Sunday, May 26, 2024

Censorship Doesn't Work


Saturday, May 25, 2024

The Missouri Freedom Initiative Live at 7:30 p.m.


“Occupants of public offices love power and are prone to abuse it." – George Washington, Farewell Address, September 17, 1796

Friday, May 24, 2024

Suppressing Free Speech

 By Gretchen Garrity

"Students who live under a regime of censorship are being taught that freedom of speech and government accountability are disposable values that must give way to 'making the school look good.' The lessons these students learn about the First Amendment--lessons they will carry with them into their adult lives--are that people with power get to control what is said about them, and that viewpoints should be suppressed by the government if they challenge prevailing beliefs. This is not only bad preparation for journalism, it is bad preparation for citizenship."

 In the first chapter of the reference tool, "Law of the Student Press," the editors write about censorship. Their focus is high schools and colleges, but their words apply to the larger world, where censorship is alive and well on social media platforms.

While we tend to think censorship and suppression of free speech is something Google, Mark Zuckerberg and the old Twitter indulges in, the culture of censorship has trickled down to local platforms and activists who routinely suppress and delete articles and writers they find objectionable.

Often, there is back channel chatter that attempts to demean and discredit individuals who say or publish uncomfortable truths. Even elected officials indulge in this behavior. Instead of engaging the public in a spirited debate, or pointing out errors, these individuals subvert free speech in a stealthy background campaign to censor points of view with which they disagree or find inconvenient, and to discourage others from engaging in public discourse.

It points to the larger issue in the Republican Party right now. What is a conservative? What does it mean to be a Republican? What are the values of the individuals who make up the Party? How do those values, or lack of them, affect what happens on the local, state, and national level?

In a 1988 decision that was devastating to the free speech rights of students, the United States Supreme Court ruled that students at a St. Louis, MO high school did not have the right to publish articles the school administration deemed unacceptable. You can read about the ruling HERE.

The editors of the Law of the Student Press had this to say in reference to the ruling:

"A generation's worth of legalized Hazelwood censorship has damaged the learning environment in schools, discouraged young people from meaningfully engaging in civic life, and obstructed the public's access to truthful information. As the director of the University of Arizona's journalism program told a law-school symposium reflecting on the legacy of Hazelwood, 'We are raising a nation of sheep. I don't think it's extreme to say that we risk democracy."

Meanwhile, writers are being called extremist around the state of Missouri and in Christian County. David Rice interviewed Gail Griswold and myself the other day. Judge for yourself who the extremists are:

Censorship within Conservative Grassroots by David Rice

How do Conservative Journalists survive censorship and cancel culture within the conservative movement? I ask Gail Griswold, Local Control, and Gretchen Garrity, Right2WinOzarks. We also laugh a lot.

Read on Substack

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

American History of Freedom of the Press


From: Helpful Professor

From a timely article from Colonial Williamsburg.

"Here is a list of the States and how the law was written in their Constitutions or Bill of Rights going from north to south:

  1. A Declaration of the Rights of the Inhabitants of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. - June 15, 1780: XVI.--The liberty of the press is essential to the security of freedom in a state: it ought not, therefore, to be restrained in this Commonwealth.
  2. A Declaration of the Rights of the Inhabitants of the Commonwealth or State of Pennsylvania - September 28, 1776: XII. That the people have a right to freedom of speech, and of writing, and publishing their sentiments; therefore the freedom of the press ought not to be restrained.
  3. A Declaration of Rights, and the Constitution and Form of Government agreed to by the Delegates of Maryland, in Free and Full Convention Assembled. - November 11, 1776: XXXVIII. That the liberty of the press ought to be inviolably preserved.
  4. Virginia Declaration of Rights – June 12, 1776: XII That the freedom of the press is one of the greatest bulwarks of liberty and can never be restrained but by despotic governments.
  5. North Carolina, A Declaration of Rights, &c. - December 18, 1776: XV. That the freedom of the press is one of the great bulwarks of liberty, and therefore ought never to be restrained.
  6. An Act for Establishing the Constitution of the State of South Carolina. - March 19, 1778: XLIII. That the liberty of the press be inviolably preserved.
  7. Constitution of Georgia; February 5, 1777: ART. LXI. Freedom of the press and trial by jury to remain inviolate forever.
  8. A Declaration of the Rights of the Inhabitants of the State of Vermont – July 8, 1777: XIV. That the people have a right to freedom of speech, and of writing and publishing their sentiments; therefore, the freedom of the press ought not be restrained. (Vermont was not yet a state yet, but saw fit to set up a Declaration of Rights)"


Monday, May 20, 2024

It's Not Going Away

David Rice interviews 2024 GOP State Convention delegate, Tony Petrosino, for another perspective about the day. Naturally, more questions are raised. 

For audio or to read, go HERE.

Tony Petrosino--7th Congressional District Delegate by David Rice

Tony shares his experiences with the State Convention and the Floor. He discusses some of the failures of the day.

Read on Substack

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Getting the Silver and Gold Bill Over the Line

 Off The Cuff with Sam Britton

Go HERE to listen to Sunday's Missouri Liberty Radio show "Off the Cuff" with Sam Britton. Guests included Patrick Holland of the Missouri Freedom Initiative and Daniel Diaz of Citizens for Sound Money.

Some of the show notes:

"In the second hour of the show, we spent some time playing some audio from the HighWire show that we air earlier in the afternoon.

We need some cautious optimism once in a while, and it came from that show.
Here is the link to that show, and you can hear everything that we played in the first 30 minutes, as well as the rest of what was covered during that broadcast: 

In the second hour Daniel Diaz with Citizens for Sound Money was with us during all of the second hour, as well as most of the third hour. We covered the latest on sound money legislation here in Missouri, as well as different places you can go to online, to get started building your wealth in gold and silver."


Saturday, May 11, 2024

Friday, May 10, 2024

The Undertow


By Gretchen Garrity

Texts have been shared with Right to Win Ozarks that shed light on the way the Missouri GOP Convention ended on Saturday, May 4, 2024 (background HERE and HERE). The texts are said to be from Plaza Hotel staff and at least one GOP convention worker. There is a blacked out area that is presumably a name, but two names are visible and another name is mentioned within the texts, that of Miles. This may be a reference to Miles Ross, Executive Director of the Missouri GOP.

The hotel General Manager, Brent Parker, was contacted to see if the visible names were connected to hotel staff. A reply was received  yesterday evening that confirmed two of the individuals are associates of the hotel, see texts below.


As noted by Mr. Parker in his communication, neither employee mentions tow trucks or a threat to tow vehicles. They do ask for vehicles to be moved out of the convention center parking lot. The mention of tow trucks is in the green replies, and is almost certainly from someone at the GOP convention.

Jonica Hope was a volunteer at the GOP convention. She was recently interviewed by David Rice (video HERE.) She notes at around the 6:25 minute-mark, “An individual who is a volunteer had asked me to kinda come in and help her and help them.” Hope indicated that as a volunteer she had multiple tasks during the day.

As the interview proceeds Hope discusses the frustration of the long delay to get to business that caused people to leave throughout the event. By the time the tow truck announcement happens very late in the event, she even surmises that a quorum had already been lost (about 11 minute-mark).

Around 14 minutes into the interview, the tow truck issue is brought up. She mentions text messages she has seen, which she says she cannot share publicly. (Note: RTWO did not receive the text images from Hope and cannot confirm these are the texts she mentions.

But she does say, “My husband texts me and says, er, we had gotten a text message saying that they were towing cars.” Having been on a break, she hurries back to the convention. She says she did not see any tow trucks in the parking lot. (Make a note of this)

“I’m hearing talk about the tow truck being called, and I’m like ‘Well ‘yeah, there’s a prom, there’s an activity going on.’”

She notices people leaving the building and finds out it is because an announcement by attendee Ron Sanders has been made that vehicles needed to be moved or they would be towed. Sanders serves on the events and website/media committees of the Christian County Republican Central Committee and serves as Secretary of the Christian County Missouri Republican Party.

The rest is history. Rep. Dan Stacy called for a quorum count and the convention was shut down without approving a platform.

How did it come about that Sanders made the announcement? It is now known that Sandy Karnes, committeewoman for District 29, who was also one of the organizers of the convention, sent out a text to at least three people about the announcement. They were newly-elected Ozark alderman Eddie Campbell (Delegate #2), Steve Perry (Alternate #15), and Ron Sanders.

But back to Rice’s interview with Jonica Hope. At the 27-minute mark she describes how establishment Republicans were able to derail the platform the People of Missouri had voted for. It was the final move they had and we gave it to them because everybody left to go check their vehicles. And, here’s the thing about that. Back to the vehicles. The hotel, they had alerted volunteers like myself, ‘Like, we’re just going to tow vehicles.’ And so that was an honest human thing. The individual...Ron Sanders, popped up and he’s just being a kind human. And that’s all it was. Now, was there a mistake made? Hindsight’s 20/20. He should have said come back or say ‘Madame Speaker, can we break for a moment let people move their vehicles’...It could have been handled better, but he was trying to be nice.”

Hope actually states the Hotel had alerted volunteers, saying they were going to tow vehicles. Then comes another interesting comment. Hope suddenly remembers that she did see tow trucks. “Then people got out there and didn’t see the tow vehicles. Well, again, memories and all this kind of stuff it starts fleshing out after the event. If you remember, I walked across the street from Walnut Lane, behind the building there were tow trucks parked there. And those tow trucks, the University Plaza was just giving us an opportunity to get our people out to have the chance to move our vehicles...What I have found out is that this particular towing company has a contract supposedly with University Plaza during large events to keep people out of their parking so that the people at the events can actually have the parking spaces.”

Hope doesn’t remember the name of the towing company but says, “I knew they were there. They were absolutely there.”

So far:

  • The Plaza admits employees with names Tiffany and Trina are employed at the Plaza

  • The hotel maintains it did not call or threaten to call tow trucks

  • Jonica Hope maintains hotel employees were threatening to call tow trucks. At first she didn’t see tow trucks, and then later she remembers she did see tow trucks.

  • No one else has come forward that has seen the tow trucks.

  • Text messages from hotel employees suggest it was not they who mentioned towing trucks.

  • It appears a GOP volunteer/worker mentions tow trucks in a text string with a hotel employee.

  • A different text message went out from Sandy Karnes to other convention-goers to make an announcement about the vehicles late in the event.

  • Ron Sanders complies with the message and makes an announcement that includes tow trucks standing by to tow vehicles that have not been moved from the convention center parking area.

  • Delegates leave to check on their vehicles. No vehicles have been towed.

  • Rep. Dan Stacy, taking advantage of the situation, requests a quorum call at the 11th hour.

  • A quorum call results in the convention being shut down without a platform for 2024.

There is much to comment upon, but the situation seems to reflect, in the end, the internal battle for the soul of the Republican Party being played out on a national, state, and local level. While there are those who desire a "big tent" approach, the People of Missouri are clear that smaller government, protection of life, election integrity, candidate vetting, medical freedom and much more are desired going forward.

The establishment Republicans, or RINOs, are not comfortable with this kind of platform, nor are the special interests who heavily fund their campaigns. While the platform was not passed due to slick maneuvering by the establishment, the grassroots elected who they wanted for electors, national committee members, and chair of the convention, and they voted down the establishment platform. It was an earthquake. Listen below to 2024's convention chairwoman Sophia Shore discuss the day in a short interview with Pastor Alex Bryant.

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

A Merry Heart Doeth Good



GOP convention in a nutshell. Check the blog for a nee post!

♬ Thrill of the dark night(261426) - YOUNG MO


By Gretchen Garrity

Desperate people do desperate things. It appears the chaotic Missouri GOP Convention at the University Plaza Hotel in Springfield last Saturday fell victim to desperate people doing desperate things.

Oddly, what may have ultimately killed the stalled event and the hope of approving a platform for 2024, was the threat of convention goers’ vehicles being towed from the parking lot.

One of the strange occurrences toward the end of the GOP convention was the claim that tow trucks were standing by to tow vehicles out of the convention center parking lot. A GOP volunteer stated convention staff requested an announcement be read to the attendees that an event at the convention center was due to begin, and GOP conventioneers needed to move their cars.

Because the convention was nearly wrapped up, the chairwoman, Sophia Shore, continued moving forward with the final approvals for the platform. But a delegate from the 7th Congressional District stood up and announced the request to move vehicles and that tow trucks were standing by. However, this conflicts with General Manager Brent Parker’s assertion that the Plaza does not generally tow cars. 

Although the convention had been thinning out for hours due to the extraordinary delays, this announcement caused more people to leave the event. It was at this point that Rep. Dan Stacy asked for a quorum count. When it was discovered that a quorum no longer existed, the convention came to a close—without a GOP platform for 2024.

Both David Rice and myself spoke to the Plaza’s general manager about the claim there were tow trucks at or near the Plaza on Saturday evening and that vehicles in the convention center parking lot were going to be towed in order to make room for a Billings High School prom.

Parker said no tow trucks had been called. He said the hotel would not have towed vehicles because there is no way of telling which car is associated with which event attendee. He stated that typically the only tow trucks that show up at the hotel are for vehicles that are being repossessed. He also said the Springfield Parking Company across the street works with the hotel to tow any vehicles, if needed.

Let’s focus on the parking for the event. For background, there were estimated to be about 1,200-1,300 people at the start of the GOP convention at the University Plaza, not all with their own vehicle. There were about 900 delegates/alternates with a few hundred observers and volunteers.

According to Parker, there are anywhere between 600-700 parking spots on the hotel grounds alone. Additionally, there is ample street parking, and a parking garage directly across the street from the Plaza, which has 971 parking spaces, according to Alex Scott of the Springfield Parking Company. All told, there are approximately 1,900 nearby parking spots for hotel guests, event goers, and others.

Parker said the Plaza intended to charge for parking that day because the Springfield Art Fest was also occurring a street away. But because the parking lot filled up so early in the day, they decided against it. 

Also, Scott said the parking garage did not fill up on Saturday, and there was plenty of parking throughout the day and evening.

 There was no call from the Plaza to the SPC to tow any vehicles at Saturday’s event.

The only parking lot issue came from a woman who thought her car had either been stolen or towed during the early afternoon, around 12:30 p.m. That issue was resolved within an hour when the woman found her car in the hotel parking lot.

The threat of towing announced at the GOP convention was hours later when the finalizing of the 2024 platform was happening.

Parker also said that because there were no events planned for the Plaza after Saturday’s GOP convention there was no hurry to get guests to leave the event. He did say that sometimes tow trucks are parked at the nearby Springfield Expo Center’s loading dock to load and unload vehicles, but again, there was not a threat from the Plaza that vehicles would be towed at the hotel. 

Google Earth: The Expo Center upper left, Plaza lower right

Parker said events often run over, and hotel staff are simply alerted they will have to stay a bit longer. Parker acknowledged that events like the GOP convention often take some time to clear out, and is a common occurrence.

The organizers of the GOP convention—State GOP Chairman Nick Myers and the Missouri Republican Party—have blamed the ultimate lack of an approved platform for 2024 on the day’s Chairwoman, Sophia Shore. Shore was not able to take the gavel and begin the actual business of the convention until nearly 3 p.m. for an event that was supposed to begin at 9 a.m. or shortly thereafter. Even establishment Republicans acknowledged her deftness in handling the event when she finally received the gavel

It is well known that the establishment Republicans were not happy with the election of Shore as chairwoman. They were not happy with the 26 amendments that Missourians across the state approved for the 2024 platform. They were not happy that grassroots Missourians were elected to attend the national convention.

From where did the threat of vehicle towing originate? If it did not come from the Plaza and it did not come from the Springfield Parking Company, where would the threat have come from? Did it come from the volunteer or the delegate who gave the announcement? In whose interest was it to shut down the 2024 Missouri GOP convention, which was on the verge of approving a platform the establishment did not want? 

So many questions.

Oh, that cryptic tweet at the top? That's from Rep. Ben Baker moments after the convention was shut down.


More on the towing threat at David Rice's Substack HERE and HERE.