BZ’s very own federal government: coming for MY First Amendment rights

First Amendment WrappedFirst, from the WashingtonExaminer.com:

Dems on FEC move to regulate Internet campaigns, blogs, Drudge

by Paul Bedard

In a surprise move late Friday, a key Democrat on the Federal Election Commission called for burdensome new rules on Internet-based campaigning, prompting the Republican chairman to warn that Democrats want to regulate online political sites and even news media like the Drudge Report.

Democratic FEC Vice Chair Ann M. Ravel announced plans to begin the process to win regulations on Internet-based campaigns and videos, currently free from most of the FEC’s rules. “A reexamination of the commission’s approach to the internet and other emerging technologies is long over due,” she said.

Does anyone with a semblance of common sense realize, for example, what the Drudge Report actually is?  For the most part Matt Drudge doesn’t write his stories; his site is merely an aggregator of stories from around the globe and around the internet.

He takes them and collates them, then places them on his site with accompanying headlines.  It is the headlines and the types of stories featured on Drudge to which Leftists object.  They also object to Drudge’s massive popularity and his incalculable hit ratio.

When Drudge makes a link to a story, that site’s servers can frequently be downed due to the quantity of hits.  To object to Drudge, however, is to object to reality.

“I told you this was coming.”

Under a 2006 FEC rule, free political videos and advocacy sites have been free of regulation in a bid to boost voter participation in politics. Only Internet videos that are placed for a fee on websites, such as the Washington Examiner, are regulated just like normal TV ads.

Ravel’s statement suggests that she would regulate right-leaning groups like America Rising that posts anti-Democrat YouTube videos on its website.

FEC Chairman Lee E. Goodman, a Republican, said if regulation extends that far, then anybody who writes a political blog, runs a politically active news site or even chat room could be regulated. He added that funny internet campaigns like “Obama Girl,” and “Jib Jab” would also face regulations.

“I told you this was coming,” he told Secrets. Earlier this year he warned that Democrats on the panel were gunning for conservative Internet sites like the Drudge Report.

An incredibly important final paragraph:

“Regrettably, the 3-to-3 vote in this matter suggests a desire to retreat from these important protections for online political speech — a shift in course that could threaten the continued development of the Internet’s virtual free marketplace of political ideas and democratic debate,” they concluded.

Ladies and gentlemen, when did you ever possibly believe that your First Amendment rights could even remotely be threatened by some capricious force that is not guaranteed by your federal government in its Bill of Rights or US Constitution?

Is that not insane?  Your federal government threatening its own guarantees?

BZ

US Flag Under Attack

Pushback pushes Marxist Houston Mayor Annise Parker BACK?

Mayor Annise Parker, HoustonI wrote about the situation originally here, where Mayor Parker wanted to remove the free speech of religious organs in Houston.  Please read the post first.

That said, Thursday, from WashingtonTimes.com:

Bully pulpit: Houston subpoenas pastors’ sermons, then backs off amidst outcry

Pastors had slammed demand from Mayor Annise Parker, city, as a threat to religious freedom

by Valerie Richardson

After calling church sermons for subpoena, Mayor Annise Parker backed down Wednesday from the city’s effort to force local pastors to turn over speeches and papers related to a hotly contested transgender rights ordinance.

The city had asked five pastors for “all speeches, presentations, or sermons” on a variety of topics, including the mayor, and “gender identity.”

The subpoena prompted a storm of criticism when it became public Tuesday. The pastors are involved in legal efforts to overturn the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, also known as the “bathroom bill.”

First Amendment FlagWait.  Is it just me?  Is this writer attempting to gloss over the fact that the mayor was attempting to set her Stasi Rottweilers upon those persons with which she simply disagrees?  In one word: yes.

Closely examine how the headline and sub-headline are written.  Any slant there you see?

However, Ms. Parker, a self-declared lesbian, defended the subpoenas after she was aware of them, according to her Wednesday afternoon statement.

In a post on her Twitter feed late Tuesday, around midnight, Parker said that issuing subpoenas for sermons was appropriate if the pastors had been active in promoting the signature-gathering effort to overturn the ordinance.

Frankly, nothing more than a naked abuse of power writ large.

Ms. Parker’s office initially doubled down in the face of such criticism but issued a statement late Wednesday saying the mayor “agrees with those who are concerned about the city legal department’s subpoenas for pastors’ sermons.”

But all is not won; in fact, public opinion isn’t having the effect many would like.

The statement says the city will “move to narrow the scope during an upcoming court hearing” and that city and that City Attorney David Feldman “says the focus should be only on communications related to the petitions to overturn the ordinance.”

Translated: there will still be a focus on the abrogation of the First Amendment in Houston proper.  We will still go for e-mails and other forms of communications.

Mark this now.  For a state that allegedly declares itself uninfluenced and independent and self-reliant and worthy of a lone star flag, Tejas proves itself more aligned with Fornicalia than many other states.

The five pastors targeted by the subpoenas are Hernan Castano, Magda Hermida, Khan Huynh, Steve Riggle and David Welch, all of whom opposed the ordinance.

Mr. Welch, executive director of the Texas Pastors Council, said city officials appear to be interested in “demonizing” the pastors by finding something politically incorrect in the stacks of sermons, emails, presentation notes and other communications requested under the subpoenas.

Tolerant LeftistsA story in flux and transition.  And not yet entirely solved in favor of logic or even the founding documents of our great nation.

Marxist Lesbian Mayor Annise Parker ain’t done yet.

Not until she grinds religion under her heel.

BZ

 

Leftists in America: suppressing Free Speech and Christian beliefs in Houston, TX

Brown Shirts MarchingJust when you were wondering: “how much worse can the attack on the First Amendment get?” — it gets worse.

From FoxNews.com:

City of Houston demands pastors turn over sermons

by Todd Starnes

The city of Houston has issued subpoenas demanding a group of pastors turn over any sermons dealing with homosexuality, gender identity or Annise Parker, the city’s first openly lesbian mayor. And those ministers who fail to comply could be held in contempt of court.

Read that again and begin to fully and truly digest its meaning.

Annise D. Parker is a Stalinist mayor in America.  This is the re-creation of the Stasi and Brown Shirts all over again within the borders of the United States of America.

The subpoenas are just the latest twist in an ongoing saga over the Houston’s new non-discrimination ordinance. The law, among other things, would allow men to use the ladies room and vice versa.  The city council approved the law in June.

The Houston Chronicle reported opponents of the ordinance launched a petition drive that generated more than 50,000 signatures – far more than the 17,269 needed to put a referendum on the ballot.

However, the city threw out the petition in August over alleged irregularities.

After opponents of the bathroom bill filed a lawsuit the city’s attorneys responded by issuing the subpoenas against the pastors.

But here’s the Crux of the Biscuit:

The pastors were not part of the lawsuit. However, they were part of a coalition of some 400 Houston-area churches that opposed the ordinance. The churches represent a number of faith groups – from Southern Baptist to non-denominational.

Therefore, you can chalk the subpoenas up to nothing more than retribution.  And jackbooted authoritarianism.

The lawsuit and subpoenas were designed to intimidate, quash and chill the free speech of pastors and base religious freedoms themselves.

Mayor Parker will not explain why she wants to inspect the sermons. I contacted City Hall for a comment and received a terse reply from the mayor’s director of communications.

“We don’t comment on litigation,” said Janice Evans.

However, ADF attorney Stanley suspects the mayor wants to publicly shame the ministers. He said he anticipates they will hold up their sermons for public scrutiny. In other words – the city is rummaging for evidence to “out” the pastors as anti-gay bigots.

Pages ripped from the playbooks of both Saul Alinsky’s “Rules For Radicals” as well as Stalin and Marx:

Among those slapped with a subpoena is Steve Riggle, the senior pastor of Grace Community Church. He was ordered to produce all speeches and sermons related to Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality and gender identity.

The mega-church pastor was also ordered to hand over “all communications with members of your congregation” regarding the non-discrimination law.

“This is an attempt to chill pastors from speaking to the cultural issues of the day,” Riggle told me. “The mayor would like to silence our voice. She’s a bully.”

No kidding.  The response:

David Welch, director of the Houston Area Pastor Council, also received a subpoena. He said he will not be intimidated by the mayor.

“We’re not afraid of this bully,” he said. “We’re not intimidated at all.”

He accused the city of violating the law with the subpoenas and vowed to stand firm in the faith.

“We are not going to yield our First Amendment rights,” Welch told me. ‘This is absolutely a complete abuse of authority.”

Tony Perkins, the head of the Family Research Council, said pastors around the nation should rally around the Houston ministers.

“The state is breaching the wall of separation between church and state,” Perkins told me. ‘Pastors need to step forward and challenge this across the country. I’d like to see literally thousands of pastors after they read this story begin to challenge government authorities – to dare them to come into their churches and demand their sermons.”

Pastor Welch said: “We can no longer remain silent. We must stand together – because one day – the government might come for your pastor.”

This, of course, reminds me of the classic quote from another pastor named Martin Niemoller:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Final question: do you think this would have occurred with regard to Islamic sermons in America?  Do you think Islam “loves” gays?

I know my answers.

BZ

 

Harry Reid wants to REMOVE our First Amendment from the Bill of Rights

Harry Reid LG

Harry Reid = short eyes.

I never thought I’d see this in my lifetime.

I never envisioned having to actually write about the topic.

I never thought that there would be even one American politician that would want, in any way, to reduce Our American Freedoms.

Until now.  Until today.

Someone in American politics actually wants to amend the First Amendment to the Bill of Rights.  The actual United States of America Bill of Rights.

Which states, beautifully and succinctly:

Amendment I

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 peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

I don’t suspect that there could be a more plain directive than that.

Who is the person who wishes to amend such a simple and beautiful foundational precept?

Demorat Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid.

In my opinion, the Wall Street Journal nails the problem and the issue:

Harry Reid Rewrites the First Amendment

When politicians seek to restrict speech, they are invariably trying to protect their own incumbency.

by Theodore B. Olson

Liberals often deplore efforts to amend the Constitution, particularly the Bill of Rights and especially when the outcome would narrow individual liberties. Well, now we know they don’t really mean it.

Forty-six Senate Democrats have concluded that the First Amendment is an impediment to re-election that a little tinkering can cure.

Yes.  Tinkering can cure that aged and so-“yesterday’s news” tragic document.

Because, after all, the US Constitution and its concomitant Bill of Rights need to be “living documents.”  Read: documents that need to be changed when it is convenient to the purpose and agenda of Leftists.

They are proposing a constitutional amendment that would give Congress and state legislatures the authority to regulate the degree to which citizens can devote their resources to advocating the election or defeat of candidates. Voters, whatever their political views, should rise up against politicians who want to dilute the Bill of Rights to perpetuate their tenure in office.

And oh yes, oh they should.  And that rising up should include black powder and brass and torches and pitchforks.

Led by Majority Leader Harry Reid, these Senate Democrats claim that they are merely interested in good government to “restore democracy to the American people” by reducing the amount of money in politics. Do not believe it. When politicians seek to restrict political speech, it is invariably to protect their own incumbency and avoid having to defend their policies in the marketplace of ideas.

And let us examine, fundamentally, the foundational precepts of the Constitution and what it protects and what it doesn’t.

This scheme is doomed to fail when it comes to a vote in the Senate, perhaps as soon as Monday. The Constitution’s Framers had the wisdom to make amending the Constitution difficult, and Mr. Reid’s gambit won’t survive a filibuster. But Senate Democrats know their proposal is a loser. They merely want another excuse to rail against “money in politics” and Supreme Court justices they don’t like.

But there’s a point here.  What’s the point?

The rhetoric of these would-be constitutional reformers is focused on two Supreme Court decisions: Citizens United v. FEC (2010) and McCutcheon v. FEC (2014). In Citizens United, the court struck down a law prohibiting unions and corporations from using their resources to speak for or against a candidate within a certain time period before an election.

In other words, money can find itself supporting what it will, and — with teeth-gritting enamel flecks populating the various keyboards of Leftists — corporations are still considered as “people.”

The Obama administration conceded during oral argument that the law would permit the government to ban the publication of political books or pamphlets. Pamphlets and books ignited the revolution that created this country and the Bill of Rights. In pushing to overturn the court’s decision, Mr. Reid and his Democratic colleagues apparently wish they had the power to stop books, pamphlets—as well as broadcasting—that threaten their hold on their government jobs. 

Ban the publication of books and pamphlets.  That translates, these days, to BANNING MY BLOG and blogs of a like mind.

Under this proposal, I would have to face jail if I continued writing.

Let me quote a so-called “lion” of the Demorat Left:

“In the entire history of the Constitution,” the late Ted Kennedy once stated on the Senate floor, “we have never amended the Bill of Rights, and now is not the time to start. It would be wrong to carve an exception in the First Amendment. Campaign finance reform is a serious problem, but it does not require that we twist the meaning of the Constitution.”

One important notation: Saturday Night Live, look out.

You’d best not poke fun ever again.

And let me quite plainly make — as I wrote earlier — the argument regarding Positive vs Negative Rights.

Our current Constitution frames much of what we value in terms of what we cannot do.

The government cannot engage in unreasonable searches and seizures.

It cannot inflict cruel and unusual punishment.

By our current Constitution, it does NOT “guarantee” so-called “rights” to such things as housing, clothing, food, jobs — rights that place upon the state to obtain the resources from other citizens to pay for them.

Let me make this abundantly clear: “RIGHTS THAT PLACE UPON THE STATE TO OBTAIN THE RESOURCES FROM OTHER CITIZENS TO PAY FOR THEM.”

The First Amendment should NEVER be touched.  EVER.

Have I made myself sufficiently plain?

BZ

 

“Hate Speech” is in the eye of the beholder, and the beholder is now your Federal Government

Free Speech - NoneProve you’re not insane.

Go ahead, prove it.  Organically and via whatever means testing is available, prove it.

Oh, and by the way, also prove you’re not a racist.

Prove anything involving a “not.”

The most difficult thing imaginable is to disprove a negative.

Yet, here we go again on the heels of “rampant racism” in America via Ferguson — the new “Hate Speech” buzzphrase meme.

From the WashingtonFreeBeacon.com:

Feds Creating Database to Track ‘Hate Speech’ on Twitter

$1 Million study focuses on internet memes, ‘misinformation’ in political campaigns

by Elizabeth Harrington

The federal government is spending nearly $1 million to create an online database that will track “misinformation” and hate speech on Twitter.

The National Science Foundation is financing the creation of a web service that will monitor “suspicious memes” and what it considers “false and misleading ideas,” with a major focus on political activity online.

The “Truthy” database, created by researchers at Indiana University, is designed to “detect political smears, astroturfing, misinformation, and other social pollution.”

There you go.  Just what you need.  The federal government monitoring your writings and deciding, in the proverbial vacuum, just what is proper and just what isn’t.  In direct contravention of the First Amendment.  Please allow me to remind:

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 peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Frankly, this “hate speech” tracking sounds like Stalin to me, and Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez.  Like some Third World tin-pot dictator.  Except that this is a LAW proposed in the United States of America.

Via now, Mr Barack Hussein Obama.  Another tin pot dictator who is clueless, rife with NPD, and unable to manage the most basic of businesses for a profit.  He would first classify profit as “evil.”  Then he would drive any and said business into the ground. I suspect he couldn’t run a lemonade stand for a profit, much less our country.

Remember when Mr Obama attempted to call out those sites that were deemed to be “fishy”?  From FoxNews.com:

Obamacare_Flag_Poster_telephoneWhite House Draws Fire for Requesting ‘Fishy’ Information From Supporters on Health Reform

by Molly Henneberg

The White House is under fire for a blog post asking supporters to send “fishy” information received through rumors, chain e-mails and casual conversations to a White House e-mail address, flag@whitehouse.gov.

Conservatives have pounced on the request, accusing the White House of acting Orwellian.

“If you get an e-mail from your neighbor and it doesn’t sound right, send it to the White House?”said Sen. John Barasso, R-Wyo. ” People, I think all across America are going to say is this 1984? What is happening here? Is big brother watching?”

“Social pollution.”  Really?  As if the meme of unhindered and unrestrained government handouts aren’t social pollution for the stupid amongst us?  As if there are no limits to the depth and breadth of government largesse?  Sustainability?  Societal lampreys?

Possible air strike in Syria?

Sorry.  Shouldn’t have mentioned that.

BZ 

Surrender Your Dignity, Forward