After Charlie Hebdo, Balancing Press Freedom and Respect for Religion | Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project

After Charlie Hebdo, Balancing Press Freedom and Respect for Religion | Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project.

The Pew Research Center just released a poll on what Americans think of our constitutional right to free speech in light of the recent assassination of twelve French journalists by Muslims over the matter of a cartoon. The results are unnerving, to say the least. The Pew poll found that:

  • 24% of Americans are so self-involved and oblivious to current events they were completely unaware that Muslim gunmen entered the Charlie Hebdo Paris office and murdered twelve journalists because they were upset about cartoon having a bit of fun at Islam’s expense. That means about ¼ of American voters are so ill-informed they will likely make the wrong choice when going to the polls. No wonder Oregonians legalized marijuana.
  • Of those Americans who actually heard of Charlie Hebdo, only 60% believe that freedom of speech should extend to politically incorrect topics like criticizing Islam for their bad behavior.
  • What is worse, is that of the registered Democrats polled, only 55% supported freedom of speech, while a whopping 35% actually supported censorship of politically incorrect speech.
  • The only positive in the whole poll is that 70% of polled Republicans supported freedom of speech over the sensitivities of the most intolerant religion on the face of the earth. I think a mere 70% is a rather pathetic, milk-toast number, but it is the best in the poll.

Frankly, I am shocked that an America born and bred on JD Salinger’s once banned book, Catcher in the Rye, would be so flip about giving up our Constitutional Rights to satisfy the sensibilities of a religion that will not be satisfied until Judaism and Christianity are extinct and all the world is Islam.

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The Death of Rule of Law – Part IV of VI: The Right to Petition

Money is the medium of exchange for goods and services in the form of coins and banknotes. It defines wealth, and its sole use is to buy and sell goods and services. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that money equals free speech. Therefore, logically, if money equals free speech, then free speech must equal money equals wealth. Thus a citizen without money is a citizen without free speech. The Constitution of the United States guarantees every citizen the right to free speech and the right to petition the Government for redress of grievances. The majority of Americans are of little economic means – they have no money to speak of – therefore, by defining free speech as money, the Supreme Court has used its power to politically silence most of America. A silenced citizen, one without money, cannot effectively petition the Government for redress of grievances. Unfortunately, since the balance of power in America is dead, the Supreme Court is not subject to any controlling legal authority, and most certainly has no respect for or fear of God Almighty.

Death of The Right to Petition the Government for Redress of Grievances

Not too many years ago corporate America paid about 30% of America’s tax burden while the citizens paid the other 70%. Then along came a corrupt judiciary that ruled that corporations were really people, though they are not, and campaign donations and political action committee dollars were really free speech, though they are not. It would be the same if a rich man pissed down your back and the Nine ruled that it was raining. It does not matter what the Supreme Court says, piss is piss.

Free speech can generate money, certainly. I make a few dollars selling my books, and Hillary Clinton makes a healthy living as a public speaker. Neither one of us actually pays people to listen to us. However, money does not generate free speech. All the money does is bribe the politician to listen to what the wealthy have to say. The wealthy are certainly free to say what ever they want to say without spending a dime, while politicians are free to act on the merits of their written or spoken arguments without taking a dime. The money, the material compensation, whether is it front door or back door, simply purchases political action regardless of merit. My employer pays me to do as I am told. I work for them, not on the merit of their words, but for pay. I would not work for them if all I received in return were words of praise and plaudits. The modern American politician counts on these quid pro quos as part of their overall financial plan. Money is not free speech. Money is compensation. At least in the English language, according to Webster’s Dictionary, it is.

Up until the late 1970s big business’s maximum tax rate hovered around 50%. Today, after throwing hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars at D.C. politicians, America’s corporations have dropped their top tax rate to 35%, a whopping 30% reduction in their maximum rate. Corporate America did not stop there. Now, through the steady creation of a bizarre array of tax loopholes, Big Business pays only about 10% of America’s total tax burden, a net 70% reduction of their historic rate. In return, thousands of D.C. politicians have been made into multimillionaires… either while still in office or shortly after leaving office. In fact, in a country of over 300 million citizens, political free speech in D.C. is controlled by less than one thousand wealthy groups and individuals. The common man simply cannot compete. We do not have the sort of money needed to grease the wheels of the political apparatus. No elected official is going to get rich off of us, so we are stuck paying 90% of the taxes while corporate America brags about record profits, accumulates massive war chests, and owns a near monopoly when it comes to petitioning the Government.

On April 2nd, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court further denied the common man the ability to petition the government by striking down significant legal limitations on financial contributions to candidates, parties and PACs. Now the super wealthy can spend their way to an even firmer stranglehold on our government, while the common man has nothing but the poverty of words to convince elected officials to do the right thing. Legally, according to the Supreme Court, money equals free speech, and money is worth infinitely more than words. Because of the U.S. Supreme Court, money talks, not words. Money persuades, not words. Money gets redress of grievances, not words. Frankly, if you cussed out one of those arrogant justices using words, you would likely spend the night in jail and then have to spend a lot of your hard-earned “free speech” to bail yourself out of the clink.

Take a look at the looming merger of cable giants Comcast and Time Warner. In an industry where there is already little true competition, it is an obviously bad deal for the everyday man. These companies have thrown tens of millions of dollars at politicians in recent years to sway their opinion. These companies are leading the charge to kill net-neutrality and change the Internet into a private, pay-to-play, piggy bank for internet service providers. If Uncle Sam approves their merger they will control access in 30% of America’s households. Billions of people around the globe have invested trillions of hours of work and countless dollars over the last two decades making the Internet what it is, yet leading ISPs like Comcast have managed to convince the Government that they did all the work and should be allowed to control access to Internet content. Pay-to-play is the theme here. This scenario plays itself out time and time again as Corporate America, the Radical Left, and the Radical Right repeatedly screw over John Q. Public. The Obligation to Purchase Redress of Grievances from the Government has replaced our Right to Petition the Government for Redress of Grievances. I suggest you write your congressman about it. Be sure to write a big, fat check of “free speech” to go along with your words.