Death of the 1st Amendment

First came the "Fairness Doctrine" back in the 70s and 80s. It was a gross imposition on the first amendment then. Conservatives in Congress finally got it repealed thanks to Ronald Reagan. This repeal led to the rise of talk radio. Conservatives finally had a media voice they could call their own. Eventually even leading to the rise of the Fox News Channel today.

Then in the early 2000s came the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Bill. Not sure what this eventually got called when it passed, but the liberals got their way again. And I'm including G. W. Bush among their numbers because the damn fool signed the bill into law when it reached his desk. He should have vetoed it. This places limits on how much an organization can spend on campaign commercials, and imposes further restrictions on campaign advertising as elections draw closer. This led to the formation of so-called 527 groups to sidestep this unfair restriction.

Now comes the "Lobbying Transparency and Accountability Act of 2007" which proposes to institute some reforms. Some of which are probably necessary, but many of which are not. But the scariest part of it all is this: Bloggers with an audience of 500 or greater will be required to register as lobbyists with Congress. Whether they get paid for this or not. Failure to disclose this would result in fines, and up to 10 years in prison. Yes, you read right. Prison. They're planning to throw you in jail if you blog about anything they find disagreeable. You can bet your life that if all you do is post blogs with glowing support and praise for everything they do there won't be any incentive for them to come after you. But if you're like me and you post things the liberals will certainly find offensive, guess who's going to jail.

And to top it all off, the libs are looking to bring back the "Fairness Doctrine" because the media can't compete on its own merits.

Folks, the longer this kind of thing is allowed to go on, the worse it's going to get. The liberals are doing everything in their power to make sure that those of us who oppose their dangerous policies are silenced. They passed draconian restrictions on our free speech rights already. They actively call for silencing any opinions they don't agree with. And now they're actively seeking to impose criminal penalties on political speech.

R.I.P - First Amendment to the US Constitution. 1791-2007.
"It is pointless to resist, my son." -- Darth Vader
"Resistance is futile." -- The Borg
"Mother's coming for me in the dragon ships. I don't like these itchy clothes, but I have to wear them or it frightens the fish." -- Thurindil

Well. I guess that's that then.

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Posted on Jan 19, 2007 8:43 am by Samson in: | 6 comment(s) [Closed]
Well, it looks like the 1st Amendment may be back on life support for now. Just read that the Senate amended the bill to remove the section which would have penalized bloggers.

From CNet

Section 220, would have required certain people engaged in "grassroots lobbying" to register with the government or face civil and criminal penalties, including up to 10 years in prison.

BTW, you can thank the Republicans for shooting down Section 220, along with 7 Democrats who apparently grew a conscience.

Bleh... you want to talk about liberties? Ask Bush about the USA PATRIOT Act that he signed into law in 2001. Of course, that act just happened to be introduced by a republican Congressman. When it went to Senate, only 1 person dissented and 1 person did not vote, both were democrats. It wasn't until 2006 that perceived "safeguards" were introduced to make people feel better. I'm not saying Bush is evil... just that the Devil pays him homage.

I honestly do not have a preferred side... I hate them all with equal fervor. ;)

You should probably do some more research into exactly what the Patriot Act does and allows before making a blanket statement that Bush is evil/allied with Satan/whatever.

I've done some myself and have never been able to come up with a single verifiable case where the law itself has deprived someone of their civil rights and resulted in them being detained without trial or otherwise having their liberty taken from them. Anyone who does believe such things has been listening to the left wing news too long.

Regardless, you have to admit that trying to throw people in *JAIL* for simply engaging in political speech is pretty heinous. And you have to admit it seems a bit odd coming from a party who claims to be all about protecting your freedoms and treating people fairly and honestly. If there are truly Nazis to be found in the USA, I firmly believe they are the liberals.

Ok... I know Bush isn't allied with evil or Satan, he's like totally against the 'axis of evil'! That part was a bit of humor thrown in since I really do hate politics. I believe in the concept of politics completely. But just like everything else America touches, it is total shit by the time we're done. What we currently have is government officials that vote on their own raises, if that's not a conflict of interest.. I don't know what is.

And nothing personal, but I think you being able to google some info about a secret court bypassing civil liberties or the proceedings of trials held in secret would pretty much negate the whole point of the court.

I have done plenty of research into the Patriot Act in the past as well and regardless of how you spin it, it is some bad shit. At least for a democracy. It allows the total bypass of the checks and balances provided by normal laws. Not just terrorists, mind you, pretty much anyone they say.

If you want examples, here are a couple breakdowns on parts of the act:

1. The government may now monitor the online activities of innocent Americans, and perhaps even track what Web sites you read, by merely telling a judge anywhere in the U.S. that the spying could lead to information that is "relevant" to an ongoing criminal investigation. The person spied on does not have to be the target of the investigation. This application must be granted and the government is not obligated to report to the court or tell the person spied upon what it has done.
(note the must be granted part. that doesn't mean that they have to get the order to do it, it pertains to the court being required to grant it)

2.) The FBI and CIA can now go from phone to phone, computer to computer without demonstrating that each is being used by a suspect or target of an order, or even specifically identifying the person targeted. The government may now serve a single Title III wiretap, FISA wiretap or pen/trap order on any person or entity nationwide, regardless of whether that person or entity is named in the order. The government need not make any showing to a court that the particular information or communication to be acquired is relevant to a criminal investigation. In the pen/trap or FISA situations, they do not even have to report where they served the order or what information they received.

And to top it all off... any company they request information from, such as an ISP or corporation, is completely forbidden to ever speak of it. The individual(s) that the information is requested on is also never allowed to be notified that information has been requested about them.

I'm all for being KGB and shit if we're going to rename the type of government system that we practice. But you can't go around calling an Iguanadon a Squirrel Alien and it magically be true.

If you can demonstrate with any certainty that the things you list have happened to someone, I'll be the first in line behind you when the new revolution comes.

But the fact of the matter is, nobody has had their rights abused under this act. Further, the fact of the matter is, Echelon and Carnivore existed prior to the Patriot Act and both were used with impunity by the FBI. Echelon was created on Clinton's watch and he signed it into law. I guess he's allied with Satan too then :) Wiretapping and other such surveillance tactics have been abused for as long as there's been cops.

To blame Bush for this sort of thing is short sighted, ignorant, and dangerous. Just because Congress or the presidency changes parties doesn't make abuses by law enforcement disappear by magic.

And if you don't think today's media, the ACLU, and other left wing Bush hating organizations wouldn't make a circus out of a blatant abuse of power under the Act, you're blinded by your own hatred for Bush.

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