Category Archives: First Amendment

The End of Debate

Lady_Liberty

“…In all my years I ain’t never heard, seen nor smelled an issue that was so dangerous it couldn’t be talked about. Hell yeah! I’m for debating anything…” 

– (Stephen Hopkins, ‘1776‘) 

Once upon a time, the art of debate was viewed as one of the most laudable aspects of American Society. It’s part of our national fabric, and our country was conceived almost solely as a result of prolonged and heated debate. Debate teams have been a constant in schools for ages, and the ability to winningly articulate one’s ideas is as central to our national identity as freedom itself. We even created our Congress as two parts with debate expressly in mind, with the Senate being the chamber where differing points of view could be thoroughly discussed by each state’s most esteemed intellects.

But today, the accepted virtue of Free Debate now seems hopelessly anachronistic.

(via Mark Hemingway at The Weekly Standard) – “…On his blog this morning, Roger Pielke Jr. at the University of Colorado, a respected climate scientist, reveals that he was one of seven academics being investigated by Rep. Raul Grijalva, the ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Natural Resources.

And the good professor’s supposed crime, which is suddenly in need of Congressional inquiry? Take a wild guess:

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GOP scores 1st Amendment victory in chilling “John Doe” investigation, …for now

gavel333

No, this isn’t an excerpt from a movie: it happened. Less than a year ago. In our country:

“…Early in the morning of October 3, 2013, armed officers raided the homes of R.J. Johnson, …Deborah Jordahl, and several other targets across the state. Sheriff deputy vehicles used bright floodlights to illuminate the targets‘ homes. Deputies executed the search warrants, seizing business papers, computer equipment, phones, and other devices, while their targets were restrained under police supervision and denied the ability to contact their attorneys…”

This was the way that Wisconsin’s “John Doe” investigation actually started, and the quoted passage above is from U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa’s ruling on the legality of the investigation itself. The five-county probe has been looking for possible illegal coordination between Governor Scott Walker’s election campaign, the Wisconsin Club for Growth and numerous other groups and individuals during the 2011 and 2012 recall elections.

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Student suspended for questioning CT Governor on Gun Legislation


Shut up

If you’re one of the many folks upset about Connecticut’s new gun laws, that state’s governor has a message for you: Shut Up.

Courtesy of the Daily Caller:

“…student Nicholas Saucier tried to get (Democratic Governor Dannel ) Malloy to answer questions about his support for gun control legislation, which has put Saucier’s ammunition manufacturing business in jeopardy. Saucier followed Malloy to his car after the governor finished speaking at a public forum at Asnuntuck Community College.

The exchange took place in October of last year, and was captured on video…” 

Sounds relatively harmless so far, right?

Now here’s the video:

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OLD: “#BanBossy” — NEW: “Ban EVERY Word We Don’t Like”

Ban Bossy

In comparison, “Ban Bossy” looks positively restrained.

It was only a couple days ago that I wrote the following about the #BanBossy crowd:

“…we have the smarty-pantsers on the Left trying to remove another word from the English language, as they are wont to do. But words aren’t inherently cruel and a free society has no business banning ANY words. If you ban one word, people will simply substitute some OTHER word to convey that same meaning. Guaranteed.

Worth noting is it seems to be the allegedly free-speech-loving Progressives who are always enamored with the removal or banning of words. Our institutes of higher learning seem especially smitten with this idea…”

And in light of this newest example, my observation can only be termed disturbingly prescient:

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You Citizens Need to Stop Questioning #Obamacare….

Are You Causing Trouble

It is now painfully clear that all criticism or questioning of our President’s signature legislation is now officially prohibido.

Consider this an UPDATE to last week’s “Attempting to Silence #Obamacare’s Victims“:

So let’s review, shall we?

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Of course: White House argues that Nuns are NOT exempt from birth control mandate…

If anyone was surprised about this, they shouldn’t be.

(via LIFENEWS.com) – The Obama administration has filed legal papers appealing a decision by the Supreme Court to protect a group of Catholic nuns from being forced to obey the controversial birth control mandate.

As LifeNews reported this week, in a huge 11th-hour victory for pro-life advocates, the Supreme Court issued an order late Tuesday night stopping the Obama administration from forcing a group of Catholic nuns to obey the HHS mandate that compels them to pay for abortion-causing drugs and birth control.

In an interview after the decision, the White House said forcing the Catholic nuns to pay for those objectionable things that run counter to Catholic Church pro-life teachings strike’s the right “balance.”

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Student told she can’t write about God as her “idol”, …but Michael Jackson is okay.

This “Are You Kidding Me…??” moment is brought to us today by the United States Public School System.

From HotAir.com:

“…A 10-year-old girl wrote what her mother describes as a “cute” presentation for a class assignment to discuss who she sees as her idol. When she chose the Lord Almighty, her teacher demanded a more appropriate idol, like, er … Michael Jackson?

1st amendObviously, this teacher could use a refresher course on what the First Amendment actually says.

More:

She said her daughter was told to start over and pick another idol.

“But my teacher said I couldn’t write about God. She said It has something to do with God and God can’t be my idol,” said Shead about what her daughter told her.

Erin told her mother she was also not allowed to leave the assignment about God at school, that it must go home.

On the second try, Erin chose Michael Jackson, which was acceptable.

Come to think of it, showing the teacher the definition of the word “irony” might not be such a bad idea, either.

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More Thoughts on Free Speech, Public Places and Pirates

Adam soap boxYesterday I wrote about our experience at Buskerfest on Saturday night. We were only there an hour or so, just long enough to catch the flavor of the event which is in its fourth year. This was our first time attending, and we were mainly there to support our friend Adam, who performs original poetry under the stage name “Adosh.”

Adam has since shared with me the guidelines from the committee, which were sent to him three days prior to the event.

Here’s the salient excerpt (emphasis mine):

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