted to share these thoughts before I moved onto more material and possibly didn't recall these details.
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The intro drew me in immediately. Powers lays out her deep liberal credentials and then criticizes the fact that liberal discourse has evolved to such a point that it no longer embraces an inclusion of diversity of thought and belief, and she describes an alarming level of intolerance toward views that don't hew to the, "settled" liberal worldview. I completely agree with her on the point that independent-minded liberals can become targets when they deviate on sacred-cow issues. In contrast with how things are now, she says that growing up, "..I can't remember anyone ever suggesting that conservative views were illegitimate and unworthy of debate." I like that her tone is calm, and sticks to facts and an appeal to reason.
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But then on page 4, she makes this statement: " Most people who reside on the left....can tolerate difference of opinion without turning into authoritarian speech police. They can either engage or ignore people with whom they disagree."
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Again I am with her on this statement....until she continues...
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"...They are not moved to, for example, call for jail time for their ideological opponents as environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. did for the Koch brothers. More on that later."
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After reading that statement, I went immediately to the index to find what else she had to say about Kennedy....that I found on page 15, where she references a 2014 interview with Kennedy where he accuses the Koch brothers of treason and suggests that they be tried for reckless endangerment and serve time for it.
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Now I disagree with her. The Koch brothers are not just exercising protected free speech. They spend vast amounts of money to spread half-truths that benefit them materially while causing very real harms.
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It's kind of like this. A person could state that they think people of color should not be allowed, and to vote and although most of us find that statement offensive it IS protected free speech. But in addition to making that statement, if such person were to pay money to fund biased studies that claim to prove people of color are not smart enough to vote, and use their money to influence elections and gerrymander districts for the purpose of depriving people of color of the right to vote....we can see that goes way beyond protected free speech. I believe that is the sort of behavior that Kennedy is referring to. For Powers to use his statement to bolster her argument, makes me skeptical of her intentions and wondering if she is trying to win favor with the Koch's or Rupert Murdoch (her employer at Fox News).

EuSei Sep 19, 2015

If you read the book you will notice Miss Powers never contended she has been "silenced." Her beef is against the way people are being forced to keep quiet in order not to be attacked when they dare voice their opinion. Read it and arrive to your own conclusions.

n
naturalist
Aug 14, 2015

“Fascist America, in 10 Easy Steps -- There are some things common to every state that's made the transition to fascism. Author Naomi Wolf argues that all of them are present in America today.”
Editor's note: This is adapted from Wolf's forthcoming book "The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot."
by Naomi Wolf, Chelsea Green Publishing
http://www.alternet.org/authors/naomi-wolf
and,
Faux News commenter publishes a book about being silenced -- ironic
see:
“THE DUMBENING: How the Right Deliberately Confuses the Loss of Power with the Loss of Liberty”
from:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/05/16/1385275/-THE-DUMBENING-How-the-Right-Deliberately-Confuses-the-Loss-of-Power-with-the-Loss-of-Liberty . . .
and . . . .
“A Palinesque Defense Of Kirsten Powers's Non-Threatened Free-Speech Rights”
http://crooksandliars.com/2015/05/palinesque-defense-kirsten-powerss-non
and,
“Dominionism is the New Religious Freedom”
by Frederick Clarkson, posted February 14, 2016, at Political Research Associates
http://www.politicalresearch.org/2016/02/14/dominionism-is-the-new-religious-freedom/#sthash.DE7euQx0.dpbs

1
1emmapeel
Jun 16, 2015

I am thrilled that you asked KCLS to purchase this book! It is absolutely important that people WAKE UP and see what this current administration is doing. Free speech and religious freedom are being slowly chipped away in the good ol' US of A. Don't just sit back and think that because your particular religion is currently not being threatened that this issue is not a concern. This should be a concern for every AMERICAN citizen. Review the principles on which this country was founded.

s
Slys65ss
Jun 15, 2015

I went ahead a bought a copy of this book since I couldn't believe my library didn't own it. Glad to see they purchased it after my suggestion that they do so. This is an important book to read, especially for anyone that has blinders on and can't see what's truly happening to free speech in America today. Powers is well spoken and her historical examples of warning signs is actually quite scary. A must read.

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EuSei Oct 20, 2015

EuSei thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

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