France Emerges As One Of The World’s Greatest Threats To Free Speech

libertyBelow is my column on the vote scheduled for this week by France to impose a new regulation on Internet speech — essentially forcing companies to scrub their sites of any hate speech as defined under sweeping French laws.  What is astonishing is how many Americans are prepared to follow the European model in limiting free speech on the basis for loosely defined terms of threatening or intimidating or harassing anyone on the basis for race or religion or sexual orientation or other protected groups. The implications for free speech is sweeping and chilling. The West has fallen out of love with free speech.  What is most concerning however is that countries like France and Germany are likely to strip away free speech protections for the rest of the World, even in countries like the United States where free speech is still given broad protection.

Here is the column:

Just over one year ago, French President Emmanuel Macron came to the United States to import two potentially invasive species to Washington. One was a tree and the other was a crackdown on free speech. Ironically, soon after the tree was planted, officials dug it up to send it to quarantine. However, the more dangerous species was his acorn of speech controls, a proposal that resulted in rapturous applause from our clueless politicians.

While our politicians in the United States may applaud Macron like village idiots, most Americans are hardcore believers in free speech. It is part of our DNA. Undeterred, however, Macron and others in Europe are moving to unilaterally impose speech controls on the internet with new legislation in France and Germany. If you believe this is a European issue, think again.

Macron and his government are attempting to unilaterally scrub out the internet of hateful thoughts. The French Parliament has moved toward a new law that would give internet companies like Facebook and Google just 24 hours to remove hateful speech from their sites or face fines of $1.4 million per violation. A final vote is expected next week. Germany passed a similar measure last year and imposed fines of $56 million.

The French and Germans have given up in trying to convince the United States to surrender its free speech protections. They realized that they do not have to because by imposing crippling penalties, major companies will be forced into censoring speech under poorly defined standards. The result could be the curtailment of the greatest invention fostering free speech in the history of the world. It is all happening without a whimper of opposition from Congress or from most civil liberties organizations.

The move by the Europeans hits in the blind spot of the United States Constitution. The First Amendment does an excellent job of preventing government action against free speech, and most of the laws curtailing free speech in Europe would be unconstitutional in the United States. However, although protected against Big Brother, we are left completely vulnerable to Little Brother, made up of the private companies that have wide discretion on curtailing and controlling speech around the world.

Europeans know these companies are quite unlikely to surgically remove content for individual countries. The effect will be similar to the “California Exception.” All states are subject to uniform vehicle emissions standards under the Clean Air Act, but California was given an exception to establish more stringent standards. Rather than create special cars for California, the more stringent standards tend to drive car designs. When it comes to speech controls, Europeans know they can limit speech not only in their countries but practically limit speech in the United States and elsewhere.

Indeed, Europeans are building on past success. Back in 2013, a group of Jewish students used French laws to sue Twitter to force it to hand over the identities of anonymous posters of comments deemed anti-Semitic. To its credit, Twitter fought to protect anonymity but the European courts ruled against the company and, ultimately, it caved. Anonymity is being rolled back as rapidly as free speech is being crushed in these countries.

Macron knows the European speech controls are likely to metastasize throughout the internet. They have already laid waste to free speech in Europe. These laws criminalize speech under vague standards referring to “inciting” or “intimidating” others based on race or religion. For example, fashion designer John Galliano has been found guilty in a French court on charges of making anti-Semitic comments against at least three people in a Paris bar. At his sentencing, Judge Anne Marie Sauteraud read out a list of the bad words used by Galliano to Geraldine Bloch and Philippe Virgitti. “He said ‘dirty whore’ at least a thousand times,” she explained out loud.

In another case, the father of French conservative presidential candidate Marine Le Pen was fined because he had called people from the Roma minority “smelly.” A French mother was prosecuted because her son went to school with a shirt reading “I am a bomb.” A German man was arrested for having a ringtone with the voice of Adolf Hitler. A German conservative politician was placed under criminal investigation for a tweet in which she accused police of appeasing “barbaric gang raping Muslim hordes of men.” Even German Justice Minister Heiko Maas was censored under his own laws for calling an author an “idiot” on Twitter.

The result of such poorly defined laws is predictable. A recent poll found only 18 percent of Germans feel they can speak freely in public. More than 31 percent did not even feel free to express themselves in private among their friends. Just 17 percent of Germans felt free to express themselves on the internet, and 35 percent said free speech is confined to small private circles. That is called a chilling effect, and it should be feared.

There are also renewed calls in the United Nations to make hate speech a type of international crime. Muslim nations want blasphemy included, and Israel wants anti-Semitism to be criminalized. Even in our own country, politicians like Howard Dean and various academics have declared that hate speech is not protected by the First Amendment. Representative Frederica Wilson has called for people to be “prosecuted” for making fun of members of Congress. A recent poll found half of college students in the United States do not believe that hate speech should be protected.

The sad irony of France leading efforts to curb free speech is powerful. Once the bastion of liberty, France has now become one of the greatest international threats to free speech. It even led a crackdown on the free press with criminal investigations. For years, we have simply watched from our side of the Atlantic and dismissed these trends as a European issue. With these new laws, however, it is a global issue. This invasive species  is about to be unleashed on the worldwide web.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

179 thoughts on “France Emerges As One Of The World’s Greatest Threats To Free Speech”

  1. No wonder the French went full tilt left as a result of their experience with the Great Enlightenment.

  2. French Court Awards Compensation to Paris Massacre Terrorist

    His privacy rights were violated.

    Paul Joseph Watson10 July, 2019

    The only surviving terrorist from the Paris massacre was awarded €500 euros after the French judicial system ruled that his privacy rights had been violated.

    Yes, really.

    Salah Abdeslam provided logistical support for the Paris massacre terrorists, helping them manufacture explosives and driving them to their targets. The attack claimed the lives of 130 people and 368 others were injured.

    The Belgian was placed under 24/7 surveillance after he arrived at Fleury-Mérogis maximum security prison in April 2016. However, Abdeslam’s lawyer Frank Berton challenged that this violated his client’s right to privacy and the Administrative Court of Versailles later ruled in his favor, awarding the terrorist €500 euros.

    “We are run by a system that has become totally crazy, justifying by the rule of law the worst ignominies against the law and against the state,” said the National Rally party’s Jean Messiha.

    Meanwhile, a similar situation occurred in the UK, where the widow of the London Bridge terror attack ringleader was granted legal aid whereas the victims of her jihadist husband were not.

    One of the heroes of that attack, the man who literally fought off two of the terrorists, was later put on a terror watchlist by the government and forced to attend de-radicalization classes.

    Clown world.

    https://summit.news/2019/07/10/french-court-awards-compensation-to-paris-massacre-terrorist/

  3. OT: Hola: Majority of Hispanic voters approve of citizenship question on U.S. census

    By Jennifer Harper
    Two-thirds of voters approve of a citizenship question on the 2020 census, and that includes a majority of Hispanic voters — despite claims by Democratic lawmakers that the inquiry would discourage participation in Latino communities.

    A Harvard University Center for American Political Studies/Harris poll found that 67% of all registered U.S. voters say the census should ask the citizenship question when the time comes. That includes 88% of Republicans, 63% of independents and 52% of Democrats.

    Most notably, the poll found that 55% of Hispanic voters favor the idea.

    Also in agreement: 74% of rural voters, 59% of black voters, 58% of urban voters and 47% of voters who backed Hillary Clinton in 2016. At 44%, liberal voters were the least likely to favor the citizenship question.

    At the other end of the scale, 92% of Trump voters and 90% of conservatives back the question.

    00:10 / 00:15 Top articles1/5READ MORE
    Obamacare ‘individual mandate’ constitutionality doubted by appeals court judges

    The Harvard poll of 2,182 registered voters was conducted June 26-29. A Hill/HarrisX voter poll conducted in June found that 60% of voters approved of the question.

    On Tuesday, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway challenged why the citizenship question should even be an issue on the census — which makes a variety of personal household inquiries. She faults Democratic critics.

    “We’re asking people how many toilets in your house and you don’t want to know who’s using them? It’s absolutely ridiculous — and this is why the president is fighting for the question’s inclusion,” Ms. Conway told Fox News.

    “The census is important, and as President Trump has mentioned, we spend about $20 billion on it. We have said it’s an important exercise. So why not get it right? The census in the past has been increasingly responsive to changes in American demography,” she continued.

    “I would ask the Democrats —I hear they’re screaming rhetoric — I would ask what are you afraid of? Why wouldn’t you want to know who’s living in this country, and who’s a citizen and who’s not a citizen?” Ms. Conway asked.

  4. Jill-bashing by some of the regs:

    Allan says: July 9, 2019 at 10:37 AM
    Jill is the perfect example of those afflicted with self-loathing. Facts become a non issue and are created out of thin air to perpetuate the loathsome experience.

    Reply
    This is absurd x 9 says: July 9, 2019 at 11:40 AM
    She’s not afflicted with ‘self-loathing’. She’s a useless, self-aggrandizing liar who contributes flat nothing to civic life. She takes the wrong side of every controversy.

    Reply
    Allan says: July 9, 2019 at 1:57 PM
    “She takes the wrong side of every controversy.”

    DSS, the wrong side she points to are sides that reflect who or what she is and she portrays that side negatively. Based on what I have read from her I believe that extends to her inner self.

    ______________

    Nonsense.

  5. Free Speech In The News:

    SANDY HOOK FAMILIES SCORE VICTORIES AGAINST HOAXERS

    ALEX JONES LOSES SERIES OF DECISIONS

    Last night, The Washington Post ran this extensive feature story updating the fight being waged by Sandy Hook families. One recalls that shortly after the infamous school massacre in December of 2012, gun defenders and conspiracy theorists went to work maligning the Sandy Hook families. Said parents were “crisis actors”, the hoaxers claimed. They were part of an “evil plot to suppress second amendment rights”.

    This malicious hoax was enthusiastically promoted by Info Wars host Alex Jones. Within a shockingly short time, the Sandy Hook families found themselves inundated by hate mail and death threats. Raving lunatics from all over the country were contacting the families with disturbing frequency; upending their lives at a time of mourning. These contacts continued long ‘after’ the funerals as hoaxers like Alex Jones kept fanning the madness.

    The Sandy Hook families were forced to bring a series of lawsuits against Jones and other hoaxers. Last month marked a turning point. Court decisions in Wisconsin, Connecticut and Texas discredited the hoaxers, including Alex Jones.

    Jones has been forced to admit he was ‘wrong’ about Sandy Hook. Yet his lawyers have made an absurdly unique argument. “Distrust of government”, they claim, “runs so high, that Jones was merely presenting a credible conspiracy plot”. In other words, no matter how false, or insane, a conspiracy plot might be, free speech should allow the discussion of that hoax by so-called journalists like Jones.

    Jones still loses, however, and monetary damages could possibly bankrupt Info-Wars.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/first-they-lost-their-children-then-the-conspiracies-started-now-the-parents-of-newtown-are-fighting-back/2019/07/08/f167b880-9cef-11e9-9ed4-c9089972ad5a_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.d051a66cea73

    1. Hill,

      Better luck next time with your WAPO Fake News Bull Shiit.

      Wisconsin? LOL Hell Jones wasn’t even part of that case but that didn’t stop many Fake News outlets from reporting was. And since they didn’t retrack they’ll be pay Jones.

      BTW: H Clinton’s “White Shoe Boys” lawyers failed in that Connecticut case to set Jones up with child porn & just exposed themselves.

      1. Oky, I didn’t say the court in Wisconsin concerned Jones. It concerned the authors of a book that’s been pulled from publication. In fact, the book’s publisher realized in court that the Sandy Hook families really ‘were’ victims. That publisher is now very contrite.

        But apparently, Oky, you sympathize with Jones on this. Perhaps in your mind, it doesn’t matter if the Sandy Hook families really lost their children. They ‘could’ have been crisis actors, and even if they aren’t, it’s good to be vigilant against such hoaxes.

        1. ” They ‘could’ have been crisis actors, and even if they aren’t, it’s good to be vigilant against such hoaxes. ”

          Why are you so ok with the govt’s & old dying media being complicit in selling the US public on their Hoaxes, but your bothered by people, Jones included, in questioning their official stories?

          Lawyers question stories everyday in courts.

          Gulf of Tonkin which lead to the Vietnam War, OKC Murry Building attack,

          911 attack, etc…

          Millions died because people like you helped them pull off their hoaxes.

          Infowars people & are helping stop or slow up those types hoaxs.

          BTW: Why are you & the Sandy Hook lawyers riding on the backs of dead kids? I think I know why.

          1. Thanks, Oky, I don’t have to comment here.

            Your comments are insane enough to qualify as the lunatic fringe I referenced.

            1. As the lawyers will say in court, those are your stories or those are the govt’s official stories not mine/yours so prove them!

              And there remains the rub, you & the Govt can not.

    2. It’s very sad what happened at Sandy Hook and it was not a hoax

      Jones was a fool for recirculating the idiotic conspiracy theories that it was a hoax.

      That said, it’s the gist of his show, and well within most of NYT V Sullivan boundaries.

      That article is a poor legal analysis. It blithely recites the incorrect statements of one of the lawyer for Pozner who says hearsay can’t be admitted at trial.

      Really? What you learn in evidence class is that exceptions to the hearsay rule gobble up the rule almost entirely.

      And court experience proves that. I have made hearsay objections many many times and the only time they were upheld is when the “Dead Man’s Rule” was implicated. I won’t bother to explain that as it will have no bearing in this case. The point is usually excluding hearsay will be an error on the part of the judge. So they just let it in.

      Another thing. A lot of hearsay evidence in this case will be “verbal act” stuff.

      There may be a big judgment against Jones at the end of this but it may also get reversed under NYT v Sullivan once the furor is over.

      Keep in mind that Jones essentially repeated what was going around the internet. He was commenting on a matter of public concern.

      More importantly, the mass media is piling on him about this because he draws tons of eyeballs and thus is a major competitor. This is business, media business, and it’s complicated.

      But of course you know that last part.

      1. Kurtz, Jones literally brings out the lunatics. People with genuine mental health issues feel a connection to Alex Jones. And here you seem to imply that that lunatic following ‘threatens mainstream media’. ‘So presumably mainstream media is trying to discredit Jones out of self-interest’.

        By making this argument, Kurtz, you attempt to legitimize the lunatic fringe.

        1. You are qualified to assess the mental health of millions or perhaps tens of millions of people who have listened to alex jones at one time or another, precisely how?

          Not even the brightest psychiatrist would venture an opinion like that, but you’ve stated it confidently.

          You have a very high opinion of yourself! I on the other hand, am just a humble nobody. For my part, I will believe that in every large audience there are some nutjobs, but most probably are not. I even believe that most of the audience is sane even for a loathsome figure like Rachel Maddow!

          You however know better than me. Because I voted for Trump, which means, I am necessarily a “Mark” or a “Grifter” etc etc etc. Very tiresome!

          1. Kurtz, your Sullivan argument is worth exploring. Perhaps Professor Turley will address these rulings. But Alex Jones should not be a partisan issue. There was a time when mainstream Republicans would have shunned a hoaxer like Jones.

            1. Not me, I am just a nobody in flyover. And that has given the me the blessed obscurity to have associated freely with a lot of different people with checkered pasts. In fact when you’re a lawyer, that helps keep food in the fridge.

              I’ve associated with a lot worse than Alex Jones. Americans have the right to free association, that’s in the First amendment too. I can associate without fear of undue criminal liability being wrongfully attached to me. I find the police are generally pretty fair about that.

              JOURNALISTS are a lot less fair than police.

              Alex Jones repeated a falsehood? Oh, wait, is that a big deal?

              the NEWSPAPERS DO THAT EVERY DAY

          2. Kurtz, Peter wrote: “By making this argument, Kurtz, you attempt to legitimize the lunatic fringe.” and Peter didn’t recognize he was part of the lunatic fringe from the left.

            1. Et al.

              I’m not a psychiatrist, but it’s for millions of to spot the “lunatic fringe” that Peter supports.

              ie: Some of them don’t know if the are male or female, they can’t figure out which bath room to use, they are allow schools & others to sexualize very young kids attempting phk with their minds on what sex they are & to normalize pedophilia.

              Those are Lunatics!

              BTW: Note spell check seems to be playing games……

        2. Hill, i observe you also failed to address my criticism of your article, which for once I took the time to read, even though it was in wapo.;

          That’s your usual pattern. You lack the courtesy to engage. This is mostly a “Talking points” exercise here for you, an opportunity to project partisan rhetoric onto an audience that you think is mostly Trumpian.

          Well, it’s very admirable how committed you are to the mission!

          1. Mr Kurtz,

            This is a good interview by Lauren of Alex.

            Hill should listen to it.

            I’ve not time to watch & track down videos, but Hill also might wish to spend a bit of his time looking at the video Tommy Robinson put were he caught on tape the Fake News outlet the BBC & UK police attempting to criminal frame Tommy on false changes a few months back.

      2. “There may be a big judgment against Jones at the end of this but it may also get reversed under NYT v Sullivan once the furor is over.

        Keep in mind that Jones essentially repeated what was going around the internet. He was commenting on a matter of public concern.”

        Kurtz, I know very little about this battle, but I know a lot about the efficacy of the Washington Post and Peter Hill so I question what the final judgement against Jones will be. Years ago a court with this finding and an article from the Washington Post might have moved me in their direction but with all the crazy judges out there doing crazy things and a newspaper that is dishonest only leaves me yawning.

        1. i have listened to right wing dissident radio for decades., I used to listen to tom valentine on Willis Carto’s radio program on shortwave, all kinds of stuff. The internet rather eclipsed that sort of thing, and Alex Jones supplies the market now

          It’s basically a market niche, a lawful market niche, however silly it may seem, just like the Enquirer has a market niche, and the big newspapers hate it

          That’s what’s really behind all this. Market competition in which the big newspapers use their own bully pulpit to abuse their smaller but up and coming competitors.

          That’s what some of these anti free speech laws in Europe are too. It’s big parties behind them trying to shut down up and coming parties like National Rally fka Front National

          1. Mr Kutrz,

            Words have meaning & sometimes those meanings are hijacked, ie; Gay, queer, etc..

            Right Wing, you seem to be using to describe the political views of people like Jefferson, Madison & other of the founders.

            They hated Totalitarians which most of the Democratic & many Rino Republicans Parties have morphed into today.

  6. It isn’t France who has violated international law and suborn the laws of Ecuador, the UK, Australia and Sweden to imprison and possibly kill Assange. The US is the Jeffery Epstein of nations. We run the network which kills journalists with impunity.

    We are the one’s who hook up with Saudi Arabia and Israel. Manning’s leak, for which she remains in jail and fined, was in part, about showing the US order to kill civilians. Those civilians included a journalist.

    France is bad. We are terrible.

    1. The French have several thousand combat troops in Africa. That may exceed the number of U.S. troops there….I don’t know the U.S. number, but the U.S. military seems to have small, counter-insurgency units in a few African countries.
      I think if Jill tried hard enough, she could find “violations of international law” on the part of the French and other nations. But that might interfere with her efforts to criminalize American policy and the American military.

      1. Jill is the perfect example of those afflicted with self-loathing. Facts become a non issue and are created out of thin air to perpetuate the loathsome experience.

        1. She’s not afflicted with ‘self-loathing’. She’s a useless, self-aggrandizing liar who contributes flat nothing to civic life. She takes the wrong side of every controversy.

          1. France is actually a good example of a country that takes its interests more seriously than some others do, at least in Africa, and is willing to act like a sovereign instead of a UN approval first poodle.

            France is also struggling day after day with the consequences of its massive failure in Algeria. but I won’t bother to elaborate as it will only trigger the usual vexatious discussion about migrants.

          2. “She takes the wrong side of every controversy.”

            DSS, the wrong side she points to are sides that reflect who or what she is and she portrays that side negatively. Based on what I have read from her I believe that extends to her inner self.

              1. What can I say to what seems to be a repeated statement? Whatever reasoning abilities you might have had were left on the other side of the door.

          1. You have your opinion and I have mine. I gave a reason for mine. You left reason outside and then you commented.

  7. Absurd,
    It may be that the outside world started to look “weird” to him when he took up residence in Middle America🙄, aka Hollywood.

      1. Anon1:

        And lost the war in six weeks before collaborating with Nazis. Dying for your country is not the object of war. Maybe it was an army of lions led by lambs or maybe just an army of lambs led by lambs.

        1. The French and their allies won WWI after 4 years of trench warfare. Americans blessed with an ocean between us and possible invaders would do well to be thankful for that geographic good fortune and to not to mock countries – especially long time allies – who have sacrificed many more citizens than we repelling common enemies.

          1. Our interests were implicated in the 2d World War, in which France was militarily inglorious. In regard to the 1st World War, it’s a much closer call, so I’m not seeing the grand benefit we received from French sacrifices. (See John Derbyshire on his father’s assessment of the quality of the French contribution and the behavior of proximate French civilians. It’s harsh).

            It’s a reasonable argument that Italy and the Ottomans would have been better off remaining neutral, and the U.S. as well.

          2. The French are a tepid ally at best. A mere 20 years after our liberation of France, then President DeGaulle became so incensed with the USA that he ordered all American troops out of France. He relented when Secretary of State Dean Rusk asked the haughty Gaul if he also meant the ones residing in French cemeteries.

            1. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-nato-france-relations-factbox/factbox-frances-on-off-relations-with-nato-idUSTRE52A5D820090311
              Mespo,
              DeGaulle actually went farther than that.
              The U.S. did comply with DeGaulle’s demand to close U.S. bases in France, and additionally France withdrew from NATO
              ( although “officially”, on paper, France may have still been counted as a non- participating NATO member).
              At about the same time, DeGaulle stirred up the French separitists in Quebec…..I think he was actually on a trip to Canada when he did that.
              That wasn’t too well- received by the Canadian government.

            2. Mespo,
              Secretaries of State Albright and Powell have both made some interesting observations about dealing with the French.
              Their comments were not complementary.

            3. I see this in the context of a nation that used to produce leaders that realized they were in charge of securing their own national interests, and they acted zealously to protect them. Or at least they had an idea of trying to do so, which is laudable to me, as I’m a nationalist.

              The French sadly have failed miserably to secure their national interests when it comes to keeping France, French. You can put a lot of that right on Charlot.

              They’re a mixed bag, but one of the cornerstones of Western civilization. I humbly suggest we Americans should have respect for the ancient culture of France, in spite of the failures of the past 100 years. Or maybe 200 or 250 years of failures, depending on one’s perspective.

          3. Read Buchanan’s “The Avoidable War (WW2).” The French and their Versailles Treaty of WW1, The Allie’s intentional murder/starvation/genocide of Germans after WW1, and Churchill’s known intentional lie to defend Poland, guaranteed WW2.

            Also seldom if ever mentioned is the fact that one of the primary reasons the US refused to join WW2 till FDR manipulated us into it, was Europe’s theft of billions in unpaid debt loans for WW1.

            IIRC it was the late journalist Michael Piper who made a good case that a “Judaic” in FDR’s State Dept. invented the term “anti-Semite” to help manipulate the US into WW2. I challenge readers to post proof of the first usage of the term.

            The NYT and The Sun reported several holocausts of “6 million dead Jews” from 1915-1938. YT finally removed the video proving these several fake “holocausts:” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJ2X8UWHOj

            Zionists finally got their holocaust stories to stick, courtesy of Russia’s trade, beating Hitler in exchange for Eastern Europe and the subsequent Judaic-Bolshevik genocide of 30 million innocent Europeans. To date, Rabbis still insist that Hitler did G_d’s work, killing Jews who turned their backs on the Rabbis. History is rife with stories of pre-war Jews who turned their backs on Judaism.

            And now, of course, the Rabbis got what they wanted. The fastest growing branches of Judaism are the most strict and virulent branches. To refuse the trend is to risk personal and professional black listing.

            1. Transcript of the now-deleted YT video referred to above: https://ravnagaldr.wordpress.com/2014/02/06/transcribed-six-million-jews-in-newspapers-from-the-period-1915-1938/

              MSM started their fake news stories of “6 million dead Jews” in 1915 if not earlier.

              If you desire to visit Europe, the sooner the better. In our lifetime it shall become an Islamic wasteland, with all the spellbinding peace, wokeness, and civility of the Islamic nations of today. No nation has ever recovered from a birth rate of 1.3 (Germany today): https://www.steynonline.com/7428/it-still-the-demography-stupid

        2. https://www.nationalww2museum.org/students-teachers/student-resources/research-starters/research-starters-worldwide-deaths-world-war
          I’ve never seen a figure even close to the number of 1.5 million Frenchmen KIA in WWII.
          The French military probably lost somewhere between 200,000 – 250,000 men in combat.
          The number of civilian deaths may include Holocaust victims, as well as those in the French Underground, and also deaths of French soldiers who fought on the side of Germany.

        3. Mespo,
          In terms of the size of the armies and equipment, the French and German armies were pretty evenly matched.
          I think it astounded the British and the rest of the world that the Germans were able to dispatch to the French military in about 6 weeks, once ‘the sitting war” was over.
          It was too bad that the French soldiers had such poor leadership in the spring of 1940.

      2. In essence the French left their doors open by not properly protecting their borders. They also played the game of appeasement so that the immediate relative strengths of the different nations became lopsided in favor of the Germans. The logistics of production, manpower and distance from bombers favored the allies. Rogue nations attack the weak, not the strong. Some well respected historians believe that had the power of the British and their allies been clearly demonstrated earlier the war might not have occurred. These are the games being played in the US by those on the left who wish to leave us open to the degradation of our society here and open to ever increasing threats elsewhere.

  8. Please, PLEASE do not delete Mr.Benson’s speeches about the lack of free speech.😄😄😂🤣

  9. And yet, you are still here Mr. Benson. You have predicted your martyrdom to the principle of free speech at least as often as there have been predictions of the Second Coming.

  10. Between seeing and the influence of Fox News 🤪😱 everywhere and Estovir everywhere, I think Peter has gone ’round the bend.

    1. Tom, I ‘was’ a Republican.

      My parents, aunts and uncles were moderate Republicans in the post-war era. And even during my hippie days I thought of myself as Republican. But there came a point when the party blew past me on the right. And they’ve been going right ever since. So I had no choice but to become Democrat.

      I can tell you exactly when Republicans got weird: Bush’s appointment of Dan Quayle as running mate. Yet the GOP went much further right with the advent of Fox News. George W in 2000 was clearly pandering to Southern Baptist types.

      But with Trump the party has gone further right than George W. George W., to his credit, was not ‘overtly’ polarizing. Trump, however, revels in polarization. That’s the influence of Fox. It’s a cold civil war mentality. Like any talk of unity is a sign of weakness. That’s the influence of Cable News in general. But ‘Fox’ in particular.

      1. I can tell you exactly when Republicans got weird: Bush’s appointment of Dan Quayle as running mate

        Another piece of evidence, in case you needed one, that Peter is running a tape in his head that has no correspondence to real-world events.

        The actual significance of the Quayle maneuver was approximately the same as that of the Ferraro maneuver in 1984. A busy man largely subcontracts his thinking to others who, in turn, make it a priority to have and advertising icon in that position. Who turns out to be vulnerable in various ways (though in the Ferraro case, a deficit of due diligence was more consequential than it was in the Quayle case, where sheer media hostility was the order of the day).

        1. “I can tell you exactly” when the Democrats got weird; April 23, 1983.
          9:26 AM. Why, I remember it just like it was yesterday, that exact moment that stands out.
          Not even the moderating influences of Rapida Tlaib, Social Sanders, Mad Mad, Hyphen-Cortez and Co. can “unweird” the Democratic Party.

          1. Two days after being appointed Bush’s running mate, Quayle was asked a hypothetical by a high school news reporter: “If my father got me pregnant, would you force me to have the baby?”

            Quayle promptly told the girl she should have to carry the pregnancy. ‘That’ was the moment I realized Republicans were going off-reservation.

            1. There are “pro-life and pro- choice” Republican politicians;…..I don’t think there’s any danger of a Democratic politician going “off the reservation”.
              I think it was a Pennsylvania governor who tried that once at a Democratic National Conventio, but I think he was shut down pretty fast.

              1. Tom, Betty Ford was pro-choice. Nancy Reagan and Barbara Bush were also pro-choice (but kept it to themselves). Republicans had no plank on abortion until The Moral Majority came along in 1980. Then suddenly abortion became a litmus test.

                In other words, it was Republicans who made abortion the contentious issue it is today. Had it not been for the Moral Majority, abortion might have remained a women’s health issue.

                1. It was mostly illegal in the states prior to Roe v Wade. surely you know that.

                  So one might say it was Democrat SCOTUS appointees who made it into a contentious issue more so than “the moral majority”

                  it could have been left to the states and gradually would have been legalized patchwork. of course Congress could have passed a law to make it legal too, but they didn’t have the votes. So they let the article III judicial tyrants remake the law to suit the fashionable position of the day.

                  I’m getting to where i could care less about abortion anymore, I console myself with the thought that it’s helping keep the Democrat lumpen-voter population down. I know that’s very un-Christian of me, but I am a sinner anyways. Maybe Margaret Sanger was on to something smart?

                2. Abortion language first debuted in the GOP’s 1976 platform, three years after the monumental Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. The plank recognized pro-life, pro-choice, middle ground and undecided factions of the party, but the position taken was Dole’s language which called for a constitutional “human life” amendment. Having won a tight 1974 senate race by painting his obstetrician opponent as a supporter of abortion on demand, Dole had become a political champion of the pro-life cause.

                  1. I suppose that Peter was trying to make a point in manufacturing his own fact about the GOP platforms.And I would expect yet another deflection from him to draw attention away from the fact that his claim was false.
                    Maybe something about “Fox News” or “right-wing media bubble” …….sharing his phobias about competitors to HHHNN is such an ingrained gimmick, it may not be possible for him to give it up.

                3. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to ignore the fact that Roe v. Wade was a controversial decision. But if Peter wants to believe that “it was the Republicans that made abortion a contentious issue”, I won’t bother mentioning Roe v. Wade of it interferes with one of his cherished beliefs.

              2. Tom,

                Rumour was that former Congressman tim roemer was a pro life politician.His grandfather was a philosophy professor at Notre Dame.

                Catholic universities have been filled with pro life Democrat people for decades. they’re actually pretty common out here in flyover. I actually know quite a few pro life Democrats. All of them are Catholics.

                You can still find them down south too.

                I am personally unexcited about pro life electioneering. It’s up to the SCOTUS not the parties anyway so why bother all the electioneering over it.

                1. Mr. Kurtz,
                  It probably would be a rumor for a Democratic politician to be pro-life. It seems unlikely that any current Democrat of any standing would buck the Democratic Dogma re abortion.
                  American Catholics are, overall, not that serious about the pro-life issue. While the Catholic dogma is pro-life, the Catholic rank and file may or may not share what is supposedly a central part of Catholic doctrine.
                  I mentioned in a post a few days ago that over the past couple of generations, acceptance of Catholic doctrine isn’t all that important to many of those who consider themselves to be Catholic.
                  I think I referred to what Biden once said about “the Catholic tradition” being important to him. So the ritual, the social aspect of attending mass with others overrides being on the same page with Catholic Church dogma ….Biden’s “brand ” of Catholicism is very common.

            2. Based on the inaccuracies of Peter in the past who has a tendency to stretch the truth so that sometimes it is totally unrecognizeable I seem to remember a different story. It was personal about his daughter should she get pregnant and Quayle said he would support whatever choice his grown daughter made. He got into trouble with those opposed to abortion and was later asked what he would say about his daughter if she became pregnant before she reached the age of an adult. At that point he said he would not support abortion. The news media took his off the cuff hypothetical answers and embellished them to make him look like a fool. That is what drives Peter, not the truth but the game of gotcha. Peter is dishonest to the core.

              1. No, Alan, you’re lying! I know what I was reacting to. I have no interest in mistrepresenting this. I was a Republican until that moment. It’s not like I would quite the party and vote for a loser like Dukakis just because I misunderstood Dan Quayle’s comments.

                1. “No, Alan, you’re lying!”

                  I didn’t even say that what you said wasn’t true rather I said: “I seem to remember a different story. ”

                  I decided to check out the facts at the NYTimes 1992 article. It seems, Peter, your recollections aren’t as good as you think they are. My statement is pretty similar to what the NYTimes said.

                  “Mr. Quayle intended to use today’s trip to Indiana and Kentucky to shift blame for the country’s economic troubles to the Democratic majority in Congress. But much of that message was obscured by the political storm surrounding his comments on Wednesday night that he would support his daughter “on whatever decision she made” if she decided to have an abortion.

                  Mr. Quayle, his wife and his aides all maintained today that the comment did not represent a softening of the Vice President’s stance against abortion rights. Mr. Quayle said he had been talking only about a hypothetical situation involving a grown daughter.

                  Mr. Quayle and his wife, Marilyn, both said today that if their daughter, Corinne, who is 13 years old, became pregnant now, they would insist that she carry the pregnancy to term.

                  “Under the current situation, she would have the child,” Mr. Quayle said at a news conference in Evansville, Ind., the first of two campaign stops. “We are pro-life and we are opposed to abortion.”

                  He said he would support her decision “were she an adult.”

                  “I would counsel her and encourage her not to have an abortion, but I would support my daughter,” Mr. Quayle said. Fresh Ammunition

                  Mrs. Quayle, interviewed on a radio show in Des Moines today, said that if her daughter became pregnant now “she’ll take the child to term.” Asked if she would make that decision for her daughter, Mrs. Quayle said, “We will make it with her.”

                  Mr. Quayle’s remark about his daughter appeared to provide fresh ammunition for Gov. Bill Clinton, the Democratic Presidential nominee, and his supporters at a time when the Bush-Quayle campaign is trying to move onto the offensive.

                  “Sounds like choice to me,” said House Speaker Thomas S. Foley, a Washington Democrat.

                  The trouble began during Mr. Quayle’s appearance on CNN’s “Larry King Live” program on Wednesday night, when Mr. King asked the Vice President how he would react if his daughter was pregnant.

                  “Well, it is a hypothetical situation and I hope that I never do have to deal with it,” Mr. Quayle responded. “I would counsel her and talk to her and support her on whatever decision she made.”

                  Mr. King asked whether he would support her if she decided to have an abortion.

                  “I’d support my daughter,” Mr. Quayle said. “I would hope that she wouldn’t make that decision.””

                  1. Alan, I was referring to 1988..!! Whatever Quayle said in ’92 is irrelevant to this discussion. I had left the GOP 4 years earlier. You’re just obsessed with trying to contradict me.

                    1. Peter, you called me a liar but I produced a NYtimes article. Where is your proof? You say you were referring to 1988 but the family values and Murphy Brown statements by Quayle including the hypothetical question occurred in 1992.

                      I’m not obsessed in trying to contradict you. That is rather easy. I merely recalled the facts differently and if you look them up you will see I am right. You have a history of erroneous facts so it is not big deal to prove you wrong. In fact most of what you say is garbage especially your conclusions that frequently have no solid basis.

                    2. Alan, again your article and references have nothing to do with 1988. And if my posts are such ‘garbage’, that should be clear to any reader. Which means there’s no need for you to even comment.

                    3. “Alan, again your article and references have nothing to do with 1988. And if my posts are such ‘garbage’, that should be clear to any reader. Which means there’s no need for you to even comment.”

                      Peter, of course my response has nothing to do with 1988 because the widely recorded incident occurred in 1992. I showed you by copying a portion of a NYTimes piece and you have provided us with nothing. How typical.

                      Yes, your posts are garbage because you don’t deal with verifiable facts. You convert opinion into fact including your own opinion and your own memories. That indeed is a problem. Anyone reading what you say should see a big BS sign next to your name to warn them of oncoming BS.

                      If your recollection is true then you should be able to find an article proving it in 1988 but I see you haven’t been able to do so.

  11. Benson, is Professor Turley more abusive of power, dictatorial, tyrannical, oppressive and criminal than “Crazy Abe” Lincoln who literally voided the Constitution and legislative and judicial branches, ruling as a vicious and violent despot by executive order, proclamation and absolute brutality?

    I think Professor Turley is extraordinarily beneficent by comparison.

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