All the News the Government Wants to Print

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A former LA Times journalist who now works for the Obama administration has proposed a radical solution for the failing newspaper industry:

“Years of foolish policies have left us with a choice: We can bail out journalism, using tax dollars and granting licenses in ways that encourage robust and independent reporting and commentary, or we can watch, wringing our hands, as more and more top journalists are laid off.”

Critics of the plan point out that this is NOT what is meant by freedom of the press:

“Since when did our Founding Fathers envision that … you could exercise your right to freedom of speech provided you had a license from the federal government? This is the kind of stuff you have revolutions about.”

Media experts are sure that the Obama Administration will not take the proposal seriously:

“I’m doubtful that one person taking a secondary job in the Pentagon is going to guide the policy on [bailouts],” said John Nichols, a longtime journalist whose own plans to help save newspapers were cited approvingly by Brooks, but who called licensing a “very dangerous move.”

“I would be very surprised if the Obama administration actually proposed something like that,” added Joel Brinkley, a visiting professor of journalism at Stanford University, who said that no one would trust the news industry if it accepted heaps of government money. “It’s the first time I’ve heard this publicly discussed.”

Via Fox News

Too Stupid to Own a Gun

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Nicki Fellenzer calls ’em like she sees ’em – again.  Her response to Chris Ayers is inspired.

Still, it took us a thousand years to reach such a benign relationship with our royals. We can only hope that it doesn’t take so long for the Americans to reach a similarly tenable state of affairs when it comes to their firearms.

Benign, eh? I guess that would depend on your definition of “benign.” Sure, you Brits have this bizarre love affair with your royals. But you’re subjects. You’re watched, controlled, disarmed and coddled by the nanny state from cradle to grave. If you call that benign, I invite you to continue grazing serenely in your fenced-in grassy knoll, every once in a while lifting your curly little head and issuing an indignant “Baaaaaaa” at those silly Americans who insist on taking responsibilty for their own safety.

via THELIBERTYZONE.COM.

A Nation of Laws

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“There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals.  Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted-and you create a nation of law-breakers-and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Rearden, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”

~Ayn Rand – Atlas Shrugged~

Keep Your Powder Dry

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Keep Your Powder Dry

The shot heard round the world
Led to freedom ringing clear
We’ve kept the fire burning bright
For two hundred plus years
Now the tide has turned agin us
Our freedom is being sold
Where is the courage we once had
The patriots so bold?
A once great country gasps her last
She withers in the field
While government as cancer grows
Lady Liberty does yield
So is this it? oh shall we quit?
Should freedom fade away?
Is this the final curtain call
Has freedom seen its day?
HELL NO I say as I rise up
My rifle in my hand
I’ll not lose my liberty
I’ll not lose my land
So stand with me brave patriots
Against the rushing tide
No longer shall we silent stand
No longer will we hide
No longer will their words hold sway
No longer will they steal
The freedom God has given us
No longer will we yield
We stand atop the parapets
Our trumpets blowing loud
To spread the truth of Freedoms Call
Throughout the gathering crowd
Grab your coat, pick up your gun
Take up the battle cry
Be ready for the coming war
And keep your powder dry

Kender MacGowan
3-18-2009

H/T to Emigre with a Digital Cluebat

Constitutional Stupidities

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There has long been argument about the fact that residents of Washington, D.C. are being taxed by the federal government while at the same time not having representation in Congress.  The motto “Taxation Without Representation” is available on D.C. license plates.  Congressional bills have been introduced, but not passed, which would allow D.C. to have voting representatives in both the House and the Senate.  However, there are constitutional questions involved.

In his article “Let Them Into the House“, Slate writer Richard Hasen reviews the arguments, and challenges the Congress to pass such a bill in order to force the Supreme Court into a ruling against it, which he predicts will in turn force the Obama Administration into proposing a Constitutional Amendment that would allow representatives from D.C. to vote.

Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution provides that “[t]he House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several states …” and there’s no question that Washington, D.C., is not a state. Congress cannot amend the Constitution through ordinary legislation simply by calling D.C. a “state,” and therefore the D.C. act is ostensibly unconstitutional. Supporters like Turley have backed up their arguments with extensive historical analysis based on the Framers’ intent in giving the District of Columbia its odd status.

[…]

The lack of voting rights for residents of Washington, D.C., is an example of what law professors call “constitutional stupidities.” Given this country’s commitment to equal voting rights for all, there’s no legitimate policy reason to deny congressional representation to the District’s residents. If that’s right, then the only argument I can see against a vote for the D.C. bill is that it could be viewed as violating the oath taken by members of Congress and the president to uphold the Constitution. But with legitimate arguments by credible legal scholars in favor of the bill, the constitutional question is not settled. Members of Congress can vote for D.C. voting rights in good conscience. Then we’ll see what happens next.

I, for one, am sympathetic to the residents of D.C.  They are truly victims of”constitutional stupidity”, and it has gone on for too long.  It’s time to fix this travesty, and allow them the same representation the rest of the country enjoys.

Linking Terrorism to Islam? Not at Camp Lejeune.

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CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — A veteran whose son was killed in the 2000 terrorist attack on the USS Cole has sued officers at the Marine base where he works, saying they violated his free-speech rights to display bumper stickers on his vehicle that link Islam with terrorism.

Jesse Nieto has worked as a civilian at an electrical distribution shop on Camp Lejeune since 1994. He previously served 25 years in the Marine Corps, including two combat tours as an infantryman in Vietnam, according to his federal lawsuit filed Monday in the eastern district of North Carolina.

The lawsuit – which does not seek monetary damages – asks the court to declare that the Marines violated Nieto's constitutional rights and to allow him to express his political viewpoints on federal installations.

via Lejeune bars civilian vehicle over decals :: WRAL.com

Religion in the Park

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ten-commandments1Where does ‘free speech’ and/or ‘government speech’ end and ‘establishment of religion’ begin? That’s the question before the Supreme Court this week.  Asking the question is Summum, a ‘non-profit organization’ that may or may not be a ‘religion’.

Mormons settled the town of Pleasant Grove City, Utah, in 1850. Since 1971, the town’s “Pioneer Park” has featured the usual assortment of gardens, trees, and other historical relics, which sit alongside a massive permanent monument to the Ten Commandments—one of many such monuments donated by the Fraternal Order of Eagles (working to reduce juvenile delinquency) and Cecil B. DeMille (working to promote his Charlton Heston movie The Ten Commandments). In 2003, Summum’s founder, Summum “Corky” Ra, requested permission to donate a monument to the park celebrating the Seven Aphorisms upon which their beliefs are based. (The Seven Aphorisms are, in brief: the principles of psychokinesis, correspondence, vibration, opposition, rhythm, cause and effect, and gender.) Summum holds that these aphorisms were revealed to Moses at Mount Sinai, but he demurred because his people were not yet ready for them. The Decalogue was the rewrite.

The Pleasant Grove City Council denied Summum’s request to erect a monument. Summum sued, alleging that their free speech rights had been violated because the city could not display the Ten Commandments while denying the Seven Aphorisms.

via The Supreme Court grapples with the primordial ooze of the Summum case. – By Dahlia Lithwick – Slate Magazine

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