Man Charged With a Felony for Posting Satirical Voting Memes Sets a Chilling Precedent - Politicrossing
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Man Charged With a Felony for Posting Satirical Voting Memes Sets a Chilling Precedent

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Late last month, a Florida man was arrested and charged with a felony for posting memes pretending to instruct people to vote by text or social media. It is impossible to vote those ways, so the memes were obviously a joke. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of memes floating around joking about voting. Douglass Mackey, who also goes by Ricky Vaughn, posted several of these memes during the 2016 election year. One of the memes showed a black woman next to an African-Americans for Hillary sign. It said, “Avoid the line. Vote from home. Text ‘Hillary’ to 59925. Vote for Hillary and be a part of history.” A small notation at the bottom of the meme said it was paid for by Hillary for President 2016. 

 

No one would believe the meme was accurate, send a text message, and think they had voted. In fact, the Clinton campaign sent back a default response to anyone who texted the number saying the ad was not approved by the campaign. It was clearly someone’s goofy sense of humor. People joke about the saying, “Democrats vote on Tuesday, Republicans vote on Wednesday.” No one is prosecuted for it.  

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Legal scholar Eugene Volokh observes that Mackey is not being prosecuted under a statute that clearly prohibits lying about how to vote. Some states have them. Instead, Mackey is being prosecuted under 18 U.S.C. § 241, a federal law that punishes conspiracies “to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person … in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution.” Volokh says no one has been prosecuted under that law for speech influencing someone from voting. People lie in political campaigns all the time and aren’t prosecuted, so why go after free speech in politics now? Those prosecuted for election fraud generally engage in some type of activity such as voter fraud, not merely speech.

 

Twitter said at first that the memes did not violate their rules. Considering how quick the company is to censor memes and kick conservatives off the platform, it is telling that it did not initially find anything wrong.  

 

The fact the DOJ did not arrest MacKey until just after the Inauguration, even though he posted the memes over four years earlier when they first received publicity, is evidence the prosecution is politically motivated by the Biden administration. MacKey is an easy target. He posted antisemitic and racist memes. No one wants to defend someone like that. The right understandably wants to distance themselves from someone that offensive. But this is how the left makes inroads into silencing the right; they target a disreputable extremist who they associate with the right because they’re so easy to take down. Once a precedent is set with the first target, it becomes easier to go after others on the right, others who aren’t so offensive. 

 

It is part of a larger effort to ban conservative satire, because humor has proven to be effective. The right excels here, since the left’s positions aren’t conducive to humor. The left has made a lot of ground in recent years by pretending the right is offensive. Once they went down that path, it didn’t leave a lot of room left for the left to joke, or they’d risk violating their own draconian policies.  

 

And one of the main ways the left goes after conservative memes is by claiming they are fake news — even humorous memes that are clearly satire. Their “fact checking” sites now also fact check opinion, not just facts. So not only has the left been able to get these memes removed from social media, but gets those posting them banned.  

 

It was bad enough deleting obvious satire. It was worse banning people from social media who posted the memes. Now it’s gotten to an extremely disturbing level, prosecuting people who post the memes. This is a slippery slope and if allowed to continue, will set a dangerous precedent for conservatives merely posting satire about elections, a type of political speech our Founding Fathers revered, which is why they protected it in the First Amendment to our Constitution.

 

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Rachel Alexander is a conservative political writer and pundit. She is the editor of Intellectual Conservative and a recovering attorney. She was ranked by Right Wing News as one of the 50 Best Conservative Columnists from 2011-2019.



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News

Mental Preparedness!!

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Thinking first
Photo Courtesy of Patriot Outdoors, Inc.

Are YOU Mentally Prepared?

When it comes to defense, most often times people think of what Implement they will use a bat, a golf club, a shotgun, pistol, rifle even or maybe a knife!  But, what most students I’ve taught initially don’t think about the mental preparedness side of things!

What are you doing to prepare yourself for a potential conflict or act of violence? I’m not just talking about grabbing a gun and going out there to stop some bad guy! No, I’m speaking more to the reality of your mental abilities! How are you preparing yourself MENTALLY, EMOTIONALLY, SPIRITUALLY even to handle conflict?

It’s Not Always About The Gun!

I mean if you’re going to have it; you’re going to have to know how to use it! Like, I’m sure many have said, train with it until you forget it… It will become subconscious when you have enough “correct, continuous repetitions!

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However, what about all of those other scenarios that DO NOT require the gun?
Arguments with the public, someone who is having a very bad day and they’re taking it out on your verbally or in traffic. Parking Lot vagrants, bumming money, the crazy ex lover, or ex spouse gone wild, and the list goes on and on….

How have you set yourself up for success to handle yourself in a verbal conflict? Or understand how to de escalate a situation and avoid violence all together? What books have you read, conflicts you have faced in your past, training that gets you up to a level of comfortability with dealing with people unemotionally?

Or are you just relying on your gun skills, which may never be needed!

Wisdom is a Weapon!

To handle yourself in society, you will have to arm yourself with  the weapon of knowledge to succeed not just a physical tool of last resort.
Where are the common environments and scenarios that you could avoid all together?

  • Do you understand de-escalation of force?
  • How aware are you to your surroundings?
  • How would you profile the common criminal in your demographic?
  • Can I use psychology?
  • How do I look less like a victim?
  • Can I avoid the area or a person all together?

These questions and more are for you to evaluate today! You must train the mind, the body and spirit.

 

In Closing

DON’T EVER GO SOMEWHERE WITH A GUN, THAT YOU WOULDN’T GO IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE A GUN IN THE FIRST PLACE!  THINK ON THAT!!! Just because you have a gun and some training doesn’t mean you are fit for battle or you will WIN… Violent encounters are volatile and life ending…. If you can be aware and avoid, you are better off!

Remember, We train to help our subconscious performance become a reality and acceptable in the face of conflict! Train your mind, body and spirit to get you win the day, both In Life and On the Range and Definitely on the Street!  Stay Safe out There!

For Liberty,

Stephen D. Powell

The GunLife Coach

Please Subscribe to my Channel on Youtube and Follow On IG & FB!

 

 

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Life

Renewal for the Weary: Lunch Time

You owe it to yourself to have enjoyable, mindful, and healthy lunches

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Lunch can be a wonderful time of day — much more than the mere ingestion of needed calories. If approached correctly, lunch can be a time for rest and personal renewal, at least on a small scale.

How often, however, do we force lunch in between work-related activities, such as dealing with staff, reviewing files, undertaking online research, responding to email, etc.?

Wolfing down otherwise nutritious food can, in part, negate the value of what you are ingesting. If you are giving lunch short shrift, from a physiological standpoint you might not be deriving the optimal nutritional benefits from the food you consume.

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Clear Away the Time

Fortunately, you can clear away the time and space to have a relatively leisurely lunch that will help sustain and fortify you to handle the rest of the day’s activities:

If you haven’t already done so, schedule lunch each day. Go to your appointment calendar, or scheduling software, and mark those times during which you designate as lunchtime. Make it longer than it physically takes you to consume whatever you choose to eat.

If you bring your own food, for example, a 30-minute lunch time is usually more than enough time to finish what you have. Typically, a brown bag lunch takes only 12 to 18 minutes to consume.

By scheduling additional time, even if a few minutes, you can eat more slowly and mindfully, properly digest your food, and take a real break from your work.

In and Out

If you eat at a nearby restaurant, make plans so that you’re in and out relatively easily. Perhaps you can have a standing reservation on Tuesdays with one establishment, and then do the same for other days, with other establishments.

Consider the atmosphere and the food served. Is it calming and nourishing? If the restaurant doesn’t take reservations, consider having your lunch at a less busy time.

Reflect upon what you are eating. Is it nutritious and balanced? Whatever you choose to eat for lunch, ensure that it is not fast food. There is no need to recount the negative effects of consuming questionably sourced meat products, fried food, and foods laced with bad fats, sugars, and excess salt.

The cumulative effect of consuming fast food has been well-documented and does not support your health or well-being. So, before you run into that fast food restaurant, take a moment to think about what you will be eating and its effects on your body, for that afternoon and in the long term.

Keep it Light

When having lunch with a friend or staff person, strive to keep the conversation light. Lunch is not the time to dwell upon heavy duty issues. It is a good time to bond with others, to talk about topics unrelated to the office, or to simply shoot the breeze.

By all means, ensure that you have the capability to return from lunch in a leisurely manner.

No matter how unhurried your consumption of food might have been, if you have to hustle back to the office for a key staff meeting, once again, you might negate the benefits of everything that transpired before your frenzied return.

A Rewarding Time

With the right mindset and a few simple guidelines such as those discussed above, you can turn your lunchtime into something a bit more rewarding, if not much more, than it has been.

You owe it to yourself to have enjoyable, mindful, and healthy lunches, and to receive the associated benefits in terms of job satisfaction, effectiveness, and personal well-being.

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