Muslims Protest ‘Speech That Hurts’ – Yes, In the Same City Where Muslims Were Filmed Violently Assaulting Christians

September 29, 2012 at 9:15 am (Arab Festival, Arab-American News, Cairo, Christians, Dearborn, Egypt, Football, Free Speech, Innocence of Muslims, Michigan, Muslims, Obama Administration, Osama Siblani)

The question here is which hurts more – words, or violent actions?  The old sticks and stones argument…

Arab-American News publisher Osama Siblani rallied Muslim activists in Dearborn, Michigan yesterday, in an attempt to drum up support for ‘blasphemy laws’ that would fundamentally destroy the right of free speech in our country.  The group claims that the laws are necessary so as not to hurt the “religious feelings of Muslims”.

Not coincidentally, the group is clearly taking the lead of the Obama administration by calling for these laws in response to an anti-Muslim video – a video that only the administration has focused on, and a video we now know had absolutely nothing to do with the violence currently sweeping the Middle East.

In fact, it is so apparent that this group is channeling the Obama administration, that they are quoting the now famous apology issued by the U.S. Embassy in Egypt, in which they too denounced ‘hurt(ing) the religious beliefs of others’.

Via the Michigan View:

Led by a newspaper publisher, Muslim activists will call for putting limits on American free speech at a Dearborn rally this evening. You can’t make this stuff up.

Nearly a decade after Dearborn’s streets celebrated America for bringing down Saddam Hussein and opening a door to democracy in the Mideast, the same city will be the epicenter today of calls to squelch free speech. Protesting the film, “Innocence of Muslims,” that has sparked protests in the Mideast, rally organizer Tarek Baydoun says that so-called blasphemy laws are necessary to prevent speech that hurts the “the religious feelings of Muslims.”

This assault on the First Amendment in the name of the prophet Mohammed is a sad day in America – and confirms fears that Muslim-American activists do not understand the fundamental separation of church and state in the American Constitution.

“There is a need for deterrent legal measures against those individuals or groups that want to damage relations between people, spread hate and incite violence,” said Arab-American News publisher Osama Siblani, a self-proclaimed “moderate” who is apparently oblivious to how gutting the First Amendment would affect his own business.

It is always astounding how people who protest alleged hate speech can’t ever seem to grasp the fact that the violence is always a more abhorrent action than the speech itself.  They do not condemn protesters who burn our embassies.  They do not rally against those who murder our diplomats.  They simply and repeatedly condemn free speech.

It is particularly ironic in this case, since a group of Muslims, also from Dearborn, Michigan, were filmed violently throwing bottles, stones, and anything else they could find at Christians this past summer.

Jihad Watch reports:

During the 2012 Arab International Festival held this past June in Dearborn, Michigan, a group of Christian evangelists were pelted with stones, bottles, and debris by Muslim youths while deputies from the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office stood idly by, allowing the criminal assault to take place. Many of the Christians were bloodied by the attack. When Ruben Israel, the leader of the Christian group, asked the law enforcement officers present to step in and enforce the criminal law so that the Christians could exercise their right to freedom of speech, Israel was given the option of either leaving the festival or facing arrest….

Here is the video:

Dearborn is also the location where four Muslim football players beat a Christian quarterback during a football game.

Violent beatings?  Check.  
Throwing stones at Christians until they are bloodied?  Check.  
Free speech?  NO!
Christians exercising their right to free speech in the United States of America are attacked.  Our diplomats in the Middle East – murdered.  And now, free speech is under assault.  
And the Obama administration is playing into all of it.  The President should spend less time apologizing for America, and start apologizing too America.

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Liberals Respond to Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day the Only Way They Know How – Bomb Threats and Bullying

August 2, 2012 at 7:00 am (Bomb Threat, Chick-Fil-A, Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day, Dan Cathy, Free Speech, Gay Marriage, Liberals, Record Setting, Rick Warren, West Virginia, World Record)

When the pictures of long lines and traffic jams started pouring in at Chick-Fil-A restaurants across the nation, you could feel something big happening.

Apparently, it was record-setting big.

And of course, liberals could only respond in the most basic way they know how.  
First, there was this loser as spotted by Liberty News:

This is really a typical liberal.

First, he’s sooooooo self-righteous.

Second, he wants something for nothing.

Third, adds nothing to the debate except a string of personal attacks.

The comments on the YouTube site are fantastic – even the most ardent Chick-Fil-A protesters are identifying this man as a tool.  Trying to bully the company is what set off this record setting sales day in the first place.  And I’m not sure how much money you cost the company by *snicker* ripping them for a free cup of water, though I’m sure it’s been more than offset by the free advertising provided by the circulation of your little video.
And why for the love of America’s first gay president, did the man feel a need to clarify that he’s straight?
 … Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
From the diabolical mind that brings you free water theft, to the ultimate liberal bully…

Police and fire crews closed down the Chick-fil-A on Foxcroft Avenue in Martinsburg for nearly three hours following a bomb threat that was called in just before 1 p.m. today.

The caller mentioned that a “device” had been placed within the restaurant. The building was evacuated, but was deemed safe at about 3:45 p.m. after no bomb or any other type of device was discovered.

According to a release from police, the location of the call was traced and the investigation is following up on leads about the male caller.

The fast-food chain has come under fire recently for comments made by its president, Dan Cathy, to the Baptist Press. According to an Associated Press report, today has been declared “National Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” by supporters of traditional marriage. However, it is unknown at this time if the threat against the local restaurant is related.

If they can’t shut down your right to free speech and the right to express an opposing view point through boycotts, the left will always turn to more menacing threats.  Harassment or bomb threats.

So tolerant.  So progressive.

Update:  Reader RalphyBoy pointed out that the ‘free water’ freedom fighter in the video above pulled his clip from YouTube.  Fortunately, others had grabbed it before he could erase it from the internet.  The clip can still be viewed above.

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Chuck Schumer: There Ought to be Limits on the First Amendment

July 18, 2012 at 7:00 am (Chuck Schumer, Citizens United, Democrats, DISCLOSE Act, First Amendment, Free Speech, Nancy Pelosi, New York)

Despite more pressing and urgent business at hand for the Senate, Democrats have placed the DISCLOSE Act – a bill which requires disclosure of political activity by restricting the First Amendment – on the front burner.

The Act is sponsored by New York Senator Chuck Shumer, who recently blatantly admitted the need to curb freedoms assured by the First Amendment.

Schumer:

I believe there ought to be limits because the First Amendment is not absolute. No amendment is absolute. You can’t scream ‘fire’ falsely in a crowded theater. We have libel laws. We have anti-pornography laws. All of those are limits on the First Amendment. Well, what could be more important than the wellspring of our democracy? And certain limits on First Amendment rights that if left unfettered, destroy the equality — any semblance of equality in our democracy — of course would be allowed by the Constitution. And the new theorists on the Supreme Court who don’t believe that, I am not sure where their motivation comes from, but they are just so wrong. They are just so wrong.

Shumer isn’t the only Democrat who wants to re-write the First Amendment.  Nancy Pelosi previously stated her desire to amend the First Amendment using the same DISCLOSE Act.

Pelosi said the Democrats’ effort to amend the Constitution is part of a three-pronged strategy that also includes promoting the DISCLOSE Act, which would increase disclosure requirements for organizations running political ads, and “reducing the roll of money in campaigns” (which some Democrats have said can be done through taxpayer funding of campaigns).

The constitutional amendment the Democrats seek would reverse the Supreme Court’s 2009 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. In that decision the court said that the First Amendment protects a right of free speech for corporations as well as for individuals, and that corporations (including those that produce newspapers, films and books) have a right to speak about politicians and their records just as individuals do.

If you’re wondering how this would lead to censorship of everyday things like books, papers, or the internet, Chief Justice Roberts can explain…

The case in question led to this opinion written by Roberts:

“The government urges us in this case to uphold a direct prohibition on political speech,” wrote Roberts. “It asks us to embrace a theory of the First Amendment that would allow censorship not only of television and radio broadcasts, but of pamphlets, posters, the Internet, and virtually any other medium that corporations and unions might find useful in expressing their views on matters of public concerns.”

JJFWFPER7HR6

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Why the SWAT-ting of Conservatives is Dangerous – to Everyone

June 8, 2012 at 1:17 pm (Brett Kimberlin, Crime, Free Speech, MichelleMalkin, Mike Stack, Prank, SWAT, SWAT-ting)

Today has been variously described as a day of silence or a day of action for conservative bloggers hoping to draw congressional attention, as well as the eyes of the Justice Department, to an ongoing fight to quell free speech.

Some bloggers have chosen to go dark, while others have decided to focus singularly on the actions taken by a domestic terrorist, Brett Kimberlin, and his band of brothers, which have included harassing, threatening, and even SWAT-ting those who they do not agree with.

Regardless of the path chosen, bloggers from the experienced and prolific, to the rookies, have chosen to stand in solidarity to fight for their right to free speech.

Michelle Malkin writes:

Free speech is under fire. Online thugs are targeting bloggers (mostly conservative, but not all) who have dared to expose a convicted bomber and perjuring vexatious litigant now enjoying a comfy life as a liberally-subsidized social justice operative.

Malkin’s site has a list of Congressional members that you can call to voice your support or demand an inquiry today.  Additionally, Grassfire Nation has a petition you can sign as well.

But to many, the seriousness of these acts is difficult to comprehend.  Many do not even know what SWAT-ting consists of, or who it may effect.

SWAT-ting is essentially a very serious prank, occurring when a person contacts the local police to report a violent crime being committed at the home of the intended target.  They use various means to portray the call as coming from that particular home, and on several occasions have reported the homeowner as having just shot and killed their wife.

One problem with the coverage of these SWAT-ting attacks, is that the public may be content to assume it involves a grudge match between people of differing views.  But these criminal actions, aside from sending police resources on a wild goose chase, also can effect the public in far more serious ways.

One example of this is the case of Mike Stack, one of the first victims of the tactic.  Stack is a prolific Twitter user and blogger who was targeted last summer after helping to expose New York’s disgraced former Rep. Anthony Weiner.

On June 23rd, 2011, the Readington Police Department received a phone call from an unknown source, indicating that they were Mike Stack, and that they had just shot their wife in the head a couple of hours ago.

A police report of the incident describes the events, indicating that Stack had to be pulled from his home, handcuffed, and the area assessed before they could even talk.

While this incident alone is terrifying for those involved, there has been little mention of what exactly preceded the Stack arrest.  Other calls had been made – from addresses that Stack no longer resided.
Stack explains one such call, “…  the call was made to the police department of the town where I used to live, and the police were sent to my FORMER address.”
Indeed, there is a separate police report for Stack’s previous address, where the residents who had no idea what was going on were pulled from their homes in what had to be a harrowing experience.
Stack also told us that, “The police, in their hurry to control the situation, quickly accosted the innocent residents, handcuffing them on the ground…”
But it wasn’t just Stack himself and this innocent couple who were terrorized that night.  Police also responded to Stack’s parents house, questioning them about the alleged shooting.
Essentially, what you have here are three sets of innocent parties who could have fallen victim to this vicious prank – Stack, his parents, and an unrelated family.
Had any of these raids gone wrong, had somebody made a wrong move for whatever reason, with officers approaching and weapons drawn, under the impression that they are fighting off an armed and murderous criminal, anything could have happened.  Not just a conservative blogger involved in an online battle, but completely innocent people could have had their lives turned upside down, could have been injured, or could have been killed.
If it happens in your area, what would you do knowing you could be in harms way?
Don’t wait – Go to Michelle Malkin’s website, contact the people on her list and demand an investigation into SWAT-ting.  
You might just be the next victim.

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Conservative Bloggers Get Legal Help in the Fight For Free Speech

June 7, 2012 at 4:12 pm (ACLJ, Ali Akbar, American Center for Law and Justice, Blogger, Brett Kimberlin, Conservative, First Amendment, Free Speech, Jay Sekulow, Michelle Malkin, National Bloggers Club)

In the ongoing battle against SWAT-ting and those forces who would like to quell free speech, conservatives just received major reinforcements.

Today, the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), through Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, has announced that they too will stand against the harassing and dangerous tactics of domestic terrorist Brett Kimberlin and his ilk, and stand for the First Amendment and free speech.

Here is the press release:

ACLJ  DEFENDS  FREE  SPEECH  IN  BLOGOSPHERE – REPRESENTS  TOP CONSERVATIVE BLOGGERS  TARGETED  FOR  HARASSMENT

(Washington, DC) – The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which focuses on constitutional law, announced today it is providing legal representation to a top conservative blogger and his organization that represents many other bloggers who are facing threats and intimidation tactics by those opposed to their viewpoint.

“Free speech is under attack,” said Jay Sekulow, ACLJ Chief Counsel. “Conservative writers are now facing threats against themselves, their families, and their livelihoods merely because they’ve aggressively investigated the history and funding of radical liberals. The ACLJ has a long history of successfully defending free speech, and we look forward to defeating this latest attempt to threaten and intimidate conservatives into silence.”

The issue involves targeting a number of conservative bloggers with a dangerous and illegal tactic that’s become known as SWAT-ing – (making false 911 calls sending police to the homes of bloggers, claiming a crime has occurred.) The tactic is used in retaliation for posts the conservative bloggers have written.

The ACLJ is representing Ali Akbar, a top blogger and president of the National Bloggers Club, a coalition of conservative bloggers which reaches millions of readers. Akbar has seen his mother’s home photographed and placed on the internet. He has also received formal notification that he may soon be sued for publishing truthful information about radical liberals and their wealthy donors.

“I’m grateful for the support of the ACLJ, and I’m confident we’ll defeat any and all legal challenges to our fundamental right to free speech,” said Akbar. “We will not be deterred in our quest for the truth.”

The ACLJ will aggressively defend the constitutionally-protected free speech rights of Akbar and his organizations.

The ACLJ’s representation of Akbar comes as Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) is calling on Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate the SWAT-ting cases to see if federal laws have been violated. In a letter to the Attorney General, Sen. Chambliss wrote: “Any potentially criminal action that incites fear, seeks to silence a dissenting opinion, and collaterally wastes the resources of law enforcement should be given close scrutiny at all levels. . . Regardless of any potential political differences that may exist, threats and intimidation have no place in our national political discourse.”

Led by Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the American Center for Law and Justice is based in Washington, D.C. and online at http://www.aclj.org.

Here is a blog post from Jay Sekulow on the matter (courtesy of Michelle Malkin).

Sekulow explains why his organization is jumping into the fray:

Free speech is under attack. Conservative writers are now facing threats against themselves, their families, and their livelihoods merely because they’ve aggressively investigated the history and funding of radical liberals …

… The ACLJ will be providing legal representation to Akbar and his organization of conservative bloggers who are facing threats and intimidation tactics by those opposed to their viewpoint. We will aggressively defend their constitutionally-protected free speech rights from these unwarranted attacks …

… The ACLJ has a long history of successfully defending free speech, and we look forward to defeating this latest attempt to threaten and intimidate conservatives into silence.

This type of support is invaluable, as most bloggers (as Kimberlin is well aware) find it difficult to sustain any lengthy and successful legal battles.  Now however, they have an accomplished means to fight back in court.

To date, nobody has backed down to Kimberlin and the SWAT-ters.  To the contrary, they are now escalating their defensive efforts.

These opponents of free speech have truly picked the wrong targets.

Thank you ACLJ!

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Will the Department of Justice Investigate Attacks on Conservative Bloggers?

June 6, 2012 at 10:48 pm (Aaron Walker, ABC News, Brett Kimberlin, Department of Justice, Eric Holder, Free Speech, Georgia, Saxby Chambliss)

Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), has sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, requesting that the Department of Justice investigate threatening actions being carried out against several conservative political commentators.

ABC News provides excerpts:

“I am writing with concern regarding recent reports that several members of the community of online political commentators have been targeted with harassing and frightening actions. Any potentially criminal action that incites fear, seeks to silence a dissenting opinion, and collaterally wastes the resources of law enforcement should be given close scrutiny at all levels,” Chambliss wrote in the letter.

“Regardless of any potential political differences that may exist, threats and intimidation have no place in our national political discourse. Those who choose to enter into that political discourse should not have to worry about potential threats to their or their family’s safety,” Chambliss continued.  “While I am certain that local law enforcement is reviewing each of these instances, I am asking you to please look into each of these cases as well to determine if any federal laws may have been violated. Future targets of SWAT-ting, whether engaged in political speech or not, may not be so fortunate as to escape physical harm.”

The report goes on to mention the man suspected of these SWAT-ting attacks is Brett Kimberlin.  You may remember, we covered him here a couple of weeks ago…

… everyone who reads a conservative blog is likely to learn his name – for Kimberlin is a serial domestic terrorist. 

His terrorism ranges from the literal …

Kimberlin is known as the Speedway Bomber, who was convicted in 1981 of a series of bombings that caused extensive property damage, and severely mutilated a man who happened upon one of his explosive devices, eventually leading to the man’s suicide.  Some law enforcement officials believed the bombings were actually an attempt to distract from the murder of an elderly woman in Indianapolis, a crime in which Kimberlin was a suspect.

To the legal …

Kimberlin has recently terrorized several bloggers through litigation, intimidation, and implied threats.

He attempted to frame Aaron Walker (a.k.a Aaron Worthing) of a crime,  and cost him and his wife their jobs.

He has harassed Patterico to the point that he has crafted a rough draft explaining what has happened and distributed it to various people in the event that “an unfortunate accident were to befall” him.

He has targeted Liberty Chick.

And more recently, Kimberlin has terrorized the popular blogger known as The Other McCain (Robert Stacy McCain).  Apparently, reporting on the Speedway Bomber’s past has once again resulted in unrelenting harassment by Kimberlin, this time forcing McCain to move his family out of state for their own safety.

But even within the ABC report, Kimberlin again proves himself to be a serial liar, stating (emphasis mine):

Kimberlin denied he was responsible for the post, even saying that he does not maintain any online presence and said he and his family have been victims of threats themselves and accused the bloggers of constructing a “false narrative” about him.

“I don’t blog, I don’t comment, I don’t tweet on any blogs at all.  This is a right-wing attack on me and my organizations and it’s a smear job. It’s a swift boat action against us,” Kimberlin said. “What they’re doing is an obstruction of justice and it’s defamatory.  We’re cooperating with the authorities in this matter.  They have engaged in a massive smear campaign against us that has resulted in death threats to me and my family and to others associated with us.”

In another case which saw blogger Aaron Walker actually jailed for writing about the domestic terrorist, Kimberlin stated in court:

Mr. Walker has tweeted on Twitter about me in alarming and annoying ways over hundreds of times in the past week and urged others to attack me. He has generated hundreds of blog posts directly and indirectly based on false allegations that I framed him for an assault.

Mr. Walker has had many people threaten me directly with death, and told me to stop talking to the police, and not show up in court or I would die.

He ends up with a running tally of allegedly 14,000 tweets, which is astounding considering his entire Twitter history lists a total of just over 12,000 tweets.  That aside, I’m curious how someone who doesn’t maintain any online presence was able to read thousands of tweets from Walker’s feed, and analyze the commentary section of “hundreds of blog posts”.

Here’s how – an eyewitness report of the Kimberlin/Walker case states:

Here’s what seems to have happened. Although Kimberlin’s first peace order against Walker was eventually thrown out on appeal, it appears that while it was in effect Walker wrote a blog post about Kimberlin. This triggered a Google Alert that Kimberlin had set up. Kimberlin filed criminal charges based on that, apparently claiming that constituted “contact.” The court apparently agreed, and Walker was arrested.

Harvesting Google alerts on your own name is not the same as somebody e-mailing you directly, but the fact that he set up Google alerts in the first place demonstrates some degree of internet proficiency.

Audio of the hearing provides this statement from Kimberlin (h/t Joe Newby – Spokane Conservative Examiner):

I’m the director of several non profits in the area I work with human rights issues and government accountability issues and so it’s part of my job to to work on the internet because it’s basically a social networking job and so I get Google alerts all the time mentioning my my organizations, my name what work we do and (inaudible).

And of course, Kimberlin’s non-profits also maintain an online presence – Justice Through Music and Velvet Revolution come to mind.

So how does someone with no online presence maintain such a high level of online presence?  ABC News and the rest of the mainstream media should be wondering the same.

The final question is, will the Department of Justice try to figure out who is responsible for these SWAT-tings, and will they investigate multiple complaints against a convicted bomber?

Time will tell…

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Who’s Behind the Twitter Assault on Conservatives?

April 30, 2012 at 9:00 am (#FreeChrisLoesch, America to Fail, Blog, Censorship, Chris Loesch, Conservatives, Dana Loesch, Free Speech, FreeMarket_US, If I Wanted America to Fail, Liberals, Twitter)

Late last night, I had received an e-mail from a concerned blogger which explained an odd situation he had encountered on Twitter:

Last night about 20 minutes after I went on a conservative rant my account was suspended by Twitter for no apparent reason. Twitter‘s reason for the suspension was “abusive language” I didn’t even curse let alone make a threat, I said nothing that could be interpreted as abusive. I argued with Twitter and after several hours they unlocked my account.

But there’s more…

Shortly after his ordeal with Twitter, the blogger proceeded to investigate and discovered several suspensions of accounts belonging to what he called ‘low profile conservatives’ – meaning the groundwork, foot-soldier type bloggers who don’t quite have a huge following as of yet.

This, coupled with last weeks suspension of the account @FreeMarket_US for the crime of having created a viral video called “If I Wanted America to Fail“, has certainly raised some eyebrows.

Were conservative bloggers just getting a little paranoid?

Enter #FreeChrisLoesch…

Chris Loesch is the husband of conservative blogger, Dana Loesch, and a prominent name on Twitter.

From Dana Loesch at Breitbart.com:

Earlier this evening my husband, Chris Loesch, had his Twitter account suspended. There have been stories going around of conservatives getting suspended from Twitter over innocuous things while accounts like @KillZimmerman (an account which threatened to kill George Zimmerman) and other such accounts were left active for weeks. After a user remarked about me being raped and murdered, Chris and others defended me.

I can only assume that either someone suspended it, or (and more likely) progressives targeted Chris’s account, reported him, and got him suspended. 

Either way, conservatives didn’t react to kindly and launched a Twitter campaign the likes of which I haven’t seen since Wonkette and Trig Palin. #FreeChrisLoesch trended third worldwide. 

In the ensuing battle, there were reports that Chris Loesch had his account reinstated, but then suspended again a couple of times.  I tried to follow @ChrisLoesch this morning, and I am greeted by a message that reminds me his account has been suspended.

From Twitchy:

It’s not over yet. Coordinated flag-spamming is a problem that Twitter needs to address now and preemptively, not AFTER conservative accounts are targeted and taken down.

So who’s behind the Twitter assault on conservatives?  The Twitter brass seems unlikely, as this would certainly hurt their traffic by suspending a major portion of their political dialogue.

The most likely scenario is a group of low-level liberals on Twitter, taking advantage of the reporting system in place to make bogus claims of spam or harassment.  It is emblematic of the juvenile frat boy tactics of the left.  Either way, it appears to be a coordinated attack that’s end purpose will only be to raise the ire of conservatives even further.  You would think they would have been smarter and waited for an important news cycle to pull out this stunt, as it is likely to be remedied by Twitter in short order.

What part of free speech exactly do liberals continue to struggle with?

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Nancy Pelosi Wants to Amend the First Amendment

April 20, 2012 at 9:10 am (Citizens United, Congress, Constitution, Democrats, First Amendment, Free Speech, Nancy Pelosi)

Zip it!

Since when is adhering to the Constitution a concern for Pelosi anyway?

From CNSNews.com:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday endorsed a movement announced by other congressional Democrats on Wednesday to ratify an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would allow Congress to regulate political speech when it is engaged in by corporations as opposed to individuals.
The First Amendment says in part: “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. . .”
Television networks, newspapers, publishing houses, movie studios and think tanks, as well as political action committees, are usually organized as, or elements of, corporations.
Pelosi said the Democrats’ effort to amend the Constitution is part of a three-pronged strategy that also includes promoting the DISCLOSE Act, which would increase disclosure requirements for organizations running political ads, and “reducing the roll of money in campaigns” (which some Democrats have said can be done through taxpayer funding of campaigns).
The constitutional amendment the Democrats seek would reverse the Supreme Court’s 2009 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. In that decision the court said that the First Amendment protects a right of free speech for corporations as well as for individuals, and that corporations (including those that produce newspapers, films and books) have a right to speak about politicians and their records just as individuals do.

If you’re wondering how this would lead to censorship of everyday things like books, papers, or the internet, Chief Justice Roberts can explain…

The case in question led to this opinion written by Roberts:

“The government urges us in this case to uphold a direct prohibition on political speech,” wrote Roberts. “It asks us to embrace a theory of the First Amendment that would allow censorship not only of television and radio broadcasts, but of pamphlets, posters, the Internet, and virtually any other medium that corporations and unions might find useful in expressing their views on matters of public concerns.”

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Kevin McGrath is Right About a Smear Campaign – His Own Actions Are Smearing Troy’s Reputation

April 13, 2012 at 11:47 am (Drug Deal, Felony, Free Speech, James Gordon, Kevin McGrath, Lou Rosamilia, Lynn Kopka, New York, Times Union, Troy, Voter Fraud)

Thursday’s edition of Inside Politics saw the Times Union getting up to speed on a story first published here last week, in which Troy City Council Democrats censored James Gordon for having the gall to request a review of a morally challenged convicted felon who is actively serving on the council.  Kevin McGrath, the councilman who currently serves more as a distraction and embarrassment than a viable public servant, is the man in question.

In the Times Union piece, McGrath once again brushes off valid concerns of the citizens of Troy by saying any attention being focused on him is merely “a smear campaign”.

McGrath is right.  The smear campaign has not been conducted by the GOP however, it has been waged by McGrath himself on the City of Troy.

Kevin McGrath’s moral bankrputcy has smeared the City of Troy.

When he ran for public office despite being ‘concerned’ about his history of substance abuse and ‘the fact that he is a convicted felon‘, he smeared the City of Troy.

The City of Troy and the judge in the voter fraud trial were smeared when McGrath’s testimony involved cracking a joke about his lack of drug-peddling business savvy – a comment that forced him to apologize to the judge.

The public was once again smeared when details of McGrath’s drug selling prowess were proven false – he was one of 17 arrested for an open-air drug network that operated at a profit of ‘a few million dollars’.  It was the arrest that earned him the honor of convicted felon.

The people of the City of Troy, along with the integrity of the entire local election process were smeared when McGrath was presented with a stack of forged absentee ballots that defense attorney Brian Premo alleged were handled by the Councilman himself.  While Premo had only made allegations according to the media reports, court transcripts show an exchange in which he asks McGrath if he realizes he “committed crimes in this case”.  To which McGrath responds, “I have been told, yes.”

Perhaps the ultimate smear on the City was this – when presented with forged ballots that the defense attorney said were handled by McGrath personally, he blamed the voters for any confusion about his handling of their ballots.

Indeed, McGrath has been a participant in a disgusting smear campaign – his actions have smeared the City of Troy, and its residents are left cleaning up the trail of slime left in his wake.

That said, two points regarding the Times Union piece yesterday:

First – The article states that Lynn Kopka ruled Gordon out of order for personal attacks.  The way that it is written would make the reader think that she was accurate in that assessment, which she was not.  If citizens are not allowed to cite facts – provable facts at that – when voicing concerns over a sitting Council member, then that is a major problem.  Now, any item that Kopka disagrees with can be gaveled out of order as an alleged personal attack.

Second – The last sentence reads in a manner that gives the impression that McGrath would have to have been charged in order for the Council to take action.  This too, is false.  The charter specifically cites ‘disorderly conduct and malfeasance’ as means to expel a Council member.  McGrath may yet face charges for ballots forged on the Conservative and Independent lines.  He was shown to have admitted in court that he had committed crimes.  He just recently admitted to felony drug charges.  If these things do not constitute disorderly conduct, then I am at a loss.

As for James Gordon’s right to free speech having been violated, I have contacted the Council and the Mayor’s office several times since the video of the meeting surfaced, and have yet to receive a response. 

Mayor Lou Rosamilia and Council President Lynn Kopka can only hide behind their gavels and closed doors for so long – at some point they have to address the expulsion of Kevin McGrath, or continue dodging questions about an election-rigging, convicted felon in their midst. 

I should think the former would be the easiest route.

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City Democrats Dig In Their Heels to Shield Election-Rigging, Convicted Felon

April 6, 2012 at 2:11 pm (City Council, First Amendment, Free Speech, James Gordon, Kevin McGrath, Lou Rosamilia, Lynn Kopka, New York, Troy, Voter Fraud)

Democrats in the city of Troy have already proven to have a complete disregard for the cherished right of a citizen to cast their own vote.  Now it seems they are hell-bent on stifling another fundamental American right – the right to free speech.

At a City Council meeting on Thursday night, First Amendment rights were ushered out the door when Democrat Council President, Lynn Kopka, refused to listen to an opinion that may have dissented from her own.

On the Troy City Council web page, meetings are described as being open to the public, and that citizens will have a forum “where you can address the Council members and briefly speak your mind on any topic pertinent to city government.”

Kopka herself, sports a “likes Freedom of Speech” update on her own Facebook page.

So when Troy Republican Committee Chairman, James Gordon, took to the podium to discuss a ‘topic pertinent to city government’, there should have been a minimal number of complaints.

And initially, no umbrage was taken.  When Gordon started off on an issue in which he actually praised the council – voting against pay raises – nobody spoke up.  But when he turned to the topic of a sitting councilman, who recently accepted a plea deal in the voter fraud case, may yet face future voter fraud charges, and admitted to being a convicted felon, things turned dicey.

Gordon had written a letter in which he requested that Councilman Kevin McGrath step down from his public post, in lieu of the recent embarrassing revelations.  When he started reading his request to the council, Lynn Kopka took the extraordinary step of trampling on his free speech rights, gavelling him out of order and demanding that he simply hand her the letter.

The letter, seen below, contains nothing out of the ordinary.  It gives a clear and concise argument for why McGrath should step down.  In the letter, Gordon sites specific testimony between the defense attorney and McGrath:

Question by Premo: “And you said a few minutes ago that you realize you committed crimes in this case. Is that correct?”
            Answer by McGrath: “I have been told, yes.”

This candid admission according to Gordon, “is in clear violation of the Troy City Charter due to his “disorderly conduct” as outlined in Article VII, subsection C-31.”

That portion of the charter reads:

The City Council shall determine the rules of its proceedings; may compel the attendance of any regular or regularly called special meeting of Council members absent therefrom; may declare the seat of any Council members inexcusably absent from three successive regular meetings to be vacant; and may expel a Council member for disorderly conduct or misfeasance in office. No seat shall be declared vacant and no Council member shall be expelled until the delinquent Council member has had an opportunity to be heard in his/her own defense.

Council President Lynn Kopka(function() { var scribd = document.createElement(“script”); scribd.type = “text/javascript”; scribd.async = true; scribd.src = “http://www.scribd.com/javascripts/embed_code/inject.js“; var s = document.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(scribd, s); })();

A taxpaying citizen of the city of Troy making a formal request to remove a council member who is in violation of the city charter seems pertinent to most.  Perhaps more importantly, the concerns voiced by James Gordon are all valid concerns of many residents of Troy, as dozens of community members have contacted him personally to find out why McGrath is still allowed to serve.  There is a demand for answers here whether Kopka or McGrath want to admit it.

Video of the incident can be seen below, with the relevant portion beginning at 28:33.

As Gordon begins reading his letter, McGrath can be seen sitting to the left of the viewer’s point of view, and is seen motioning to Kopka at 30:26 to cut the speaker off.  Kopka dutifully does his bidding, and responds by interrupting Gordon saying, “Jim, I’d like to remind you there’s no personal attacks…”  Gordon responds that, “This is a statement of fact, not a personal attack.”

Facts, as they say, are stubborn things.  More stubborn however was Kopka’s insistence on cutting Gordon off.

At this point, McGrath himself added insult to injury saying, “It’s a little early for the silly season, Jim.”

After some cross-talk, Gordon asks if he can continue and again assures the Council that there are no personal attacks.  One council member is heard asking for Gordon to simply hand over the letter, assuring that the people in attendance would not hear his thoughts and concerns.

Shortly thereafter, Kopka interrupts the speech again with her gavel, and calls the statement “out of order”.  Another person is heard saying that he may have crossed legal boundaries, though it is unclear what legal boundaries can be crossed when exercising one’s right to free speech.

Kopka eventually demands the letter from Gordon and turns off his microphone.

Why any of this came as so offensive that it would have to be censored can only be understood by Kopka herself.  To the casual observer, there can be only one explanation.  Kopka and McGrath do not want the criminal history of a currently serving member and representative of the city as a matter of public record.

At the time of this printing, e-mails to the City Council and Mayor Lou Rosamilia have gone unanswered.  Fellow Councilmember Ken Zalewski however, voiced his opinion on Facebook saying, “At last night’s City Council meeting, Troy residents James Gordon and Jim de Seve were prevented from exercising their free speech rights. I disagree strongly with the Council President’s decision to gavel them out of order, and I offered my own thoughts on this subject.”

Last month, we also called on the immediate resignation of Mr. McGrath based on a newly revealed history of felony drug charges, and more importantly his latest role in the voter fraud scandal.

At the trial, Premo pressed McGrath about his criminal background. He also confronted him with a stack of absentee ballots that were not part of Smith’s case, but showed what Premo suggested were other forged ballots handled personally by McGrath.

Yet McGrath continues to make light of these incidents, calling Gordon out on initiating the ‘silly season’ for wanting to address them publicly.

McGrath for his part, has a propensity to crack jokes in the midst of very serious matters.  During the voter fraud trial, he cracked wise about his inability to turn a profit selling drugs (proven untrue), the same crime for which he had been convicted.  While most would have hung their heads in shame, McGrath laughed it off, prompting an apology from the judge in the case.

But the reality here is that the joke is squarely being played on the residents of the city of Troy.  This joke is not vaguely amusing, it is a practical joke gone horribly awry – the career of Kevin McGrath.

McGrath’s history is too checkered to ignore.  It needs to be addressed by the City Council today.  From drug deals, to plea deals, his record is a blight on Troy politics specifically, and New York politics in general.

Because of this incident, we are also calling on Council President Lynn Kopka to issue a public apology not only to James Gordon, but the entire city of Troy.  Until she takes this necessary and appropriate action, the residents of Troy will always wonder if they can trust their elected officials to hear their voice, and if they too will be censored for the simple act of speaking up.

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