The Church of Kharma Futures

The Rev's views on politics, events,faith, and the world. All content copyright Church of Kharma Future 2007-2015 All rights Reserved

Posts Tagged ‘First Amendment’

Go Ahead.. Shout “FIRE”

Posted by revkharma on May 8, 2015

OK, this is one of the things that has ground my gears for years.

The famous hoary old quote trotted out whenever the libs disagree with something a libertarian or conservative says in public that ”offends them

Immediately they say,(harumph, harumph) “Well free speech is all well and good, and we all know that there is a First Amendment.

BUT….. We all know that YOU CAN’T YELL FIRE IN A CROWDED THEATER

Then the speaker smiles smugly like the Church Lady, and sits back. The argument is over, and I win! So SHUT UP they explained.

OK, so the quote is not in any law, but was part of an introduction by Justice Holmes in a 1919 court ruling.( US. V Schenck) In that ruling they said a pamphlet against the draft that contained the phrases ‘Assert Your Rights” and ‘Do  not submit to intimidation”

Pretty mild stuff, eh?

What is even more interesting is that the entire decision was OVERTURNED IN 1969!!!
(Brandenburg v. Ohio)

The ruling reversed a previous Supreme Court decision setting a new precedent for the “clear and present danger” standard in First Amendment cases. The Court now held that a person’s words were protected as free speech as long as they did not directly incite unlawful action

Court held that all speech,including inflammatory speech, such as in this case by the KKK, is protected under the First Amendment, unless the speech is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action. The link must be there, the speech MUST directly result in the violent action.

So, next time someone says

Well, we ALL know you can’t shout Fire in a theater and gives that stupid look, the best reply is:

“Oh? What about Brandenburg v. Ohio?

Boom!

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Posted in Civil liberties, Constitution, Freedom, Government Power, liberty, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Free Speech, Only when It Is CORRECT Speech

Posted by revkharma on May 6, 2009

Consider Ms. Carrie Prejean who, by all accounts is a beautiful young woman, driven and focused to win. Her chosen venue is various competitions, Beauty Pageants. She won the title of Miss California in March of this year. These contests, while playing up the angle of question and answer, community activity and involvement are still dedicated to finding and promoting physically attractive women.Certainly there are personality and intellect requirements in the modern era, as the contestants now are thrust into a media whirlwind as soon as their names are disclosed. They choose this life for themselves. The attention, pressure and constant scrutiny are a given, and any woman who cannot take such focus will not long survive.

There was a tempest stirred up when one of the judges of the 2009 Miss USA contest asked her a question about her views on homosexual marriage.

Vermont recently became the fourth state to legalize same-sex marriage. Do you think every state should follow suit. Why or why not?

Note of course that Mr. Hilton is known as a gay rights activist. (We will not discuss here if it makes sense that a gay man should be a judge of a female beauty contest) Miss Prejean gave a carefully worded reply which reflected her personal opinion:

Well, I think it’s great that Americans are able to choose one or the other. We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage …. And you know what, in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offence to anybody out there, but that’s how I was raised and that’s how I think it should be – between a man and a woman. Thank you very much.

Let’s be clear here: This was a question in the “Personality” competition section of a beauty contest. She was asked a question by a celebrity judge, one who brought his personal baggage to bear in his judgements and influence. Miss Prejean gave a personal opinion as an answer, hedged her response carefully allowing that anyone could make their own choice, and moved on. Mr. Hilton however, would have none of it. On his personal blog, immediately after that exchange used a coarse term to refer to her, and stated later that he would have ‘ripped the tiara off her’ had she won. He also told ABC news that before that question she was the front runner, but afterward there was no way she would win

Clearly she was penalized for her spoken views. She made no mention of intent to force others to accept her views, to make them law, nor to prevent others from acting or legislating anything different. She has subsequently been the focus of attacks and a campaign to discredit her. All this because of her spoken words on a televised program in the United States

Consider also radio talk host, Michael Savage. He is a man of varied background and experience. He published several books under the name of Michael Weiner he has several degrees, including a PhD in something called “Nutritional Ethnomedicine.”  His radio persona, Michael Savage, host of the “Savage Nation” rails on various topics, focused upon a mantra of ” Borders, Language, Culture.” He attacks liberals, and those he believes are destroying the  historic culture of America. He surely does not sugar coat his views, and his show has grown to be among the top five radio talk shows in the nation.  His language is blunt, his opinions are fiercely held, and he simply will not allow dissenting callers to win. Particularly since the 9/11 attacks, he has sharpened the stick he uses to poke into the eye of his opponents. He uses what his detractors call offensive terms to demonize Islamic terrorists, democrats and liberals in government, and essentially anyone who disagrees with him. His intent to offend and bring on attacks was clearly demonstrated by the title of his NY Times best selling book ” Liberalism Is A Mental Disorder”. He clearly relishes the controversy.

Yesterday the British Government published a list of  “Named and Shamed” people who would not be permitted to enter Britain.  Jacqui Smith, Home Secretary published a list of names, stating that those named were barred from entry under a law introduced in 2005. The most famous application of the law was the prohibition of a Dutch member of Parliament, Geert Wilders,who had been invited by the British Parliment to present a short film about the dangers of radical Islamic terrorists.  The reason given by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith was that his entry might incite others to violence, due to his record of anti Islamic remarks and the film he was invited to present to the British Parliament.  

On that new list just released is none other than Michael Savage. It seems the land which gave the Magna Carta to the world now gives blacklists due to ‘offensive topics.’  Mr. Savage has announced plans to sue. England, which has libel laws which are quite different than those in the US, will  provide a venue which makes his victory quite likely. Unless, of course he is prevented from suing because of his offensive views.

We live in a time which is turning concepts of civilization inside out. Those who advocate for the destruction of our societies and government are given protected status. Those who speak against them are demonized and pushed aside, their views labeled as ‘too shocking’ to be permitted. Dissent is only allowed on one side of the debate.  Political issues are supposed to be the area of free wheeling and open debate. Now, in the two nations which blazed the path of freedom and open societies, minority opinions are the only opinions permitted.

We are being pulled along on a path to disintegration by an increasingly militant left which is abetted by activist courts and compliant legislators. The Federal Government is expanding scope and influence and crushing the liberty of individuals and the states which originally formed the nation. Politicians no longer stand on principle, or ideas, they run simply to obtain, and maintain a seat at the table of power. This was amply demonstrated by Senator Specter’s shift to the donkey party from the elephants. He made no attempt to disguise his reasons, he has openly said he knew he would lose his primary this year, and changed parties to keep his seat in the US Senate. In the past, this would have subjected him to rage and a demand that he resign. Now it is greeted with a shrug from his constituents, and a pat on the back from his media allies and his new party cronies. 

There must be a way for Americans who revere the founding principles of this nation to regain the momentum. We who believe that the Constitution was created to protect us from intrusive and oppressive government must find a way to restore that balance. We must look again to Thomas Jefferson:

“When governments fear the people there is liberty. When the people fear the government there is tyranny.”- Thomas Jefferson

Keep the Faith!

The Rev

Posted in Banned from England, Big Government, Bill of Rights, British Home Secretary, Carrie Prejean, Civil liberties, Constitution, Democrats, First Amendment, Founders, Free Speech, Freedom, Government Power, Islam, liberal court, Michael Savage, Political parties, Politics, Senate, State Supremacy, transnational law | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Dependency into Serfdom

Posted by revkharma on March 25, 2009

The newspaper industry has hit hard times. Old line papers are feeling a financial pinch, and many are either seeking mergers, or just shutting down the presses and quitting. When liberals see a problem, they generally have a solution to offer, and that is almost always the same: Government. In the case of newspapers, many in congress have been bouncing around some thoughts of a “Newspaper bailout bill”. The thinking seems to be that if the Federal government can use tax money to save financial business, and the auto industry they should do the same for newspapers. After all, everyone knows that the newspapers are just as important to the nation as any other institution.

The fact that the product being produced is less and less desired by their target consumers seems not even to enter into the calculations. The NY Times, and all the other long time liberal print outposts simply have a smaller and smaller audience, and refuse to adapt at all to changes in the media market. That is how business changes and grows.

But, to the current government, any problem needs intervention, and that must take the form of Government intervention. So Senator Benjamin Cardin (D) of Maryland has proposed a bill to rescue the failing newspaper industry.

This will make some fundamental changes to the newspaper industry. They will now be classed essentially as not for profit, educational entities. Ad revenue will not be taxed, and any contributions to the news gathering   functions will also be tax deductible. While papers will be able to continue to substantially report everything they currently do,they will be ‘prohibited from making political endorsements.’

Take a breath and think about this for a moment. The First Amendment to the US Constitution provides for a free press. This is one of the bedrock principles we established to curtail the power of the Government. It is one of the areas that virtually all Americans will agree on. A Free Press is essential to our liberty, and a vital check on government power running amuck.

Now, if this bill should be enacted, the papers will become, essentially wards of the State. Newspapers will still be nominally independent, but the financial life stream will no longer be free, and independent citizens, it will be Government funding, and tax shelters upon which they depend.

According to the bill, ‘Political Endorsements” are to be prohibited. What, exactly, will constitute a forbidden endorsement? Will it require specific wording such as ..” We endorse this person for this office?” Or will there be a commission established to police the forbidden zone of endorsements?  Currently, the FEC investigates violations of the various and complex election law. Imagine a newspaper having to navigate the regulatory tangles of a government established  “no endorsement” regime. Would some senator or congressional representative unhappy with an article or editorial call the newspaper executives in for a public hearing, as they did with the AIG exec?

Remember that with Government there is no ‘reverse gear’. Once in place power is not relinquished. Think, this is a government which characterizes a tax cut as an  expense or an unfair ‘payout’ the ‘more fortunate’.

AIG execs who received contractually required bonus payouts were subjected to a firestorm of criticism, since after all they had ‘taken government money’. Now Barney Frank, who was literally in bed with Fannie Mae while deflecting investigations of their finances, now wants to have government control of ALL financial companies, and to review any compensation to determine if, in his opinion, it is excessive.

Do the newspapers think that they will be spared such direct control of their actions and content?

What we are seeing here is nothing short of an attempt to destroy the First Amendment. Incredibly, the newspaper industry seems to be welcoming it. They will be comfortable, well fed and well maintained lap dogs of the government in no time at all. Combine this with a new ‘fairness doctrine’ to control TV and Radio, and all that is needed is some sort of control of internet media and we will have a government monopoly over all communications and media. Presto, freedom is gone. Bought and paid for at taxpayer expense. What starts out as ‘just a little support’ becomes the sole support, then becomes the chains that will bind us into slavery.

What is needed is a brake on all this, a firewall of some sort. There may just be some hope over the horizon. Look to the states. Many are currently considering ‘State Supremacy” legislation. Watch this space, as I will have much to say about that shortly.

Keep the Faith!

The Rev

Posted in bailout, Big Government, Bill of Rights, change, Civil liberties, Constitution, deception, First Amendment, Freedom, Government expansion, Government Power, governors, media bailout bill, Politics, White house | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

A Victory

Posted by revkharma on March 10, 2009

We talked about the bill in Connecticut to restrict the control of Roman Catholic parishes in that state. It seems that even the Democrat party is not immune from the backlash generated by their stupidity. The bill has been withdrawn. One thing to keep in mind is that this bill did not get stopped merely because it was wrong, nor because it was unconstitutional. This bill was withdrawn due to concerted effort and concentrated pressure from Americans who cared. I tip my hat to those in Connecticut who pulled the weight and made the noise to show they would not simply stand by  and surrender.

It’s a start, and a good one to remember!

Keep the Faith!

The Rev

Posted in Big Government, Bill of Rights, Bill of Rights under attack, Christianity, Civil liberties, Constitution, Faith under assault, First Amendment, Freedom of Religion | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

–URGENT–First Amendment Under Attack

Posted by revkharma on March 9, 2009

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. (First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. Submitted 9/25/1789. Adopted, 12/15/1791)

 

That seems pretty clear to me.  No law prohibiting the free exercise of religion. I don’t see any weasel words. I don’t see any hidden, dependant clauses. Nothing I can see  gives an option to restrict the freedom if someone does not like the way a religious group handles their finances. But—

 

There is a bit of legislation under consideration in Connecticut which will allow the state of Connecticut to dictate the terms and ororganization under which the Roman Catholic Church may operate.  I heard of this earlier, and simply did not believe what I heard. I thought for sure that it was being misrepresented. I thought for certain that this was going to turn out to be an ‘Urban Legend”.

Well I was wrong: This bill Number 1098 specifies the form and the makeup of the corporate board which is required for any Catholic parish in the state. Specifically it targets representative of the Diocese, preventing the Church hierarchy from holding voting seats. This  cannot be seen as anything other than the State of Connecticut interfering directly in the free exercise of a religious organization. While this bill specifically and directly targets one particular church, it can, and certainly will be used as a template to aggressively pursue the extinction of any Independence any churches hold within the state. If anyone in Connecticut can explain this to me in a way which casts it as anything other than insidious, I’d like to hear from  them.  Clearly this must not stand. even if you don’t live there, all Americans have a stake in repelling this face on assault on one of the most cherished freedoms in American history. Call, write, fax everyone you can find in Connecticut to stop this.

Keep the Faith!  ( and work to keep it FREE!)

The Rev

Posted in Big Government, Bill of Rights, Bill of Rights under attack, Christianity, Civil liberties, Constitution, Democrats, Faith, Faith under assault, Founders, Freedom, Government Power, laws, liberty | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »