Monday, November 22, 2004

Liberal ACLU Strikes Again

The evil ACLU has struck again: undermining all that is wholesome and good in American society.


Newsday


"The American Civil Liberties Union says the First Amendment was made for nights like this. The group has turned the street preachers into symbols of free speech - fighting, sometimes in noisy confrontations, for their right to spread the gospel on the Las Vegas Strip."

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Damn Straight!

It is exactly people like Belling who should be the poster-child for Free Speech. You'll note the author is a member of the ACLU... a fact that will be forgotten in the next round of ACLU bashing.

The Capital Times (Madison, WI)

Demanding that Belling never again be allowed to utter his inflammatory opinions on the air reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of free speech. The solution to offensive speech in a free society has always been more speech, not less.

Move Away From the Remote, and Just watch the Commerical

So, I just have to wonder, how on earth were they planning on enforcing THIS particular element of the IPPA?

Technology Review (MIT)


"How can this be possible? Because language that makes fast-forwarding through commercials illegal—no doubt inserted at the behest of lobbyists for the advertising industry—was inserted into a bill that would allow people to fast forward past objectionable sections of a recorded movie (and I bet you already thought that was OK). And that’s but one, albeit scary, scenario that may come to pass if the Intellectual Property Protection Act is enacted into law. Deliberations on this legislation will be one of the tasks for the lame-duck Congress that commenced this week."

Slippery Slope Revisited: Lack of standards creates censorship

Censorship is more of a blunt weapon than it is a precise and delicate instrument.


Sun-Sentinel (FL)


" The censorship does not have to be explicit and defined in order to be effective. The threat of future action based on recent changes in the official stance of the agency is sufficient to be an effective censorship due to self-imposed caution by the media.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Those pesky holiday displays -- complete with Pink Flamingos

Boston Globe Online


"Last winter, Laffey encouraged residents to put seasonal displays he deemed appropriate on City Hall's front lawn. First a menorah went up, then an inflatable snowman and Santa Claus, and after that a Nativity scene appeared. Then, a flock of plastic flamingos showed up, sponsored by a Cranston-resident who said the birds represented the ''Church of the Pink Flamingo,'' a church he made up as a tongue-and- cheek protest against the holiday display."



I think as long as the participants are chosen by lottery, and that there is a good faith attempt made to allow as many people as possible to participate, this isn't a bad thing at all. Oh... and as long as Laffey isn't "approving" of the displays. That goes without saying.

In fact, I think more municipalities should create more public forums dedicated to free speech.

Monday, November 15, 2004

What I Believe, Too.


This letter to the Democrats comes closer to stating what I believe than much of anything else I've read:


"The Democrats should drop the essentially Republican third of their current members, and consolidate as a union, environmental, and peace -- anti-imperial and anti-corporate -- party. As such, they would drop to perhaps 30% support among the public, but they would live forever. To signal this change, they would elevate Ralph Nader to the leadership position, and the campaign positions of Dennis Kucinich would represent the typical middle of the revised party."


Manuel Garcia Jr's Dear Democrats

More from the Slippery Slope

Alameda Times-Star Online

"How did a patriotic movie about young men giving their lives for their country turn into such a hot-button issue?
On Veteran's Day, ABC decided to continue its tradition of showing the unedited version of Steven Spielberg's passionate plaudit, "Saving Private Ryan."

While ABC-owned stations, including KGO-Channel 7 in San Francisco, aired the World War II movie, 66 ABC affiliate stations owned by a variety of companies, including Cox Television (which also owns KTVU-Channel 2, the Bay Area's Fox affiliate station), did not -- out of fear.

Stations located in Atlanta, Dallas, Honolulu, New Orleans, Milwaukee, Phoenix, Orlando, Fla., Charlotte, N.C., and Portland, Maine, decided not to air the movie because they might get fined for the movie's profanity."




I think this is just a fine of example of what they call the chilling of Free Speech. Howard Stern gets hit with record fines, and now some stations are afraid to air Saving Private Ryan unedited. Coincidence? I don't think so.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Veteran fights for free speech

So, is this anti-war vet going to be demonized as well? LOLOL.. in this case, I'd put my money on Joe.

PittsburghLive


"Joe DeMaria spent 44 days in combat during World War II against the Japanese on the island of Iwo Jima. Nearly 60 years later, he still speaks of the experience with a sense of awe and dread. The Marine Corps veteran of one of the war's bloodiest battles also has some strong opinions about waging war."

continues....

"The wording of DeMaria's sign changes occasionally, but the basic message contends that American troops should never enter combat unless first attacked. "I thought the same thing during the Korean War and Vietnam, too," said DeMaria, who was wounded twice while serving with the 5th Marines Division."

and.....

"I went outside and a carload of young college kids were trying to vandalize the sign so I confronted them," he said. DeMaria stood his ground and demanded the students replace the plastic letters they had removed from his sign.

"They said they thought my sign was anti-patriotic, but I asked them, if that's the case, why didn't they quit college and go enlist in the military and do their part in Iraq or Afghanistan like guys I knew did back when we were still just teenagers," he said."




Thursday, November 04, 2004

Church, State and a cool website

With the election just past... and a pretty grim Tuesday it was for me... I got to thinking even more about the separation of Church and State. In the process of knocking around the internet, I found a pretty nifty site that contains a ton of U.S. historical documents (I wonder how many digital images and e-text it would take to make a ton?). You can find them at the Avalon Project at Yale Law School.

Thomas Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia

"The rights of conscience we never submitted, we could not submit. We are answerable for them to our God. The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."

Thomas Jefferson

To my mind, this applies directly to the question of Gay marriage. Gay marriage is not injurious to anyone. The primary opposition to gay marriage is based upon religious belief... and that is not an issue that Government should address.



Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Here's a confession I must make: Ich bin ein American

The Herald - November 3 2004

This is a very interesting perspective from a Scottish journalist. Some of my favorite lines:

"George W Bush has alienated much of the world by his belligerent response to 9/11 and even America's closest friends were appalled by the election campaign, the dirtiest in memory. It was politics as horror-show – a cynical billion-dollar grudge match played with all the sincerity and integrity of WWF wrestling."

"Similarly, the freedom given to capital to influence the outcome of elections has been rightly denounced as democracy-for-sale. But in a free country it is very hard to stop people first of all acquiring money and then using it to project political or moral views. We don't complain when the former banker, George Soros, uses his billions to oppose war and promote environmentalism."

Monday, November 01, 2004

ACLU Scolds Missouri High School for Censoring Gay Student

American Civil Liberties Union

"This school allows its students to freely express their views on gay and lesbian rights - but only if they’re on the anti-gay side of the issue," said Jolie Justus, a member of the legal panel for the ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri, noting that bumperstickers in favor of Missouri’s recently-passed anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment are ubiquitous in the school’s hallways and parking lot. "This is a classic case of censorship. Brad Mathewson has the same Constitutional right to political speech and expression that the Supreme Court says all students have."

Damn. Why can't they just stay quiet and not insist on being proud of who they are? I would sure hate for those anti-gay folk to be offended. I mean, what is the point of being anti-gay if you have to listen to the other side?