15 States Legislating To Strip Public Health Agency Powers
Increasingly, state legislators are pushing back against emergency powers that allowed unelected and unaccountable public health agencies to impose medical tyranny on their citizens, destroying lives and businesses in record numbers. ⁃ TN Editor
Mike Fratantuono grew up in a restaurant. Literally.
For decades, Sunset Restaurant in Glen Burnie, Maryland, was the family business. Over the years, he’d done seemingly every job imaginable: busboy, bartender, and butcher; prep cook and plumber; handyman and manager.
Fratantuono says that’s what made it so hard to watch the family’s legacy become a COVID casualty in 2020.
“It kills me. We were supposed to be getting ready to celebrate our 60th anniversary this year, and instead we’re packing up and closing at the end of this month,” Fratantuono told the Washington Post last year. “I try not to get too sentimental about it, because it won’t change a damn thing, but sometimes the stress hits me and my heart starts going like crazy. I get frustrated. It makes me angry.”
Fratantuono is just one of the countless business owners across America who saw their dreams vanish before their eyes in the wake of government lockdowns that crushed their businesses. Now, in the wake of the pandemic, states across the country are advancing legislation to curb the powers of public health departments following one of the most destructive and contentious years in American history.
Reining in Public Health Agencies
In May, the Network for Public Health Law published a report showing that in recent months no fewer than 15 state legislatures have passed or are considering passing measures that would restrict the legal authority of public health departments.
Among the provisions passed or considered are the following:
Prohibitions on requiring citizens to wear masks;
Prohibiting health agencies from closing businesses or schools;
Banning the use of quarantines for people who have not been shown to be sick;
Preventing state hospitals and universities from requiring vaccinations for employees and students;
Preventing local governments from exercising emergency powers that are inconsistent with state health department guidelines;
Earlier this year, for example, North Dakota passed legislation making it unlawful for state officials to force citizens to wear masks—just one of a growing number of states to place restrictions on mask orders. In March, Kansas’s legislature passed legislation that removes the governor’s ability to shut down businesses during a public health emergency.
Meanwhile, more than 40 states passed legislation that made it unlawful for health departments to mandate COVID-19 vaccination.
A Serious Threat to Life?
The report concludes that opposition to “reasonable” public health measures poses serious dangers to life and health.
“Legislation to stop expert public health agencies from leading the response to health emergencies creates unforeseen, serious risks to life and health,” the report states. “These laws could make it harder to advance health equity during a pandemic that has disproportionately sickened and killed Black, Hispanic and Latino, and Indigenous Americans.”
Not mentioned in the report, however, are the unintended consequences of the actions taken by public health agencies across the country in 2020. The collateral damage of lockdowns included business closures, job losses, supply disruptions, massprotests, surging violence, increasedmental health problems, unprecedented drugoverdoses, and a collapse in cancer screenings.
Public health agencies, meanwhile, proved incapable of taming the coronavirus through the use of lockdowns. And these struggles were not confined to the United States.
“A new study by German scientists claims to have found evidence that lockdowns may have had little effect on controlling the coronavirus pandemic,” The Telegraphreported last week. “Statisticians at Munich University found ‘no direct connection’ between the German lockdown and falling infection rates in the country.”
Finally! Bill Introduced To Clamp Down On Big Tech Censorship
The “Pro-Speech Act” may not be perfect, but it has been long in coming from a Congress that has bad-mouthed Big Tech while doing nothing to reign it in. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) aims to change that. Technocrats have relied on Big Tech to suppress any criticism of their globalist plans and ambitions. ⁃ TN Editor
U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, introduced a bill aimed at curbing tech censorship called the PRO-SPEECH Act last week.
The bill would establish baseline protections to prohibit Big Tech from engaging in unfair, deceptive, or anti-competitive practices that limit or control consumers’ speech.
The bill draws a strict distinction between publishers and platforms, requiring that platforms abide by a series of rules regarding access to the service.
According to a press release from Sen. Wicker’s office, the bill aims to:
Preserve consumers’ ability to access lawful content, applications, services, or devices, so long as they do not interfere with an internet platform’s functionality or pose a data privacy or data security risk to a user.
Prohibit internet platforms from taking any actions against users based on racial, sexual, religious, partisan, or ethnic grounds.
Prohibit large internet platforms from blocking or discriminating against competing internet platforms by declaring such actions presumptively anti-competitive.
Require an internet platform to disclose to the public accurate information regarding the platform management practices, performance characteristics, and commercial terms of service of any app store, cloud computing service, operating system, search engine, or social media network it owns; and
Authorize the Federal Trade Commission to enforce the Act under Section 5 of the FTC Act notwithstanding any other provision of law.
“The big social media companies continue to abuse their market power by censoring content, suppressing certain viewpoints, and prioritizing favored political speech,” said Sen. Wicker in a statement.
“My bill would put safeguards in place to preserve internet freedom, promote competition, and protect consumers from these blatantly biased practices. It is time for Congress to act to ensure the internet can be an open forum where diverse views are expressed.”
Texas Bans Businesses From Requiring ‘Vaccine Passports’
Every state in America should immediately follow in Texas’ footsteps to prohibit businesses from requiring customers to present vaccine passports. Such proofs of vaccinations are a key part of Technocracy’s attempted coup d’etat and must be totally rejected as such. ⁃ TN Editor
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday signed into law a bill to ban government entities and private businesses from requiring proof of vaccination as a condition for service or entry amid the CCP virus pandemic.
“Texas is open 100 percent, and we want to make sure you have the freedom to go where you want without limits,” the Republican governor announced in a video post on Twitter.
The Lone Star state in March ended its statewide mask mandate and allowed all businesses to open at full capacity after having implemented mandates and restrictions due to the pandemic caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
Abbott announced on Monday with the signing of the legislation that “No business or government entity can require a person to provide a vaccine passport or any other vaccine information as a condition of receiving any service or entering any place.”
The new law SB 968 covers many aspects of the public health disaster and public health emergency preparedness and response. It was approved unanimously in April and was passed by a vote of 146-2 by the state House in May.
Effective immediately, Texas businesses “may not require a customer to provide any documentation certifying the customer ’s COVID-19 vaccination or post-transmission recovery on entry to, to gain access to, or to receive service from the business,” the legislation states. State agencies in charge of different business sectors can require that businesses comply with the new law as a condition to be authorized to conduct business in Texas.
Washington County First In Nation To Ban Facial Recognition Software
The King County Councilmember who sponsored the resolution hit the nail on the head: The use of this technology is invasive, intrusive, racially biased and full of risks to fundamental civil liberties.” However, the shortcomings of facial recognition technology is seen as solvable with more technology.
This story will not be seen repeated in national media lest other civil entities (counties, cities) wake up and bring the hammer down on the Technocrat takeover of America. ⁃ TN Editor
King County became the first county in the country to ban government use of facial recognition software.
Supporters applaud the newly approved ban on facial recognition software. They said this is a big win for civil rights and privacy.
Those worried about facial recognition software say Blacks, Asians, and Latinos are often misidentified by the software.
King County Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Wells said her proposed legislation, which the council unanimously approved Tuesday, will protect civil rights.
“We can be leaders and show we can proceed cautiously with development technology that may have caused harm, that has caused harm already,” said Kohl-Wells.
“The use of this technology is invasive, intrusive, racially biased and full of risks to fundamental civil liberties,” said King County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove in a released statement. “I am proud to sponsor this ban which is supported by local community groups, public defenders, immigrants’ rights advocates, racial justice organizations, workers’ rights groups, privacy advocates, and technologists.”
The legislation bans the use of the software by county government agencies and administrative offices, including by the King County Sheriff’s Office.
A number of groups—including the ACLU– applaud King County Council’s decision today to ban the powerful technology.
“Facial recognition technology is still incredibly biased and absolutely creates harm in the real world,” said Jennifer Lee with ACLU Washington. “We now know of three black men who have been wrongfully arrested and jailed due to biased facial recognition technology. So, this powerful surveillance tool inevitably exacerbates already racially biased policing.”
“The passing of the King County Facial Recognition Ordinance is a huge step towards implementing equitable restrictions on surveillance technology. Facial recognition is consistently used to target Muslims around the world, as well as to quell our First Amendment rights to freedom of speech, religion, and association. We applaud King County for being the first multi-city county in the nation to pass such necessary measures, and we call on the rest of our state and country to follow suit.”
Maru Mora Villalpando is with Latino Advocacy. She joined a coalition of groups to get King County Council to vote for the ban.
“We texted, we mailed, we tweeted. We really, really were involved and we’re happy with the results,” Villalpando said. “This is amazing news. I’m really happy.”
As immigrants, we have been targeted by immigration enforcement as people of color. We’re already afraid of the power that ICE and police have. And giving them this kind of technology makes us more afraid. So, we think the county did the right thing. They listened to us, to the community.”
“It’s good that King County has taken in a step to hit the pause button on these technologies,” said Marcos Martinez with Casa Latina. “We know that these facial recognition technologies are unreliable and they’re especially harmful, especially. to communities of color.”
No government agency in King County used the facial recognition software.
King County Sheriff’s Department does not currently use it, nor has it ever used it in the past, according to a spokesman. Seattle Police Department does not use the surveillance technology software either. Both agencies said the new ban will not impact their operations.
“The Sheriff’s Office operations will not be hindered by the proposed legislation regarding facial recognition technologies,” said Sgt. Tim Meyer. “This legislation reflects the values of the communities we serve.”
You will pay another $5 if you are caught bragging about your vaccine. Proceeds are donated to a local domestic abuse charity. Mendocino, California is an artsy, new age enclave full of Sustainable Development environmentalists and many residents are totally triggered. The owner says they can choose who they support. ⁃ TN Editor
Patrons are free to say what they wish at a California cafe, but doing so while wearing a mask will cost them $5.
On Sunday, Fiddleheads Cafe in Mendocino put up a sign stating the fee for those who wear a mask while ordering, NBC News reported Friday.
In March, the establishment announced a 50 percent discount for people who threw their masks in the garbage, according to owner Chris Castleman.
“I don’t think $5 to charity is too much to ask from mask wearing customers who claim to care so much about the community they live in,” he told the outlet in an email.
The proceeds will be given to Project Sanctuary, a domestic abuse organization, for two weeks before another nonprofit is put into the rotation, according to Castleman.
“It’s about time that the proponents of these ineffective government measures start paying for the collateral damage they have collectively caused,” the owner continued.
The eatery also reportedly planned to charge an additional $5 for those “caught bragging” about receiving the vaccine, some of the posted signs read.
According to NBC Bay Area, Castleman said a few people paid the $5 fee while others were shocked and angered.
“Customers either love it or hate it,” he told the outlet in an email:
There are people who refuse to pay it; I guess a $5 donation to charity is too much for them. Others have gladly paid it knowing that it goes to a good cause. I don’t force anyone to pay, I give them the freedom of choice, which seems to be a foreign concept in these parts of the country.
In June, Castleman temporarily closed the business once Mendocino County officials warned masks were not optional at restaurants during the coronavirus pandemic.
He abided by the temporary mandates regarding curbside service, but requiring masks for servers and other employees, he argued, was over the top.
“I don’t believe in mask-wearing,” Castleman explained. “Our customer base has been strongly aligned with our beliefs, but I think some are really angry at our cafe.”
“It’s their choice,” he noted. “They can choose what business they support. They can go to any other business in my county, state.”
Hospital Sued By 117 Employees Over Vaccine Mandate
A few courageous hospital workers are taking their Houston hospital employer to task over mandated vaccination but are already being vilified for their actions. Their complaint is that they are being forced to act as “human guinea pigs” in an “experimental vaccine trial.” ⁃ TN Editor
A group of 117 Houston-area hospital employees on Friday filed a civil lawsuit against an employer hospital’s coronavirus vaccine mandate. The lawsuit alleges that the mandate violates both the Nuremberg Code and U.S. statutes that allow Americans to refuse “unapproved” medical treatments. It also alleges violations of Texas labor and employment laws.
That “people” are “trying to force you to put something into your body that you’re not comfortable with to keep your job is just insane,” lead plaintiff Jennifer Bridgestold Houston CBS affiliate KHOU.
The defendants are The Methodist Hospital, the Methodist Hospital System, and Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital. The people in charge of those entities responded to the litigation by saying the plaintiffs are but a small minority of voices among 26,000 employees and that it is “legal for health care institutions to mandate vaccines.”
The sharply worded 56-page complaint argues that the COVID-19 vaccines currently on the market were authorized merely as “emergency” measures and, thus, are not fully “approved” vaccines.
At the top of the document are words attributed to David Bernard, the CEO of Houston Methodist San Jacinto Hospital: “100% vaccination is more important than your individual freedom. Everyone [sic] of you is replaceable. If you don’t like what your [sic] doing you can leave and we will replace your spot.”
Those alleged words did not sit well with the plaintiffs.
“For the first time in the history of the United States, an employer is forcing an employee to participate in an experimental vaccine trial as a condition for continued employment,” the lawsuit argues.
The document continues by alleging that the defendant hospital “became the first major health care system in the country to force it [sic] employees to be injected with an experimental COVID-19 mRNA gene modification injection (‘experimental vaccine’) or be fired.”
“Methodist Hospital is forcing its employees to be human ‘guinea pigs’ as a condition for continued employment,” the lawsuit’s opening paragraph also says.
The Washington Post on May 14 reported that the coronavirus vaccines available in the U.S. are no longer considered “experimental” because they have “completed clinical trials and have been authorized for emergency use.” The same report quotes a bevy of experts who asserted that the current vaccines are safe while noting that millions of Americans have been vaccinated without serious harm.
Still, the plaintiff employees remain skeptical.
“[T]here is much the FDA does not know about these products even as it authorizes them for emergency use, including their effectiveness against infection, death, and transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that is allegedly the cause of the COVID disease,” the lawsuit claims.
“Federal EEO laws do not prevent an employer from requiring all employees physically entering the workplace to be vaccinated for COVID-19, so long as employers comply with the reasonable accommodation provisions of the ADA and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other EEO considerations,” the new EEOC technical assistance document reads.
Boom: DeSantis Signs Bill to Stop Big Tech Censorship of Floridians
Gov. Ron DeSantis and Florida lawmakers lead the nation in anti-censorship smackdown of Big Tech social media giants. Other states are likely to follow with similar legislation, bypassing Federal incompetence and inaction. ⁃ TN Editor
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed into law a bill—the first of its kind in the United States—allowing Floridians to sue Big Tech platforms.
A number of free speech advocates, including Cuban and Venezuelan exiles, state senators, and deplatformed influencers, stood behind DeSantis as he made the announcement at Florida International University on May 24.
Courts may award up to $100,000 in damages to an individual if a social media platform censors or shadowbans a user’s content, deplatforms a user, or if it hasn’t applied censorship or deplatforming standards in a consistent manner, according to the text of the bill.
“We will be the first state to hold Big Tech accountable,” DeSantis said at a press conference. “They are exerting a power that really has no precedent in American history.”
Big tech companies that violate the bill, SB 7072 Social Media Platforms, can be sued by Floridians for monetary damages. The state’s attorney general can bring action against companies that violate this law under Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.
As an example, the governor mentioned that people were deplatformed for discussing the Wuhan lab leak theory regarding the origins of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, whereas now that theory has become a topic of mainstream discussion.
“2021 looks more like the fictitious 1984,” the governor said.
The law also blocks Big Tech from deplatforming Floridian political candidates. The Florida Election Commission will impose fines of $250,000 per day on any social media company that deplatforms any candidates for statewide office. The fine is $25,000 per day when deplatforming candidates for other offices.
While Floridians have the right to block anyone, it’s not the role of Big Tech to censor, said DeSantis.
“SB 7072 is a bold first step to reining in Big Tech tyranny by defending the rights of all Floridians in the digital space,” DeSantis said. “Over the years, these platforms have changed from neutral platforms that provide Americans with the freedom to speak to enforcers of preferred narratives.
“Florida is the first state to hold Big Tech accountable by empowering each and every Floridian silenced by arbitrary corporate censorship to fight back. This is a groundbreaking bill that protects Floridians from Silicon Valley’s power grab.”
If social media platforms are found to have violated antitrust law, they’ll be restricted from contracting with any public entity. That “antitrust violator” blacklist imposes real consequences for Big Tech oligopolies’ bottom line. According to DeSantis, the law will also require social media companies to be transparent about their content moderation practices and give users proper notice of changes to those policies.
Vaccine Passport Rebellion: ‘You’re Not Going To Brand Us!’
The Orange County protest was filled with people who are waking up to Scientific Dictatorship, aka Technocracy, and taking it out on county officials who are trying to sneak in vaccine passports to further fracture society. The officials couldn’t fathom why anyone would protest their policies. ⁃ TN Editor
On the same day that Orange County recorded some of its most positive coronavirus statistics to date — nearing the least restrictive yellow tier in the state’s reopening blueprint — hundreds of protesters gathered to blast the Board of Supervisors for a proposal to create “vaccine passports,” or digital records that document COVID-19 vaccination status.
The public backlash began in April after the county announced plans to launch a pilot program for credentialing. Almost immediately, a vocal group of opponents expressed concern that the digital records would be used to “track” people and reveal private healthcare information. Opponents also said it would allow the county to favor residents who chose to get vaccinated.
County officials have repeatedly said the claims are not true.
But inside the meeting hall Tuesday, tensions reached a boiling point after Chairman Andrew Do proposed tabling the plan in an attempt to remove distractions and refocus on the county’s vaccination efforts.
“The noise around this whole vaccine passport has reached the point where it’s becoming counterproductive,” Do said. “On the eve of our county going into the yellow tier — we are about to open up even more — the goal for us, in order to adequately protect all of us … is going to be vaccination.”
The county on Tuesday moved within striking distance of the state’s most lenient tier of economic reopenings, posting its first of a required two weeks of qualifying data needed to advance. Orange County has been in the orange, or moderate tier, since March 29.
Supervisor Katrina Foley strongly opposed Do’s proposal to pause the digital record-keeping plan, noting that the county’s economy is highly dependent on tourism, theme parks, sporting events and concert venues — many of which sell tickets online — and that digital proof of vaccination could be key to their ability to operate at maximum capacity. Foley also expressed concern that the county had already paid for the creation of the service.
“This was a convenient, opt-in, voluntary opportunity for individuals to be able to benefit their businesses as well as be able to go about living their lives,” she said. “We are appeasing a very small faction of our community who actually are not going to get vaccinated. They’ve already told us they don’t believe in vaccines.”
The proposal for the pilot program included issuing a QR code to vaccine recipients who registered for appointments through the county’s Othena app. County officials stressed that digital vaccination records would provide an alternative to the paper cards issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which can be easily lost or destroyed.
Many residents were not convinced.
By noon, at least 580 people had queued up to offer public comment during the county meeting, including some from Los Angeles. Each was given 30 seconds to speak, and the overwhelming majority used the opportunity to urge county officials to reject the passport. Some also declared the pandemic a hoax.
“I will not be bullied, coerced, harassed in any way, shape or form … into participating into a massive human experiment in order to fit in,” said one woman, who did not provide her name.
Another speaker cited county data, arguing that the majority of Orange County residents who haven’t yet been vaccinated are against vaccines and the use of passports.
“It’s not about availability, it’s about the legal right of choice,” she said. “I’m a millennial in my prime who dreams of having a family, and I’m terrified to bring children into a world that violates their conscience and disrespects their freedom as citizens of the United States of America.”
According to The Times’ tracker, about 51% of Orange County residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 38% are fully vaccinated. The numbers are about on par with the state, where 49% of residents have received at least one dose and 36% have been fully vaccinated. Nationwide, about 58% of adults have received at least one shot, according to the CDC.
But vaccination rates in Orange County are slowing, as they are in other parts of the state. The county last week announced it would close mass vaccination sites at the Anaheim Convention Center, O.C. Fair & Event Center, Soka University and Santa Ana College on June 6 amid dwindling demand. The last first-dose Moderna appointments were offered May 8, and the last first-dose Pfizer appointments will be offered Saturday.
Images posted to social media showed that word of Tuesday’s protest had been circulating online and through fliers describing Orange County as “the battleground of the nation.” One resident, Leigh Dundas, took to YouTube to encourage people to show up to the Board of Supervisors’ meeting in droves.
“I cannot underscore enough: This is the hill we die on,” she said. “We cannot allow the people of America to be segregated or to be made prisoners in their own homes.”
One protester Tuesday described the crowd as “patriots,” and said he was there to make it clear that “America in general is not going to be OK with this.”
Kennedy And CHD Sue Facebook Over Racketeering, Collusion
After massive censorship from Big Tech social media platforms, Children’s Health Defense and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. are fighting back in court, charging racketeering and collusion between Facebook and the U.S. Government. The U.S. District Court in San Francisco heard initial arguments. ⁃ TN Editor
Judge Susan Illston of the Northern District of California Wednesday heard arguments for and against the defendants’ motion to dismiss in the Children’s Health Defense (CHD) lawsuit, which claims that Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg and three fact-checking operations censor truthful public health posts and engage in racketeering activities against CHD.
According to CHD’s complaint, Facebook has insidious conflicts with the pharmaceutical industry and its captive health agencies, and has economic stakes in vaccines, telecom and 5G.
Facebook currently censors CHD’s page, targeting factual information about vaccines, 5G and public health agencies. Facebook-owned Instagram deplatformed CHD Chairman Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. on Feb. 10 without notice or explanation.
This is an important First Amendment case that tests the boundaries of government authority to openly censor unwanted critique of its narrative, attorneys Roger Teich and Jed Rubenfeld argued before the court. Attorneys Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Mary Holland, CHD president, also are lawyers on the legal briefs.
CHD is a nonprofit watchdog group that roots out corruption in federal agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and exposes wrongdoings in the pharmaceutical and telecom industries.
CHD has been a frequent critic of WiFi and 5G Network safety and of certain vaccine policies that place profits ahead of public health. CHD has fiercely criticized agency corruption at the WHO, CDC and FCC.
Facebook has publicly stated it is assisting efforts of the White House, the CDC and the WHO to censor unwanted speech about vaccines. While earlier court decisions have upheld Facebook’s right to censor user pages, CHD argues that the social media giant’s open collaboration with government makes it a proxy for government censorship, violating the First Amendment.
The government’s role in Facebook’s censorship goes deeper than its close coordination with the CDC and WHO — it began at the suggestion of powerful Democratic Congressman and Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who in March 2019, asked Facebook to suppress and purge internet content critical of government vaccine policies.
Facebook, Schiff and many other government officials use the term “misinformation” as a euphemism for any statement, whether truthful or not, that contradicts official government pronouncements.
The WHO issued a press release commending Facebook for coordinating its ongoing censorship campaign with public health officials. That same day, Facebook published a “warning label” on CHD’s page, implying that CHD’s content is inaccurate and directing CHD followers to turn to the CDC for “reliable, up-to-date information.”
CHD’s lawsuit also challenges Facebook use of so-called “independent fact-checkers,” which, in truth, are neither independent nor fact-based, to create oppositional content on CHD’s page, superimposed over CHD’s original content, about matters of heated scientific controversy.
To further silence CHD’s dissent against government policies and the pharmaceutical industry, Facebook deactivated CHD’s donate button and uses a variety of deceptive technologies, including shadow banning, to minimize CHD’s reach and visibility.
In short, the lawsuit contends Facebook and the government collude to silence CHD and its followers. Such tactics violate the First Amendment, which guarantees the American public the free flow of information in the marketplace of ideas.
NYU Professor/Propaganda Expert Fights Academic Censorship
New York University Professor Mark Crispin Miller refuses to be cancelled by the propaganda-laced culture that he has forcefully exposed over the last 20 years. His battle is one that every American should be fighting to cancel the cancel culture. ⁃ TN Editor
In the video above, James Corbett of The Corbett Report interviews1 professor Mark Crispin Miller about mass persuasion and propaganda — topics he’s been teaching at the New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development for the last two decades — and the current state of free speech.
Miller recently sued 19 of his department colleagues for libel after they signed a letter to the school dean demanding a review of Miller’s conduct. He points out that his course on propaganda is not focused on historical examples of mass persuasion but, rather, teaches his students to recognize and resist propaganda in real or recent times.
“This can be quite challenging,” he says. It’s rather easy to identify examples of propaganda that you do not agree with. It’s much more difficult when it’s something you care about, agree with or believe in; when it pushes your buttons. It requires you to detach, to take a bird’s-eye view and develop impartiality. You have to “make an attempt to think about it, critically,” Miller explains, and to look at both sides of the issue.
Unfortunately, as noted by Miller, getting the other side of the story is now becoming increasingly difficult, thanks to Big Tech censorship, which oftentimes filters out or blocks all but one viewpoint.
Identifying COVID Propaganda
At the beginning of this last semester, Miller suggested his students take a deep dive into the current propaganda narratives at work. He pointed out that the COVID-19 crisis, which justified distance learning, self-isolation and separation from family and friends, was driven by very powerful propaganda narratives.
He stresses that he’s not saying the COVID-19 pandemic is a fraud or that the narratives are false — propaganda can be factually accurate — only that propaganda tends to be one-sided. It offers just one, nearly always biased, side of the story. Miller offered up the example of mask mandates. Previous randomized studies show that masks are ineffective as barriers against respiratory viruses such as influenza.
He instructed his students to read those papers, as well as more recent studies that might suggest there’s some benefit. He also instructed them to analyze potential conflicts of interest that might have influenced the findings, such as funding by Big Pharma or the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He also warned them that when using Google search, biased articles will typically show up first, “as Google owns two pharmaceutical companies,” he explains.
As it turns out, one student asked to join his class late, which he accepted. Having missed these preliminary instructions and discussions about how to identify and study propaganda, the late-entry student took to Twitter to complain about the assignment to investigate mask narratives and demanded Miller be fired.
The department chair, without consulting with Miller, responded to the student’s tweet, saying the department would prioritize the matter and take steps to address it. The next day, the doctor who advises the NYU on its “insanely draconian COVID rules” and the dean emailed Miller’s students, without copying him on the correspondence, saying he had given them “dangerous misinformation” about masking.
Next, they demanded he cancel his propaganda course for the following semester. “I had no choice but to do that,” Miller says, “but I told them I’m doing it under protest.”
Petition for Academic Freedom
If this scenario strikes you as typical of the kind of intellectual and scientific censorship we’ve seen all around the world over the past year, you’re not alone. Miller recognized it too, and created an academic freedom petition,2 which at the time of this writing has been signed by nearly 36,000 people.
“All it asks is that NYU respect my academic freedom and set a good example for othr schools,” Miller says. “But I did it in the name of all professors, all journalists, all scientists, all doctors, activists and whistleblowers who have been gagged or punished for their dissidence, not just last year, but really, for decades.”
Review of Conduct
A month later, Miller received a letter from the dean, listing a number of accusations raised by 25 of his department colleagues, including “explicit hate speech,” “mounting attacks on students and others” in the community, “advocating for an unsafe learning environment,” “aggressions,” “microagressions” and discouraging his students from wearing masks.
“This is a very succinct description of the OPPOSITE of what I teach,” Miller says. “Every single one of these charges was false.” His colleagues had also demanded that a review of Miller’s conduct be performed to address these issues, which the dean approved, at the insistence of NYU lawyers. While the review was scheduled to wrap up in December 2020, Miller has yet to hear from the review board.
In response to that letter from the dean, Miller wrote a “cordial rebuttal,” in which he asked his colleagues to retract their accusations and issue an apology. He received no response. Getting no response after a follow-up letter, he then decided to file a libel suit against 19 of his 25 colleagues, excluding the junior members from the suit. He did it, he says, “because this kind of thing needs to end.”
At the time of this writing, Miller is waiting for the judge to rule on the defendants’ motion to dismiss the case. All of the documents relating to this case can be found on Miller’s website, MarkCrispinMiller.com.3 If you want to make a donation to help fund Miller’s legal case, you can do so on his GoFundMe page.4 Donations are held in an escrow account managed by his attorney and are reserved for legal expenses only.
The Censorship Trifecta — Common Repression Tactics
As noted by Corbett, some of Miller’s students have clearly failed to live up to the adage that “It is the mark of an intelligent mind to entertain a thought without accepting it.” Indeed, this failure appears rampant these days, and is certainly not limited to the most naïve of students.
Interestingly, Miller cites a Japanese student, who some years ago told him that “Higher education in the United States is teaching students how to take offense,” which he thought was quite astute. “That’s absolutely true,” Miller says, “and students such as this young woman are used to being rewarded for saying these kinds of things.” He goes on to list “the censorship trifecta” — repressive tactics — that he was hit with:
“Assailing my students with non-evidence-based arguments.” Basically, they accused him of being a “conspiracy theorist,” which is “the oldest and most effective means of silencing inconvenient opinion,” Miller says.
Indeed, the CIA weaponized this catchphrase in 1967 to discredit writers who questioned the veracity of the Warren Report about the Kennedy assassination. To learn more about how conspiracy theory became “a thing,” read “Conspiracy Theory in America” by Lance deHaven-Smith.
2. “Hate speech and microagression,” which are a form of “social justice puritanism” that forbids discussing or questioning certain ideologies. Doing so means you’re mocking or ridiculing certain groups of people. This too is simply a way to shut people up and dissuade honest discussion that might reveal problems or chinks in whatever one-sided argument you’re told to blindly accept.
3. Spreading “dangerous misinformation.” Presently, and since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, questioning any part of the official narrative, no matter how incongruent, scientifically baseless or socially destructive it may be, means you are putting people in danger. Of course, at any other time, “dangerous misinformation” could refer to any narrative that the ruling class wants to maintain.
Part and parcel of all three of these tactics is the labeling of any science that deflates or disproves the propaganda narrative as “alternative science” or “fringe science.” It doesn’t matter if it’s published in prestigious peer-reviewed journals. It’s still dismissed as unreliable at best and misinformation at worst, incapable of standing up to the wisdom of the Dr. Fauci’s of the world.
The Deeper Significance of This Case
The problem with normalizing these weapons of censorship is that it makes education impossible, it makes science impossible, it makes democracy impossible. Everything is reduced to compliance versus noncompliance.
As noted by Corbett, Miller’s case goes beyond mere freedom of speech, which everyone ought to have, it goes into the issue of freedom of inquiry itself — the freedom to ask questions and ponder an issue or problem from multiple angles. Without the ability to think freely and express those thoughts, life itself becomes more or less meaningless.
Who’s Running the Show?
An obvious question is, what is the source of this cancel-culture, censorship-embracing phenomenon? With regard to his own case, Miller believes it has been “steered,” although it is unclear by whom.
With just 79 followers on Twitter, the dissatisfied student’s tweet somehow spread like wildfire, resulting in three separate smear pieces in mainstream media. So, “it got some help,” Miller says.
Miller also questions the advice by NYU lawyers, who insisted the dean must set up a conduct review in response to the student’s complaint, even though the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) sent the president of NYU a detailed letter explaining why there were no legal, Constitutional grounds for Miller’s review.
Miller admits there may be several reasons — including financial and political — for the attacks on him, and reviews some of those details in the interview, but none of them has anything to do with what or how he teaches.
More broadly, it’s clear that the entire global COVID-19 narrative has been created and is steered from or by a core, unelected nongovernmental body. I often refer to this group as the technocratic elite, members of which are found in global NGOs, think-tanks, big business, academia, media, scientific centers, regulatory agencies and political strata around the world.
It is this thorough infiltration that allows for the global coordination we now see and experience — this lockstep activity around the world — which includes censorship of counter-narratives and divergent points of view, without regard for an individual’s background or expertise. Officially recognized, credible sources have been identified, and all others are dismissed as misinformation.