Posts Tagged ‘First amendment’

America…the land of the free…home of the brave…

It isn’t so free and home of the brave anymore, is it?

Steve Watson
 Prisonplanet.com
April 2, 2012

The state legislature of Arizona has passed a bill  that vastly broadens telephone harassment laws and applies them to the Internet  and other means of electronic communication.

The law, which is being pushed under the guise of  an anti-bullying campaign, would mean that anything communicated or published  online that was deemed to be “offensive” by the state, including editorials,  illustrations, and even satire could be criminally punished.

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund breaks down Arizona  House Bill 2549:

“The bill is sweepingly broad, and would make it a  crime to communicate via electronic means speech that is intended to ‘annoy,’  ‘offend,’ ‘harass’ or ‘terrify,’ as well as certain sexual speech. Because the  bill is not limited to one-to-one communications, H.B. 2549 would apply to the  Internet as a whole, thus criminalizing all manner of writing, cartoons, and  other protected material the state finds offensive or annoying.”

First Amendment activist group Media Coalition has  written to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer,  urging her not to sign the legislation into law.

The letter notes that the terms used in the bill  are not defined in the statute or by reference, and thereby the law could be  broadly applied to almost any statement.

“H.B. 2549 would make it a crime to use any  electronic or digital device to communicate using obscene, lewd or profane  language or to suggest a lewd or lascivious act if done with intent to ‘annoy,’  ‘offend,’ ‘harass’ or ‘terrify,’” the letter notes. … ‘Lewd’ and ‘profane’ are  not defined in the statute or by reference. ‘Lewd’ is generally understood to  mean lusty or sexual in nature and ‘profane’ is generally defined as  disrespectful or irreverent about religion or religious practices.”

“H.B. 2549 is not limited to a one to one  conversation between two specific people. The communication does not need to be  repetitive or even unwanted. There is no requirement that the recipient or  subject of the speech actually feel offended, annoyed or scared. Nor does the  legislation make clear that the communication must be intended to offend or  annoy the reader, the subject or even any specific person.” the letter  continues.

In this respect the law could even technically be  applied to someone posting a status update on Facebook.

“Speech protected by the First Amendment is often  intended to offend, annoy or scare but could be prosecuted under this law.”The  Media Coalition letter continues.

“A Danish newspaper posted pictures of Muhammad  that were intended to be offensive to make a point about religious tolerance. If  a Muslim in Arizona considers the images profane and is offended, the paper  could be prosecuted. Some Arizona residents may consider Rush Limbaugh’s recent  comments about a Georgetown law student lewd. He could be prosecuted if he  intended his comments to be offensive. Similarly, much general content available  in the media uses racy or profane language and is intended to offend, annoy or  even terrify.”

“Bill Maher’s stand up routines and Jon Stewart’s  nightly comedy program, Ann Coulter’s books criticizing liberals and Christopher  Hitchens’ expressions of his disdain for religion, Stephen King’s novels or the  Halloween films all could be subject to this legislation. Even common taunting  about sports between rival fans done online is frequently meant to offend or  annoy, and is often done using salty and profane language.”

This type of legislation is far from unprecedented. Last year, former president Bill Clinton proposed a law to censor internet speech. “It would be a legitimate thing to do,” Clinton said in an interview that aired on CNBC. Clinton suggested the government should set-up an agency that monitors all media speech for supposed factual errors.

“That is, it would be like, I don’t know, National Public Radio or BBC or something like that, except it would have to be really independent and they would not express opinions, and their mandate would be narrowly confined to identifying relevant factual errors” he said. “And also, they would also have to have citations so that they could be checked in case they made a mistake. Somebody needs to be doing it, and maybe it’s a worthy expenditure of taxpayer money.”

Cass Sunstein, head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, has also proposed banning speech on the internet that  the government disagrees with. Sunstein proposed the creation of an internet “Fairness Doctrine” similar to the one that was used for years to limit and eliminate free speech on the radio.

This legislation represents yet another move to  police and control freedom of expression via the internet. Once again it grants  the state and the government the direct right to determine what is and is not  “offensive” on a whim. It then allows for the prosecution of individuals and  organisations based on such summations – an extremely dangerous precedent to  set.

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The only government can do in ‘regulating’ something is to ultimately destroy what it was ‘trying’ to protect.

Kurt Nimmo
Prison Planet.com
Wednesday, December 29, 2010

According to a recent Rasmussen’s poll, most Americans understand the FCC’s internet regulations will be used by the government to push a political agenda.

54% of respondents oppose the FCC effort to regulate the internet while 21% support it. 25% are not sure. By a 52% to 27% margin, Rasmussen reported on December 28, voters believe that more free market competition is better than more regulation for protecting internet users. Most Democrats see an unbiased regulatory approach, while most Republicans and unaffiliated voters fear a political agenda.

In April, a Rasmussen poll revealed that just 27% of Americans believed the Federal Communications Commission should regulate the internet like it does television and radio.

Internet regulation was the hallmark of Obama in 2008 as he ran for president. After installing Genachowski as FCC chairman, the Obama administration started to move on its promise to regulate the internet. The FCC began to act like a fiefdom and told a federal appeals court it had the power to impose regulation on broadband rates, even though Congress had not given the agency the power to do so.

In fact, 300 members of Congress, including a large number of Democrats, told the FCC in no uncertain terms to stop its attempt to grab power over the internet. The FCC temporarily changed tack and convened negotiations over the summer with a select group of industry representatives and proponents of internet regulation.

In August, the FCC worked with House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman on a draft bill codifying network management rules.

The FCC decided before Christmas to make its move. Obama said the new government regulation will “help preserve the free and open nature of the Internet.” In fact, it would do just the opposite.

Genachowski and the FCC naturally try to make this unwarranted move look like a white knight government protecting consumers against greedy telecommunications companies and ISPs. Beyond the rhetoric about “net neutrality,” however, lies the real purpose of the FCC regulations – government control and censorship.

“What governments around the world are suddenly beginning to realize is that a free internet is ultimately incompatible with government secrets, and secrets are essential to any government that wants to remain in power,” writes Mike Adams of Natural News. “As part of a long-term plan to control content on the internet, the FCC is now attempting to assert authority over the internet in the same way it has long exercised content censorship authority over broadcast television and radio.”

Adams argues that the FCC is attempting to assert its authority over the internet. “By asserting its authority with net neutrality, the FCC will establish a beachhead of implied authority from which it can begin to control and censor the internet,” he writes.

Obama’s FCC commissariat is not losing sleep over the First Amendment. It was the FCC’s Chief Diversity Officer Mark Lloyd who said that “blind references to freedom of speech or the press serve as a distraction from the critical examination of other communications policies,” namely converting the internet into the same government regulated medium as television and radio.

Prior to the FCC vote, the United Nations announced its plan to regulate the internet.

“The United Nations is also aiming to run the Internet for you,” warns Joseph A. Klein. “With the backing of governments around the world who don’t mind free-riding on American investment and know-how in the Internet while seeking as many ways as possible to usurp control over its governance, the UN establishment has been trying for years to move control of the Internet’s day-to-day management to some sort of global governance forum.”

Efforts by the FCC and the United Nations at the behest of the globalists are contrary to the model that has emerged since the technology was invented in 1973 and became public in the early 1990s.

“The beauty of the Internet is that it’s not controlled by any one group. Its governance is bottoms-up – with academics, non-profits, companies and governments all working to improve this technological wonder of the modern world. This model has not only made the Internet very open – a testbed for innovation by anyone, anywhere – it’s also prevented vested interests from taking control,” wrote Vint Cerf, who is often called the father of the internet, in response to the UN proposal to regulate the internet.

A free and open internet is anathema to government as it moves to control nations, populations, and telecommunications. In order to succeed and build world government and its accompanying control grid, the internet must be tamed and folded into the established propaganda apparatus.

The machinations of the FCC and the United Nations reveal once again how worried the establishment is about a free and open internet. The internet cannot be allowed to be a primary and growing source of alternative information that challenges daily the corporate media propaganda system that acts like a megaphone for a control freak government.

Again, how can we be fighting for our freedoms if we are losing them here at home?  The small town of Perkins, Oklahoma is feeling the influence of the Federal Reserve (if there were any) and not in a good way.

As most of you may know, the Federal Reserve is a semi-private bank with leaders that are appointed by the government, but march to the beat of their own drum.  There is no accountability with the Fed and this is another example.

Watch the following video.

What right does the Federal Reserve have in telling Americans they cannot practice their First Amendment rights?

Yes, Shirley Sherrod’s comments were taken out of context.  But is that anything different from the lies that the corporate media feeds you?  Evidently freedom of speech and the right to have a political opinion only pertains to them, not the bloggers.  I’ve said it before; you would have a better chance of getting your news from some guy who has a media outlet such as this and a radio station from his basement as opposed to the mainstream media.

Imagine if the role was reversed.  What if a conservative had said the things that Sherrod had said and a blogger jumped all over them?  CNN would be praising that blogger.  But as I said, one of their own kind was attacked, and in the realm of party politics, that just cannot fly.

Why not lay the blame with the administration who fired her?  The ones who should have looked more into it.  Inevitably the ball that the Obama administration dropped has been turned into something like a political football.

Kurt Nimmo
Infowars.com
July 25, 2010

In the video clip below, CNN talking heads Kyra Phillips and John Roberts discuss internet journalism and the Sherrod case. “Imagine what would have happened,” says Roberts, “if we hadn’t taken a look at what happened to Shirley Sherrod and plumbed the depths further and found what had been posted on the internet was not in fact reflective of what she said.”

Once Again, Corporate Media Turns On Bloggers  onepixel  
Once Again, Corporate Media Turns On Bloggers  donttrust Once Again, Corporate Media Turns On Bloggers  onepixel
   

Too bad this self-righteous attitude was nowhere to be found when it was discovered that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction. It was obvious well before Bush and the neocons invaded Iraq that Saddam Hussein did not have nuclear and biological weapons. Iraq had nothing to do with al-Qaeda. It did not buy yellow cake in Niger.

In 1995 Gen. Hussein Kamel told U.N. inspectors and the CIA that Iraq had destroyed its entire stockpile of chemical and biological weapons and banned missiles (weapons, incidentally, sold to Hussein by the U.S. and European countries). Even one of then Secretary of State Colin Powell’s analysts, Greg Thielmann, said key evidence cited by the administration was misrepresented to the public.

Everyone knew Saddam did not have WMDs and that includes the corporate media. Tony Blair said Iraq did not have WMDs. Majority Whip at the time, Richard J. Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, who was on the Senate intelligence committee, knew Saddam did not have weapons of mass destruction.

Former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neil, who was a member of the National Security Council, said he saw absolutely nothing he would have characterized as evidence of weapons of mass destruction. He also said the neocons planned to invade Iraq well before the attack of September 11, 2001.

In 2008, former White House press secretary Scott McClellan published a memoir. In his book McClellan said that the Iraq invasion and occupation was sold to the American people with a “political propaganda campaign” led by Bush and aimed at “manipulating sources of public opinion” and “downplaying the major reason for going to war.”

Following the publication of McClellan’s book more than a few corporate media types admitted acting as “complicit enablers” in the march to slaughter more than a million Iraqis and wreck the country (more than it was already wrecked by a decade of brutal sanctions). Even so, the corporate media generally avoided accepting blame. “There was almost no self-assessment, after five years of war. I observed then that this revealed a disturbing, and continuing, mode of denial or defensiveness,” wrote Greg Mitchell on June 2, 2008.

Tom Brokaw was especially weasel-like in his defense of mass murder. He defended the role of the corporate media as “complicit enabler” for warmongers and psychopaths.

“All wars are based on propaganda. John Kennedy launched the beginning of our war in Vietnam by talking about the domino theory and embracing the Green Berets. Lyndon Johnson kept it up and so did Richard Nixon. World War II–a lot of that was driven by propaganda, and suppressing things that people should have known at the time. So people should not be surprised by that,” he told Brain Williams. “In this business we often bump up against what I call the opaque world. The White House has an unbelievable ability to control the flow of information at any time but especially at a time when they are planning to go to war.”

Now a sanctimonious corporate media has the audacity to criticize bloggers for getting a bureaucrat fired. As painful as that experience was for Ms. Sherrod, at least she is alive. Her family was not killed by “smart bombs.” Her kids don’t have cancer from depleted uranium. She can flick a switch and there will be electricity in her home. Chances are very remote she will be killed by a suicide bomber when she shops for groceries.

Tom Brokaw and the corporate media are in large part responsible for mass murder and war crimes.

But you won’t hear Kyra Phillips and John Roberts talk about it. Instead, they will beat up on bloggers and for good reason — the alternative media is about to put the teleprompter reading class on the unemployment line.

Can the liberal mainstream media get any more biased than this?  Come on.  All these winers complaining people are saying nasty things about someone, please, give me a break.  Its the first amendment, people.

Is the mainstream media more credible?  Do they want us censored just like they are?  We are the most free media network out there.  Just because some blogger jumped to conclusion over a speech given by Sherly Sherrod and now all of us have to pay the price.

Since nasty things are being said about people all the time on the blogs, why didn’t they say something sooner.  Oh, I get it.  Becuase one of their own was attacked.

In a free market internet the common sense and free speech of others keeps dubious and sometimes malicious statements “fair and balanced”.

P.S.  Did I mention that outlets like CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News hate bloggers because they want to be the only source for news.

Keep the internet free!  Watch the clip here.

Senator Joseph Lieberman just cannot help his big government leanings, or even here.  It almost compulsory for him.  With him being a strong advocate of internet control for a long time, he has now introduced legislation to control the internet in emergency situations.  As stated below, this bill has every potential to silence free speech.

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The federal government would have “absolute power” to shut down the Internet under the terms of a new US Senate bill being pushed by Joe Lieberman, legislation which would hand President Obama a figurative “kill switch” to seize control of the world wide web in response to a Homeland Security directive.

Lieberman has been pushing for government regulation of the Internet for years under the guise of cybersecurity, but this new bill goes even further in handing emergency powers over to the feds which could be used to silence free speech under the pretext of a national emergency.

“The legislation says that companies such as broadband providers, search engines or software firms that the US Government selects “shall immediately comply with any emergency measure or action developed” by the Department of Homeland Security. Anyone failing to comply would be fined,” reports ZDNet’s Declan McCullagh.

The 197-page bill (PDF) is entitled Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act, or PCNAA.

Technology lobbying group TechAmerica warned that the legislation created “the potential for absolute power,” while the Center for Democracy and Technology worried that the bill’s emergency powers “include authority to shut down or limit internet traffic on private systems.”

The bill has the vehement support of Senator Jay Rockefeller, who last year asked during a congressional hearing, “Would it had been better if we’d have never invented the Internet?” while fearmongering about cyber-terrorists preparing attacks.

The largest Internet-based corporations are seemingly happy with the bill, primarily because it contains language that will give them immunity from civil lawsuits and also reimburse them for any costs incurred if the Internet is shut down for a period of time.

“If there’s an “incident related to a cyber vulnerability” after the President has declared an emergency and the affected company has followed federal standards, plaintiffs’ lawyers cannot collect damages for economic harm. And if the harm is caused by an emergency order from the Feds, not only does the possibility of damages virtually disappear, but the US Treasury will even pick up the private company’s tab,” writes McCullagh.

Tom Gann, McAfee’s vice president for government relations, described the bill as a “very important piece of legislation”.

As we have repeatedly warned for years, the federal government is desperate to seize control of the Internet because the establishment is petrified at the fact that alternative and independent media outlets are now eclipsing corporate media outlets in terms of audience share, trust, and influence.

We witnessed another example of this on Monday when establishment Congressman Bob Etheridge was publicly shamed after he was shown on video assaulting two college students who asked him a question. Two kids with a flip cam and a You Tube account could very well have changed the course of a state election, another startling reminder of the power of the Internet and independent media, and why the establishment is desperate to take that power away.

The government has been searching for any avenue possible through which to regulate free speech on the Internet and strangle alternative media outlets, with the FTC recently proposing a “Drudge Tax” that would force independent media organizations to pay fees that would be used to fund mainstream newspapers.

Similar legislation aimed at imposing Chinese-style censorship of the Internet and giving the state the power to shut down networks has already been passed globally, including in the UK, New Zealand and Australia.

We have extensively covered efforts to scrap the internet as we know it and move toward a greatly restricted “internet 2″ system. Handing government the power to control the Internet would only be the first step towards this system, whereby individual ID’s and government permission would be required simply to operate a website.

The Lieberman bill needs to be met with fierce opposition at every level and from across the political spectrum. Regulation of the Internet would not only represent a massive assault on free speech, it would also create new roadblocks for e-commerce and as a consequence further devastate the economy.

Never before in the history of this country has the government tried to take this much control.  It comes down to one thing: the government wants to maintain power.  The dissension in the American people causes great instability in the back anals of big government.

Now what country in the last century has done something like this?  Answer: Nazi Germany.  Hitler did this because he didn’t want the publication of any kind of literature that would go against his order.  The New World Order.

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
Monday, May 17, 2010

In an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Senator Mitch McConnell pointed out that Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan once argued that the government should have the power to ban books and censor political pamphlets, as yet more alarming information on Kagan’s hostility towards the First Amendment comes to light.

During the Citizens United vs. FEC case, Kagan’s office was asked by Chief Justice John Roberts if the government could ban publications it they were paid for by a corporation or labor union.

“If it’s a 500-page book, and at the end it says, ‘and so vote for x,’ the government could ban that?” Roberts asked, to which Kagan’s deputy, Malcolm L. Stewart, said the government could censor such information.

Justice Roberts blasted Kagan’s argument at the time, reports Newsmax.

“The government urges us in this case to uphold a direct prohibition on political speech. It asks us to embrace a theory of the First Amendment that would allow censorship not only of television and radio broadcasts, but of pamphlets, posters, the Internet, and virtually any other medium that corporations and unions might find useful in expressing their views on matters of public concern,” he wrote.

“Solicitor Kagan’s office in the initial hearing argued that it would be OK to ban books,” Senator McConnell said. “And then when there was a rehearing Solicitor Kagan herself in her first Supreme Court argument suggested that it might be OK to ban pamphlets.”

McConnell called for a full investigation of Kagan’s First Amendment stance in light of her “troubling” position on free speech, adding that classic political pamphlets like Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” and the Federalist Papers could be banned under Kagan’s logic.

Under Kagan’s definition of the government’s role in policing free speech, the state would also have a remit to censor things like newspaper editorials, as well as the political opinions of radio talk show hosts or television reporters. This is alarming given the fact that Obama’s information technology czar Cass Sunstein has called for the re-introduction of the “fairness doctrine,” which would also force political websites to carry mandatory government propaganda.

Obama’s Supreme Court nominee also thinks certain expressions of free speech should be ‘disappeared’ if the government deems them to be offensive. On the surface that’s any opinion on racial, sexuality or gender issues, but since criticizing Obama is now deemed racist, where will it all end?

In a 1993 University of Chicago Law review article, Kagan wrote, “I take it as a given that we live in a society marred by racial and gender inequality, that certain forms of speech perpetuate and promote this inequality, and that the uncoerced disappearance of such speech would be cause for great elation.” (emphasis mine).

“In a 1996 paper, “Private Speech, Public Purpose: The Role of Governmental Motive in First Amendment Doctrine,” Kagan argued it may be proper to suppress speech because it is offensive to society or to the government,” reports World Net Daily.

Kagan’s standpoint on free speech, that it is subject to regulation and definition by the government, has no place in America, completely violates the fundamental premise of the First Amendment, that even unpopular speech should be protected, and would be better suited for countries like Iran, Zimbabwe or North Korea.

Little surprise therefore when we learn that in her undergraduate thesis at Princeton, Kagan lamented the decline of socialism in the U.S. as “sad” for those who still hope to “change America.”

If Kagan is approved she is going to find an eager ally in White House information czar Cass Sunstein, who in a January 2008 white paper entitled “Conspiracy Theories,” called for the government to tax and outright censor political viewpoints it deemed unsavory.

Kagan’s repulsive take on the rights enshrined in the Constitution is not just limited to free speech.

The Supreme Court nominee outlined her belief that Americans can be guilty until proven innocent, or in fact just plain guilty without even the chance to be proven innocent, when she was quoted as saying, “That someone suspected of helping finance Al Qaeda should be subject to battlefield law — indefinite detention without a trial — even if he were captured in a place like the Philippines rather than a physical battle zone.”

Kagan is also hostile to the Second Amendment, the right to keep and bear arms. She has habitually come down on the side of gun control in claiming the state has the right to impose restrictive gun laws and said that she disagrees with the language of the Second Amendment.

Despite accepting the 5-4 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller as a precedent on gun rights, Kagan added that the Constitution “provides strong although not unlimited protection against governmental regulation,” thus leaving the door open for future regulation.