Sunday, 6 February 2011

The First Amendment

The First Amendment - Crush Videos Banned On The Internet
Crush refers to videos that graphically depict animals being tortured and killed. Women pummeling small animals in stilettos. Impaling. Appalling. Perverse.
Political pundits argued that such behavior had been banned by a 1999 enactment. The Supreme Court ruled that the law was so broadly drafted that it violated First Amendment free speech rights.
The hearing process which began the legislative process heard from a diverse group of constituents, beyond animal rights activists.
The result? The new Act criminalizes the "creation, sale, distribution, advertising, marketing and exchange of animal crush videos." With ramifications that extend beyond animal protection.
As noted by Dr. Kris Otteman, Oregon Humane Society director, "People who commit violence against animals are often the same people who engage in violence against people, particularly women and children."

The new law is a first step in regulating internet media. There are good apples and bad apples. Banning crush videos on the internet is simply the start of new chapters that will be written about the First Amendment and online media. Bloggers are thus acknowledged as Americans last hope for freedom.
Now the government has decided they must be silenced. It is time to fight back. We can return America to the governance of the people. In that battle bloggers are our first line of resistance.
The Congress is stacked; the Supreme Court is frozen for the forces of big government and tyranny. Bloggers are under attack. They need to be protected. We have been divided, right and left, Green and Libertarian. These chasms are in large part fiction, constructed to prevent effective communication and a unified front for protecting the rights of individuals against the predations of the unholy alliance between megacorporations and government.
The rights of individuals as enunciated by Jefferson remain today the Mission Statement of America, more profound and compelling of our loyalty than any government or political party. Political parties are tools we created to help us achieve the goals left uncompleted at the time of America's founding. Where political parties fail because they have proven to be incapable of advancing the work of human emancipation they must be discarded. The redefinition of meanings, linking loyalty to words like 'conservative' instead of to the profound principles underlying America's Mission Statement worked to convert our rights, inherent and preceding government, to privileges, granted by government.
The solution is a working coalition and the way to make that work is to start working together to protect our first line of defense, a common problem, the coming persecution of Bloggers.
Our uniting agenda must include protecting Bloggers as the last bastion of free speech and the Internet as the village commons where opinions are aired, judged, and adopted through the process of persuasion and consent.
That need is urgent and compelling.
The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court, provides the strongest guarantee of free speech in the world. Unlike people in many other countries, Americans are free to criticize each other and government officials in language both fair and foul, to engage in racist or other hateful speech, and to use expletives and other bad language in public. In some states, like California, they may even exercise their right to free speech on other people's private property. Americans are very proud (some foreigners would say inordinately) of their right to free speech; most of them feel that it encourages a strong free press which regularly cleanses corruption out of American government (e.g., Watergate) and thus ensures its unique stability.
With journalistic freedom protected in the 1791 Bill of Rights, the press became an assertive force during the first decades of nationhood. The U.S. media today is frequently known as the Fourth Estate, an appellation that suggests the press shares equal stature with the three branches of government created by the Constitution. Numerous debates still rise regarding press's freedom to act as a watchdog of the American government. Is it protected by law?
Several critical court cases have been landmarks in establishing the rights of the press to pursue information and to publish government documents or derogatory information about public figures. In our time, American free speech law has become an issue of international appeal since the Internet rose as another main medium of communication. Probably, this is because many banned groups can take advantage of Internet service providers based in the United States to send their messages around the world, even where such speech is banned. U.S. courts will not enforce foreign judgments contrary to domestic public policy, including the liberal U.S. policy on free speech. As for the U.S. perspective, many Americans dislike attempts by common law jurisdictions to extend their personal jurisdiction to American defendants whose alleged defamatory speech acts occurred over the Internet and were not targeted towards those jurisdictions. If the First Amendment cannot protect them, what else can?


Post a Comment