America’s legacy of unparalleled copyright protections and free market orientation has cultivated…
CFIF on Twitter CFIF on YouTube
“Blanket Licensing” – a Collectivist, Bureaucratic, One-Size-Fits-All Deprivation of Property Rights Proposal

America’s legacy of unparalleled copyright protections and free market orientation has cultivated a music industry unrivaled in today’s world or throughout human history.

From the first days of the phonograph, through the jazz age, through the rock era, through disco, through country, through hip-hop and every other popular musical iteration since its advent, it’s not by accident that we lead the world in the same manner in which we lead in such industries as cinema and television programming.  We can thank our nation’s emphasis on strong copyright protections.

Unfortunately, that reality doesn’t deter some activists from periodically advocating a more collectivist, top-down governmental reordering of the music industry in a way that would deprive artists and creators of their…[more]

July 06, 2020 • 02:32 PM

Liberty Update

CFIFs latest news, commentary and alerts delivered to your inbox.
Jester's CourtroomLegal tales stranger than stranger than fiction: Ridiculous and sometimes funny lawsuits plaguing our courts.
Once Started, Mob Violence Targeting Monuments Is Hard To Stop Print
By Byron York
Wednesday, June 24 2020
Yes, some of the more moderate-minded who supported the removal of Confederate statues are a bit embarrassed that the fire has spread to Washington, Jefferson and beyond, but they can't do anything to stop it.

What do George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, Ulysses S. Grant, Father Junipero Serra and Christopher Columbus have in common?

None were Confederate generals, and yet all have had their statues torn down by mobs in the last few days  or, in the case of Roosevelt, had New York's Museum of Natural History announce that a Roosevelt statue at the museum's entrance will soon be removed.

The mobs ripped down statues in Portland, Oregon, San Francisco, Minneapolis, and several other cities without any fear of police interference. The police might as well have been defunded, for all they did to protect America's historical monuments from vigilante violence.

Now add to the list Andrew Jackson, another president who was not a Confederate general. On Monday night, a mob attempted to tear down the Jackson statue in Lafayette Park in front of the White House. Since the statue is on federal ground, U.S. Park Police intervened, saving Jackson from crashing to earth.

It is unclear whether the District of Columbia police would have saved Jackson, who is a favorite of President Trump. Washington, D.C.'s mayor recently delighted in sending a message to Trump by designating 16th Street near the White House and Lafayette Park "Black Lives Matter Plaza," which just happened to give protesters a staging ground from which to attack Lafayette Park.

Back in August 2017, during a period in which activists sought the removal of statues of Confederate leaders, Trump made the classic slippery slope argument. "So this week, it's Robert E. Lee," he said. "I notice that Stonewall Jackson is coming down. I wonder, is it George Washington next week, and is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?"

A lot of people said that was ridiculous. The slippery slope argument "fails because there are obviously relevant distinctions that can be made between Washington and Jefferson on the one hand and Confederate leaders on the other," wrote Ilya Somin in The Washington Post on Aug. 15, 2017.

Today's rope-wielding mobs don't see it that way. Try to tell them there are "obviously relevant distinctions" to be made, and they'll just head to the next target. In the current atmosphere, such reasoning is going exactly nowhere.

It could be that tearing down some historical monuments on the basis of contemporary views inevitably leads to the targeting of other historical monuments, based on other contemporary views. Once started, it is hard to stop.

So what is next? Probably more violence. After all, what is the disincentive for new mob attacks on historical monuments? Certainly not law enforcement. Yes, some of the more moderate-minded who supported the removal of Confederate statues are a bit embarrassed that the fire has spread to Washington, Jefferson and beyond, but they can't do anything to stop it.

And some influential voices seem quite happy with things as they are. Consider this: Mob members sprayed graffiti all over the statue of George Washington brought down in Portland. Among the graffiti was "1619." That was a reference to The New York Times' much-praised "1619 Project," which sought to argue that the United States was not founded between 1776 and 1789, in the period from the Declaration of Independence to the ratification of the Constitution, but in 1619, with the arrival of the first Africans brought to Virginia to be sold as slaves. The Times "aims to reframe the country's history, understanding 1619 as our true founding," the paper said. The theme of the "1619 Project" was that the United States, seen as a beacon of democracy, freedom and abundance, is in fact about racial injustice through and through.

So recently, noting the "1619" graffiti on the downed statue, the New York Post published an op-ed entitled "Call Them the 1619 Riots." "America is burning," author Charles Kesler said. "Looters have ravaged shops from coast to coast. And now they're coming for the statues  not just of Confederate generals, but the republic's Founders, including George Washington ..."

That caught the attention of the Times' Nikole Hannah-Jones, creator of the "1619 Project." Call them the 1619 riots? "It would be an honor," she tweeted. "Thank you." Hannah-Jones and the Times won the Pulitzer Prize for the "1619 Project." The project's lessons are being turned into a school curriculum. Given today's mood, more destruction surely lies ahead.


Byron York is chief political correspondent for The Washington Examiner.
COPYRIGHT 2020 BYRON YORK

Question of the Week   
John Adams, then-delegate to the Continental Congress and signatory to the Declaration of Independence, said this “… will be the most memorable in the history of America …” with regard to which historic day?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
"Never before has a speech extolling America's virtues and the marvels or the nation's heroes played to such poor -- and completely dishonest -- reviews.At Mount Rushmore on Friday night, President Trump gave a speech that was very tough on the woke Left, while largely celebrating America -- its Founders, its ideals and freedom, its capacity for self-renewal, its astonishing variety of geniuses, adventurers…[more]
 
 
—Rich Lowry, National Review Editor
— Rich Lowry, National Review Editor
 
Liberty Poll   

Has Covid-19 significantly changed your family's typical July 4th weekend activities or are they essentially the same as in previous years?