Monday, July 19, 2021

Is the First Amendment On Life Support?


Friends, pretty much everyone agrees that the First Amendment is one of the cornerstones of American democracy and freedom.  Pretty much everyone also agrees that our right to free speech is not unlimited, in the sense that there are indeed contexts in which a person's speech can be regulated, either by public or private authorities.  In-between these two areas of concurrence, there is a massive gray area, in which, some would say, the Left now lurks, eagerly whittling away at our First Amendment rights until they effectively mean nothing.

Ben Stein, for instance, argues that the collusion between the Biden Administration and Big Tech, designed to censor "disinformation", defined mostly by governmental experts, amounts to a death knell for free speech.  He has a point.  He's a little too quick to give up the fight, however.  Yes, the Supreme Court, for instance, has never weighed in on the issue, but to my knowledge it's never been asked to do so.  Trump's big suit against Facebook, Twitter, and Google gives them just such an opportunity.  They need to rise to the challenge.


Meanwhile, in California, a state Appeals Court has ruled that a law that punishes "misgendering", i.e. using the pronouns applicable to a person's biological sex instead of their preferred gender identity, violates the First Amendment -- not so much on the face of it, but because the law was overly broad.  Well, I say that any attempt to force Americans to bow to the gender ideology of the Left, and to endorse the fantasies of the "transgender", would be a violation of the First Amendment.  You can make up any gender you like and claim to be it.  What you can't do is force me to agree with your delusions! 

A Capitol rioter has been sentenced to prison.  It's a mild sentence, however, and most troubling from my perspective is that the defendant endorsed the legitimacy of "President" Biden to obtain a lighter sentence.  Call me crazy (you wouldn't be the first), but I think we should punish criminal acts, not criminal thoughts.  The assumption by so many lawyers defending the Capitol Rioters that a late-stage conversion to Bidenism will elicit the sympathy of the court is more than a little chilling.


Hey, guess what?  Most polling is biased in favor of Democrats!  Gee, what a revelation.  We knew that in 2016, of course, and we were proved right.  Most of us strongly suspected it in 2020 too, and we were again proven right.  As President Trump has observed, however, many polls are "suppression polls".  They're designed to discourage Republicans and conservatives by persuading them that their candidates are destined to lose.  Increasingly, though, these suppression polls don't work, because the "good guys", i.e. us, are mostly tuning out the mainstream media, and we recognize polls from CNN, NBC, and the Washington Post, for instance, as garbage, and rightly so.  But don't worry: you'll see the same bias in 2022 polls as well.  The media will try to create the illusion that the election will be close and the Dems are in striking distance of improving their majorities in both houses.  And then, assuming our elections are still vaguely free and fair, the voters will create a nice, big Red Wave.  Just you wait.


Finally, the Dems' latest line is that anyone who questions the "integrity" of our elections, and of our elections officials, is an insurrectionist, traitorous scumbag.  As this article points out, Democrats themselves have done so in the recent past...and in fact they're doing so in the present, as they suggest that mild election integrity reforms will yield a system of elections that excludes people of color and thus "destroys" American democracy and makes the results of our elections illegitimate.  The Left is good at this, however: they love to accuse us of misdeeds of which they are equally, or much more, guilty.  They can always rely on the media to conceal their hypocrisy, which makes the strategy viable.


  1. Dr. Nick

    You know very well that this guy who was just sentenced as a January 6, 2021 Capitol rioter would say anything to get a light sentence. Who gives a damn. He looks like a "right-wing hippie" as did many of the morons who stormed the capitol last Winter. The entire incident was more theater than anything. Did those who participated in it think that they would be able to take over the government because they managed to break into the chambers of Congress? Seriously! This guy says he goes to church now and so on and so on. Wonderful! Who gives a damn. Did anyone think that this guy was going to become a martyr for Trump in court? There is nothing chilling whatsoever about some fool who became a Biden praiser to save his ass.

  2. Dr.Waddy et al from Jack: I have seen first hand how the criminal justice system, federal or state, engulfs and often overpowers you. It can be very intimidating,especially for the previously lawful, as I would expect this man to be. Prelimary incar ceration and consequent confinement with career toughs, is a searing experience. For someone unaccustomed to it, some surrender is to be understood.

    He has been driven to an extremity he would never have contemplated theretofore, by the reality of antiAmerican leftist manipulation of our governmental organs and political processes. When I see such sentences and their attendant permanent inclusion in their public records, for leftists, then I may perceive some balance but I don't expect it.

  3. Nick, there is no such thing as "suppression poll." It's a term Trump pollster John McLaughlin used when crappy polls kept being inaccurate. Trump then kept on using it as a gave him yet another excuse about how he blew the 2020 election.

    When you engage in such silliness, Nick, it really hurts your credibility.

  4. Dr. Waddy et al from Jack: To your critic: Dr. Waddy's having advanced an opinion worth subjecting to further empirical examination on both sides, is not silly. It is highly plausible, given the left's obvious devotion to "whatever means necessary". It has cuckooed many institutions and turned them from their original purposes (eg. unions and from my union experience I can provide much evidence of that). The left was stung to the quick by 2016 and was fanatically determined to prevent a repeat. To observe in these factors the distinct possibility that some polling organizations manipulate"results" to achieve, not an honest sampling ot public opinion but of effect on outcomes, is not at all silly, especially knowing Dr. Waddy's proven skill at supporting his assertions and his credibility.

  5. Nick, you advanced the assertion that there are suppression polls. It's not a question of an opinion, but of fact. The fact is, there are no such things as "suppression" polls. It's a made up term, first asserted by John McLaughlin as a way to justify his faulty polls, and then pushed by Donald Trump for a reason to excuse his status as a loser.

    There are problems with polls, mostly in terms of sampling and respondents being honest with pollsters. But, this notion that polling companies were conspiring together to suppress voting for Trump is the same level of thinking as the Big Lie that Trump was cheated out of a victory.

    Do you really think Fox was engaging in "suppression" polls?

  6. Ray, I agree that the defendant's obsequiousness is predictable. What I find troubling is the attitude of the presiding judges, who apparently think that if a person retracts his/her claims that the 2020 election was tainted by irregularity, this confirms their good citizenship. It doesn't. It confirms their willingness to swallow a false narrative to save their own skins. The 2020 election really was tainted!

    Come on, Rod. You really think it's an accident that CNN and NBC polls, for instance, regularly and routinely overstate Dem performance even more than a typical poll? They do it for a reason, just as some Republican pollsters do the opposite for a reason. It's an attempt to maximize morale on one side and minimize it on the other. I guess it's "free speech", but one thing it ain't is "scientific polling".

    Now, Fox's polls ALSO regularly overstate Dem support. It's a source of major annoyance to Republicans, I can tell you! Is every bad poll a "suppression" poll. No. But the fact is that Republicans and Democrats voted in roughly equal numbers in 2020. Many pre-election polls were based on the ridiculous fantasy that Dems woukd outvote Republicans by 10 points or more. A poll is supposed to be predictive of an outcome, not an exercise in wish fulfillment. I still maintain: serving a narrative is a major objective of many pollsters.

    Thanks for having my back, Jack! You're right: every other institution we have was subverted to help achieve the destruction of Trump and Trumpism. Why not polling???

  7. Nick, to quote Dr. Fauci, you don't know what you are talking about. CNN and NBC do NOT typically overstate Dem performance more than a typical poll. Some weeks that happened, some weeks they were better than the "typical poll."

    You obviously were not paying attention to the pre-election polls. Some had Trump even or winning by 1. Most had Biden, winning by 2 to 5 points (he won by 4.5 points). There were some bizarre state polls, like the WI one with Biden +17, but no one believed that poll anyway (check the news coverage of that poll -- it was universally seen as an outlier).

    If wish fulfillment and/or selling a narrative was the motivation behind polls, Emerson would have had Trump winning by 10 (Spencer Kimball, who runs the poll, is about as conservative as they come).

  8. Dr.Waddy from Jack: Your use of the words" whittling away" for leftist sallies against our First Amendent is most apt. They are constantly probing, seeking weak spots which will allow them an every accumulating record of small outrages, which can eventually amount to discreditation of the Amendent. They know they must be careful, lest this rogue Scotus rule far reaching decisions thwarting them for decades .We have seen this tactic used for years against the 2nd Amendment. Of course, were a Hillary empowered Scotus now sitting, the left would have fast forwarded to a National Speech and Expression Code, based on a newly discovered Constitutional rightto freedom from the discomfort generated by unlimited expression of certain condemned viewpoints. Where have we seen a blithe and airy exposition of such heretofore undiscovered rights theretofore undetected in Constitutional fairy land? Perhaps in the sanctioned murder of many millions of voiceless unborn humans over the years since righteously unassailable Roe v Wade?

  9. Dr.Waddy et al fromJack: Leave it to California to write a LAW forbidding use of gender specific words! I don't know much about Appellate Courts in CA but if they are appointed by characteristically leftist CA decision makers, we can be sure they enforce leftist bias. That court, from its perspective deep in lala land, may have thought its decision to be generously balanced but you are right to assert that any attack on the Amendment, especially encompassing po!itically charged expression (which of course, yelling "fire" in a crowded theatre is not), must be subjected in Federal court to rigorously close scrutiny. And it would be by this Scotus!

  10. Dr.Waddy et al from Jack: I do not see any evidence of Dr. Waddy's having said a conspiracy was at work in the disingenous effort of some polling institutions to promote a Democrat victory in 2020.Legally, Conspiracy is voluntary agreement on the part of two or more parties to commit a criminal act. Did the critic mean this in his use of the term? If not, he ought to be more circumspect! Dr.Waddy went no further than to assert a widely, individually enacted, effort found in many organizations, to drive President Trump out of office. Misuse of the term conspiracy is Hillaryesque reflexive and presumptuous hyperbole.That there was a well coordinated effort, across many levels, to assure ultimate radical victory in 2020 by disempowering its most insolent foe is of course nonetheless, very supportable and arguable.

  11. OK, can we return to reality? Groups get together on both sides to advance the interests of their favored candidate happens all the time. What is not true are the following: 1) the media didn't coordinate through polling to "suppress" Trump's vote; 2) that Trump was cheated out of his election (he lost due to his incompetence); and 3) that the Dems are just as responsible for vaccine hesitancy as the GQP (the GQP is far more responsible).

    On another matter, Kevin McCarthy demonstrated what a fake he is by pulling the GQP members from the committee to review the insurrection. Banks was a non-starter because he would have been called as a witness, and Gym Jordan was not appropriate because he made comments in the last 24 hours that he was going to turn the committee proceedings into a circus.

    One other note: after getting bitchslapped hard by Dr. Fauci at the Senate Committee meaning yesterday, Rand Paul is calling for criminal charges be brought up against Fauci. Fauci was absolutely correct about Paul -- Rand Paul does not know what he is talking about.

  12. Rod, I think it's you who weren't paying attention to pre-election polling in 2020. Check it out right here:

    You'll note two things: in the closing weeks of the campaign, there were ZERO polls predicting a Trump win or a tie in the national popular vote. Zero. Also, you'll note that CNN's last poll was (very typically for CNN!) an outlier. It had Biden winning by 12 points. Now, there are only two reasons to publish a poll that has Biden winning by 12 points: a) you think, based on the data, that it's the most likely outcome, or b) you wish it would happen, and you don't much care if it's not the most likely outcome become wishes matter more to you than probabilities. Which do you think makes more sense???

    Jack, I thank my lucky stars that I don't live in a country dominated by a Hillary-esque SCOTUS. A "conservative" SCOTUS is bad enough. A leftist SCOTUS would snatch up the few tatters of the Constitution that remain and chuck them into the dustbin of history. We'd be ruled based on the whims of progressives.

    You're right, Jack, that it's somewhat amazing that a STATE court in California would find that anyone would enjoy the constitutional right to dissent from transgender orthodoxy...but actually what they found is that we have the right to err innocently in "misgendering" a person or two. Once we get a grip on things, they seem still to expect us to fall in line.

    Jack is right: I never said there was any media conspiracy to use "suppression polls". Obviously every poll is different. What I would say is that Dem-biased polls are way more common than GOP-biased polls, which is a simple statement of fact given that in 2016 and 2020 the polling averages overstated Dem support. Polls like CNN's are simply garbage polls, but they get included in the polling averages and skew them accordingly.

  13. Hi Nick, my error. I generally don't pay a lot of attention to polls outside of Emerson, IBD/TIPP and Hill/Harris. Spencer Kimball at Emerson is someone I know very well, and know how much work they put into getting the results right (and they were very accurate in national and state elections). As I noted, Spencer is a staunch conservative, so if there was ever an opportunity and motivation to create a suppression poll, that would have been it.

    The other two are larger polls and have a better history of accuracy. Looking at their polls leading up to the election, they had polls with Biden up 3-5 points fairly consistently.

    As for other polls, Rasmussen is seen in the polling industry as a Trump poll, and it even had Biden up 10 points about a month out. OTOH, their polls pretty consistently were lower than other polls. Was Rasmussen engaging in trying to suppress Biden's vote? And, how do you account for Fox News? They were openly rooting for Trump (some talent even working for the campaign, like Sean Hannity). Yet, Fox' polls had Biden up 8-10 points.

    Again, there are no such things as suppression polls. CNN reported its poll findings of Biden +12 because that is what the numbers showed, just as Fox reported its Biden +8.

  14. I appreciate the mea culpa, Rod, but I see you still refuse to countenance the existence of "suppression polls". You say CNN showed Biden up 12 because "that is what the numbers showed". Sure! That's because they chose numbers/algorithms that would advantage Biden. Many pollsters use samplings that weight Democrats MUCH more highly than Republicans, when we know that, in most elections, the numbers of each who vote are roughly the same, often with a small edge to Dems. Anyway, the irony here is that none of these national polls matter much. I know you love to say "7 million votes!" over and over to yourself, but it's the states that count, and in the key states it really was a close election -- and to their credit most polls predicted it would be.

    Not CNN, of course:

    All I can say about Rasmussen is...they were damn close in the final analysis. Biden +1

    And Fox is indeed a Republican-friendly network, but its pollsters don't follow the party line. Its polls aren't out in left-field, but they aren't Republican-leaning either. Why? Fox just isn't as right-wing as many people think. I stopped watching it after the election night debacle. I would say Fox as a media institution is aligned with the Romney wing of the party, even if much of its on-air talent is more Trumpy.

  15. Nick, one of the frustrating things about Trumpanzees -- even educated ones such as yourself and my brother -- is the insistence that if you repeat a lie loudly and longly enough, that it somehow makes the lie true.

    I've worked in polling. I know multiple pollsters. There is no such thing as a suppression poll. If you want to say that people seeing their favored candidate losing and being discouraged may not be as fired up to vote has the effect of "suppressing" the vote, sure. But, no independent pollster -- including the networks -- purposely create polls to suppress the vote.

    As far as weighting and algorithms, I need to quote Dr Fauci again: You have no idea what you are talking about.

    The biggest -- and most consistent -- criticism of polls is that they SEVERELY undercount Independent voters. There are more Dems than GQPers, but there are also more independents than either Dems or GQPers. The biggest issue with independent voters is that their vote preferences are far more unpredictable than Dems or GQPers. As such, when pollsters are trying to predict where independent voters are headed, they use the most recent information available -- the prior election. While many times the prior models are close, the last two times they have been off. In 2016, the models did not account for the level of antipathy among independents toward Hillary Clinton, and it 2020 they undercounted the level of antipathy among independent women against Trump.

    BTW, a 4.5% difference is not a "small edge" to Democrats. Of 19 presidential elections since the 1948 elections, 9 have been decided by far less than 4.5% (7 have been blowouts, and 2 were the Perot elections).

  16. I guess what you're saying, Rod, is that the polls that are consistently wrong (on the same side) aren't TRYING to be consistently wrong -- they're hoping someday to be right. And that makes their polling legitimate. Again, I say that makes for "garbage polls". And in a sense you're contradicting yourself above: you're saying that independents are more important than many people suggest (I agree), but you also say Dems outvoted Republicans by 4.5% in 2020. WRONG! The electorate was about 1% more Democratic than it was Republican (in party ID), but Biden widened his margin in the national popular vote precisely because he won big with independents. My guess is that in 2022 the good guys will win independents, which is why your side is in big trouble. Anyway, the bottom line is that in both 2016 and 2020 the national average of polls, in terms of the popular vote, was biased in favor of the Dems by 1-3%. That's not a huge number, but it matters, and if bad polling was "equal opportunity" we wouldn't see the same dysfunctional pattern repeated twice. (News flash: the same thing will happen again in 2024. Take it to the bank.)

  17. Nick, your assertion about Party ID in 2020 appears not to be correct:

    In addition, if the polling was off 1-3% in both 2016, then either Clinton lost by 1 or won by 1. In 2020, Biden won by 3.5 or 1.5.

    Finally, what in the world would the motivation be to purposely poll badly? That's a lot of money that polling firms and media companies invest in the polls for them not to try to be as accurate as possible. Plus, since Fox was as wrong as any poll, why would they purposely put out inaccurate polls, esp. as such an action would go against its corporate ideology?

  18. Rod, I didn't claim anything about party ID "globally" speaking in 2020. I claimed that, in the 2020 election, Dems' edge over Republicans was only 1 percent. That's accurate:

    I have no idea what you're saying about polling in 2016 and 2020. In 2016, the polling said Clinton would win by 3 points nationally, and she won by 2 (and lost the election anyway). In 2020, the polling said Biden would win nationally by 7 points, and instead he won by 4.5. In both cases, the polling overstated Dem strength.

    Why would anyone repeatedly push inaccurate polls? Only one reason I can think of: because there's something more important to them than accuracy -- gee, I wonder what? -- plus, there's very little accountability for bad polling.