Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hard Days for the First Amendment

Attempts to Chill Free Speech, Local and National:

Hundreds of thousands of marchers passed by the First Amendment etched in stone on September 12.

Don't Challenge County Assessments

At least that is the message being sent to attorney Francis Chester, who's attempt to roll back property values to 2005 levels was thrown out of court. Now the county wants to sanction him over the lawsuit. County officials should chill on this one. Residents and businesses faced the possibility of massive tax increases as assessors applied the spiked values of 2006 and largely ignored the subsequent fall of values. Although the rate was reduced there was no guarantee that this would happen. Mr. Chester's challenge was a reasonable exercise of First Amendment rights given the circumstances surrounding the assessment process this time.

Don't Read the Fine Print

HR 3200 was over a thousand pages and yet we were told that it had to be pushed through in record time. There wasn't time to read it. When we did get a chance to read it we were shocked to see the framework for rationing, including illegal aliens and many other problems. When Joe Wilson dared to point out the President's prevarication it was Wilson who was raked over the coals.

'Hate Crimes,' ENDA and the 'Fairness Doctrine'

These all have chilling effect on people exercising their rights. The party in power is the sole determiner of who is 'threatened' by certain ideas, who you might be required to hire even though they disagree with your moral standards and who on the radio needs to be 'balanced out.'

In a letter to the Democrat Base, Bill Clinton asserts: "...the Republican base is energized. Using ultra-conservatives like Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh, Dick Cheney and Sarah Palin..." Rush always makes the list. Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck do most of the time too. The point is that they consider certain voices "dangerous" and will use just about any legal technicality they can to silence them. They've used Limbaugh's statement: "I want everything he's doing to fail" as a stand alone quote, forgetting the fact that he's speaking of the largest expansion of government oversight ever envisioned.

So who's protecting our rights and freedoms? The American Civil Liberties Union claims to. In a letter to their base, the ACLU talks about "restoring our liberties and renewing American freedom." Sounds good, but read on: Their big priorities are as follows:

1. Ending U.S. involvement in warrantless eavesdropping on Americans. [apparently they forget the dangers we face from terrorists and the fact that their icon, JFK used it extensively, even considering Dr. Martin Luther King a potential threat].

2. Ending U.S. taxpayer support for "faith-based initiatives" that provide public funding for programs that practice religious discrimination. [problem is Faith based programs are effective, and those in prisons, for example, actually SAVE taxpayer dollars because of their strikingly lower recitivism rates].

3.Bringing the Patriot Act in line with the Constitution.

4. Ending government funding of abstinence-only programs. [why? they are effective and many parents WANT them].

5. Challenging restrictions on same-sex marriage and other forms of discrimination against LGBT people. [most States have voted to retain the traditional definition of marriage and that is what the majority wants, not restrictions on other forms of partnership].

6. Reversing policies that have thrown batrriers and restrictions in the path of women seeking to exercise their reproductive freedom. [that's a mouthful but it simply means ending any restrictions on abortion and making it a 'right'].

Also the letter waxes long about agressively investigating the Bush administration. Nowhere could I find a word about protecting our religious liberties or the freedom of our radio stations to broadcast unfettered by any 'fairness doctrine.' Nowhere did I see a committment to protect pastors' rights to free speech.

The ACLU was founded ninety years ago by Roger Baldwin. He was a socialist thinker who said things like: "America must follow the example of Stalin's Soviet Union where greater freedoms exist than anywhere else in the world". Wow, I never would have known from the history I read! Knowing America would never follow the path to 'social u[dys]topia because of her Judeo-Christian foundations, Baldwin set out to diminish the influence of Christianity in America.

For 80 years the ACLU has twisted the Constitution to exclude Christianity from the public square and the public discourse. That sense of mission is what drives the endless stream of lawsuits against prayer and Christian expression. That is why your kid's 'religious' message is excluded from the poster contest. That's why the school 'Winter Holiday' assembly is devoid of sacred traditional music. Thankfully there is the Alliance Defense Fund [click to read] which was founded to counter this destructive movement.

Her Passion Speaks for Millions

Today on Rush Limbaugh's show a woman named Susan called. Her passion and frustration were evident over a president and Congress who seem determined NOT to hear the voice of the American people. Rush let her talk for ten minutes and then only interrupted her for the required commercial break. Then he brought her back for more. She lamented that there seemed to be nothing she could do.

May I suggest that Susan's ten minutes are what the First Amendment is all about.

A lot of us were listening to our radios and we stopped what we were doing to follow her more closely. She spoke for all of us.

Listen to Susan [click to listen] at

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