Tag Archive for: 1st Amendment

The Game of Monopoly

The key to understanding the Federal Reserve is to read the rules of the game Monopoly. The rules of Monopoly says if the bank runs out of paper money, then just simply use little strips of paper until the bank has more paper money. Basically, you just create money out of thin air! But there’s more to report, especially a recent issue about the 1st Amendment. You will find this tyrannical absurdity almost unbelievable!

Government Intimidation As An Attack On The First Amendment

1st-amendmentMuslim leaders in TN, sponsored by the US Attorney’s office (attorney Bill Killian) and the FBI (agent Kenneth Moore) are going to hold propaganda meeting to try to convince people that they can be prosecuted under the Civil Rights Act of 1968 for speaking out against Islamic Terrorism and Shari’ah Law.

“Killian and Moore will provide input on how civil rights can be violated by those who post inflammatory documents targeted at Muslims on social media.”

“This is an educational effort with civil rights laws as they play into freedom of religion and exercising freedom of religion,” Killian told The News Monday. “This is also to inform the public what federal laws are in effect and what the consequences are.”

Killian then referred to a post on Facebook that showed a picture of a man pointing a double-barreled shotgun at a camera lens with the caption saying, “How to Wink at a Muslim.”  Killian said Internet postings that violate civil rights are subject to federal jurisdiction.

THIS IS A LIE with the sole purpose to put fear in people’s mind and chill the very freedom of expression that the First Amendment embodies.

WE DO have the right to free speech and the right to peaceably assemble.  Our Constitution expresses the fundamental principle that rights to speech and assembly are held by the people and the government must protect these rights, not limit them.  The First Amendment was NOT established to protect popular or politically correct speech.  To the contrary, the First Amendment was established to protect offensive and unpopular speech. The Supreme Court of the United States memorably stated in Street v. New York, 394 U.S. 576, 592 (1969) “[i]t is firmly settled that . . . the public expression of ideas may not be prohibited merely because the ideas are themselves offensive to some of their hearers.”

In Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397, 414 (1989), The Supreme Court reiterated this understanding:

“If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.”

The fundamental principle that offensive speech must be protected is rooted in the understanding that we must allow a “free market place of ideas” and that freedom of speech “reflects a ‘profound national commitment’ to the principle” and “‘debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open.’”  The Supreme Court has “consistently commented on the central importance of protecting speech on public issues.” (Boos v. Barry, 485 U.S. 312, 318 (1988))

To insinuate that when people speak out about public issues, even when opposing religious issues, is a violation of someone’s civil rights is absurd.  This would be to pit the First Amendment against itself and would cause the implosion of the very essence of who these United States really are!

The Supreme Court has long recognized this to be true.  The Supreme Court in Dun & Bradstreet, Inc. v. Greenmoss Builders, Inc., proclaimed that a citizen’s right to speak on matters of public concern “‘is more than self-expression; it is the essence of self-government.’”

This Court even expresses the understanding that criticizing a religion is a matter of public concern, and not a “purely private” matter.  In Dun & Bradstreet, the Court recognizes the criticism of Catholicism to be protected by the First Amendment.

“[S]peech on public issues occupies the highest rung of the hierarchy of First Amendment values.” (Dun & Bradstreet). This is so even if the speech may be offensive to listeners. “‘Indeed, if it is the speaker’s opinion that gives offense, that consequence is a reason for according it constitutional protection.’” (Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Falwell)

To allow the government to shut down speech because someone might be offended is allowing the audience to control the message and that is what we call a “heckler’s veto.”  The Supreme Court has said time and time again that to allow the government to restrict speech due to an anticipated disorderly or violent reaction of the audience is fundamentally unconstitutional.  Every attorney that goes through any law school in America is taught this their very first year of law school. (Startzell v. City of Philadelphia, 307 U.S. 496, 515 (1939), Terminiello v. City of Chicago, 337 U.S. 1 (1949), Forsyth County v. Nationalist Movement, 504 U.S. 123 (1992), just to name a few)

If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.   The following are twelve Supreme Court cases, beginning in 1939, that exemplify these principles: Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Falwell, 485 U.S., at 55 -56; City Council of Los Angeles v. Taxpayers for Vincent, 466 U.S. 789, 804 (1984); Bolger v. Youngs Drug Products Corp., 463 U.S. 60, 65 , 72 (1983); Carey v. Brown, 447 U.S. 455, 462 -463 (1980); FCC v. Pacifica Foundation, 438 U.S., at 745 -746; Young v. American Mini Theatres, Inc., 427 U.S. 50, 63 -65, 67-68 (1976) (plurality opinion); Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1, 16 -17 (1976); Grayned v. Rockford, 408 U.S. 104, 115 (1972); Police Dept. of Chicago v. Mosley, 408 U.S. 92, 95 (1972); Bachellar v. Maryland, 397 U.S. 564, 567 (1970); O’Brien, 391 U.S., at 382 ; Brown v. Louisiana, 383 U.S., at 142 -143 (1966); Stromberg v. California, 283 U.S., at 368 -369 (1931).

Neither the First Amendment nor the Civil Rights Act permit the government to limit speech.  They certainly DO NOT authorize the prosecution of citizens for expressions of this protected speech.  To have a US Attorney sit before the people of TN and insinuate otherwise should be regarded as malpractice.  For a representative of the Department of Justice, via the FBI, to participate in this attempt to chill the speech of our citizens should be a crime of the highest degree and alarm all who love this country.

HR 347/S1794: A Trespass on the First Amendment

The protected right of the people peaceably to assemble is something that has fundamental and historical foundations.  Our founders established a clear “no trespassing sign” in our first amendment to keep the government away from this fundamental right.  “Congress shall make no law abridging…the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”    Legislation in the Congress seems to be treading on the grounds of this constitutionally restricted territory.

HR 347 and S 1794, the ‘‘Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011” has nothing to do with improving landscaping around federal buildings.  This bill is being presented as a No Trespassing bill.  Reasonable people understand that restrictions and protections are needed for government officials and government functions.  However, this legislation makes it a federal crime to simply DISRUPT the ORDERLY CONDUCT of government.  The violator doesn’t have to be on the grounds where the government business is being conducted, just within the vicinity of the self-proclaimed business. The law is not limited to buildings or locations as the title suggests, but seems to be “roving” and follows persons protected by Secret Service wherever they go.1752(a)(2) knowingly, and with intent to impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of government business or official functions, engages in disorderly or disruptive conduct in, or within such proximity to, any restricted building or grounds when, or so that, such conduct, in fact, impedes or disrupts the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions;

1752(a)(3) knowingly, and with the intent to impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions, obstructs or impedes ingress or egress to or from any restricted building or grounds;

1752(c)(1) the term ‘restricted buildings or grounds’ means any posted, cordoned off, or otherwise restricted area— (B) of a building or grounds where the President or other person protected by the Secret Service is or will be temporarily visiting; or C) of a building or grounds so restricted in conjunction with an event designated as a special event of national significance;

The right protected in the First Amendment is the right to peaceably assemble.  We do not have the right to impede the flow of traffic, either on sidewalks or roadways.  We do not have the right to impede anyone’s business practices.  But this law is not about private business, it is about government operations.

This Congress has a habit of writing in vague and overbroad terms; yet, in order for laws to be Constitutionally sound they CANNOT be vague and overbroad in ANY aspect, and they can ONLY interfere with the rights of the people in as narrow a capacity as necessary.  But this law makes it a crime to disrupt the government.  The Supreme Court has said this type of broad language gives too much power to the government, and they have been saying this since 1939.  This law actually places the desire of the government to be free from disruption over the right of the people to redress the government of their grievances.

Suppose your Congressman, who is under secret service protection, has a town hall meeting and many members of the community show up to challenge him on his voting record.  This law could be construed to allow federal charges to be brought against these citizens for disrupting his town hall meeting.  After all, it will not be hard to claim that people who are not happy with the Congressman’s voting record had the “intent” to disrupt this meeting.  This vague and overbroad language has the potential to ultimately prevent people from gathering outside any government building or politician’s function for fear of being charged with a federal offense.   In Constitutional law, we call that a “chilling effect” and the Supreme Court has always held these restrictions to be unconstitutional.  After all, as the people in this video were forced to decide, who can afford to go to jail to stand for their rights, even if they will win?

The right to orderly conduct government is NOT a Constitutionally protected right. However we DO have the right to free speech and the right to peaceably assemble.  Our Constitution establishes the fundamental principle rights to speech and assembly are held by the people and the government must protect these rights, not limit them.  The Court in Hague v. CID, 307 U.S. 496 (1939), memorably stated;

Wherever the title of streets and parks may rest, they have immemorially been heldin trust for the use of the public and, time out of mind, have been used for purposes of assembly, communicating thoughts between citizens, and discussing public questions. Such use of the streets and public places has, from ancient times, been a part of the privileges, immunities, rights, and liberties of citizens.

The Supreme Court ruled in Boos v. Barry, 485 U.S. 312, 318 (1988), that protesting outside an embassy is worthy of Constitutional protection. Washington DC attempted to make this protest unlawful because it disrupted the business in the embassy.  However, the Court recognized that freedom of speech “reflects a ‘profound national commitment’ to the principle” and “‘debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open.’”  The Supreme Court has “consistently commented on the central importance of protecting speech on public issues.”

Additionally, as if to reaffirm the Court in Hague, the Court in United States v. Grace, 461 U.S. 171, 177 (1983), stated that “`Public places’ are historically associated with the free exercise of expressive activities, such as streets, sidewalks, and parks, are considered, without more, to be `public forums.'”  Again in Educ. Ass’n v. Perry Local Educators’ Ass’n, 460 U.S. 37, (1983), the Supreme Court chimes in on this issue of the right to protest on public grounds.

In places which by long tradition or by government fiat have been devoted to assembly and debate, the rights of the State to limit expressive activity are sharply circumscribed. At one end of the spectrum are streets and parks which “have immemorially been held in trust for the use of the public and, time out of mind, have been used for purposes of assembly, communicating thoughts between citizens, and discussing public questions.” emphasis added.

Attempts to silence the people, like in this video, were perpetrated by governments using the claim that orderly government and the desire to be disruption free should outweigh our Constitutionally protected rights.  Each time the Supreme Court has made it abundantly clear that the orderly conduct of Government is NOT the standard to be protected.  People have the right to complain, the right to have their voices be heard, the right to redress their grievances in the form of protests. These actions are supposed to make the government take notice. Disruption cannot be the standard to stop speech.  To allow the government to create this new standard allows the government to tell us to sit down and shut up.  What happens to the man in this video under the new law after Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) tells him to sit down and shut up?

The chilling effect occurs not in the fact that you are denied your due process.  If you are arrested because of unlawful legislation you can fight the prosecution and even sue the government for violating your rights.  If the Supreme Court has not become completely corrupted you have fairly good odds of winning.  But, anyone who has been wronged by a government agency can tell you, a victory will often come at the expense of a ruined life and livelihood.  Under this language could Bob Etheridge have press charges against the student he assaulted for “impeding government business?”

The bottom line is that there are laws in every municipality that punish Trespass, Disorderly Conduct, Assault, and any other crime involving real threats against government and people.  Why do we need a vague and overbroad FEDERAL LAW to enforce laws that are already in effect, when that law could encroach on our protected rights?   William Penn said, “Necessity, it is said, is the plea for every infringement of human liberty; it is the argument of tyrants and the creed of slaves.”  The fact is, we don’t need a “Federal Trespass Bill.”  We already have one; it’s called the Bill of Rights!

When will we have enough of government intrusion on our Constitutionally protected rights? We were outraged because we are Taxed Enough Already.  When will we recognize that if we cannot trust the government with our finances, then we certainly cannot trust the government with our Liberty?

The First Amendment; The Future of Liberty

The following is an excerpt from KrisAnne Hall’s new book, Liberty First: The Pathway to Reclaiming America, set to be released in the next month.

The path to reclaim America has many avenues. One in particular is embodied within our First Amendment. Freedom of press, freedom of speech, the freedom to assemble…gave our founders the foundation to rise up and restore the Liberty that had been established by over 700 years of battle and blood. Writing as Silence Dogood, Benjamin Franklin made this observation:

“Without Freedom of Thought there can be no such thing as Wisdom; and no such thing as Public Liberty, without Freedom of Speech.” No. 8, July 9, 1772

Our founders saw the power of communication and the effect that it had on the people. Case in point: Patrick Henry’s speech in the St. John’s church, March 23, 1775. Even Thomas Jefferson, after hearing this speech said many could not recall exactly what was said, Henry’s speech was so passionate and so poignant that it “had produced a great effect” and Jefferson himself “had been highly delighted and moved.”

We cannot forget the writers of that day. Thomas Paine, was just a tailor turned journalist, perhaps a revolutionary version of the modern day blogger. His pamphlet “Common Sense” has been reported to have sold 120,000 copies in the first 3 months and half-million in the first year. John Adams reportedly said, “Without the pen of the author of “Common Sense,” the sword of Washington would have been drawn in vain.”

The women were not silent either. Mercy Otis Warren was just one of our amazing founding mothers. She was a prolific writer of newspaper articles and anti-British propaganda plays. Hannah Winthrop, wife of Dr. Winthrop, describes Mercy in January 1773 as “That noble patriotic spirit which sparkles must warm the heart that has the least sensibilities, especially must it invigorate a mind of a like fellow feeling for this once happy country.”

Through the freedoms of expression, these dear Patriots sparked a revival of Liberty throughout a land that would be soon known as the United States of America. Today is no different. We have Americans with “like fellow feeling for this once happy country” who have picked up the mantle that has been left before us – those that understand that the security of all Liberty rests upon the back of our freedom of expression.

One of the most influential forces in this present restoration effort has been “New Media.” New Media includes the internet, the blogosphere, Facebook, Twitter, talk radio and the like. Probably the biggest pioneers of the New Media have been Rush Limbaugh in the talk radio world and Andrew Breitbart in the blogosphere and grass roots journalism.

Rush has been a thorn in the liberals’ side for decades. Since his talk radio debut in 1984, his pioneering efforts have spawned thousands of talk jocks and laid the foundation for the modern day talk radio juggernaut. Why talk radio works and why it is conservative is simple: it includes the people. There is no public voice or input in the mainstream media. There is no feedback from the people on the nightly news. There is no immediate public voice in newspapers or magazines. There is no input or challenge to what is being disseminated in the mainstream media; therefore, it remains decidedly slanted toward leftist, statist ideology – matching the worldview of it owners and editors. In contrast, when the people are involved, the stance will tend toward conservatism – first, because conservatism is supported by the truth; secondly, because most Americas are truly conservative. That is why liberal talk radio cannot survive unless it is supported by taxpayer dollars. That is also why mainstream media is losing its viewership left and right and has been taken to the woodshed by conservative, new media. It is no wonder that those who cannot stand on the truth hate the free expression of it. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. remarked in the Supreme Court decision in Abrams v. United States , 250 U.S. 616 (1919):

“If you have no doubt of your premises or your power, and want a certain result with all your heart, you naturally express your wishes in law, and sweep away all opposition. To allow opposition by speech seems to indicate that you think the speech impotent…or that you doubt either your power or your premises. But when men have realized that time has upset many fighting faiths, they may come to believe even more than they believe the very foundations of their own conduct that the ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas — that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market, and that truth is the only ground upon which their wishes safely can be carried out.”

The internet blogosphere provides a response to the monolithic, leftist voice in the echo chamber known as the mainstream media. The late Andrew Breitbart was one of the most impactful figures in this area of new media. Starting as an editor of the Drudge report (another foundational block in New Media) and then helping Arianna Huffington launch her site, Breitbart launched his own empire. With all his BIG sites and his internet journalism, he sparked the ire of seemingly every liberal in the known universe. I once heard Andrew tell a crowd that the key to making the biggest impact is “be petty.” Andrew was funny, brilliant and a tireless and fearless warrior and we must follow on in his footsteps. Every patriot should have a video camera and be a citizen journalist. Andrew used citizen journalism as well as anyone to expose the hypocrisy and nastiness of the left. He believed this was a battle “between good and evil” and he used new media to “shine light on the darkness.” The great thing about video is even if you have no talent to write, you can hold a camera.

Something Andrew Breitbart loved, along millions of other activists, is Social Media. Social media, like Facebook and Twitter, allows super-fast dissemination of information that is not filtered or controlled by some editorial board or other “overseer.” One of the difficulties in the late conservative awakening is that a large portion of the engaged citizens are older and less adept at some of the technologies like Facebook. We must continue to expand our social media networks. It may sound silly, but the more “likes” a page has the more influence and reach it has (same principle with Twitter). We need to get as many conservatives as possible connected on social media. We also need conservatives in the field of Journalism, citizen journalism and professional journalism (it’d be nice if there were a prominent Journalism school somewhere that wasn’t liberal). If you feel yourself a techno misfit, I encourage you to attend a Right Online conference held by American’s for Prosperity. There is no better grassroots techno training available. I have AFP to thank for much of what I know and understand about these new media outlets. It was at the Right Online conference that I got hooked on Twitter. It’s also where I became friends with Andrew Breitbart and Katy Abrams. I met Michelle Malkin and scores of other great patriot activists. AFP does fantastic work at keeping the citizen network connected, motivated and engaged.

We need more tweeters, more Facebookers, more talk show hosts, more bloggers. Keep writing the op-eds. Keep publishing books, newsletters, magazines, and pamphlets. Information is power and we must dislodge the liberal stranglehold on the media. I dream of a day when New York is not the media hub in America. This is the expression of our First Amendment. This God given right can be lost without active participation-we will use it or lose it. At least one of our founders felt it was the most important right protected in the Bill of Rights. Daniel Webster said:

“If all my possessions were taken from me with one exception, I would choose to keep the power of communication, for by it I would soon regain all the rest.”

Exclusive: Secret Group Helping Obama Destroy the Constitution

On March 2, 2012 I gave a legal analysis of HR347/S1794 (which included some links to frightening government abuses) and how it unquestionably violates the First Amendment.  Upon hearing numerous reports the following week, I realized that the people are not getting the whole truth.

For those who have not read my blog, please do so, but here is a brief summary.  HR 347 and S 1794, the ‘‘Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011” has nothing to do with improving landscaping around federal buildings.  This bill is being presented as a No Trespassing bill.  Reasonable people understand that restrictions and protections are needed for government officials and government functions.  However, this legislation makes it a federal crime to simply DISRUPT the ORDERLY CONDUCT of government.  The violator doesn’t have to be on the grounds where the government business is being conducted, just within the vicinity of the so-called business. The law is not limited to buildings or locations as the title suggests, but seems to be “roving” and follows persons protected by Secret Service wherever they go. The language could be interpreted to refer to an official who is eligible for Secret Service protection and not protected by them at the moment of the alleged violation.  How long before we hear the argument that federal officials are “protected” by secret service even if secret service is not present at the time? The bottom line is: Your First Amendment right to peaceably assemble – is now a federal crime.

In one particular report on this bill, Fox News focuses the blame almost entirely on the President.  The report even leads off with the headline, “Suppressing Free Speech? President Signs Anti-protest Bill.”  The report includes an interview with Judge Napolitano where he gives a brief review of the potential impact of this bill.  The entire focus is again on Obama’s signing of this bill and what he will do with it.  The fact is that there is a group of individuals that played a much more significant role in this and it is becoming one of the greatest cover-ups going on today.  I will now do what no one else seems to have the guts to do.  I will tell you their names.  Are you ready?

A quick look at the roll call for this bill will show you that only 3 Republicans in the House voted against this Constitutional atrocity: Ron Paul (R-Tx), Paul Broun (R-Ga), and Justin Amish (R-Mi).  That means that every other “conservative” House member that thought it important enough to show up and vote, voted for this bill and against the Constitution.  Who was your “Tea Party” favorite in 2010?  Who did you elect on the promise to uphold the Constitution and Constitutional Principles?  Was it perhaps Allen West, Michele Bachmann, Jeff Landry, or Joe Walsh? “I am a patriot,” they say.  Yet, how did they vote when the Constitution was on the line?

What about the Senate?   You don’t have to work hard to decipher the roll call for S1794 because the vote in favor of putting government over the Constitution was UNANIMOUS!  Again, who was your “Tea Party” favorite in Senate?  Perhaps Jim Demint, Jerry Moran, Mike Lee, Ron Johnson or, dare I say it, Marco Rubio?

How will they answer when you question them on this?  Will you hear, “security over liberty” arguments?  Will they tell you that the threat against our representatives deserves greater consideration than our Constitutionally protected rights?

One vote is no big deal right?  Maybe, but some votes are not inconsequential when they destroy the very safeguards of Liberty.  But it is not one vote; there is a pattern forming here.

Look at the roll call for HR 1540, The National Defense Authorization Act of 2012.  This is the bill that authorizes indefinite detention of US Citizens and repealed the law against bestiality in the military.  Do not believe the lies from Congress, this bill does authorize indefinite detention and if you still don’t understand it, watch this legal analysis video, it will help you.  It is a direct assault on our rights protected in the 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendments.

In the roll call for the Constitution-shredding bill HR 1540, we find some familiar names:   Allen West, Jeff Landry, and Joe Walsh among other “Tea Party” favorites.  You see only 43 “conservatives” voted against this bill and for the Constitution.  But what about the Senate side?  Did your “Tea Party” favorite vote to indefinitely detain US Citizens?  It is quite likely, because only 3 Senators knew enough about the Constitution to vote against giving the President that kind of power.   That means once again Jim Demint, Jerry Moran, Ron Johnson and, dare I say it, Marco Rubio voted against the Constitution!

What about the debt ceiling vote?  Who were the “Tea Party” members in the house that voted to send our children into financial slavery?  Ooops, there we have those names again… and guess who is 3 for 3? Allen West.

And finally, what about the Patriot Act?  You know that act that gives the federal government the authority to seize property, records, and even people without a warrant that complies with the 4th Amendment and then hold them in violation of the 5th Amendment?  Whose names will we find on that roll call?  Allen West, Michele Bachmann, Jeff Landry, and Joe Walsh, among others.   When the House voted again on this bill, only one member from this list changed his vote, Allen West.  What about the Senate side?  Only Rand Paul and Mike Lee voted against this bill and for the Citizens of America.  Yes, you guessed it, that means that Jim Demint, Jerry Moran, Ron Johnson and, dare I say it, Marco Rubio are all in favor of defeating the 4th and 5th Amendments of the Constitution.

To summarize, we have seen direct attacks on our Constitution perpetrated NOT by Obama alone, but aided and abetted by our Congress.  HR 347/S1794 is a direct assault on our First Amendment. Sections 1021 and 1022 are violent attacks on our 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendments.  And the Patriot Act, the beginning of it all, shreds our right to be secure in our persons, property, and papers, all in the name of security.  What security would that be, by the way?  The security of knowing that the President is devising secret law and secret legal interpretations of these laws to create further Constitutional abuses as uncovered in the letter to Eric Holder from Senators Wyden and Udall!

This battering of our Constitutionally protected rights does not rest on the shoulders of the progressives; nor, does the responsibility belong to one man.  The destruction of our Constitution rests firmly on the heads of the men and women in Congress – “R” AND “D” – Senate AND HOUSE!

Those we trusted with the Liberty of our children have betrayed us on the highest level.  Which one of these men and women do you want to be president or vice president?  Which one of these men and women do you want in charge of being the guardian of Liberty for your children?  When we elected them, they were given fair warning that they MUST PROTECT THE CONSTITUTION. They accepted that charge and THEY HAVE FAILED miserably.  Are YOU willing to stand by your word and make these traitors unemployed?  Are you willing to make the sacrifice necessary to preserve the blessings of Liberty for our posterity?  Look at these roll calls.  Find out who voted Against the Constitution and DO NOT SUPPORT THEM.

Let me remind you: These are not the principles our founders died for!  These are not the principles for which Crispus Attacks was shot in the streets, or for which Richard Stockton was tortured, or for which Thomas Nelson Jr. destroyed his own home.  These are not the principles about which Phyllis Wheatley or Mercy Otis Warren wrote.  These are not the principles for which Washington’s men left bloody footprints in the snow!  This despicable, spineless group of egotists in OUR government is a disgrace to the legacy of Liberty!  They must all be dismissed at the earliest opportunity!

Our founders would have never allowed the government’s desire for orderly function to outweigh the right of the people to speak, assemble, or air their grievances!

  • Use your voice while you still have it!  Build your influence while you still can!
  • We must continue to rally the forces of Liberty!
  • We must continue to stand against corruption!
  • We must continue to expose the spineless and the hypocrite!
  • We must inform the ignorant and fire the incompetent!
  • We must not retreat, we must not surrender!  Liberty is worth the fight!

Ignorant Judges are Lethal to Liberty

It seems that every week there is some new attack on Liberty.  Last month, it was the US Navy trying to remove Religious Liberty in the name of “Separation of Church and State.”  Last week it was our Congress, removing the right of trial and habeas corpus from US Citizens.  I attribute this to the dismal state of our education system.  We the people are so very ignorant of not only what our Liberties are, but of their source and value.  Ask someone to tell you the five specific protections that exist in the First Amendment and you might hear one or two, followed by a blank stare and silence. Those that hate the fact that Liberty is an inherent possession of the people and want Liberty to be something the government gives to the “worthy” have really taken advantage of this gross negligence.  If we do not know, if we do not understand what our Liberties are, how do we recognize when they are under attack?

Our legal education system is no better.  Rulings that fly in the face of our founders’ intent illustrate the shaky foundation given to our lawyers and judges.  In a recent example a US District Judge, Marco A. Hernandez, has taken it upon himself to decide who has the right to freedom of the press and its protections and who does not.   This judge has done so by determining that a blogger, who has over 400 blogsites that publish her work, cannot possibly fall under the title of journalist.  After all, we all know that the only people that are journalists are those represented in the White House Press Corp or paid by top media corporations.  We definitely cannot accept someone who considers themselves a “blogger” and only prints on the internet as a REAL Journalist!

That is exactly how this federal judge has ruled.  Oregon statute reads:

“[n]o person connected with, employed by or engaged in any medium of communication to the public shall be required by . . . a judicial officer . . . to disclose, by subpoena or otherwise . . . [t]he source of any published or unpublished information obtained by the person in the course of gathering, receiving or processing information for any medium of communication to the public”

“Medium of communication” is broadly defined as including, but not limited to, “any newspaper, magazine or other periodical, book, pamphlet, news service, wire service, news or feature syndicate, broadcast station or network, or cable television system.”

However, this judge has claimed that this woman is not a journalist because she:

“fails to show that she is affiliated with any newspaper, magazine, periodical, book, pamphlet, news service, wire service, news or feature syndicate, broadcast station or network, or cable television system”

I am amazed at the focus of this Judge.  He has taken the examples in the statute as the litmus test for determining media, completely ignoring the very plain statements “any medium of communication to the public” and “not limited to”.  Any other time, a judge would be using this language to bring in everything, including the kitchen sink.  This stinks of motive.  But the Judge is not finished with his definition of media.   He claims in order for Ms. Cox to be “media” she must show…

 “evidence of (1) any education in journalism; (2) any credentials or proof of any affiliation with any recognized news entity; (3) proof of adherence to journalistic standards such as editing, fact-checking, or disclosures of conflicts of interest; (4) keeping notes of conversations and interviews conducted; (5) mutual understanding or agreement of confidentiality between the defendant and his/her sources; (6) creation of an independent product rather than assembling writings and postings of others; or (7) contacting “the other side” to get both sides of a story.”

This time, however, the Judge uses no statute, no legal source to develop this further definition. This is apparently something he has come up with all on his own.  I wonder if many in mainstream media could hold up under this standard.  I know for fact that today’s “journalists” fail in at least 5 out of 7 of these benchmarks.  I mean really, when was the last time you heard this level of journalism from any US mainstream media?  Because Ms. Cox does not fit this Judge’s internal definition of media, she is therefore not afforded the same protections as a paid member of the mainstream media due her under Oregon statute.

Would our founders, so vital to the very establishment of Liberty, have qualified as journalists under these standards?  What about the Committees of Correspondence founded by the likes of Richard Henry Lee, Sam Adams, and James Otis, Jr.?  These committees were dedicated to the purpose of providing the colonists with the truth about the activity of the British Government. Many colonists were tired of the propaganda and false reports coming from the King, Parliament, and their dedicated media and wanted to know the truth.  The committees of correspondence provided this truth.  They also became the Sons of Liberty and sparked a revolution.

I’m sure Thomas Paine would’ve landed on this federal judge’s chopping block, as well.  After all, he was not paid by any media corporation and was definitely not approved by the crown for his Common Sense publications. We cannot forget about Mercy Otis Warren, who through her prolific writings of articles and plays encouraged a nation to stand against tyranny.  Once again, I doubt if she would have been considered a “journalist” under this judge’s guidelines; she had no education in journalism, she was not employed by a major media outlet, and she certainly didn’t interview “the other side” to get both sides of the story.  She didn’t have to, she was living it.

But how did our founders intend to handle this “congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the freedom of press”?  The best argument I can offer is that of Alexander Hamilton’s as he states in Federalist Papers 84.

“…why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? Why, for instance, should it be said that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed? I will not contend that such a provision would confer a regulating power; but it is evident that it would furnish, to men disposed to usurp, a plausible pretense for claiming that power.”

Hamilton argued with the likes of James Madison and Richard Henry Lee that an incorporation of the Bill of Rights would be a danger to the very liberty that they hoped to protect. He believed to his core that if the Bill of Rights were incorporated in the Constitution, that it would provide to those who wanted to control Liberty the very excuse to do so through definition and regulation.

“I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and to the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers not granted; and, on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted… I will not contend that such a provision would confer a regulating power; but it is evident that it would furnish, to men disposed to usurp, a plausible pretense for claiming that power.”

Hamilton actually uses the illustration of the freedom of press.  He reasonably argues that there is no need to insert a protection of freedom of press, because the federal government had been given no power to interfere with this Liberty.  Hamilton knew, as Madison points out in Fed 45, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined.”  Madison continues to specifically list those powers as “principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce.” Hamilton pointed out that regulation of freedom of press, or any of the proposed rights, was not part of the powers given to the federal government so they would have no right to attempt to regulate it.

Hamilton’s greatest fear was that by attaching a Bill of Rights to the Constitution, evil men who wanted to control Liberty would then claim a right to regulate Liberty.   Here we are, fulfilling Hamilton’s greatest fear, coincidentally using his very illustration.

Our Constitution and our Liberty is in peril because our legal professionals have no idea the history behind our Constitution and the reasoning our founders put into its provisions. Our lawyers and judges cannot honestly honor their oath to the Constitution, because they have no true understanding of its meaning.  They cannot do as John Adams commanded, “have an attachment to the Constitution and a conscientious determination to support it”, and ensure a “free republican government” when they are ignorant of the founder’s intent.

We the people must fill this void.  We must become the ones educated enough to make that conscientious determination to support the Constitution.  Reading it is not enough.  Knowing case law is not enough.  Just as any legally binding contract, we must understand what the parties intended the obligations and limitations of government to be.  Otherwise we just end up pooling our ignorance.  In this case, ignorance is not bliss, it is the death of Liberty.

DOE Subverting First Amendment

The First Amendment is under attack once again by a government agency in Florida.  Former Florida Teacher of the Year, Jerry Buell, a veteran American history teacher at Mount Dora High School, was suspended while school officials in Lake County investigate allegations that what he posted on his personal FaceBook page was anti-homosexual.   Unfortunately, we should have seen this violation of the First Amendment coming.  The Florida legislature and Florida Department of Education have been on the forefront of subverting the Constitutional rights of school personnel, and have been laying the groundwork for this very case since 2008.

On July 1, 2008, the Florida legislature enacted Senate Bill 1712, the Ethics in Education Act. This act created rules and regulations regarding the actions of Florida school administrators, principals, and teachers.  Notice, it is not specifically applicable to public schools.  This act governs all schools, public and private.  Private schools are brought under this absolute control if they accept McKay Scholarships or Corporate Scholarships as defined in Florida Statute. Every applicable school, as a result of this Act must implement an “Ethics in Education Policy” that is in compliance with the Act else lose their funding.

Not much fervor has erupted over this governmental intrusion of Constitutional rights of teachers and parents, because the Act seems rather reasonable and innocuous on its face.   However, it isn’t until the Florida Department of Education’s goals in implementing this Act are understood, that the driving force of this Act is understood.

The Ethics in Education Act is over 32 pages long, full of legislative speak that is guaranteed to put any over worked administrator in a state of frustration.  In an effort to make the transition to this Act easier for the schools, the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) issued a notice to all applicable schools, public and private, informing them of the Act and giving them a FLDOE suggested policy for compliance with the Act.  Although this may seem as an honest service to the schools, it is through this suggested policy that the real goal of the FLDOE and this Act becomes evident.


As a representative of the school and district, personnel and administrators must demonstrate and uphold standards of ethical conduct both in and outside of the classroom. As a public employee and a role model to students, instructional personnel and school administrators have a duty, at all times, to: (emphasis added)

The provisions of this policy that specifically applies to Mr. Buell’s situation are found in same section.  The policy states that applicable personnel must “Uphold the Principles of Professional Conduct for the Education Profession in Florida” and then sites Department of Education Rule, 6B-1.006, F.A.C.  The policy then specifically requires personnel to assure that students are not discriminated against based upon a list of factors:

g. Shall not harass or discriminate against any student on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, marital status, handicapping condition, sexual orientation, or social and family background and shall make reasonable effort to assure that each student is protected from harassment or discrimination. (emphasis added)

The policy then defines “harassment and bullying” to include a virtually unlimited avenue of censorship:

Harassment means any threatening, insulting, or dehumanizing gesture, use of data or computer software, or written, verbal, or physical conduct directed against a student or school employee

The policy adds the boiler-plate catch-all to include just about anything that could be conceived as contrary to the policy as harassment or bullying:

c.  Acting in a manner that has an effect substantially similar to the effect of bullying or harassment.

Unfortunately, I believe this policy opens the door to the argument that qualified personnel have knowingly waived their off duty Constitutional rights. Although the purpose of the policy may now seem clear, the question really is, how many schools, both private and government, adopted this policy without real thought of the limitations on its personnel’s Constitutional rights?  What is the accountability of our Legislators and Department of Education for taking away the Constitutional rights or the private and public school teachers?  As public sector employment increases, policies like these will serve to eliminate the voice of the people.  It may just be the call of our time to stand against such tyranny.

John Adams stated in his inaugural address of 1797:

If we are to have a free Republican Government we must have an attachment to the Constitution and a conscientious determination to support it.

More Victims in the Casey Anthony Trial?

Many Americans voiced their outrage at the recent Casey Anthony verdict. Some thought she was guilty and wondered what in the world was going through the minds of the 12 jurors. Some jurors are talking, and some may be willing to share their thoughts in a book. However, Florida Representative Scott Randolph (D-Orlando) wants to put legislative duct tape over the mouth of the jurors or at least their word processors. He says that the jurors are free to talk about their experience, they just can’t publish it until he says so. What makes Mr. Randolph think he has such authority? Does he not understand that free speech is a right of the individual and not a privilege doled out by government? Will the First Amendment be another victim of the Casey Anthony saga?

The First Amendment is not the first one by accident. Our founders believed the rights protected by this monumental Amendment were foundational to Liberty. Daniel Webster, one of the greatest orators of our time and extraordinary founding father said, “If all my possessions were taken from me with one exception, I would choose to keep the power of communication, for by it I would soon regain all the rest.” So why, is Representative Scott Randolph attempting to weaken the First Amendment?

The First Amendment actually charges the government to protect five rights held by the people:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people to peaceably to assemble and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The right to speech and press are fundamental to the concepts of Liberty. Where would we be without the pen of Thomas Paine and his pamphlet “Common Sense,” which helped stir the people to throw off the bonds of a tyrannical government? John Adams reportedly said of Paine “Without the pen of the author of ‘Common Sense,’ the sword of Washington would have been raised in vain.” Such writings were suppressed under the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler. Joseph Goebbels’ Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda acted as a central control point for all media, private and public, issuing orders as to what could and could not be printed. Anyone who crossed Goebbels’ ministry were routinely imprisoned or shot as traitors. Our Constitution stands as a sentinel to protect Americans against such extreme tyranny.

Besides the ignorance of Constitutional principles and Constitutional history, the primary problem here is reactionary legislation. In the aftermath of the Casey Anthony trial we were immediately bombarded with reactionary legislation. First came the proposition for Caylee’s law; a law that makes it a felony offense to not report a child missing within 24 hours of the child’s disappearance. Sounds like a great idea, I’m sure, but trust me, creating laws based upon reactions to social injustice is never a sound legislative practice. Good legislation takes an informed and reasoned process. Imagine you were the parent of a rebellious teenager who frequently makes himself “unaccountable”. Does the parent have to suffer the embarrassment of dealing with a private family issue publicly, under the threat of felony prosecution? What if the parent has been told by the teen that he is staying the night at a friend’s house, when in fact, he is actually engaging in dangerous behavior that results in his death at the hand of another? Suppose further that the parent believes the child to be on a weekend trip with friends and it is later determined that he has been murdered. Do we now prosecute this parent for not reporting the child missing because under the law the parent “should have known” the child was missing? Now, if we want to create a law that makes it a crime to not report your child’s known death (more in line with the facts of this case), I can understand the foundation for that law.

Now Rep. Scott Randolph is proposing more reactionary legislation in the wake of the Casey Anthony trial. Only this legislation is a direct attack on the very fundamental principles of the First Amendment. Randolph proposes legislation that allows jurors to speak of their experience in the trial process but prevents them from contracting with publishers to write about it. The premise is that jurors should not be able to profit from their experience as a juror. Some might ask, “What is wrong with that?” First it is illogical. Mr. Randolph suggests a cooling off period of 270 days will prevent jurors from profiting from their experience. The desire to profit and the thirst for drama will not end after 270 days. It will only delay the inevitable. What then? Does Mr. Randolph then readdress the issue and make legislation to extend that “cooling off” period, or worse yet a permanent gag order? Where does this legislation stop? What else must I not write about or profit from?

The First Amendment is clear; the Government shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech or press. That word “abridge” means “to lesson, diminish, deprive, or cut off”. From a Constitutional perspective Rep. Randolph has no right to push legislation that would diminish any person’s right to free speech or press. I am certain Mr. Randolph would argue that he is not interfering with the First Amendment; he is interfering with the profiting from that form of speech. In the article outlining the plan for this legislation, Randolph states, “The purpose of this legislation is to preserve the integrity of the jury process. It balances the First Amendment freedom of speech with the Sixth Amendment guarantee to a fair trial.” Is Mr. Randolph suggesting that jurors are somehow manipulating the verdicts in order to create situations where they will optimize their profits? If so, then book deals are not the problem, the problem goes much deeper than that. The solution is not limiting the Constitutional rights of the people. You will not prevent profiteering by “cooling off” periods, you will however succeed in “lessoning, diminishing, depriving, and cutting off” the First Amendment rights of the people. Removing or altering Constitutional Rights is NEVER the solution to a moral deficiency.

Alexander Hamilton stated in the debate over the incorporation of the Bill of Rights in our Constitution, that enumerating the rights inherently held by the people would be dangerous. In Federalist Paper 84, Hamilton states, “What is the liberty of press? Who can give it any definition which would not leave the utmost latitude for evasion?” Hamilton was afraid that by including an enumeration for the protection of speech and press would inevitably serve as a handle “which would be given to the doctrine of constructive powers” and would furnish to “men disposed to usurp, a plausible pretense for claiming power.” What power would be claimed? The power to regulate a right and “balance” that right with another in the name of fairness, equality, safety… Any legislation, according to Supreme Court precedent, that is a prior restraint on free speech and creates “chilling effect” on speech is unconstitutional.

Reactionary legislation is often bad. Reactionary legislation that interferes with a Constitutional Right is worse. The fact that we have become unmoored from or Constitutional principles and are ignorant of its history is why I wrote my book and created the DVD seminar; perhaps I should forward them to Mr. Randolph.