First Amendment

Sep 262012

James Taranto did a great job analyzing President Obama’s UN speech.  He pointed out that parts of the speech were a “serviceable defense of the First Amendment,” but there was ominous incoherence in other parts, especially where it broke down the distinction between speech and action.

“Churches that are destroyed.” Here is where the president’s moral equivalence leads him into total intellectual and moral incoherence. An attack on a church (or, for that matter, on a synagogue or mosque or any other piece of property) is a violent action that nobody would suggest is protected by freedom of speech. By likening it to “slander” against “the prophet of Islam,” which absolutely is protected, Obama elides the distinction between speech and action, which is fundamental to U.S. constitutional law. Without it, freedom of speech would be either a meaningless phrase or a license to anarchy.

This elision is not just intellectually slovenly but dangerous, for the distinction is precisely the one the Islamic supremacists would like to break down.

via Madonna and Obama –

Jun 102012

Michelle Malkin » Bloggers under fire: Arizona conservative lawyer/activist targeted by left-wing Arizona State Bar.

Are you now or have you ever been a conservative?

Jun 102011

So how is this supposed to work with the legislation that was sponsored by Tennessee state representative Charles Curtiss and signed into law by the Governor?   (H/T Drudge.)   It’s now a crime to  “transmit or display an image” online that is likely to “frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress” to someone who sees it.  So supposed I lived in Tennessee and posted the following photo which I also posted over at The Spokesrider:

It causes me emotional distress to see this, because it makes me wonder why we are allowing some of the worst practices of the old Soviet Union to be followed in our own country.    It’s frightening, too.   Not only do we incarcerate our citizens on a large scale, as did the SU, and not only are our prisons abusive places, but cameras are not allowed around them, either.

So am I obligated to turn myself in for posting a photo that causes me such distress?    And what if I am arrested?   Prosecutors like to get their perp walks into the news.    But what if I saw a photo of my own perp walk for taking photos of our government in action?   That would cause me considerable emotional distress.  Do I get a double-sentence, then?  And do we then get to lock up the prosecutors for a year?    But what if they saw the photos of themselves being perp-walked to the courthouse?

I think this legislation needs work.


Sep 102010

A comment I posted in response to a comment on Michelle Malkin’s article, “The Eternal Flame of Muslim Outrage“:

We can oppose either of these actions without disallowing them by law. To be consistent, we should allow both of them but strongly oppose them. Problem for the leftDemMedia is they got themselves into a box by the way they criticized criticism of the mosque at ground zero. Now they have no basis for criticizing the burning of the Korans. They do it anyway, but they end up looking really bad for it.

Yes, yes, I know. In one sense, the mosque is not really “at” ground zero. But earlier this week James Taranto explained why it needs to be 1.3 miles away to qualify as not being at ground zero. I go with that.

Apr 302010

My comment on an article at the WSJ titled, “The ACLU Approves Limits on Speech.”

If there are such limits [on corporate campaign contributions], then congressional earmarks need to count as corporate campaign contributions. Not only that, but if a member of Congress gets to identify himself with a DOE grant or USDA grant in his state or district, e.g. by putting his name on press releases about it, then that needs to count as a corporate campaign contribution as well.

That will help even the playing field between incumbents and uppity upstarts. But even with that, we still need congressional term limits.

Apr 202010

Sherrilyn Ifill, quoted at

“Republicans should be reaching out to address the legitimate concerns of tea party advocates and publicly denouncing the incendiary language and demonstrations that may contribute to a climate that encourages one person on the fringe to commit an unspeakable act.”

I’m not a Republican, but I believe in addressing the legitimate concerns of tea party advocates. And I wish to publicly denounce the incendiary language that contributes to a climate that encourages those on the fringe to commit unspeakable acts. More particularly, I denounce Bill Clinton’s incendiary language linking tea partiers to the Oklahoma City bombing, which could encourage moonbats on the fringe to commit the unspeakable act of infringing on our First Amendment freedoms.

Apr 172010

Bill Clinton says words matter. From an AP article:

“By all means keep fighting, by all means, keep arguing,” he said. “But remember, words have consequences as much as actions do, and what we advocate, commensurate with our position and responsibility, we have to take responsibility for. We owe that to Oklahoma City.”

This, of course, is the president who exuded the aura of a B-movie gangster every time he spoke, and never more so than when he said this in 1995:

“The most important thing we can do to make your father [a member of the national police force] safer is to have everybody in this room, whatever their political party or their views, stand up and say it is wrong to condemn people who are out there doing their job and wrong to threaten them. When you hear somebody doing it, you ought to stand up and double up your fist and stick it in the sky and shout them down.”

Of course, if Clinton had read the Bill of Rights, he would have learned that it is NOT wrong to criticize federal employees who are doing their jobs. And if he was a man who was careful with his words, he would not have said that the response to people who threaten actual harm (as opposed to criticism) of national police officers is not to have a mob outshout them.

And if he was really, really careful of what he was saying, he would not try to do something so sleazy as to link dissent with the Oklahoma City bombing.

The AP article mentioned none of this, btw. I’m guessing it put out the article without bothering to get the response of other politicians to Clinton’s words.

Nov 202009

Here it comes. First they go abstract on us and generalize the Fort Hood killing to blame it on extremism. Not extreme views about one’s religion justifying violence, but extremism in general. Then after they’ve expanded the definition, they’ll contract it and say the way to stop future Fort Hood instances is to clamp down on extreme rightwingers who don’t believe the government should control the population through health care, or who oppose abortion, or who value the 2nd Amendment protections.

Expand, then contract. Repeat as needed. I call it the blowfish technique.

Or maybe it’ll be more innocuous. Maybe they will stop future Fort Hood killers the way they protect us from terrorism by frisking white-haired grannies trying to make their way through airports with walkers and canes.