Rep. Castor tells Google to fix ‘free speech’

Summary: Our government is evolving from a Constitutional Republic into something else as America’s power centers coalesce to take power. See them moving to limit free speech. Will they succeed?

Evolution vs. Revolution.
Photo 86092871 © Michaeljayberlin – Dreamstime.


We are taking the next step away from a Republic running under the Constitution to a new oligarchical government. Powerful corporations and the rich (via the special interest groups they fund) make policy. Government agencies and the courts enforce these policies. This new system is being implemented step by step, quietly.

One mechanism used to make new laws: a leftist bureaucrat sends a letter to one or more powerful organizations (business or non-profit) led by fellow Leftists. It makes claims and gives “guidance.” These private sector leaders give maximum credence to this letter, using it as justification for broad actions. Everybody is a hero. Nobody is responsible.

Bureaucrats rule over free speech

The template was the 2011 letter by Russlynn Ali, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Department of Education. Just “guidance” so she successfully ignored the Administrative Procedure Act – no preliminary public comment period, nothing published in the Federal Register. See her 20-page letter and the accompanying “fact sheet.

This was one of the Obama administrations major rips in the Constitution, although not in the same league as implementing a treaty without Senate approval or ordering the execution of citizens without a warrant, trial or verdict (details here). This was an innovation giving bureaucrats a new degree of freedom to make laws. It declares without explanation that the following are now prohibited.

  • “Sexual harassment of students …is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX.”
  • “All such acts of sexual violence are forms of sexual harassment covered under Title IX. “
  • “Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. It includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature.”

The letter neither explains how the DoE defines “unwelcome” nor how a person should know that their “advances or requests” are unwelcome in advance. These vague guidelines empowered university mandarines to stage a thousand kangaroo court hearings of men with near-total disregard for any rights or sense of fairness.

Betsy DeVos, Trump’s Secretary of Education, is attempting to do the right thing. Rather than just issue a counter-letter, she proposed new regulations to “improving schools’ responses to sexual harassment and assault” (see her press release, which has links to the proposals and supporting materials). A year later, the public comment process is concluding. Following the law is slow, but good to see.

The Democrats in the House try to rule

The Democrats control only the House, but they have allies in the Courts, the bureaucracy, and many boardrooms in Corporate America. They are testing to see if that suffices to enact laws beyond anything allowed in the Constitution.

The dramatis persona.

The Service Employees International Union – representing local and state employees, known for its affiliation with the Democratic Party (Wikipedia).

Res Publica – A Soros-funded “community of public sector professionals dedicated to promoting good governance.” No website; details here.

Move On – Leftist activist group.

Avaaz – A global activist group founded by these groups. On 15 January 2020 they published a politically useful report about people using YouTube to broadcast climate heresy. See a summary and the full report.

Kathy Castor (D-FL) – An attorney and chairwoman of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis (created 9 January 2019). She used the Avaaz report as window-dressing to issue demands.

Feel the power!

Twelve days after the Avaaz published their report, Rep. Castor sent a letter to Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, demanding that YouTube censor views that she disagrees with. See the press release and the letter. Here are the concluding paragraphs. Very softly threatening.

“I urge you to ensure that YouTube is not incentivizing climate misinformation content on its platform, or effectively giving free advertising to those who seek to protect polluters and their profits at the expense of the American people. Specifically, YouTube can address these issues by taking the following steps.

  • “Stop promoting climate denial and climate disinformation videos by removing them immediately from the platform’s recommendation algorithm;
  • Add ‘climate misinformation’ to the platform’s list of borderline content;
  • Stop monetizing videos that promote harmful misinformation and falsehoods about the causes and effects of the climate crisis;
  • Take steps to correct the record for millions of users who have been exposed to climate misinformation on YouTube.

“Please respond by Friday, February 7, to describe any efforts you plan to take in order to address these important issues.”

This is the exercise of power in our post-Constitutional America. How enthusiastically will Google’s executives respond, now that “Congress” has given them an excuse?

What can stop this increasingly bold alliance of Congress, Courts, bureaucrats, and special interest groups? Nothing, so long as America’s citizens sleep on duty.

For More Information

Ideas! For some shopping ideas see my recommended books and films at Amazon. Also, see a story about our future: Ultra Violence: Tales from Venus.

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about ways to reform America, and especially these…

  1. The Left goes full open borders, changing America forever.
  2. Visions of America if the Left wins.
  3. The key insight: the Left hates America and will destroy it.
  4. The Left can win in 2020 and dominate US politics.
  5. The middle in American politics has died. Now extremists rule.
  6. The Left crushes the Right. The counter-revolution will be ugly –  There will be a second act.
  7. The Left crushes the alt-Right, but Darwin might bring them to power.
  8. About the slow-mo revolution by the Left.

Useful books explaining what happened

I have not found a good book explaining what happened to the Left, causing its hatred of America. These are the best I have found, looking at our politics.

Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? by Thomas Frank.

The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted by Mike Lofgren.

"Listen, Liberal" by Thomas Frank
Available at Amazon.
"The Party is Over" by Mike Lofgren
Available at Amazon.


10 thoughts on “Rep. Castor tells Google to fix ‘free speech’”

  1. Larry- as a former, very left wing liberal, i now cry when i see what has been/is being done to our country in the names of equity, equality, “fairness” anti-racism, antifascism, anti-colonialization, and so on. However as a former opponent of gun rights and supporter of the Brady bunch, i have come full circle and realize that there is a very important constitutional requirement for the second amendment. We have touched on this in the past in these pages, and i know that your views on this have differed from mine in this regard. However i will reiterate that i have a room full of the ghosts of dead relatives in Europe who would have likely given anything to have something to defend themselves from their government during WW2. It is sad that we have come to this, however even these situations were somewhat understood as possibilities by the founders of the country. I think that the second amendment is just as important as the first amendment, and along with the rest of the bill of rights they run in parallel.

    We made it over 200 years, i would hope that we can make it another 200, but only time will tell, and it will depend a lot on the ability of the american people to see through this charade of self flagellation, and work our way through back to the principles that actually did make this country what it has been and what it was meant to be. I am afraid that our educational system has driven rational thought from the minds of our children, and left our future dangling in the minds of people who do even know who their representatives are(*), or even what the first amendment means.( ) I will post links to two articles about education here that i think are worth taking a look at: and

    If we are even going to get out of this quagmire that we have sunk into, it will only come when our citizens can think for themselves, and return to a state where diversity of opinion (not just diversity of skin color or sexual orientation) is actually a thing again. Otherwise, i fear for us.
    Thanks, as always for your thoughts, and for your writing. Much appreciated.

    (*additional evidence:
    and yes i know that these are not exactly fair representations, just like the first amendment interviews, but people actually really do say these things, and i mean, really..where there is smoke there is fire)

  2. Watching developments in the American Republic, I am beginning to wonder if John Glubb was on to something profound when he observed that most empires last about 250 years. 1776 + 250 = 2026. Just a thought.

    1. Raymond,

      Total nonsense. First, “most empires” do not last 250 years.

      More important – The fall of the Roman Republic and rise of the Empire was not a “fall” of Rome. The Empire grew in strength during the next two centuries, and fell (in the West) after five centuries.

      Similarly – the US is not an empire in any meaningful sense. If the Republic falls, to be replaced (perhaps) by some form of oligarchical government, that does not mean that America will weaken – let alone fall.

      1. “Oddly, the spell checker didn’t flat it.”

        If a subtle joke, a good one!

        Excellent post Larry. These people are relentless. The only way to stop them is to call them out at every turn. Nervy bunch, indeed.

  3. “Our government is evolving from a constitutional Republic into something else as American power centers coalesce to take power.”

    Our government has already evolved from a constitutional Republic into something else as American power centers have already coalesced and taken power.

    “We are taking the next step away from the Republic running under the constitution to a new oligarchical government, powerful corporations and the rich (via the special interests they fund) make policy . Government agencies and the courts enforce these policies.”

    We have taken the next step away from of a Republic running under the constitution to a new oligarchical government. Powerful corporations and financial institutions and the rich as well as powerful state structures like the military and our intelligence agencies have jointly created a mechanism of lose alliances to influence government policy and behavior. This largely permanent unelected power structure has already overwhelmed our official elected government and it is their priorities and policies which are presently in control.

  4. scipioafricanus114

    Not quite done yet with Caldwell’s new book but it’s a zinger. Caldwell knows his history, supports his argument with relevant data but only just enough, he understands basic sociobiology (e.g. rising birth rates produce a male-centric mating market because of the 3-year mean age difference between male and female partners, hence contributed to the sexual mores of the baby boom). He touches on nearly every theme of this website and draws compelling connections between them. If anything it’s too short. As a grand unified theory of the last 60 years of American history it necessarily elides quite a bit And trying to weave anything as messy as human history and politics into a single cloth will leave a few dangling threads: some sections work better than others, but there are gems even in the weaker bits. He’s also a lucid and entertaining writer and smart enough to discuss all this in a way that will allow him to continue to have a career as a mainstream writer (for the present moment at least – he’s definitely going up against the wall at some point as the revolution proceeds).

    The core of his argument is that the seemingly-innocuous rights added to the social contract as part of the civil rights movement had a massive set of unintended consequences down to the present. A social contract, a society, a culture is like a tuned machine, and simply “adding” new rights can have the same effect as bolting extra parts onto a car engine: it starts to smoke, make grinding noises, and break down. He hasn’t made the connection explicit, but I personally take the a more expansive view of the problem. His critique can be usefully applied to the philosophical project of Western liberalism generally, in large part because it’s based on inaccurate assumptions about human nature, with civil rights as a major element within that whole.

    Some relevant passages regarding his central theme as it relates to this post:

    “At some point in the course of the decades, what had seemed in 1964 to be merely an ambitious reform revealed itself to have been something more. The changes of the 1960s, with civil rights at their core, were not just a major new element in the Constitution. They were a rival constitution, with which the original one was frequently incompatible—and the incompatibility would worsen as the civil rights regime was built out. Much of what we have called “polarization” or “incivility” in recent years is something more grave—it is the disagreement over which of the two constitutions shall prevail: the de jure constitution of 1788, with all the traditional forms of jurisprudential legitimacy and centuries of American culture behind it; or the de facto constitution of 1964, which lacks this traditional kind of legitimacy but commands the near-unanimous endorsement of judicial elites and civic educators and the passionate allegiance of those who received it as a liberation. The increasing necessity that citizens choose between these two orders, and the poisonous conflict into which it ultimately drove the country, is what this book describes.”

    Caldwell, Christopher. The Age of Entitlement: America Since the Sixties (p. 6). Simon & Schuster. Kindle Edition.

    “. . . It provided courts and federal civil rights agencies—both of them staffed with law school graduates and other highly credentialed professionals at the very apex of the American social pyramid—with new grounds for overruling and overriding legislatures and voters on any question that could be cast as a matter of discrimination. That was coming to mean all questions. Every law was turning into an expansion of civil rights law.”

    Caldwell, Christopher. The Age of Entitlement: America Since the Sixties (p. 118). Simon & Schuster. Kindle Edition.

    “Only with the entrenchment of political correctness did it become clear what Americans had done in 1964: They had inadvertently voted themselves a second constitution without explicitly repealing the one they had. Each constitution contained guarantees of rights that could be invoked against the other—but in any conflict it was the new, unofficial constitution, nurtured by elites in all walks of life, that tended to prevail. This was a recipe for strife. Republicans and others who may have been uneasy that the constitutional baby had been thrown out with the segregationist bathwater consoled themselves with a myth: The “good” civil rights movement that the martyred Martin Luther King, Jr., had pursued in the 1960s had, they said, been “hijacked” in the 1970s by a “radical” one of affirmative action, with its quotas and diktats. Once the country came to its senses and rejected this optional, radical regime, it could have the good civil rights regime back. None of that was true. Affirmative action and political correctness were the twin pillars of the second constitution. They were what civil rights was. They were not temporary. Affirmative action was deduced judicially from the curtailments on freedom of association that the Civil Rights Act itself had put in place. Political correctness rested on a right to collective dignity extended by sympathetic judges who saw that, without such a right, forcing the races together would more likely occasion humiliation than emancipation. As long as Americans were frightened of speaking against civil rights legislation or, later, of being assailed as racists, sexists, homophobes, or xenophobes, their political representatives could resist nothing that presented itself in the name of “civil rights.” This meant that conflict, when it eventually came, would be constitutional conflict, with all the gravity that the adjective “constitutional” implies.”

    Caldwell, Christopher. The Age of Entitlement: America Since the Sixties (pp. 171-172). Simon & Schuster. Kindle Edition.

    Will read with interest his (presumably) prescriptive conclusion.

  5. Castor’s letter is an absolutely extraordinary one for an elected representative in a democratic society to send. The fact that she could think these demands on any subject reasonable ones for someone in her position to make.

    Its also extraordinary what topic she picked for her demands. Views on climate, of all things, now seem to have become marks of Grace. Why is it so important to her to make sure there is one party line on climate and no questioning it? Why not just let everyone say whatever the hell they want, like we do on most things, and eventually the correct story emerges?

    I could see that she would find the proliferation of anti-vax propaganda disturbing, if there is widespread misinformation getting traction, that has real public health implications. But climate?

    Crazy times.

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