Freedom of Speech
We have no doubt that most of us living in this country think having free speech is comparative to natural or human rights; meaning, that the ability to speak freely within the United States is a given. In fact we live in the most outspoken society on earth. Americans are freer to think what we will and say what we think than any other people, and freer today than in the past. Notwithstanding anything a person would be right in that assessment – however, it was not always the case.
We can bare the secrets of our government and on the other end of the extreme speak of our exploits in the bedroom. We can denounce our leaders, each other, or anything without the worry of consequences. There is almost no chance that a court will stop us from publishing what we wish in print, on the air, or on the Internet.
And then we have those “hatemonger’s” that will go around espousing as much hateful and shocking expression, either political, artistic, and as such those very demented people are almost free to enter the marketplace of ideas.
Almost every other nation that we’ve been to, we try and think that given matters of speech that other nations are just like ours; however, the exact opposite is true. The United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia have many more rules which to follow regarding restrictions on what can be said pursuant to the political schemata, leaders, and laws. It all comes down to the decision and fourteen words express: “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.”
Today on the other hand every president is the target of criticism and ugly mockery. It is inconceivable that even the exaggerated and most toxic critic would be imprisoned for their words. If such a prosecution were attempted the courts would throw it out as in definite conflict with the First Amendment. So something has happened to those fourteen words of speech and press clauses. Somehow their meaning has changed: judges’ and the general public have been conditioned to accept that there are perhaps different understandings in the meaning of those words.
Please – all of us remember that judges are directly influenced by the attitudes of their society – and please remember that there are forever political consequences once one attends to the bench. So history, law, and culture contribute to the process of defining what the Constitution commands.
This is the exact reason why we espouse the nature of our society including its norms, values, ethics, traditions, and historicity so that other people who move here who are elected to office may have a different say, Hidden Agenda.
The language of the amendment sounds all-embracing, satisfaction guaranteed, warm and cozy; but does it really mean that the law can act against anything either spoken or in print? Hardly! Blackmail is carried on by speech or writing as is blatant and reckless fabrications of the truth. (See Stolen Valor Act, Public Law No: 109-437). The First Amendment does not protect the blackmailer – or the gangster who threatens violence if his demands are not met. The First Amendment is not a license to publish a copyrighted work without permission.
On the contrary, the First Amendment has been interpreted to protect some actions that are not literally spoken or printed. This of course is the Stromberg case. Yetta Stromberg did not use words; she was prosecuted for carrying a red flag. The Supreme Court saw that as symbolic speech, the beginning of a long line of cases in which expressive acts have been protected. This is exactly what we meant about the ellipses’ part; such as, “…no law…abridging the freedom of speech or of the press.”
One very notable example was the 1989 decision in Texas v. Johnson, reversing, on First Amendment grounds, a conviction for burning the American flag in a political demonstration.
Therefore, how then is a judge to interpret the First Amendment? One approach would be to look at what James Madison, its drafter and those who voted for it in 1791 thought they were doing. After all, they prohibited Congress from “abridging the freedom of speech…” The word “the” can be read to mean what was understood at the time to be included in the concept of free speech.
The trouble with that particular approach, or one trouble, is that it is not at all clear what the Framers of the First Amendment had in mind. No definitions of freedom were offered in the congressional consideration, so far as we know, and it is impossible to get any useful guidance on the views of the many state legislators who voted to ratify the amendment.
The evident truth is that those who gave us the First Amendment did not provide a detailed code of how it was to be applied – and as most scholars would agree – is that the Framers did not want to. They deliberately wrote a spacious amendment – a sweeping command” as Justice Holmes put it in his Abrams dissent – and left it to later generations to apply its broad call for freedom to particular situations.
This is where many experts and scholars attest to the brilliance of the Constitution; insofar as it appears to be a timeless document especially when one looks at what particular rights and liberties that is currently under a huge amount of scrutiny. What would the Founders think if come hell or high water an American citizen could be taken off the street and without anything be incarcerated with any due-process rights?
As stated previously, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes and Justice Brandeis contributed more toward the understanding of the First Amendment than we will ever begin to appreciate. Hopefully in our next installment we will begin to bring you that portion.
Please think this ideology – defining freedom – as thoroughly and critically as possible. We hear people almost seven days a week talk about their various freedoms, their lost liberties, and the entire gambit of “my rights.” All one needs to do is look at the front page of this blog for an examination of how the United States is dealing with those various freedoms of due-process, citizenship, and a quick look at just below the header where the separate pages are to look at Freedom of Speech. That is where we want to start today with a brief history of that portion of the 1st Amendment that entails that:
Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech or of the press.”
We will be looking primarily at years’ worth of Supreme Court rulings, as well as some original intent and original meanings as set forth by the Framers of our Constitution. We believe that many of you will be outright surprised at how little was originally done with this provision; furthermore, we are sure you will be excited to find out where notions such as expression, lying, slander, libel, and other matters of free speech have come into fruition.
Interestingly we start in the year 1931 when a majority on the Supreme Court began enforcing the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech primarily during the case of Stromberg v. California. A California law forbade the display of a red flag “as a sign, symbol, or emblem of opposition to organized government.” The Court held the statute unconstitutional: the first time it had ever done so in the name of the First Amendment.
Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes, who had joined the Court a year earlier, wrote the opinion for a 7-to-2 majority.
”The maintenance of the opportunity for free public discussion to the end that government may be responsible to the will of the people and that changes may be obtained by lawful means,” Hughes wrote, “is a fundamental principle of our constitutional system.” The rhetoric did not have the thrill of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes or of Justice Brandeis, yet it operated from their premise: that free speech was a basic American value that repression was not to be tolerated to prevent some dim and distant bad tendency.
Just in case you missed it – Justices’ Holmes and Brandeis – through their discussion, writings, interactions with others, perhaps did more to advance the understanding and morality of the First Amendment than even George Mason and James Madison did.
Once the Court embarked on enforcing the First Amendment as law, it faced a whole new task: defining it from case to case what the words of the amendment mean. Sure, that sounds simple right? Seriously what could be more direct than the command, “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press”? However in fact, giving concrete meaning to those words was a daunting, and endless job.
For our part as writers, we have decided to keep each one of the series installments short, succinct, and to the point; therefore, they will all be about this length. In addition, we would like to ask you (as well as to inform) why some amendments are so precisely enacting while others may contain ellipses’.
Don’t know if anyone caught it or not; however, there seems to be an interplay going on within the journalism profession – not between journalists mind you, but rather various agencies not recognizing certain bloggers’ writing; subsequently, making the procurement of various “press passes” on and off limits to those individuals or companies who tend to write harshly about issues that are well within First Amendment.
Apparently the rudimentary cause was that journalists, bloggers, or both were writing with multiple quotes by precise persons; however, when contempt became an issue the irony is that most were unable to either repeat the quote or otherwise simply in the privacy of chambers the aforementioned stood on their First Amendment rights of withholding who in fact their sources were or if they even existed.
As far as blogging goes we tend to agree with Mr. Will. We believe that all journalism should be treated with respect and held in the highest accord. Not to be misunderstood however, there are several million blogs that publish regularly that end up casting a shadow on some of the most gifted and talented investigative reporting we’ve ever seen.
Who knew who Bob Woodward or Carl Bernstein were prior to Watergate? Moreover, when one looks at the early years of the 1970s (The Pentagon Papers, Watergate, Nixon’s resignation, and several other matters) we believe restored a much needed shot in the arm for the newspaper industry.
What we all should know is that the largest portion of those who had difficulty with press credentials were those bloggers who were coming to us live – from Occupy Los Angeles upwards and in Seattle, Washington; nonetheless the majority were inflammatory trying to make a cause when one was not fully available.
We are of the position that the world is scoring the limits of the Internet Age and many, many folks are pushing the envelope in matters where they certainly have not been before. Moreover, we view this current trend in blogging to be a statement on behalf of public positions as well as the making of public policy.
We deliberately wrote this article in the fashion that it is with paragraph and then quote insofar as the City Journal is one of those publications that has sorted the ingredients and is now becoming a most sought after timely publications in the nation.
What a lovely Friday! Every now and again something that we believe in, abide by, and is at the center of so much attention gets addressed. Here is one of those ‘feel good’ types of the way it needs to be done.
Here’s the background, quickly: Recently, two student groups at George Mason University School of Law, the Federalist Society and the Jewish Law Students Association, have taken heat for inviting controversial activist Nonie Darwish to campus for a lecture. Specifically, the Council on American-Islamic Relations called on the school to disinvite Darwish because of her past statements regarding Islam. (Above the Law has more.)
So what happened next? Did GMU cancel the speech, as other institutions have done when faced with calls for disinvitations of unpopular or controversial speakers? Did it impose heavy security fees on the student groups, a sadly common tactic for campus censors looking to silence outside speakers?
No. Instead, GMU School of Law Dean Daniel Polsby got it exactly right. In a statement sent to students and faculty late last week, Polsby issued a stirring defense of free speech on campus.
I’m very pleased to reprint his statement in full:
It appears that there is need to clarify the policy affecting speakers at the law school.
Student organizations are allocated budget by the Student Bar Association in order to allow them, among other things, to bring speakers to the law school. Neither the law school nor the university can be taken to endorse such speakers or what they say.
Law school administration is not consulted about these invitations, nor should we be. Sometimes speakers are invited who are known to espouse controversial points of view. So be it. So long as they are here, they are free to say whatever is on their mind within the bounds of law. They cannot be silenced and they will not be.
Just as speakers are free to speak, protesters are free to protest. They must do so in a place and in a manner that respects the rights of speakers to speak and listeners to listen, and that is in all other ways consistent with the educational mission of the university. Student organizations which hold contrary points of view have every right to schedule their own programs with their own speakers, and these speakers’ rights will be protected in just the same way.
The law school will not exercise editorial control over the words of speakers invited by student organizations, nor will we take responsibility for them, nor will we endorse or condemn them. There has to be a place in the world where controversial ideas and points of view are aired out and given space. This is that place.
Daniel D. Polsby
Professor of Law, Dean
With respect to the Founder’s of our nation, whilst in preparation for the body of the Constitution, as most know took literally years to develop the various branches of government contained in the Articles. Moreover, it was not as one would imagine fifty-five men in Philadelphia rolling chicken bones, drinking the best beer and ales, amid the biggest party known up to that point in history.
Oh contraire! If a person really wanted to enact anything, albeit a speech, opinion, motion, or any direct change to the existing Articles of Confederation, one had better come prepared; one had better thoroughly perceive their initiative from all angles and be able to defend with debate why their way was a better way.
In fact, James Madison often referred to as “Father of the Constitution,” had Thomas Jefferson send him as many books as possible from France–the great philosophers, historians, archeologists, political scientists, and in the summer of 1786 when two truckloads of books arrived at Madison’s estate–the summer he had so longed for was finally at hand. James Madison had a theory; he was to challenge the Articles of Confederation; and, he took that summer to read from the ‘Greats’ and build his foundation for debate.
Some of this writing may serve as a short refresher, for others perhaps something new, yet let us all be reminded that the U.S. Constitution came before the Bill of Rights not vice-versa. In fact, just about every entity concerned-the ‘Several States’-already had their own Bill’s of Rights and most of the states were either working hard on achieving their States’ Constitutions or, they had already finished.
Furthermore, as some would argue and rightfully so, George Mason’s Declaration of Rights, which is certainly the precursor to the Bill of Rights, had been working successfully in Virginia since their adoption. Mason in fact, was so serious that either a retooled Virginia’s Declaration of Rights, or a Bill drafted and included in the U.S. Constitution, that without such, he walked out of the Philadelphia Convention and did not return. George Mason was a committed man and could not imagine a government who did not attend to people’s natural rights.
For the sake of this writing and a few to accompany it, the purpose is to make clear the meaning, intention, and understanding of, and starting with the 1st Amendment-in particular-the notion of freedom of speech.
No matter how one perceives themselves, and all the prominence the world could offer, liberties without conscience are inexcusable. In other words, if one intends on speaking freely-this means that upon engaging to speak one must do so with conscience.
During this election year it seems as though many of the ‘Talking Heads’ on television, pundits and quasi-commentators, need to understand that unrestrained speech is just like a tiny morsel of chocolate; that although it tastes sweet on the tongue and reaches the innermost parts of our being, that if indulged upon will cause ugly consequences.
This is number one in a series on the 1st Amendment.
American’s were not the first to engage in individual liberties or write the first document to guarantee it. Seriously, the basis of human freedom can be found so much earlier in such contrasting sources as the Bible, Eastern and Mid-Eastern religious writings and just about all regions involved in the political culture of the ‘classical world.’
The notion of natural–law and natural–rights doctrines have permeated most cultures throughout history by ancient, medieval, and early modern writers such as John Locke, Adam Smith, John Stuart Mills, Descartes, Thomas Aquinas, and of course the philosopher’s of the day whatever region they represented.
Understanding the rationale of such movements as the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Enlightenment including “The Glorious Revolution” as some dubbed the period when English, Dutch, German, Scandinavian, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese began sailing for new lands for religious tolerance and other abuses.
Everything up to this point has involved the human condition. In every culture throughout history where there are two humans, unfortunately there is war. It’s ugly I agree. But truth be told, this is a fact, and if anything is ‘human nature’ fighting is it.
Therefore the rise of social–contract philosophy and especially for post revolutionary America, England’s Common Law, their well-documented freedom documents such as the Magna Carta (1205 AD), the Petition of Rights (1628), and the (English) Bill of Rights (1689) stood stalwart as the precursors’ of the U.S. Constitution. However, those who lived in America-for the most part-where of English descent and were considered ‘British Subjects’ and held fast to English common law.
We are addressing a “revolution” no different than any other country with makeshift leadership that would have resembled any modern day revolutionary.
Therefore, when one discusses the Revolutionary period it would be advisable to think of Washington, Hamilton, John Jay, Jefferson and Madison, and many others in the same vernacular as Fidel Castro, Ché Guevara, Eva ‘Evita’ Peron, or any other persons going against not only the status quo, be mindful please that these men and women were in fact, committing treason.
Make no mistake it was the British who gave us the laws and rights, only to turn and violate those very rights. The only way to establish them again would be to codify individual rights in writing and serve notice to the Crown. Although there had been 3 or 4 generations of ‘home rule’ with little intervention from the Crown, when British-Americans started trading with other countries, and developing new products, this unrestrained entity (the ‘Colonies’) started receiving the wrath of the heavily fortified British Army and Navy
So try to imagine this: Your grandparents sailed to a new land, and before landing made a ‘Compact’ right there on the ship. Having landed and starting to colonize forming communities, counties, colonies with legislative bodies, courts, and lawyers.
Now your parents begin carrying on in tradition working for mere survival, when you were born the mother country started assessing taxes on goods you produced! Worse, they started navigating the shipping lanes to stop you and your parents from making money by sinking your only ships!
And finally, upon arrival of more British troops, these soldiers started living in your house, eating your food, then out of nowhere pick up and jail any person they felt was speaking against the Crown, writing anything, or just because they didn’t like it, you paid the penalty. Writer’s wrote for the newspaper; author’s wrote books and pamphlets, and gaud forbid-anyone say anything at all about the King or else otherwise…
Long for blog standards, yet quite short on relativeness…Part 2 on “Thoughts on Freedom of Speech”
It would be negligent of anyone to assume that everyone knew about life in the colonies. Principally because in order to fully understand how important the idea of rights was to a human is to understand the conditions in which they were living.
From the earliest voyages setting sail from England one must account for the diversity of the people who were on those ships. Just being able to understand why when we speak to someone from Massachusetts and compare them with someone from the Carolina’s there is an obvious difference between how they pronounce the exact same words.
Additionally, we must account for Spain, Portugal, France, as well as the English. The French had long been settlers in the north for close to a century. The Hudson Bay Company, Cartier, and Champlain settling lands and trading with the indigenous folks for furs representing France; yet, earlier voyages and settlements in the Southwest lead by Cortez and Coronado for Spain; even earlier there were the many voyages by Columbus for whatever flag financed his trip. Needless to say there were many interests in this “New World” certainly as early as 1400 A.D. prior to the early English settlements in late 1585.
Make no mistake about it there were enormous differences of those who settled the northern or New England colonies, Middle Colonies and the Southern Colonies. Most importantly was why they settled in those particular areas and how a personal right in one colony may not be a right in a different colony altogether.
Here a short narrative: “In late spring of 1644, John Winthrop, governor of Massachusetts Bay, learned that Indians had overrun several tobacco plantations in Virginia, killing as many as five hundred colonists. Winthrop never thought much of the Chesapeake settlements mainly because he regarded the people who migrated to that part of America as ‘grossly materialistic’ and because Virginia had just expelled several Puritan ministers. John Winthrop believed it was ‘God’s way of punishing the planters for having driven out their ministers.
When Virginians appealed to Massachusetts for military supplies they received a very cool reception: “We were weakly provided ourselves,” Winthrop explained, “and so could not afford them any help of that kind.” Fate would have it in 1675 when the opposite occurred.
Rights in one colony could be ignored in another, while certain colonies and states nurtured particular rights. New York championed ‘freedom of expression.’ Rhode Islanders passionately defended religious liberty and church-state separation; Delawareans showed an unusual preoccupation with the right to keep and bear arms; Massachusetts men resolutely objected to unreasonable searches and seizures; Vermonters led the way in abolishing slavery; North Carolinians exalted states’ rights with little central (Federal) intervention; and, Virginians and Pennsylvanians asserted a broad range of individual liberties.
As colonial life grew, more importantly, as various new crops and products were developed, the British Crown started a rigidity, open oppression for the colonists.
Part Three on Freedom of Speech
There is no question what-so-ever that having the opportunity of what is commonly referred to as ‘freedom of speech’ is indeed just that-an opportunity. Speaking anywhere, albeit in the WC (restroom) or at a State function, or in front of students or one’s local football club is not a right simply because one has a voice. It is a privileged opportunity we call a right.
Moreover, just because a person has this auditable device known as a voice does not necessarily mean they can run around using it muttering words. Nope, I am sure this is NOT what the Framer’s had in mind at all.
Believe me, there wasn’t too much more than the Founder’s disliked other than someone taking a foul shot at the newly formed United States of America.
Without equivocation, stating things against the country, or its elected officials in a derogatory fashion–’sedition’—most wanted them to be either hung or put in the stocks, gallows, or in a public jail in the center of town. (Ye olde publik gaol!)
The ‘freedom of speech’ clause in the Bill of Rights is without question the most misinterpreted and misunderstood portion of a very simple contract between a people and their governing documents.
As much as the Founder’s and their supporters wanted too, these statesmen and citizens also realized that more than anything they had to demonstrate responsibility and good conscience.
As always it is of the utmost importance for one to realize manners, ethics, customs, and good conscience when endeavoring to engage in their rights and opportunities. Indeed nothing more so than with speech and expression.
About refugees, political asylum, or defectors: Running one’s mouth off to the detriment of a nation that took you in when they didn’t have too, illustrates to me, the ungrateful, uneducated, and selfish person that is and always will be.
I was adopted by the nation and the people of Australia. I lived there for many years and did all the legal residency requirements as designated by the Commonwealth and, on time! There happened on many occasions when being the only American amongst Aussie’s the opportunity to bad mouth the United States rose for me far more than once. However, it may be a right…but is it right to go spewing my mouth off in the name of freedom in my newly adopted country? Sure I had to use much conscience and restraint.
And as sure as I was adopted by Australia, given her track record with the indigenous people there–Aboriginals—I absolutely will NOT stand up and state foul bits about her. Sure, I have a perceived ‘right’ to do so; however, is it a ‘right’ to act and speak irresponsibly with malice against a nation, people, or government that’s done so much for you? In essence what I am asking is this: although one has a ‘right’ to speak, is it ‘right’ for one to cause pain and suffering to another because they have the ‘right’? I say No!
In fact, I’m not 100% sure if I have ever met anyone who (a) could name the other 4 clauses in the 1st Amendment to the Constitution, or (b) has done any independent research on why it was so emphatically important as to what they truly meant when they debated, sweated, hashed-out, wrote, revised, debated again, and ratified the document-only if all 13 states agreed or at the very least-had to have the Bill of Rights included.
Therefore, surprise me and write me a comment with either all 4 clauses or the ones you know, deal?
What does this ‘Freedom of Speech’ mean to you anyway? Share with me and our audience what this opportunity and right means to you.
Beginning a multi-part series on the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
Want to see it? Click on the X.
To be sure the colonists, Americans, perhaps even the Tory’s were getting fed up; moreover, the American Founder’s were so sick and tired of ‘things’ just happening to them—by order of His Majesty the King—that when time came it was the notion of being HEARD that meant so much to them.
The 1st Amendment assures us that we have a right to assemble—peacefully—and furthermore to petition our government in the event that we have grievances. Right there through assembling and petitioning the government, what has a person done? They have exercised their right to be heard.
Moreover, not abridging the ‘freedom’ of the press brings forth the notion of the citizenry being heard. Now when we look through the lens of the 18th century and the abuses that we’re going on to a free people, I’m quite sure that they didn’t feel free.
However, freedom of the press had a great deal more to do with censorship and what the colonists were able to read and infuriatingly, what they could print. Yet at the same time, the Framer’s wrote a Bill to stipulate to censuring, ostensibly stating, “…if you do….’you will be hearing from us…’”
Nah! I have grave doubts that when our ‘Rights’ were penned, speaking foully, foolishly, against various institutions was the last thing on the writers’ minds. When I think of freedom of speech for some reason I think of putting together my best debating posture, civility, and forensic prose. (My inspiration: Taxation without representation!)
Therefore, the Framer’s took particular attention to those ‘inalienable rights’ and made sure that people in the newly founded United States were able to use them for their benefit against tyranny. This notion is extremely interesting to me insofar as ‘inalienable rights’ those rights which are bestowed upon us by God are not found in the U.S. Constitution. In the context of that revolutionary period that was written by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence.
Suggesting that one view the 1st Amendment in context with the others, it becomes quite clear that people had voices and they had a right for those to be heard, albeit responsibly. In the 3rd Amend. We are treated to the notion of being heard when a foreign soldier invades our houses, property, and decide that your little daughter is theirs.
Likewise the 4th Amend instills the notion that no one—period—can break the door down and get into your stuff. How does this relate to the 1st Amend? You have a right to your business, stuff, house, and everything in it that’s legal and that in order for the authorities to gain access they must have probable cause to ask a judge for a warrant—and you have the right to be heard.
And as for our esteemed sitting President; just look at the act he had to follow! Before President Bush took the oath of office, his predecessor, Bill Clinton—’America’s First Black President’—literally had CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, the BBC and every other foreign media possible believing everything he said, to the point where even when the Press Corps asked, Bill Clinton invited them to a beach landing by the United States Marine Corps on the shores of Somalia. Go figure!
Yes, the American Founder’s were so sick and tired of ‘things’ just happening to them—by order of His Majesty the King—that when time came it was the notion of being HEARD that meant so much to them. The 1st Amendment assures us that we have a right to assemble—peacefully—and furthermore to petition our government in the event that we have grievances. Right there through assembling and petitioning the government, what has a person done? They have exercised their right to be heard.
So much more to cover…
As a child growing up many of us can relate to a few clichés that are pretty much synonymous with our behavior when we’re out, especially out of the realm of our parents. With a degree of certainty I’d suggest that most of us have heard these following clichés:
“Make sure you have on clean underwear! You never know when you’ll be in an accident.”
“Brush your teeth, comb your hair, and don’t hurt anyone.”
“Mind your manners, if I hear anything about your behavior, you’ll get the beating of a lifetime!”
As we get a little older, prior to leaving the house, “Don’t shame the name!”
“Make sure to use a condom; do you want 30-seconds of pleasure for 30 years of misery?”
Nowadays we have young adolescent girls carrying condoms; saying a ”Blow job isn’t sex!”
The proverbial, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Actually I learned that expression from a 6th grade girl, who also warned, “…when your parents begin to slow down during green lights…you know they’re timing the lights to slow down for the pinches.” (Pinching punishment.)
So here’s my question: If from birth we are taught, disciplined, punished, on how we should talk to others ‘nicely’, taught to use good manners, show respect at all times, and ‘no name calling’ why then, is the opposite encouraged in political contests?
Today whilst out on a magnificent autumn day with the tunes blaring out of my autos stereo and here it comes…the dreaded political ad! Quick turn it down…
Where I’m going here folks is with this thought: Why are we taught at a young age about manners, skills, politeness, and attitudes when at the exact same time we observe and listen to politicians beat the hell out of each other?
People talk about ‘campaign reform’ and everyone thinks money–and as well they should. Another type of reform I’d like to see is a candidate running for office may not under any circumstances talk about the opponent they’re up against. Today it’s not about what ‘my administration’ will do as much as it’s what the other guy/gal did or didn’t do. And it’s pathetic!
To this day I do not have a clue what Barack Obama is going to do if he wins this election; the simple fact of the matter is that I haven’t heard or seen anything about what he plans to do. Moreover, I have yet to hear how he thinks he’ll arrive there. In other words, where’s the strategy?
John McCain is not too different, although he’s managed to not discredit his opponent by any means proportionately. Whew! Almost forgot, the advertisement was by Barack Obama hurling insult after insult at McCain.
I still don’t know where Obama stands on the issues and I’ve yet to hear any Democrat strategist try to come up with one.
Anyone who has ever been to The Thinker for anything more than a cursory look knows that I write primarily about the standards of learning in education; moreover, the passion that drives me is in the notion that this phenomenon is permeating every aspect of America’s convenience-oriented society.
Metaphorically, the bar is like a regular track-and-field ‘high-jump’ bar. When a high jumper clears the height of the bar he goes to the next level. Yet, if the jumper doesn’t clear the height, subsequently, the bar is lowered to a level that the high jumper can clear. I write about American society and how through the years, our bar of acceptable standards continues to be lowered.
After receiving an estimated three inches of snow, Devraj “Dave” S. Kori, a 17-year-old senior at Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, Virginia decided that it should be a snow day. Moreover, young Kori felt that the school should have had additional snow days and cancelled classes.
On his lunch break, Devraj Kori, used a listed home phone number to call Dean Tistadt, chief operating officer for the county system, to ask why he had not closed the schools. Kori left his name and phone number and got a message later in the day from Tistadt’s wife.
Candy Tistadt’s return phone message to Kori’s cell phone is not what is at issue here. Normally that would have been the end of this story. But noooooo! It seems that young Kori decided that he should have the last word and through some nifty technology ended up posting an audio file with the content of Mrs. Tistadt’s voice message on Facebook and You Tube.
Needless to say the Tistadt’s received dozens more calls that day and night, Dean Tistadt said. Most were hang-ups, but at one point, they were coming every five minutes until about 4:00 AM. Furthermore, by sunrise approximately 9,000 people had seen the sites and the majority of comments contained information largely about what constitutes proper and polite requests for public information from students.
Kori stated that his message did not intend to harass the Dean or his wife; adding that he thought he had a basic right to petition a public official; moreover, Kori said he was exercising freedom of speech in posting the content on a Facebook page.
When I first heard of this debauchery, I immediately felt something was not right with this account. Seriously now folks, if one doesn’t intend to harass one certainly does not post audio files to two of the most trafficked Internet sites.
This issue has nothing whatsoever to do with the 1st Amendment! Does anyone think the Founder’s meant ‘right to petition’ under these rude and careless tactics? How about exercising his right to ‘freedom of speech’ by posting names, phone numbers, and asking t’weens what they think?