Tag Archives: free speech

Mark Caserta: 1st Amendment right support varies with political ideology

20 Jan

1st amendment


Mark Caserta is an opinion columnist and editor for Free State Patriot

January 20, 2019


Where do your 1st Amendment rights begin and end?

It would seem liberals believe the standards vary based on one’s political ideology.

Arguably, no document represents our nation’s most fundamental founding principles more than the 1st Amendment to our U.S. Constitution, which states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

While the so-called “Establishment” clause and the “Free Exercise” clause prohibit government from interfering with our religious rights, the amendment further protects our right of “freedom of speech”.

Note, the progressive movement is notorious for vehemently exercising the Establishment clause against Christians who desire the freedom to worship openly. For example, they disingenuously claim that placing a nativity scene or the Ten Commandments in a public venue can somehow be construed as government showing favor of one religion over another and attempting to force U.S. citizens to adopt a “government preferred” religion.


Additionally, they conveniently ignore the amendment’s protection of our “freedom to exercise” our religious views without government interference.

But only views of Christians! I’ve never heard any progressive lament over an individual being prohibited from exercising the tenets of Islam! In fact, I believe liberals work as hard to protect the Muslim religion as they do degrading Christianity! The hypocrisy is disturbing.

Understand, Deep State progressives will leverage and promote only that which supports their liberal agenda. And they will tenaciously fight against anything or anyone who stands in their way.

Sadly, until a few years ago, our Tri-State area has been fairly sheltered from these liberal lunatics. But as with any stray critter, if you keep the barn door open long enough, you will attract a variety of vermin.

And trust me when I tell you the gestation period of liberal vermin is very short. Before one knows it, they will become an infestation. One only need to look around our city to see our leaders have had the barn door open too long.

But, I digress to the “freedom of speech” portion of the 1st Amendment.

A recent column by News Editor Tony Rutherford of HuntingtonNews.net, (HNN) an online news agency serving our area since 2000, revealed a fired Cabell County teacher is suing for 1st Amendment Civil Rights violations.

Details of the lawsuit in the United States District Court, Southern District of WV., are available for viewing at: http://www.huntingtonnews.net/sites/default/files/n64/Turbin%20suit.pdf

Per the HNN column, during the 2016-2017 school year, Mary Durstein taught World Studies, at Huntington High School, where on January 9, 2017, she was called to the office and administrator, Todd Alexander, ordered her to delete her Twitter account which reportedly supported conservative media posts, such as those from Fox News.

Durstein posted several tweets and retweets about politics and a variety of other topics and accumulated approximately 20-30 followers of her Twitter account.

It’s worth noting, Durstein was active on her account while at home and elsewhere – only when she was not on duty as a teacher. When tweeting and retweeting, Durstein used only electronic devices or computer equipment that she owned. She and her followers tended to like and retweet items of a conservative nature and that supported President Donald Trump and his “America first” agenda.

Another column, regarding the events of January 9, was written in the Charleston Gazette-Mail. This column, by Erin Beck, entitled, “Cabell school system investigating teacher’s anti-Muslim tweets”, may be read at: https://www.wvgazettemail.com/news/education/cabell-school-system-investigating-teacher-s-anti-muslim-tweets/article_916ef170-f2ac-5239-a14d-fc67029df63d.html

It’s interesting, (but not surprising) that the Charleston paper would intentionally present the story from what I consider to be a “fake news” viewpoint, apparently “slanting” the indeterminate details of the story to fit their progressive agenda.

Disagree? You decide. Here is a line from the column:

“A Huntington High School social studies teacher who posted numerous hateful views on Twitter deleted her account amid a school investigation of her social media use on Monday.” The columnist went on to claim, “Many posts were Islamophobic”, and that Durstein incorporated profanity when describing Barack Obama in numerous tweets, but showed support for President-elect Donald Trump.

Folks, we have two issues at hand here, both of which incorporate the progressive, Deep State assaulting conservatives and their right to the same free speech with which liberals “stain” our society ad nauseam.

The attempt to squelch Ms. Durstein’s right to openly state her views in a public venue by a few left-wing progressives is unacceptable and must not be tolerated. Equally as intolerable is the liberal Charleston-Gazette attempting to influence readers of her guilt before the results of any investigation.

It’s time to close the barn door and rid our city of the sanctuary seeking vermin.

The conservative majority in our area must stand up against this progressive onslaught. Our city leaders and who I believe to be a complicit liberal media, such as the Herald Dispatch and Charleston Gazette, do not seem to be interested in anything but advancing their own progressive agenda.

I encourage everyone to seek the truth and stand on principle. It is the only way we can win in what I believe to be the fight of our lives and for our lives.


Bill Moore: Local Decision; National Pattern

13 Aug

Is free speech being suppressed by the very institutions that benefit from the First Amendment?  Locally?  For what purpose?

bill moore photo

Bill Moore is a businessman, author, and conservative columnist.  Originally from Ashland, KY. Bill spent the summers of his formative years playing in the hills and coal mines of rural Eastern Kentucky.  He believes in smaller government, the free market and is a fiscal conservative. Free State Patriot welcomes Bill as a regular contributor in the fight to support our nation’s founding principles and expose the progressive movement.

“You can have everything you want in life… If you will just help enough other people get what they want.”

~ Zig Ziglar / Bill Moore


Alex Jones, Candice Owens, Elizabeth Heng, Diamond and Silk, Herman Cain and our own Mark Caserta. What do these people have in common? De-platforming, temporary bans and shadow banning. Each has been actively limited by a publisher(platform) for their opinions. Conversely Maxine Waters, Nancy Pelosi, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Antifa each post encouragement to harass conservatives or actively encourage fighting and disobeying law enforcement, yet their accounts remain active and often trend higher than conservative posts on the exact same subject matter.

Let’s examine for a moment the bans each person listed above has endured. Alex Jones, far right shock jock, was de-platformed from SIX major sites in just over 24 hours. (Apple iTunes, Spotify, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and LinkedIn) Candice Owens, African-American conservative, was banned on Twitter for 12 hours when she copied and posted Tweets from a radical left journalist replacing the word “white’ with “black” and “Jew” but otherwise leaving the Tweets intact. Elizabeth Heng, Vietnamese-American conservative running for election, had an ad banned on Facebook that described her family dealing with Communist Vietnam. Both Diamond and Silk and Herman Cain, African-American conservative broadcasters, have been shadow banned on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Of course, readers of this blog know Mark Caserta and what the Herald Dispatch did to him.

The most common reason for bans and de-platforming are listed as violations the term and conditions (vague community standards) of said web platform. Just like the movie “Animal House” these content creators were on “double secret probation” while Facebook, Apple Et al gathered enough information to decide whether silencing them would negatively impact the bottom line. Once they felt the bottom line was safe good bye conservative leaning voices.

Shadow bans are more insidious. The person can login and post as normal. However, the platform limits the reach of the post, giving it lower ranking in searches and not allowing subscriber notifications to notify. For example, Diamond and Silk post a video and expect a certain number of views based proportionally on the number of subscribers. When shadow banned they reach fewer people than expected and thus make less revenue from advertisers, get fewer clicks for merchandise sales and cannot grow their channel or follower base.

Even bans that get lifted like in the case of Candice Owens hurt because the optimum widow for the message has passed and is now “old news” as the fickle public has moved on to a new crisis of the moment.

Mark’s situation could be considered different as it involves a physical publication with limited print real estate. However, the situation can be used to demonstrate how social media is really a publisher as opposed to a neutral platform. The Herald Dispatch terminated its working relationship with a “token” conservative over what was termed as the “newspaper’s best interest”, similarly themed articles and a lack of local subject matter. As distasteful as the decision is they have the right to act as they see fit. Just like we as consumers have the right to terminate subscriptions to the Herald Dispatch and stop patronizing its very few advertisers.

We also have the right to contact said advertisers and voice our displeasure over them supporting a business that actively silences conservative speech.

The main stream media (newspaper, radio and TV), more accurately defined as “legacy” media pushes a general narrative that leans left of center. How far left is dependent on the outlet ownership and sponsors. Even the right leaning Fox News slants stories, limits facts and editorializes “news”. Do not misunderstand Fox News adds balance to the vast liberal ramblings that pass as “news” in modern journalism, but they are also complicit in adding opinion to facts and calling it news. “News” reporting in and of itself should be like the old TV court drama oath: “Promise to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”

Remember when news shows ended with an anchors opinion and even warned viewers saying, “what follows is an editorial opinion”? In today’s era of 24-hour news every opinion, every headline must be sensationalized to keep viewers tuned in. Sponsors demand a return on their advertising dollars. Clicks, views and eyes are the measurements that matter for a news channel not clear presentation of facts. Remember legacy media outlets are businesses and businesses must make a profit to continue.

You see, the social media giants hide behind “we are a platform and don’t exercise editorial control over posts” thus “we can’t be sued when an individual defames or slanders someone”. They can’t be held responsible when someone like Maxine Waters encourages harassment or threatens the President. If the bans are given across the board, regardless of ideology, the websites would be correct. However, a strong case can be made showing the social media platforms do, in fact, only target conservative opinions.  Any ambulance chasing lawyer can connect the dots and tear down the platform vs publisher veil of protection. If the website publishers are not held accountable we will soon see “community standards” banning Joel Osteen or your local church because someone finds the doctrine offensive.

I find it ironic that Mark Caserta was silenced locally for writing on national subjects when nationally the debate is raging on silencing all conservatives. What impacts the nation impacts West Virginia and West Virginia can influence the nation.

Silencing Mark right before a mid-term election, as well as silencing other conservative voices smacks of collusion and election tampering. You don’t have to change votes or have ghost ballots to “fix” an election, just keep spreading fake news and silence the opposition.

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