Posts tagged free speech
California Student Banned from Handing Out Constitutions on Campus
While this story is a few days old, I didn’t have a chance to watch the video until last night. It is pretty disturbing. First of all, this student merely wanted to hand out copies of the Constitution to fellow students on Constitution Day, on public grounds at a public university in which he is enrolled. The most ridiculous part of the saga emerges when he engages in a conversation with an administrator at the Office of Student Development and Campus Life. Here the lady instructs him that he “needs to represented by a club” to hand things out. Then she informs him of a “free speech area,” which is preposterous to begin with, but it gets worse. This is what the “free speech area” looks like (the orange circle):
Not only that, but apparently you need to fill out an application to be permitted to engage in free speech within the free speech area itself! She informed him of some available dates.
Image credit: http://libertyblitzkrieg.com
Diane Feinstein defines free speech, the 1st Amendment, a “privilege.” (Video)
Matt Drudge was right when he said last week that Ms. Feinstein was acting is a fascistic way. The woman is breathtaking in her control freakiness. Just watch this video. She has no qualms trashing the most fundamental right there is, to speak freely.
The great unwashed have been given a voice in the Internet which is troublesome in her view. We must license journalism. If it is licensed, the state can control it.
It appears that she holds ordinary citizens who would speak up against the power structure in deep disdain. She may dislike them as much as she dislikes ordinary citizens with guns. Likely she just assumes the two groups are probably the same folks for the most part anyway and should therefore be systematically curtailed.
Feinstein misses the days when her chief of staff could call up a reporter and threaten his or her job if the reporter said the wrong thing about the Senator. Now, people can say whatever they want, and that is a bad thing in the Senator’s view.
Total free speech on the Internet does not produce a poorer product as many in the the power establishment both in Congress and in the #oldmedia assert. Yes there’s lots of crap on the Internet. There are plenty of BS stories about nonsense. But people quickly ferret out poor reporting or analysis. Bad stories are vetted within minutes of posting. Reputations are on the line, all the time. It’s the market of ideas.
Ms. Feinstein is not known as a friend of the market mechanism.
The Senator’s effort to clamp down on free speech is in no way in the interest of the American people. Her efforts are in her interest, and those of her sponsors who fear an empowered American public.
That’s why we must fight her efforts.
Just an aside–How much fun do you think it would be to work in her office?
Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org
German Artist Faces Criminal Charges for Projecting Kim Dotcom Image on U.S. Embassy
In case you missed it, last Sunday German artist Oliver Bienkowski projected a giant image of Kim Dotcom on the U.S. embassy in Berlin coupled with the phrase “United Stasi of America.” The entire thing lasted about 30 seconds and was extremely good natured and humorous. However, it seems German “authorities” don’t appreciate being out-Stasied by the USSA, and in an attempt to demonstrate their authoritarianism are looking to criminally charge Mr. Bienkowski. After all, in the Western “civilized” world these days, freedom of speech leads to criminal charges, while the theft of trillions leads to bonuses and promotions. From ArsTechnica:
A German artist may now potentially face criminal charges in Germany after he projected a huge image onto the walls of the United States Embassy in Berlin last Sunday.
The image was of fellow German Kim Dotcom, the embattled founder of Megaupload, along with the phrase “United Stasi of America,” referring to the secret police of former East Germany. Oliver Bienkowski videoed the event and set the video to a song that Dotcom had previously recorded, entitled “Mr. President,” which includes lines like: “What about free speech, Mr. President?”
His possible crime? Violation of Paragraph 103 of the German Penal Code (Google Translate), which forbids insulting foreign heads of state, members of foreign governments, or other foreign diplomatic staff in Germany—and is punishable by “up to three years in prison.” If combined with libel charges, that sentence can increase to up to five years.
Watch the video yourself to witness this heinous crime of human expression.
Produced and uploaded by:
Gary Franchi interviews James Corbett connecting from Japan on Next News Network on various topics including the future of 3D printing, intellectual property, free speech, upcoming government regulations, local drone surveillance and much more.
It’s time to admit that we live in a false economy. Smoke and mirrors are used to make us believe the economy is real, but it’s all an elaborate illusion.
Out of one side of the establishment’s mouth we hear excitement about “green shoots”, and out of the other side comes breathless warnings of fiscal cliffs and the urgent need for unlimited bailouts by the Fed.
We hear the people begging for jobs and the politicians promising them, but politicians can’t create jobs. We see people camped out to buy stuff on Black Friday indicating the consumer economy is seemingly thriving, only to find out everything was bought on credit.
The corporate media does their best to distract us from seeing anything real. We see the media glorify Kim Kardashian who got rich by being famous, and became famous merely by being rich. She got front page coverage on Huffington Post this week because her cat died. Enough said.
Meanwhile the financial media makes the economy seem complicated and they ban anyone who speaks truthfully about the economy from their airwaves.
Is it any wonder why people are angry and confused about the economy?
Being absent from a federal no-fly list might not mean you won’t be hassled the next time you enter an US airport. The Transportation and Security Administration is constructing a new list of known “low risk” passengers.
According to the November 19 Federal Register newsletter put out by the US government, the TSA is trying to put together a new roster of airport patrons who may be a cause for concern but not necessarily dangerous enough to be added to the no-fly list that contains suspected terrorists and other persons of interest.
By Teri Webster
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will face some push-back during the big Thanksgiving travel week, as part of the Alex-Jones-ordered “Opt Out and Film Week.”
From Nov. 19 through Nov. 26, Jones is encouraging travelers to refuse to go through the radiation-laden body scanners. They should also film the invasive body pat-down that will likely ensue if they decide to opt-out.
The movement is designed to expose the practices of the TSA and help preserve basic human rights while traveling.
Some of the abuses of the TSA chronicled recent months include manhandling children, the elderly, severely ill and disabled passengers; stealing from passengers, testing drinks that travelers purchased inside airports and ordering travelers to freeze on command.
Infowars.com gives the following reasons to participate in the opt-out movement:
*Protesting the increased cancer risks and possible DNA damages associated with backscatter body scanners.
*The TSA has no right to take, transmit and file X-ray photographs that reduce travelers to naked pieces of documentation.
*The TSA is more interested in teaching you to submit to authority than teaching you the importance of airport security.
Jones and his crew have provided flyers to be printed out and used for the week-long event.
In a prepared statement, Jones said:
“Infowars is pioneering a new civil rights movement that is not based around race, sex or any other minority issue. The fact that our rights are being violated and characterized as suspicious and terroristic threatens the freedom of every individual, no matter from what what race, gender or creed they originate.
We are being systematically intimidated out of expressing our right to free speech as part of the advancement towards a new dark age of tyranny.”
Jones cautioned participants that even though it is technically legal to film the TSA, participants can expect to face harassment or arrest for standing up to the agency.
In 2010, the TSA shut off the body scanner machines nation-wide after citizens planned an opt-out protest. Jones has said that proves the system is not based on real security concerns, but serves as a mechanism to humiliate and domesticate the American public.
The TSA is already removing some of the body scanners from airports. Part of the reason for the removal of the machines is the naked images they produce, according to USA Today.
Wade Hicks was en route to a US Navy base in Japan to see his wife when armed military guards informed him that they had other plans. Hicks, an American citizen with no criminal record, had just been put added to a federal no-fly list.
After being escorted off his plane during a routine re-fueling stop on the Pacific Island of Oahu, Hicks, 34, was left stranded in Hawaii this week. In an interview, he suggests that his opposition to a newly-created law that allows for the indefinite detention of US citizens at military prisons without charge or trial could be to blame for his mistreatment.
“I was very, very vocal about the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and I did contact my representative” about it, Hicks tells talk show host Doug Hagmann. “I do believe that this is tied in some way to my free speech and my political view.”
According to Hicks, he has little reason to believe otherwise. He tells Hagmann that he formerly worked as a contractor for the US Department of Defense and has undergone extensive background checks in order to obtain an enhanced license that allows him to carry a concealed firearm. Hicks says he also holds on to a special identification card issued by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the US Homeland Security Department sub-agency that administers pat-downs and screenings at airports across the country. An investigation carried out by Hagmann has led him to locating no criminal history for the man whatsoever.
By Amber Lyon
Posted on October 10, 2012
Journalists rarely take a vocal stand against legislation in order to remain objective, but sometimes new laws are such an egregious assault on our basic rights to democracy and freedom that we have a duty to speak up.
This is the case with the National Defense Authorization Act, a relatively new law that gives the U.S. military the power to detain anyone without trial indefinitely, further criminalizing dissent and investigative journalism in the United States.
What does the NDAA do?
The NDAA gives the federal government the power to behave like dictators and arrest any American citizen, or anyone for that matter, without warrant and indefinitely detain them in offshore prisons without charge and keep them there until “the end of hostilities.”
The American Civil Liberties Union, calls the law a “catastrophic blow to civil liberties”.
Obama lied to the public and said he would veto the NDAA’s indefinite detention clauses. Instead, he surreptitiously signed the NDAA into law on Dec. 31, 2011 while most Americans were distracted celebrating New Years Eve. Both Romney and Obama have publicly stated their support for the new law.
“I’m not doing anything wrong, I don’t need to worry about the NDAA”
You do need to worry. The NDAA directly affects your everyday life because it is another violation of your rights to free speech, a fair trial. The NDAA also suffocates information that could expose the corruption that’s rapidly destroying this country and affecting you financially.
The NDAA will prevent some whistleblowers from coming forward with information and documents vital to the public good in fear the corrupt will pressure authorities to use the NDAA to detain the whistleblower indefinitely.
We need to reward, not instill fear in our whistleblowers. They are vital to the survival of this nation. If we don’t know what’s broke, how can we fix it? What if a government whistleblower had come forward before the start of the war to let the public know Saddam Hussein really didn’t have weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?
Investigative Journalists could start being ‘disappeared’ under the NDAA
The NDAA frightens journalists because it turns us into criminals. There are no provisions within the law to protect journalists. As journalists, we take a vow to never reveal our confidential sources. If the U.S. government, or corrupt corporations pressuring authorities, want information on our confidential sources, the NDAA gives them the power to indefinitely detain us by saying the refusal to reveal sources is an act that is “aiding terrorists” .
We are all ‘terrorists’
Another disturbing aspect of the NDAA is that it allows the government to imprison anyone suspected of or even associated with ‘terrorism’. This power is open to wide interpretation under the law and can and will be abused.
Who in the heck is a terrorist anymore? We’ve witnessed the U.S. government and Military-industrial complex mold the term ‘terrorist’ to their subjective and financial goals too many times to trust any use of that word. Even Nobel Peace Prize-winner Nelson Mandela was once considered a terrorist by governments worldwide and put on U.S. terrorist watch lists.
As Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges told Democracy Now, the term ‘terrorist’ is too loose so what the NDAA is really doing is setting up a legal mechanism to criminalize dissent.
“We saw an attempt to link the U.S. Day of Rage with Al Qaeda. Once they link you with a terrorist group, then these draconian forms of control can be used against legitimate forms of protest, in particularly the Occupy Movement,” Hedges said. Corrupt corporations can use the NDAA to pressure the government to crush banking protests, environmental protests, strikes… it’s a slippery slope.
The NDAA will be used to crush protests
Possibly most disturbing is the NDAA’s power to crush all dissent and protests in the U.S., protests that are vital to free speech, change, the survival of democracy.
What will keep the government, possibly under pressure from banks, corporations and the Military-industrial complex, from starting to list various protesters and organizations as terrorists? What will happen when protesters stop voicing their concerns or hitting the streets because they fear they will ‘disappear’ under the NDAA?
The systematic crushing of dissent through NDAA-esque powers is already happening in this country. The family of U.S. Marine Veteran Brandon Raub, says he was kidnapped by law enforcement after posting anti-U.S. government statements on Facebook.
We must rise up and take action to stop the NDAA before it’s too late. Here’s more information on the law and ways you can get involved:
Additional Amber Lyon related posts can be found by following the links below:
Posted by Karen Lehrke
Written By Barry Ritholtz
The Left Right Paradigm is Over: Its You vs. Corporations
Every generation or so, a major secular shift takes place that shakes up the existing paradigm. It happens in industry, finance, literature, sports, manufacturing, technology, entertainment, travel, communication, etc.
I would like to discuss the paradigm shift that is occurring in politics.
For a long time, American politics has been defined by a Left/Right dynamic. It was Liberals versus Conservatives on a variety of issues. Pro-Life versus Pro-Choice, Tax Cuts vs. More Spending, Pro-War vs Peaceniks, Environmental Protections vs. Economic Growth, Pro-Union vs. Union-Free, Gay Marriage vs. Family Values, School Choice vs. Public Schools, Regulation vs. Free Markets.
The new dynamic, however, has moved past the old Left Right paradigm. We now live in an era defined by increasing Corporate influence and authority over the individual. These two “interest groups” – I can barely suppress snorting derisively over that phrase – have been on a headlong collision course for decades, which came to a head with the financial collapse and bailouts. Where there is massive concentrations of wealth and influence, there will be abuse of power. The Individual has been supplanted in the political process nearly entirely by corporate money, legislative influence, campaign contributions, even free speech rights.
This may not be a brilliant insight, but it is surely an overlooked one. It is now an Individual vs. Corporate debate – and the Humans are losing.
• Many of the regulations that govern energy and banking sector were written by Corporations;
• The biggest influence on legislative votes is often Corporate Lobbying;
• Corporate ability to extend copyright far beyond what original protections amounts to a taking of public works for private corporate usage;
• PAC and campaign finance by Corporations has supplanted individual donations to elections;
• The individuals’ right to seek redress in court has been under attack for decades, limiting their options.
• DRM and content protection undercuts the individual’s ability to use purchased content as they see fit;
• Patent protections are continually weakened. Deep pocketed corporations can usurp inventions almost at will;
• The Supreme Court has ruled that Corporations have Free Speech rights equivalent to people; (So much for original intent!)
None of these are Democrat/Republican conflicts, but rather, are corporate vs. individual issues.
For those of you who are stuck in the old Left/Right debate, you are missing the bigger picture. Consider this about the Bailouts: It was a right-winger who bailed out all of the big banks, Fannie Mae, and AIG in the first place; then his left winger successor continued to pour more money into the fire pit.
What difference did the Left/Right dynamic make? Almost none whatsoever.