Now that SCOTUS has affirmed that the RKBA is an individual right, we need to get ready for the upcoming attack on our First Amendment rights: our freedom of speech.
From INSIGHT Magazine
Liberal Democrats are attempting to muzzle conservative talk radio: they are assaulting free speech. Like the communists in the former Soviet Union, America's liberals seek to crush dissent by consolidating control over the media-especially talk radio, which has emerged as the dominant medium for conservative opinion.
Allies close to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are promoting legislation, which if passed, will take off the air prominent conservative radio hosts such as Michael Savage, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly-along with thousands of smaller conservative broadcasters.
The bill, entitled the "Media Ownership Reform Act," is sponsored by Rep. Maurice Hinchey, a leftist Democrat from New York. The legislation aims to revive the so-called "Fairness Doctrine" of the 1940's: "all views" are to be given equal time on radio. In particular, the Federal Communications Commission would have the power to oversee and change radio and television content. The goal is to tilt the ideological balance of power away from the right on the nation's air waves.
The real force behind the effort to censor conservative talk radio is the progressive-philanthropist, George Soros. The radical leftist billionaire has made no secret of his hatred for conservatives. He says President Bush has transformed America into a militaristic, "fascist" empire. Moreover, Soros champions many of liberalism's chic causes: abortion on demand, legalization of drugs, homosexual marriage, euthanasia, unlimited Third World immigration, open borders, and one-world government anchored in the United Nations. He advocates all the issues that are anathema to popular radio talk-show hosts like Savage, Limbaugh and Hannity. Hence, he wants these commentators to be exiled to the political wilderness.
The answer to the Media Ownership Reform Act is the Broadcast Freedom Act. It is currently stuck in committee, and needs 218 votes to discharge it for a full floor vote. With U.S. Rep. Timothy V. Johnson's vote, the petition now has 196 votes. Write your Congressman/woman and let them know exactly where you stand on this issue.
The following editorial makes it abundantly clear why we must not lose this First Amendment battle with the extreme Leftists...
The Dallas Morning News
Editorial: All hail the First Amendment
Friday, July 4, 2008
On the Fourth of July, the day we celebrate America's liberty and independence, it's worth contemplating how much more free America is than most other nations in the West.
Why? The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. How very much depends on these 45 words:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
"The First Amendment really does distinguish the U.S., not just from Canada but from the rest of the Western world," says writer Mark Steyn, who's learning it the hard way. Mr. Steyn and Maclean's, the top-selling Canadian magazine, have faced human rights charges in British Columbia. Their alleged offense? Maclean's published a Steyn essay critical of Islam, which prompted Muslim activists to file formal charges accusing the writer and the magazine of violating Canada's hate-speech laws.
Last Friday, the national Human Rights Commission dismissed the charges, but they're still pending in front of a provincial panel. The victory is less than what it appears. For one thing, defending against the charges cost the magazine hundreds of thousands of dollars. For another, it is frightening to think that a human rights panel has the right to decide what can and cannot be published in a free country.
It's not just Canadian critics of Muslims whose speech is under attack. The Alberta Human Rights Commission ruled that the Rev. Stephen Boissoin had broken the country's hate-speech laws by criticizing homosexuals. Last month, the panel ordered the minister to pay damages, apologize and desist from criticizing homosexuality for the rest of his life.
Similarly, the Ontario Human Rights Commission recently ordered a large Christian social service ministry to abandon its statement of faith as discriminatory against gays and to send its employees to diversity training.
Free speech also is in trouble in Europe. Last month, a French court fined actress and animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot $23,000 for violating hate-speech laws. Complaining about Islamic sheep-slaughtering customs, Ms. Bardot had said Muslims were "destroying" France. In May, British police arrested a teenager for calling Scientology a "cult" at a peaceful demonstration.
Also that month, police in The Netherlands arrested Dutch cartoonist Gregorius Nekschot on suspicion of incitement to hatred and discrimination for cartoons alleged to be anti-Muslim. The Dutch police, who have established a branch to investigate cartoons, recently brought in proprietors of a Website critical of multiculturalism to explain comments left on the site.
None of this could have happened in the United States, where the right to say what's on your mind, no matter whose feelings it may hurt, is considered vital to the self-government of a free people. The First Amendment means that in our liberal democracy, we have to tolerate speech many of us find obnoxious or offensive. But it affirms that enduring hateful or distasteful oratory is far less dangerous than giving taboos on controversial speech the force of law.
It is not too much to say that all of our freedoms depend on the First Amendment, for if we cannot speak and worship freely, we are on the road to tyranny. On Independence Day, and every day, we must be grateful for the foresight of the Founders, who understood as no others in their position had before or have since, how sacred freedom of speech is.
When Thomas Jefferson famously said that he would rather have newspapers without a government than government without newspapers, he meant that freely and widely expressed opinions are the true foundation for a successful government of the people, by the people and for the people.
In an observation that cannot be improved upon, the Colonial-era Freeman's Journal editorialized: "As long as the liberty of the press continues unviolated, and the people have the right of expressing and publishing their sentiments upon every public measure, it is next to impossible to enslave a free nation."
God bless America – and God bless the First Amendment, which protects and serves rich and poor, liberals and conservatives, secularists and believers, and all those privileged to call themselves Americans.
For an exhaustive analysis of the
Unmasking the Myths Behind the Fairness Doctrine
by Brian Fitzpatrick, Senior Editor, Culture and Media Institute
HINT: Nancy Pelosi and Company were pissed-off when they got their ass kicked on the illegal immigration reform bill in 2007.