Tag Archives: First Amendment

Hate Media Abuzz

In  the last several days as a part of my surfing the Hate Media, I have heard Hannity, Limbaugh and Jim Bohannon grousing about the Fairness Doctrine.  They are worried to death that the American Public might once again have the right to be heard on the broadcast media.  Readers who are interested in in the public having access to the airwaves need to light up your  Congress Persons and the Obama transition team.  The Fairness Doctrine was rarely invoked when it was in force,  and it tramples nobody’s First Amendment rights.  It requires that the folks who are licensed to operate on public airwaves,  which are owned by us all,  provide reasonable opportunity for all sides of controversial issues to be aired.  I don’t necessarily want to generate enough buzz to scare manaagement into taking these hate mongers off the air but I do expect mangement to pony up the time for adequate response to the poisonous vapors they spew.  Licensees who think they have First Amendment rights that trump the rights of the public should transfer their licenses to me and I will be happy to see that all sides of controversial issues are fully and fairly aired.  I certainly would not want their little First Amend feelings to be bruised or trampled.  I also will be happy to buy a wheelbarrow so I can haul the millions of dollars these folks make from sitting a-squat and exploiting a public property down to my bank.

Don Singleton

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Filed under Politics

Of Free Speech, Janet’s Boob and the FCC

You know I have to comment on “Nipple Gate” aka Janet Jackson’s nipple at the super bowl. As most of you know the fine levied against CBS for the incident has been tossed out.

Here is my take.

I contend, with them and the original George Carlin lawsuit involving the FCC, that the government does not have the right to restrict free speech simply because it hates the words being used. Our freedom of speech should only be tempered in cases when the danger is clear, present and imminent- such as yelling “fire” in a crowded theater. However, using words like shit, piss, cocksucker, motherfucker, fuck, god damn, etc… should not be regulated because there is no provable negative effect that anyone can demonstrate in a controlled, scientifically sound experiment.

The republicans can always be counted on to invoke the “free market” as a “decider”. If something cannot make it on the free market, their theory goes, then it should die. I agree. I believe now that we are in an age with hundreds of television channels it is time to let the free market decide what programming is appropriate. If “family friendly” channels can make money then they obviously would spring up all over the place. As long as there are children to sell cereal to and religious adults afraid of speaking and acting in an “adult” fashion there will always be a market for them. We don’t need the FCC to regulate any speech, at all. Allowing the market to provide the right wingers with the programming they chose is the conservative thing to do. It would allow the liberals to cling to their cherished first amendment and the righties to ching to their free market ideology. Win meet win.

Cheers,

Tom

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Filed under Corporations, FCC, First Amendment, Free Speech, Politics, Religion, Republicans, Science, Sex, Sex Ed, Supreme Court

Am I Becoming More Liberal?

I joined the ACLU tonight.  It was something I had thought about doing for a long time, but actually donating to them and putting my money where my mouth has been seems like a demarcation line.  What pushed me over the edge to go from supporter to member was their decision to sue if/when President Bush signs the domestic spying bill that gives amnesty to the phone companies for their role in abusing our Fourth Amendment protections against illegal search and seizure.

I guess I can’t really hold this debate with myself for your enjoyment without at least giving my views on key issues.  I’m not a big fan of blogs that have posts that reach epic proportions, so I’ll be brief.

Abortion:  This is tough.  I do believe a man should have some kind of say on the issue.  It seems patently unfair that a man’s rights/choice ends with the decision whether or not to use a condom or believe the lady is on the pill.  In a fair world the man would have equal say, but biologically that’s not possible, yet.  And courts have laughed men outta there when they have challenged with the “we agreed not to have children- now she’s pregnant- we’re not together- and you’ll force me to pay child support soon even though we agreed to have an abortion if this ever happened” defense.  In essence their take is they had unprotected sex based on an oral agreement (nice pun) that a child would not be bore even if the seed took.  So that aside, it is hard for me to legally force women to engage in an activity that can bring death.  Yes, thousands of women in the USA die every year having children.  In a country without abortion do these women’s family get to sue for wrongful deaths?

What would happen if it was illegal?  Would women use unsanctioned doctors/back alley butchers?  Is it worth that?  So I am in the “safe, legal and rare” camp.  Abortion is a medical issue and should be deliberated in the doctor’s & pastor’s office, not the halls of congress that is mostly filled with lawyers.  Not to mention, it goes against my principal of wanting government out of my life.  It’s simply not their decision to make- nor is it yours or mine.  It is solely the decision of the couple or lady to make.  These women know that the religious right believes they are going to hell, so spare me that argument.  Hell, Jesus decended to hell, so they’ll be in good company if that whole christian-myth thing turns out to be true.

First Amendment/Free Speech: It’s damn near absolute.  Conservatives often pick on the ACLU for defending opposite interests.  But that’s the point of free speech.  To truly be a backer of the first amendment you have to defend both the nazis and their right to talk their bullshit and the Jewish Defense Organization who say things like “death to nazis”.  I know the whole “fire in a theater” concept, but the bar to arrest someone for something they say must be set very, very high and the evidence must be overwhelming- anything short of that invites a chipping away of this right.

First Amendment/Religion: We have the right to freely worship just about anything or nothing at all.  No tax payer money should be spent on religious activity.  Ever.

Guns:  I am pro-gun rights.  I own and have owned guns for a very long time.  I haven’t hunted in a long time, but I highly doubt I’d have a problem dispatching some asshole trying to break into my crib.  It’s the sanctuary for my wife, son and myself.  Anyone trying to disturb that should first count the cost.  Sometimes ignorance can be painful.

Education:  I support free education for all citizens.  We keep hearing that America is falling behind other countries in science and math.  Well maybe the government should start a scholarship fund for those things.  Let people that major in math and science get free education up through their PhD.  It makes sense.  Some people claim that education isn’t  a right and should not be funded by the government, but think about our world without it.  You know how it pisses you off when a cashier cannot count worth a damn?  Imagine if they couldn’t count at all!  We’re a first world country because of education and for us to discontinue that would be disasterous for our countries morale, micro and macro-economies and our competitiveness in the world in just about everything.  If anything we should increase spending on academia and decrease spending on sports.

Immigration:  I want better public services for our citizens, but we cannot achieve that if we continue to allow undocumented people to stream across the border.  My main concern with them is their lack of paying taxes while soaking up benefits like health care, education and jobs.  People who have gone through the gauntlet of legally immigrating here deserve those things.  If I ran across the border into any country on earth I would not expect that country to take me in and give me and my child all the services provided to their citizens all the while not paying taxes.  If you want the benefits of citizenry in our country then you have to become a member by paying the dues.  Membership has its privileges.

The War on Drugs:  A huge waste of money.  No one wants to see children on dope.  But I also don’t care if the guy in my local convenience store tokes up after work.  I certainly don’t want him put in jail for the offense.  I’d much rather they took a small percentage of the *B*illions of dollars they have wasted on fighting drugs and sunk it into more education programs.  But not just the “don’t say no” type of things.  I want REAL drug education.  I was taught that cocaine was likely to kill me the first time I tried it- then I did.  It felt good.  I didn’t die and had a good time.  I would never condone cocaine usage and stopped long ago before I “reach bottom” or any such thing.  I just knew it was not something that would help me achieve my goals.  I rationally decided to stop using drugs and many people do.  Yet our drug programs often stress that something terrible has to happen before the user stops- it’s total bullshit.  Also, there are some studies that marijuana can help people.  It is a mild pain reliever, creates appetite and helps people sleep.  When my grandfather was going through kemo guess what he had trouble with?  The pain, loss of appetite and an inability to sleep.  If you cannot eat or sleep you cannot fight off most diseases, especially cancer.  It needs to be legalized ASAP.  At least for medical purposes.  And when we do legalize it, it needs to have the ever-loving shit taxed out of it.  Maybe it will lower my taxes?

Ok, I’m still under 1200 words.  Now you get a little insight into why I am registered as an independent and have a hard time voting.  Neither major party represents me.

Cheers,

Tom

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Filed under Drugs, Economy, First Amendment, fourth amendment, Free Speech, Gay Rights, Guns, Politics, Religion, Republicans, Second Amendment