New York Legislators Seek to Censor Online Debate; Plus: L. A. Marzulli Attacks Judges and Peter Levenda on Hitler's Legacy
Remember how a few weeks ago an Arkansas state legislator introduced a bill to ban books by Howard Zinn from the state’s schools? Well, Eugene Volokh reports that two New York state legislators have done her one better. Democratic assemblyman David I. Weprin and Democratic state senator Tony Avella introduced a bill that would require all online publishers, including me, to remove any and all content about any given individual upon that individual’s request if the individual feels that the discussion contains statements that are “‘inaccurate’, ‘irrelevant’, ‘inadequate’, or ‘excessive’” or when the individual feels that the discussion is “no longer material to current public debate.” The ostensible reason for this blatantly unconstitutional law is to promote the “right to be forgotten,” but as written the proposed law would give individuals carte blanche to censor any and all discussion about them online, forever, and to wipe clean the historical record as soon as a 24-hour news cycle has turned over and the “current” debate has moved on. The bill would also forbid those receiving takedown notices from indicating that material had been removed for that reason, on pain of a $250 fine per violation. The bill provides no mechanism other than the individual’s feelings to judge whether material is germane to the public discourse.
Essentially, it’s a scam artist protection act because the greatest beneficiary will be scammers, frauds, liars, and other slimy characters who will use the power of the law to hide their activities from their marks, thus facilitating more lying, cheating, and scamming. But it is also a danger to history because it would require encyclopedias, dictionaries, news archives, and even books to be censored, wiping the historical record in the form most people now use to access them.
Obviously, I oppose this law vigorously because of the vast power it would confer to suppress legitimate criticism and especially advocacy. I urge everyone who lives in New York State to contact your legislator to express your extreme displeasure with this unconstitutional attack on free speech.
Speaking of the continued breakdown of civil society, Nephilim theorist L. A. Marzulli announced that he no longer believes that the executive and legislative branches of the U.S. government must honor the rulings of the judicial branch when they conflict with Trumpism. “As long as we accept and perpetuate the lie that judges are kings and that the executive and legislative branches must obey every court opinion no matter how wicked, immoral, illegal or unconstitutional we will NEVER have the Rule of Law in our nation.” Ah, yes… Let’s overturn 200 years of settled constitutional order out of pique. For Marzulli, the “rule of law” means authoritarian dictatorship, where one man’s unilateral decision has the force of law—no matter how wicked, immoral, illegal, or unconstitutional.
Meanwhile, Marzulli is busy promoting his new UFO-themed project, which is sort of a funhouse mirror version of Peter Levenda’s occult UFOs. Marzulli’s are demon-driven UFOs, but the conspiracy theories and feints toward government “disclosure” are mostly the same. In his latest YouTube video, Marzulli proclaims that “I’m giving people that didn’t have a voice a voice.” Because people who see UFOs have no possible way of sharing their experience across all the different UFO media in the world.
While I’m on the subject, I wanted to return to something that happened earlier this week. You will remember that Peter Levenda got mad at me for a large number of perceived sins. One of these was my description of him as having concluded that Nazism, especially in its occult form, is a secret force driving world politics, and that Islamic jihad is a result of Nazi manipulations. “You further state that I allege ‘that Islamic jihad is part of a Neo-Nazi scheme,’ another deliberate misstatement for effect,” he wrote. After reading a very lengthy and generally excellent critique of Levenda’s slippery efforts to be all things to all people (even if I don’t always agree with the author’s philosophical background), I thought I would revisit this comment because it bothered me. I don’t generally make things up, so having had the time to go back to my sources, I present to you part of the opening of Levenda’s book, The Hitler Legacy:
Since then I have seen documentation that proves beyond any doubt that networks existed after the war to assist Nazi war criminals in their escape and survival, and that these networks were far more pervasive than even the fantasies of Frederick Forsyth and Ira Levin would have us believe. More to the point, the evidence that there existed (and still exists) a strong relationship between underground Nazi organizations and underground “Islamist” organizations is strong, incontrovertible, and deeply troubling.
Postwar Nazi connections to Islamist activity are “incontrovertible” he said. Intelligence and terror operations around the world, and governments and intelligence agencies, are all infiltrated by Hitlerists or experiencing the blowback of plans fomented by Neo-Nazis carrying out Hitler’s plans in Islamic guise. In other words, Nazi schemes are driving world politics. Yeah, I just make shit up. Couple this with his other book, Unholy Alliance, which alleged that Hitler and the Nazis were motivated by and suffused with occultism, largely to the exclusion of more obvious motives—and which explicitly alleged that modern Neo-Nazi groups and supposed survivals of Nazism continue these occult beliefs—it is impossible to reach any other conclusion than Levenda sees esoteric Nazism as suffusing modern Neo-Nazi efforts to manipulate global politics for occult ends. Now, granted, my summary is a conclusion drawn from Levenda’s premises, a syllogism of sorts. Apparently we are not meant to read his books together, or apply any claims from them to the world beyond the book itself.
3/18/2017 12:15:53 pm
You know, when I was in school, about a hundred years ago, we were required to read both the declaration of independence and the constitution of the United States and were later tested on them. It appears that current politicians of both parties don't even bother to know even their fundamental provisions. It appears that it doesn't matter of what party they belong to, or if they are local, state or federal office holders. It would appear that we are now governed by the ulta-stupid.
3/18/2017 12:23:04 pm
Thanks, Jason, for alerting us to this horrendous bill. I immediately read the bill and sent a comment to my Assemblyman. I suppose they have some concern for people who want to remove lies and slander about themselves, but you're right, as worded it is nothing but legalizing the erasing of history and would make it impossible to hold any "slimy characters" accountable. Imagine how the disinformation agents would jump for joy at its passage!
3/18/2017 01:20:05 pm
Any attempt to violate free speech, no matter the reason, is abhorrent and should be stopped. I wonder if these legislators have even considered the impact their bill would have on debate within their own assembly? I doubt it.
3/18/2017 04:48:07 pm
Actually it's not "clearly established in the Constitution". That's what makes Marbury v. Madison such an important turning point.
3/18/2017 07:12:10 pm
Judical review was as you pointed out not in the constitution nor should it be. The sc is simply a minor branch of the federal govt. as both Jefferson and Madison wrote in 1798 the States were the arbitors of the legality of federal laws. The SC is a brach of the federal govt hence they are bias in favor of said federal govt. It is the natural right of a majority of states to nullify any federal law that is outside the few powers given to the federal govt. The United states is a compact of the states.
3/18/2017 07:18:04 pm
I stand corrected.
3/18/2017 08:38:47 pm
Thank you for citing that. Now I have a reading assignment!
3/18/2017 03:33:57 pm
There are already laws regarding slander.
3/18/2017 03:43:58 pm
The "right to be forgotten" is of course based on developments in European law over the past few years, but it seems, in the Bill as currently presented, to go much further, and I suspect that it's an "opening bid" intended to be heavily amended. That, however, implies that there is a final "acceptable" version effectively concealed within the current mess.
3/18/2017 04:54:11 pm
Unlike the proposed Texas statute, this one really IS unconstitutional. But good luck serving papers on a server in Belarus.
3/18/2017 05:18:47 pm
What jurisdiction does state law have on the internet ? Could one not just publish their blog from out of state or country ?
3/19/2017 08:38:32 am
They could presumably block those sites from people looking at the internet in those areas. I mean, if you knew what you were doing you could get round those blocks, but for the vast majority of people that wouldn't be the case.
3/20/2017 12:48:08 am
Because it's so incredibly difficult to type "How do I see a site banned in my state" into Google. Also you're not necessarily hitting a pipe in your state when you go on the internet so that idea is nonsense. Dude, you ARE "the vast majority of people". If you "knew what you were doing" you wouldn't go around talking about "the vast majority of people".
3/18/2017 07:04:03 pm
As a new yorker i am not surprised. NYC yenta types have been eroding our liberties for decades. Those of us outside of nyc and long island would love to kick those little bosheveiks out but als the tiranny of democracy ensures we are out voted . I once wrote an op ed piece in the local paper pointing out the stupidity of the contolller of the state. His gd chief of staff wrote a letter back to the paper criticising me and making it clear i should be careful of any public criticism. Ny is run by thugs voted in by the usual suspects enriching themselves at our expense.
3/19/2017 11:14:28 pm
Host your site in another state / country. Problem solved. :)
3/22/2017 12:53:17 am
I always find it amusing when self proclaimed victims call for some sort of law to persecute their perceived antagonists, without the understanding that that Thursday will be their day in the barrel.
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I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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