Poll: Government Threat to Rights

For the first time since I remember, the American people get it:

Fifty-six percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday say they think the federal government’s become so large and powerful that it poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens. Forty-four percent of those polled disagree.

The survey indicates a partisan divide on the question: only 37 percent of Democrats, 63 percent of Independents and nearly 7 in 10 Republicans say the federal government poses a threat to the rights of Americans.

Now, if they will only start voting differently because of it.

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Liberal Definition of Freedom

The NAACP is calling for tougher federal laws to deal with people that (*gasp*) display nooses.

An adult who acts alone in hanging a noose at a public university would likely face only a one-year misdemeanor under federal civil rights laws, prosecutors in Detroit said Monday.

"The noose represents 100 years of lynching," Anthony said. "Unfortunately, there is a feeling of tolerance for prejudice and for harassment and for discrimination. It should at the very minimum be a felony."

When was lynching last a problem? 40 years ago? 50? Do the majority of people today remember?

Hanging a noose in Michigan will net you a two-year felony charge.

But burning the American flag, a symbol for which our young men and women are fighting to protect today, will get you nothing more than a pat on the head and a hearty "way to express yourself" from the liberal "free speech" establishment.

How did we get here? And how do we stop it?

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Posted November 20th, 2007 Filed in First Amendment

Bravo, Alexander

I just received a press release from U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander stating that he has signed on to cosponsor S. 1748, the Broadcaster Freedom Act of 2007.

“It’s ridiculous to suggest that that there should be a Federal rule requiring broadcasters need to present contrasting points of view on controversial issues,” said Alexander.  “We have plenty viewpoints in the media – including television, newspapers, and the Internet – and the Democrats should stop trying to silence talk radio.  I will keep fighting to ensure our free speech is protected.”


Posted July 17th, 2007 Filed in Alexander, Lamar, First Amendment

Blogger’s Exemption

Patterico nicely addresses the recent Washington Supreme Court ruling on McCain-Feingold, the applicability of the “media exemption”, and how the whole thing applies to blogging.

Posted April 29th, 2007 Filed in Blogs etc., First Amendment

Straight-A Student Arrested by Thought Police

I understand that another Virginia Tech should be avoided, but this is ridiculous:

Allen Lee, an 18-year-old straight-A student at Cary-Grove High School, was arrested Tuesday near his home and charged with disorderly conduct for an essay police described as violently disturbing but not directed toward any specific person or location. …

Today, Cary-Grove students rallied behind the arrested teen by organizing a petition drive to let him back in their school. They posted on walls quotes from the English teacher in which she had encouraged students to express their emotions through writing.

Can you imagine Steven King growing up in today’s restrictive environment?

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Posted April 26th, 2007 Filed in Education, First Amendment

The Real Obscenity is McCain/Feingold

I haven’t posted about the FEC’s 6-0 decision to not regulate because I was frankly a little stunned at the initial jubilation of many of the bloggers upon hearing this:

In a unanimous vote yesterday, the Federal Election Commission left unregulated almost all political activity on the Internet except for paid political advertisements. Campaigns buying such ads will have to use money raised under the limits of current federal campaign law.

Perhaps most important, the commission effectively granted media exemptions to bloggers and other activists using the Web to allow them to praise and criticize politicians, just as newspapers can, without fear of federal interference.

Wizbang! calls it “excellent news” and the Daily Brief says “we won“. At least Daily Pundit is somewhat skeptical with, “… on balance this seems like it should be good news, right?”

No, no, no, no! That particular government entity did not reject the idea of restricting what used to be Constitutionally protected free speech, it merely chose not to exercise their power of regulation . . . for now. The loathsome McCain/Feingold, passed by our elected servants and signed by our president, remains in place. This is a pyrrhic victory at best.

Brad Smith at RedState briefly touched on this with:

The biggest problem with the rules is simply the principle established – the Internet is now to be subject to regulation. The FEC can change the rules – extend them – when it wants.

But the always-pithy e-Claire goes directly to the heart of the matter:

“It’s a win, win, win,” [FEC] Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub said.

No, Ellen. A ‘Win-Win” would be all together wiping out this fantastically stupid and unconstitutional attack on the First Amendment rights of citizens. Now run along and fine someone for saying ‘boobie.’

Along a similar vein, I am offended by the compromise of principles that so-called conservatives are willing to make in trying to stop liberal 527s, as reported by Tim Chapman:

Yesterday’s conference call with bloggers made it crystal clear that Republicans in Congress are dead serious about applying McCain/Feingold regulations to 527 groups. Despite the fact that many of those Republicans opposed McCain/Feingold on the grounds that it was an infringement on citizens’ 1st Amendment freedoms, they now are willing to extend the law into new areas.

The Washington Post explains why:

Just last year, the RNC raised $105.4 million compared with $56.1 taken in by the DNC. In the competition for small donors, the RNC raised $55 million in gifts under $200, while the DNC raised $32.2 million in under-$200 contributions.

McCain/Feingold is an abomination. Any exploitation of it for political gain is pure evil. Those that seek to do so should be ashamed of themselves. More importantly, they should look past a midterm election and see what they are doing to our rights in the long run.

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Posted March 28th, 2006 Filed in Blogs etc., First Amendment

McCain Set to Stomp On Freedom Again

McCain teemed up with Feingold in 2002 to create the hideous campaign finance “reform” that muzzled any organization except for the liberal media in the days leading up to an election. The Gun Owners of America labeled this legislated rape of the First Amendment the “Incumbent Protection Act”.

Oh well, we said, Dubya won’t sign it.

But he did.

Oh well, we said, the Supreme Court can’t possible sanction it. It strikes at the very heart of the Bill of Rights.

But it did.

Now Johnny boy is at it again, this time with S. 2128, the “Lobbying Transparency and Accountability Act“.

After the Abramoff scandal, politicians are trying to show that they are doing something about corruption in and around our elected servants. But rather than reforming themselves (can you say “ethics”?) they are reforming lobbying efforts, including every grassroots organizations in existence today.

Tim Chapman says:

If McCain’s provision stays in tact, grassroots organizations would for the first time be subject to requirements and regulations that would devastate their ability to reach out to the general public. …

The way McCain’s provision is written, “grassroots lobbying” means “any attempt to influence the general public, or segments thereof, to engage in lobbying contacts whether or not those contacts were made on behalf of a client.” So grassroots organizations could be prohibited from reaching out to people not already included in their membership. This legislation would seriously curtail many groups’ abilities to get their message out and arguably infringes on their 1st Amendment free speech rights.

The Gun Owners of America explains:

Now with the Gag Act (S. 2128), McCain wants to target his wrath on groups like GOA — requiring them to register their “grassroots” communications and to file twice as many frivolous reports. …

For example, if we wanted to alert you to gun ban that is moving in our nation’s capital, we could first have to tell McCain (and all his other buddies in Congress) about what we’re planning to do, who we’re planning to alert (that is, grassroots folks like yourself), how much money we plan to spend, etc.

Because of Section 105 in this bill, everyone with whom GOA contracts to get the word out (advertisers, printers, etc.) could be required to tell Congress twenty days in advance about GOA’s public information campaign.

In effect, we would end up alerting Sarah Brady every time we plan to wage a grassroots campaign in opposition to gun control.

It is legislation like this that will keep me from ever voting for McCain for president. Should it come down to a choice between him and Hillery, I’ll be driven to vote Libertarian even though I swore that would never vote Libertarian at the federal level ever again. Or perhaps it’s time to check out the Constitution Party.

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Posted February 28th, 2006 Filed in First Amendment