Anti-First Amendment S.1 Passes Congress
It was bad enough George Bush Senior found it necessary to blame bloggers for creating what he deems an “adversarial and ugly climate” (never mind his particular bit of ugliness in Iraq more than a decade ago, eventually resulting in the murder of more than a million people), last month we had the Manchurian candidate, John McCain, introducing legislation “that would fine blogs up to $300,000 for offensive statements, photos and videos posted by visitors on comment boards, effectively nixing the open exchange of ideas on the Internet, providing a lethal injection for unrestrained opinion, and acting as the latest attack tool to chill freedom of speech on the world wide web,” as Paul Joseph Watson writes for Prison Planet.
Since Watson wrote his piece about McCain’s anti-First Amendment bill, Richard A. Viguerie has warned that Congress is attempting the silence bloggers and other critics of the government. “We have the First Amendment right to speak and urge citizens to contact Washington—without the intimidation inherent in federal regulation of our activities.”
Of course, as a Republican partisan, Viguerie concentrates on Pelosi and the Democrats while quite naturally ignoring Bush and the neocons. But even so, his warning about Section 220 of S. 1, a lobbying reform bill that went before the Senate should not go unheeded—it will “require grassroots causes, even bloggers, who communicate to 500 or more members of the public on policy matters, to register and report quarterly to Congress the same as the big K Street lobbyists. Section 220 would amend existing lobbying reporting law by creating the most expansive intrusion on First Amendment rights ever. For the first time in history, critics of Congress will need to register and report with Congress itself,” according to Viguerie.
It’s comical, in a perverse sort of way, that Democrats and Republican—turn them upside down, they all look the same—are “bitterly split on … how to clean up the scandal-rocked U.S. Congress,” according to the Washington Post. Never mind that Congress is basically a whorehouse of corporate and political special interests and such a bill would not touch most of them.
Republicans are not opposed to the “bipartisan bill to revamp the Senate’s ethics and lobbying rules” because it is a slap in the face to the First Amendment, but rather because they want to include a “line item veto” provision that would further consolidate Bush’s unitary decidership. “Attaching an unrelated measure to this bipartisan bill is an obvious attempt to derail passage of the strongest ethics reform legislation,” complained Democrats Russ Feingold and Barack Obama, the presidential wanna-be.
As noted here last week, Democrats made sure to set up a special loophole, called an “ethics exemption,” for their friends. “A major loophole in the Democrats’ recently unveiled ethics package will allow non-profit arms of controversial lobbying organizations to fund travel excursions for members of Congress,” Raw Story reported earlier this month. Pelosi and crew designed this “loophole” specifically for AIPAC and the Aspen Institute, a Rockefeller and Carnegie globalist crime syndicate.
Not that opposition matters. “The Senate, responding to voter frustration with corruption and special interest influence in Washington, on Thursday overwhelmingly approved far-reaching ethics and lobbying reform legislation,” reports Time. “Under the bill, passed 96-2, senators will give up gifts and free travel from lobbyists, pay more for travel on corporate jets and make themselves more accountable for the pet projects they insert into bills.”
No mention here of the fact “Pelosi & Company’s lobbying legislation ‘reform’ would define political communications to and even between citizens as ‘lobbying.’ This turns the definition of lobbying on its head and is in violation of the First Amendment,” according to Viguerie. “Moreover, their legislation would treat grassroots activists more harshly than the K Street lobbyists and the big corporations and unions. They get loopholes that the smallest critics using the Internet wouldn’t enjoy. Communicating to as few as 500 people would trigger the registration and quarterly reporting to Congress…. In truth, the grassroots legislation would help protect corruption in Washington by silencing critics and diminishing the ability of grassroots causes to communicate with the general public.”
But the Democrats, portrayed as our saviors during the last election cycle, are not finished. “As the new Democratic majority continues its 100-hour legislative blitz in the U.S. House, one Democrat has quietly reintroduced controversial legislation that would give the federal government more authority over so-called ‘hate crimes,’” the Cybercast News Service reported on January 16. “This is the most dangerous legislation ever to come before Congress,” warns Rev. Ted Pike. “It leads directly to an end of free speech. Once free speech is gone, there is little to prevent the loss of all our other freedoms. The new Democrat-controlled Congress has all the votes it needs to quickly run this Orwellian bill through committee in the House and Senate and pass it.”
In 1936, Nikolai Bukharin crafted the Soviet Constitution, which promised freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of the press, freedom of religious worship, and the inviolability of individuals, their home and the privacy of their correspondence. Stalin claimed to support the constitution, even as he arrested thousands of dissidents opposed to the government. In total, millions of people were imprisoned and killed, most of them for opposing Stalin, including Nikolai Bukharin, the founder of the Soviet Constitution.
In America, the government claims to uphold the Constitution and the Bill of Rights while passing legislation designed to curtail if not eliminate our liberty. Is it possible, in the months ahead, as both Pike and Viguerie warn, the government will, under the direction of a Democrat Congress, begin a momentous process that may eventually result in the sort of massive crimes Stalin inflicted on the people of the Soviet Union?