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 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 51
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Free Speech 1st Amendment Page 3 of 21    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21)
Really? Suppose he just posted the Declaration of Independence which says things like "Endowed by our creator" ?


I thought you were talking about the historical significance of the teacher's display itself, rather than of a particular part of it. If he wanted to display a copy of the Declaration, I can't see any problem with that. Justices Scalia and Thomas have both argued that longstanding, historic religious references or practices (e.g. the phrase in the Declaration, a religious invocation at the opening of a legislature's session, religious statements on our money) should never be prohibited by the Establishment Clause. The men who founded the U.S. were almost all Christians, and ever since, our culture and traditions have been mainly Christian. That's just historical fact.

I didn't have time to read the case, but it sounds like it was really about freedom of speech, and the speech happened to include some references to God. Government restrictions on private speech have to be "content-neutral," but the school seemed to single out this teacher just because of what the things in his display said. Because local government units are the legal creations (usu. called "creatures") of their state, it's as if California itself had done it. So the First Amendment guarantee of free speech applies against the school board through California. And it applies because the Court has ruled that the 14th Amendment "incorporates" the Free Speech Clause and extends it to all state governments.
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 52
Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 3/5/2010 12:14:25 PM

As soon as people realize that the word god is a "Generic Term" for a creator then we can move past this time consuming false argument. Do not all religions refer to the word god in some way.


The "religion" of atheism doesn't. You can't legally create a state-supported institution that excludes atheists or denigrates their faith.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 53
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Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 3/5/2010 2:45:11 PM
JD, You're right about all that. I was pointing out why this teacher could hang a copy of the Declaration in his classroom without violating the 1st Amendment. The important thing is not that Americans have traditionally been mainly Christians, but that we've traditionally been mainly a religious people.

That's why the Court's never held that every official public reference to God violates the Establishment Clause. "In God We Trust" on a coin doesn't favor any particular religion, and neither does "endowed by our Creator" in the Declaration. They're just general and historical references to divinity. Presidential speeches are full of references to God, oaths are sworn on bibles, and so on.

But some statists can't tolerate anything competing with their secular religion. They probably want to tear down the Supreme Court Building, the Lincoln Memorial, and everything else that contains any mention of God. Sort of like the Afghan Taliban, blowing up those 1,000 year-old statues of Buddha because "graven images" offend Allah.

If the U.S. was ever going to become a theocracy, it was far more likely to happen 100 or 150 years ago, when almost everyone was a believer. The notion that we have to keep suing to purge every last trace of a reference to religion from public life is ridiculous. That's just what the crusaders against religion say, to make their bigotry look noble.
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 54
Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 3/5/2010 3:28:08 PM
Well, as our understanding develops our policies change. Nothing wrong with that. We can no longer presume that everyone is a believer. We cannot exclude nonbelievers for the same reason that y'all object to nonbelievers trying to exclude you.

So what do we do? I already proposed something a while back that would make this entire issue go away. Start using inclusive language in those opening rituals. You don't have to believe in anything to recognize the importance of due reverence for solemn occasions. Refering to God puts most people in a serious frame of mind, and that's fine, so say something like this: "Let those who believe in Divine Agency and those who do not come together in unity to stand for justice and advance the cause of human freedom."

Who can argue with that?

I'm not sure what to do about "In God We Trust," but if I were king I'd change it to, "In Truth We Trust." I think that would tend to keep people more honest anyway. Just sayin'
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 55
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Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 3/5/2010 4:22:19 PM

that would make this entire issue go away.


The issue's been decided, and nothing needs to be done. The Supreme Court's never going to read the Establishment Clause to eliminate the kind of traditional references I mentioned, any more than it's going to have its building remodeled to remove all religious references, or prohibit the sale or display of Christmas trees. The people who demand that everything in public life be done to assuage their phobia of religion are free to keep demanding.
 fzrhusker
Joined: 10/8/2005
Msg: 56
Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 3/6/2010 6:52:51 AM

The "religion" of atheism doesn't. You can't legally create a state-supported institution that excludes atheists or denigrates their faith.


Actually Ace there is nor argument for atheists either.
One of the definitions of God is:
"An unseen force that influences life and the universe" Old English

Hell that could be gravity.

Atheism is commonly defined as the position that there are no deities. It can also mean the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. A broader definition is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist.

Yes this country was built on a commonly Christian foundation. If we look at the two or three definitions of the word god, I feel that no one has any preferential argument.

A belief that there is no deity is a belief in itself so there god is nature.

If you read Jefferson's memoirs, the original constitution had the clause in it "freedom of religion for those who believe in Jesus Christ." He argued that the words should only be "freedom of religion" as this represents all religions. He realized that even at the time of the Constitution, there was a huge diversity of religion and people in the United States already. He followed on to say that all references to to God would be representative of all religions. What I am saying is we continue to have this argument today when they had it over 200 years ago.

 fzrhusker
Joined: 10/8/2005
Msg: 57
Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 3/6/2010 7:28:10 AM
Jefferson adapted the reasonable qualities of Locke's argument with the philosophical underpinnings of Thomas Paine's natural theology. Jefferson extensively studied Paine's The Age of Reason and agreed with Paine's convictions that it was a grave injustice to lock God into a sacred text. This understanding of Paine immeasurably influenced Jefferson's dealings with the Bible. For Paine, the Word of God "IS THE CREATION WE BEHOLD" and through this, "God speaketh universally to man." Jefferson absorbed this naturalism and sought to comprehend God in the laws of the universe, not doctrinal truths locked in scripture.

I think the context above may cover the atheist argument


http://www.sullivan-county.com/deism/
 fzrhusker
Joined: 10/8/2005
Msg: 58
Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 3/6/2010 8:42:15 AM
PH I would make the point that religion is a belief or faith in an idea.
Well the atheist's believe and have faith that there is no God.
Just my crazy way of it making sense in my head.
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 59
Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 3/6/2010 8:47:31 AM
JD,

Whatever bus I'm on should stop and let me off before it reaches either the company-owned town or the government-owned factory. We still need speed limits and enough cops to enforce them. Just sayin'.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 60
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Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 3/6/2010 3:41:52 PM

We still need speed limits and enough cops to enforce them.


For the most part, though, speed limits and cops are the states' business. Unlike the states, the federal government doesn't have any general, inherent authority to regulate every problem that comes up. The Constitution gives it only certain limited and enumerated powers. Those powers have never authorized the two political branches to create the arrogant and intrusive welfare state, run by unelected bureaucrats, that we have today. The Department of Health and Human Services--just one of dozens of federal agencies-- employs almost 65,000 people.

For much of the past 75 years, the Supreme Court has stood aside and let a succession of Congresses and Presidents disregard the Constitution by steadily building up this behemoth. And the current administration wants to make it grow bigger, and faster, than any administration since the 1930's. But the monster they've spawned is no less illegitimate just because the Court has blessed it, or because most Americans have gotten used to it.
 fzrhusker
Joined: 10/8/2005
Msg: 61
Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 3/12/2010 8:21:38 AM
Appeals Court says 'Under God' not a prayer


"To be a real American, you believe in God, and the judiciary unfortunately sometimes can't be trusted to uphold our constitutional rights when you're a disenfranchised minority." -- Michael Newdow, a Sacramento atheist who filed suit, on the messages sent by the ruling.


(03-11) 17:32 PST SAN FRANCISCO -- The federal court that touched off a furor in 2002 by declaring the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance to be an unconstitutional endorsement of religion took another look at the issue Thursday and said the phrase invokes patriotism, not religious faith.

The daily schoolroom ritual is not a prayer, but instead "a recognition of our founders' political philosophy that a power greater than the government gives the people their inalienable rights," said the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco in a 2-1 ruling.

"Thus, the pledge is an endorsement of our form of government, not of religion or any particular sect."

The dissenting judge, Stephen Reinhardt, said statements by members of Congress who added "under God" to the pledge in 1954 show conclusively that it was intended to "indoctrinate our nation's children with a state-held religious belief."

In a separate ruling, the same panel upheld the use of the national motto, "In God We Trust," on coins and currency. The language is patriotic and ceremonial, not religious, the court said. Reinhardt reluctantly joined the 3-0 decision, saying he was bound by the court's newly established precedent in the pledge case.
Atheist sued

Both suits were filed by Michael Newdow, a Sacramento atheist who has brought numerous challenges to government-sponsored religious invocations. He said he would appeal the rulings to the full appellate court and the U.S. Supreme Court, but was not optimistic.

The rulings sent two messages, Newdow said: "To be a real American, you believe in God, and the judiciary unfortunately sometimes can't be trusted to uphold our constitutional rights when you're a disenfranchised minority."

Former Justice Department lawyer Gregory Katsas, who represented the Bush administration in the pledge case when the court heard it in 2007, heard a different message: that "one nation, under God" suggests a government that "is limited and bound to respect individual rights."
Swift reaction

Newdow first challenged the Pledge of Allegiance in 2000 on behalf of his daughter, a student in a Sacramento-area elementary school. The appeals court ruled in June 2002 that the addition of "under God" was religiously motivated and sent "a message to nonbelievers that they are outsiders," in violation of the constitutional separation of church and state.

Congress reacted furiously, passing a resolution with virtually no dissenting votes that denounced the decision. The court put its ruling on hold until the case reached the Supreme Court, which sidestepped the constitutional issue and ruled that Newdow could not represent his daughter's interests because her mother had legal custody.

Newdow then refiled the suit on behalf of the parent of a kindergartner in the Sacramento suburb of Rio Linda. He won the first round before a federal judge in 2005, but a new appeals court panel issued a 193-page ruling Thursday upholding the pledge.
Pledge isn't prayer

In the majority opinion, Judge Carlos Bea acknowledged that "the words 'under God' have religious significance," but said they do not "convert the pledge into a prayer."

The 1954 law that added those words at the height of the Cold War was meant to convey the idea of a limited government, "in stark contrast to the unlimited power exercised by communist forms of government," said Bea, joined by Judge Dorothy Nelson. "Congress' ostensible and predominant purpose was to inspire patriotism."

Reinhardt, a member of the 2002 panel that found the language unconstitutional, said Thursday's majority ignored overwhelming evidence of religious motivation by the 1954 Congress.

He cited statements by numerous lawmakers denouncing atheistic communism and declaring a belief in God to be part of the American way of life. Reinhardt also pointed to President Dwight Eisenhower's signing statement that millions of schoolchildren would now proclaim "the dedication of our nation and its people to the Almighty."

During the same period, Reinhardt said, Congress adopted "In God We Trust" as the national motto, ordered it inscribed on paper money and established an annual National Prayer Breakfast.

By inserting religious language into the pledge, Reinhardt said, "we abandoned our historic principle that secular matters were for the state and matters of faith were for the church."
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 62
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Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 3/12/2010 9:31:15 AM
^^^^^I was glad to hear the 9th Circuit panel got it right. Judge Reinhardt has quite a reputation as a liberal activist--even by that court's standards. I think Newdow is a doctor (as well as a busybody.)

There's something they didn't mention about that 2004 Elk Grove case, which Newdow lost 5-3. Three Justices wrote that if they'd had to decide, they would have said that having "under God" in the Pledge didn't violate the Establishment Clause. I'm not sure the Court is very anxious to hear this same issue again.

The Court has upheld state Sunday closing laws, a prayer at the opening of a state legislature's session, and a public school's right not to allow dancing, even though the reasons for all these things were partly religious.

But it also struck down a state law that let churches veto liquor licenses for any business within 500 feet of them. And where a local church had cut its ties to the national church, the Court held that a state court couldn't get into deciding whether the local church had "departed from doctrine" too far to still own church property.
 fzrhusker
Joined: 10/8/2005
Msg: 63
Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 3/19/2010 9:14:55 AM
Here is a link to his white paper

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1084585


Obama Information Czar Calls For Banning Free Speech

Sunstein: Taxation and censorship of dissenting opinions “will have a place” under thought police program advocated in 2008 white paper

Obama Information Czar Calls For Banning Free Speech
Paul Joseph Watson
Thursday, January 14, 2010

The controversy surrounding White House information czar and Harvard Professor Cass Sunstein’s blueprint for the government to infiltrate political activist groups has deepened, with the revelation that in the same 2008 dossier he also called for the government to tax or even ban outright political opinions of which it disapproved.

Sunstein was appointed by President Obama to head up the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, an agency within the Executive Office of the President.

On page 14 of Sunstein’s January 2008 white paper entitled “Conspiracy Theories,” the man who is now Obama’s head of information technology in the White House proposed that each of the following measures “will have a place under imaginable conditions” according to the strategy detailed in the essay.

1) Government might ban conspiracy theorizing.

2) Government might impose some kind of tax, financial or otherwise, on those who disseminate such theories.

That’s right, Obama’s information czar wants to tax or ban outright, as in make illegal, political opinions that the government doesn’t approve of. To where would this be extended? A tax or a shut down order on newspapers that print stories critical of our illustrious leaders?

And what does Sunstein define as “conspiracy theories” that should potentially be taxed or outlawed by the government? Opinions held by the majority of Americans, no less.

The notion that Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone in killing JFK, a view shared by the vast majority of Americans in every major poll over the last ten years, is an example of a “conspiracy theory” that the federal government should consider censoring, according to Sunstein.

A 1998 CBS poll found that just 10 per cent of Americans believed that Oswald acted alone, so apparently the other 90 per cent of Americans could be committing some form of thought crime by thinking otherwise under Sunstein’s definition.

Sunstein also cites the belief that “global warming is a deliberate fraud” as another marginal conspiracy theory to be countered by government action. In reality, the majority of Americans now believe that the man-made explanation of global warming is not true, and that global warming is natural, according to the latest polls.

Obama Information Czar Calls For Banning Free Speech

But Sunstein saves his most ludicrous example until last. On page 5 he characterizes as “false and dangerous” the idea that exposure to sunlight is healthy, despite the fact that top medical experts agree prolonged exposure to sunlight reduces the risk of developing certain cancers.

To claim that encouraging people to get out in the sun is to peddle a dangerous conspiracy theory is like saying that promoting the breathing of fresh air is also a thought crime. One can only presume that Sunstein is deliberately framing the debate by going to such absurd extremes so as to make any belief whatsoever into a conspiracy theory unless it’s specifically approved by the kind of government thought police system he is pushing for.

Despite highlighting the fact that repressive societies go hand in hand with an increase in “conspiracy theories,” Sunstein’s ’solution’ to stamp out such thought crimes is to ban free speech, fulfilling the precise characteristic of the “repressive society” he warns against elsewhere in the paper.

“We could imagine circumstances in which a conspiracy theory became so pervasive, and so dangerous, that censorship would be thinkable,” he writes on page 20. Remember that Sunstein is not just talking about censoring Holocaust denial or anything that’s even debatable in the context of free speech, he’s talking about widely accepted beliefs shared by the majority of Americans but ones viewed as distasteful by the government, which would seek to either marginalize by means of taxation or outright censor such views.

No surprise therefore that Sunstein has called for re-writing the First Amendment as well as advocating Internet censorship and even proposing that Americans should celebrate tax day and be thankful that the state takes a huge chunk of their income.

The government has made it clear that growing suspicion towards authority is a direct threat to their political agenda and indeed Sunstein admits this on page 3 of his paper.

That is why they are now engaging in full on information warfare in an effort to undermine, disrupt and eventually outlaw organized peaceful resistance to their growing tyranny.



II. Governmental Responses
What can government do about conspiracy theories? Among the things it can do,
what should it do? We can readily imagine a series of possible responses. (1)
Government might ban conspiracy theorizing. (2) Government might impose some kind
of tax, financial or otherwise, on those who disseminate such theories. (3) Government
might itself engage in counterspeech, marshaling arguments to discredit conspiracy
theories. (4) Government might formally hire credible private parties to engage in
counterspeech. (5) Government might engage in informal communication with such
parties, encouraging them to help. Each instrument has a distinctive set of potential
effects, or costs and benefits, and each will have a place under imaginable conditions.
However, our main policy idea is that government should engage in cognitive infiltration
of the groups that produce conspiracy theories, which involves a mix of (3), (4) and (5).
 fzrhusker
Joined: 10/8/2005
Msg: 64
Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 3/19/2010 10:05:10 AM
Take a look at this report that was buried for years, the MIAC report is an updated version.The Meggido report was doen under Clinton by the FBI.

http://www.cesnur.org/testi/FBI_004.htm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtOw2zuGf-Y&NR=1
 213history
Joined: 9/26/2009
Msg: 65
Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 3/20/2010 5:39:32 PM
I have completed reading this thread!

This thread needs the following to keep this on topic:

A clear definition for the term "unpatriotic propaganda". Since my definition will more than likely be rejected. It would be ideal if this is defined by someone who believes the 1st Amendment should protect opinions against the government.

After establishing a clear definition for the term "unpatriotic propaganda", posters should than explain why they believe this type of speech should or should not be protected by our 1st Amendment.

Should writing or publishing "false, scandalous, and malicious writing" about the President and Congress be protected by the 1st Amendment?

Thank you for reading

John
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 66
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Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 3/20/2010 9:08:48 PM

someone who believes the 1st Amendment should protect opinions against the government.


That's like saying "someone who believes the Earth should be round." No one with even the most basic knowledge of the First Amendment questions that it protects opinions against both the federal and state governments. It's hard to think of an opinion any American could be prohibited by law from expressing. When it comes to the 1st Am., it really doesn't matter how someone thinks the Court should interpret it.


Should writing or publishing "false, scandalous, and malicious writing" about the President and Congress be protected by the 1st Amendment?


You don't cite the source of your quote, so I don't know what it's from. But publishing that sort of defamatory speech may be slander or libel, which are not speech protected by the 1st am. In NY Times v. Sullivan, the Supreme Court described where protected speech ends and defamation begins, for both private and public figures. I could recite the rule for you, but I don't feel like it. You can look it up.

It should be obvious, if you'd thought about it for a moment, that the 1st Am. must protect some very derogatory speech about public figures--and you can't get much more public than presidents and congressmen. I don't recall anyone being prosecuted for calling Mr. Bush a Nazi, liar, war criminal, idiot, warmonger, and so on, ad nauseam--do you? All we heard was how fine and patriotic of them this was--even though it unquestionably hurt our troops' morale and helped our enemy's.

A torrent of calculated lies about that administration and its efforts to prevent another 9/11--in other words, anti-American propaganda--continued for years, while the U.S. was at war. I suspect, but can't prove, that this was partly the result of a a marriage of convenience between the millions of Americans who detest their country and our Muslim jihadist enemies. After all, the two have a common goal, which is to destroy the U.S.--at least as we know it. Whatever paints the U.S. out as the bad guy, and Muslim jihadists as victims who deserve our sympathy, weakens Americans' resolve to make war on them.

Articles about that are starting to appear, by the way. So I'm not the only one who suspects some statists in this country have been helping its enemies for years now. And Monday's WSJ article, which I cited earlier, is the first to document the illegal and disloyal activities of some of the 400 or so lawyers who have provided free legal services to jihadists detained at Gitmo.

Misusing the confidential legal mail to smuggle in viciously anti-American, pro-jihadist propaganda to inmates, inciting them against U.S. military guards, coaching them to cook up false charges of abuse, or showing them photos of CIA field agents, whose identities must be kept secret, are only a few of the disgusting things these lawyers did. Any one of them should have gotten the people responsible long terms in federal prison. Instead, some of them were given very high positions in the Justice Department, where they continue to help our enemies. Yet this administration refuses to identify them.

This thread began with an Establishment Clause issue, and now it's shifted to the Free Speech Clause. But at least it's still in the First Amendment.
 fzrhusker
Joined: 10/8/2005
Msg: 67
Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 6/2/2010 7:22:01 AM
The Hill
Groups want FCC to police hate speech on talk radio, cable news networks
By Gautham Nagesh - 06/01/10 01:02 PM ET

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is being urged to monitor "hate speech" on talk radio and cable broadcast networks.

A coalition of more than 30 organizations argue in a letter to the FCC that the Internet has made it harder for the public to separate the facts from bigotry masquerading as news.

The groups also charge that syndicated radio and cable television programs "masquerading as news" use hate as a profit model.

"As traditional media have become less diverse and less competitive, they have also grown less responsible and less responsive to the communities that they are supposed to serve," the organizations wrote to the FCC. "In this same atmosphere hate speech thrives, as hate has developed as a profit-model for syndicated radio and cable television program masquerading as 'news.'"

The organizations, which include Free Press, the Center for Media Justice, the Benton Foundation and Media Alliance, also argue that the anonymity of the Web gives ammunition to those that would spread hate.

The groups did not mention any specific programming on the right or the left in their letter, which supports a petition filed by the National Hispanic Media Coalition last year requesting a probe of the relationship between hate speech and hate crimes.

The groups argue the Internet has made it harder for the public to separate the facts from bigotry masquerading as news.

"The Internet gives the illusion that news sources have increased, but in fact there are fewer journalists employed now than ever before. Moreover, on the Internet, speakers can hide in the cloak of anonymity, emboldened to say things that they may not say in the public eye."

"For these reasons, as the Commission deliberates how the public interest will be served in the digital age, it should consider the extent of hate speech in media, and its effects."
 fzrhusker
Joined: 10/8/2005
Msg: 68
Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 6/2/2010 6:26:30 PM
As a soldier I will defend their right to be a POS but as a citizen I will probably be in jail for a good old fashioned eye poking.

I think that the standards for good taste and time and place for some things have descended into the trash on both sides of the aisle.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 69
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Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 6/3/2010 8:28:03 PM
If it's the family I'm thinking of, they've done this at a number of funerals of gay servicemen. I think I read that the family of one of these men has sued them for intentional infliction of emotional distress, which is a tort. The usual remedy would be money damages. This tort fits what these detestable people are doing, and it's been used in other similar cases--for example, intentionally falsifying a report of someone's death to cause the members of their family emotional harm.

These creeps won't be out there torturing these families in their time of grief if someone wins on of these suits--they won't be left with a pot to piss in. Until that time, we can always hope someone will decide it's worth a stretch in jail to introduce them to the business end of a Louisville Slugger. If someone had dared to do something like this during WWII, they could have been sure of getting that treatment--or worse--the very first time they showed up. And all that would have mattered to the people dishing out the street justice was that the dead serviceman and his family were fellow Americans.

No one has absolute freedom of speech in the U.S. You're not free to slander or libel people, engage in obscenity, incite people to immediate violence, go on a military base and denounce the armed forces, engage in false advertising, put up billboards wherever you want, put up any sign you want on your property, advocate the overthrow of the government if you're a government employee, and so on. And you're not free to torment the family of a serviceman who died defending this country, just because he happened to be gay. I don't give a hoot in he!! what their perverted personal "religion" says, either--they're no Christians.
 fzrhusker
Joined: 10/8/2005
Msg: 70
Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 6/4/2010 6:26:52 AM
Take a look at this.
http://www.examiner.com/x-32274-Shreveport-Headlines-Examiner~y2010m5d30-Hate-group-cancels-protest-of-soldiers-funeral-after-show-of-force-see-video-here



Supreme Court to hear case on military funeral protests
By The Associated Press
March 08, 2010, 2:04PM

gavel.jpgWASHINGTON — The Supreme Court is getting involved in the legal fight over the anti-gay protesters who show up at military funerals with inflammatory messages like "Thank God for dead soldiers."

The court agreed today to consider whether the protesters' message, no matter how provocative and upsetting, is protected by the First Amendment. Members of the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church have picketed many military funerals to spread their belief that U.S. deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq are punishment for the nation's tolerance of homosexuality.

The justices will hear an appeal from the York County father of a Marine killed in Iraq to reinstate a $5 million verdict against the protesters, after they picketed outside his son's funeral in Maryland. A jury in November 2007 found that the Westboro church intentionally inflicted emotional distress upon York resident Albert Snyder. Snyder's son, Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew A. Snyder, 20, was killed in Iraq in March 2006.
 fzrhusker
Joined: 10/8/2005
Msg: 71
Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 6/4/2010 7:20:38 AM
Journalism 'Reinvention' Smacks of Government Control, Critics Say

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/06/02/journalism-reinvention-smacks-government-control-critics-say/

among the numerous proposals mentioned in the document are:

-- the creation of a "journalism" division of AmeriCorps, the federal program that places 75,000 people with local and national nonprofit groups annually;

-- tax credits to news organizations for every journalist employed;

-- establishing citizenship news vouchers, which "would allow every American tax payer to allocate some amount of government funds to the non-profit media organization" of their choice;

-- increased funding for public radio and television;

-- providing grants to universities to conduct investigative journalism;

-- increased postal subsidies for newspapers and periodicals;

-- a 5 percent tax on consumer electronics, which would generate roughly $4 billion annually, to pay for increased public funding.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 72
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Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 6/4/2010 6:31:35 PM
^^^^^Political correctness is all about hostility to free speech. So are the labels leftist dopes use as shortcuts to the rational thinking they have such a hard time with--homophobe, xenophobe, misogynist, racist, hater, etc. ad nauseam. Someone disagree with you? No need to make a reasoned argument to challenge their position--just attack them personally. Call them a racist, a hater, etc., and if your audience is just as dumb as you are, they'll be convinced you're right. A lot of people will think you're nasty, uncivilized little brownshirts with dung for brains, but once there's more of you than them, who cares what they think?
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 73
Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 6/5/2010 12:58:31 PM

Someone disagree with you? No need to make a reasoned argument to challenge their position--just attack them personally.


Like, by calling them a Marxist and a traitor and all that other right-PC nonsense y'all use to tune out anything that might call your own beliefs into question?

Anyone who uses the lines of argument favored by racists of the past leaves themselves open to the charge of racism now. Deal with it.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 74
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Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 6/5/2010 3:32:03 PM

Like, by calling them a Marxist and a traitor


I've never heard anything yet from even one communist or traitor that called my beliefs into question, even for a moment. I've never considered getting my beliefs about my country from anyone like that. But from what I can see, it's become quite popular among the millions of self-styled citizens of the world it's our misfortune to have living in this country. Apparently America's not so bad they don't want to stay here and benefit from it, while they run it down every chance they get. And then they have the sickening gall to claim their vicious attacks on everything about America are patriotic.

When I need to be told what I have to deal with, I will let you know. You'd do better to worry about what you'll be dealing with, if you directly slander people on this forum as racists. And if you say that to someone's face, you may find yourself in a fight.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 75
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Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 6/6/2010 1:05:19 AM
Anyone who uses the lines of argument favored by racists of the past leaves themselves open to the charge of racism now.


I suppose that by using "the lines of argument favored by racists of the past," you mean supporting the enforcement of a federal statute that was first duly enacted by Congress in 1940. The mind boggles so at just the thought of such an unspeakably outrageous position that it's hard even to put it into words.

How dare any citizen of the United States even think it has any right to enforce its national sovereignty and its territorial integrity? Don't we all know that right applies only to every *other* nation on earth, but not to this one? How dare America assert a right to control its borders against *any* alien from *any* nation who challenges that right? Don't we all know that in any dispute with any other nation, it is always right, and we are always wrong?

I also suppose that the president, vice-president, and every member of Congress must all be racists, because they swore an oath to uphold the laws of the United States. I'm sure it's hard to understand Arizona SB 1070 when you haven't read it. But its most controversial section simply requires Arizona officials who already have a valid reason to detain a person to ask for evidence--in the form of a valid driver's license or an alien registration card--that the person is lawfully present in the U.S. The federal statute SB 1070 requires state officials to enforce in turn requires all aliens 18 or older within the U.S. to carry that card on their persons "at all times."

Congress is more free to regulate alienage as it sees fit than any other matter. The President has the same sort of near-complete power over national security--which obviously involves the security of national borders. The Supreme Court has always deferred very strongly to the two political branches in both those areas. So, when you call American citizens racists for supporting valid immigration laws, you are showing your contempt for laws so basic and vital to this nation that from the beginning, the Court has been very reluctant to question them. You are also showing your contempt for democratic rule and the votes of the millions whose elected representatives enacted those laws.

That makes the respect you claim to have for the U.S. constitution ring hollow. Our federal immigration laws--and the Arizona law that directs state officials to enforce one of them--are unquestionably legitimate and constitutional. But you don't like them. You've often claimed non-existent constitutional rights for alien enemies imprisoned at Guantanamo. And now you strongly imply that Mexicans and other aliens have some imaginary "right" to enter the U.S. Americans, like the citizens of every nation, have an absolute, unconditional right to exclude any alien from the U.S., completely at our pleasure. But you don't like that fact. So you ignore it, and instead--without even the slightest justification--slander Americans who assert that right as racists.
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