Friday, January 22, 2010

Are These Our Rights as Americans? You Decide — Part II

My Fellow Americans,

I have included another article first posted on

Last week, I mentioned that, over the next several weeks, I will be posting about a right we have as citizens of the United States of America, per the Bill of Rights.

As I said before, I want to do a little experiment with you. I feel America has lost its way. I feel we have strayed from the value system that helped define this country at its inception. We have neglected the teachings of the Founding Fathers so much, in my opinion, that this country would be virtually unrecognizable to them.

What is sad is many of us have forgotten why America is so great. Our perception of reality has become so twisted that we do not even know what our basic rights are. The same rights that are “endowed by our Creator,” not granted to us by a government bureaucrat. We need to remember who we are, America.

With that, I want to continue with the First Amendment. Last time, we looked at the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause as it pertains to religion. Today, I want to focus on the freedom of speech and freedom of the press:

Right #2: Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.

Similar to how the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause are related to religion, freedom of speech and freedom of the press are linked together as well.

Of all the rights and liberties we are privileged to have as Americans, this one happens to be my favorite. It is also the one, I believe, to consistently be in danger of being repressed.

I believe freedom of speech is an important element of any society. Human beings have the need and the right to express themselves, whether verbally, in writing, in print, or over the Internet. The government in any country, not just the United States, should not be allowed to infringe upon this right.

Throughout history, we have seen leaders and dictators in other countries revoke their citizens’ rights to freedom of speech. In doing so, they only allowed those who agreed with the government to speak their mind and be heard. And if one were not in favor of the current administration and conveyed that publicly, chances are he or she would pay for it with his/her life.

Is it me, or do you get the feeling that the Obama administration wants to do away with your right to free speech? Well, maybe I won’t go that far just yet.

But, I will go that far with the freedom of the press.

Have you ever heard of the Fairness Doctrine? What about President Barack Obama’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) diversity czar, Mark Lloyd?

First, let’s start with the Fairness Doctrine. Introduced in 1949 by the FCC, the Fairness Doctrine had two basic elements to it. One, it required broadcasters to devote some air time to important matters that were of interest to the public. Secondly, it wanted to ensure that different points of view where acknowledged and heard about on a certain matter.

The Fairness Doctrine was revoked in 1985. Why? Because it was agreed that it violated the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of speech.

Enter FCC diversity czar Mark Lloyd. His love for Venezuelan Communist dictator Hugo Chavez and desire for white people in postions of power to step down for minorities aside, Lloyd wants to reinstate the fairness doctrine and then take it even further.

The target: conservative radio and television (a.k.a. FOX News). Also, the government wants to be able to control the Internet and monitor who is speaking out against the administration. If that sounds unconstitutional to you, that’s because it is.

This is why I believe freedom of speech and freedom of the press are so important. The government should not be allowed to control what you say or what you write. To do so is a violation of your rights, not just as a citizen of the United States, but as a human being.

Furthermore, it is essential that the government stay out of the press no matter what the means of communication may be. When the government gets involved, and this, right along with freedom of speech are revoked, you have Communist China.  And when the government basically becomes the press, you have MSNBC. (Then again, having Jeffrey R. Immelt, chairman of General Electric (GE) and a member of Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board, doesn’t help either. By the way, GE owns MSNBC).

With everything I have stated above, how important do you feel these rights are? Is it essential to have the ability to speak freely? What about freedom of the press? Is that essential? Why or why not?

I thank you for your comments. And as I said last week, these are your rights at the end of the day, America. It is up to us to make sure we remember that and do not let them be taken away.

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