Thursday, November 24, 2005


Bush makes another attack on the Constitution by butchering the First Amendment.

From Doug Thompson at Capitol Hill Blue:

The Rant
Ain't no free speech allowed in Dubya's America
Nov 24, 2005, 07:10

In George W. Bush’s America, protest and free speech are illegal acts. Just ask those arrested Wednesday for staging a peaceful protest against the Iraq war near the President’s ranch in Crawford, Texas.

Camping on the same land that antiwar mom Cindy Sheehan used to stage her highly-publicized protest in August, the activists quickly ran afoul of a hastily-passed new Texas prohibiting public gathering.

That’s right. The public no longer has a right to protest the President’s policies on public land near the President’s home in Crawford.

“The ordinance was very plainly meant to prevent people from protesting in front of Bush's ranch,” Dave Jensen, a 54-year-old former Marine told reporters. “We feel that's a First Amendment issue. It's intentionally designed to curtail freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.”

But the First Amendment doesn’t mean much to cops in Texas or the Bush administration as a dozen protestors, including Daniel Ellsberg of Pentagon papers fame along with the sister of Cindy Sheehan.

Such arrests, says Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, is just another example of how the Bush administration seeks to stifle debate on the Iraq war.

“What kind of debate are we willing to have? The White House showed exactly what kind of debate it wants on future of Iraq – none,” Obama says. “We watched the shameful attempt to paint John Murtha - a Marine Corp recipient of two-purple hearts and a Bronze Star - into a coward of questionable patriotism. We saw the Administration tell people of both parties - people who asked legitimate questions about the intelligence that led us to war and the Administration's plan for Iraq - that they should keep quiet, end the complaining, and stop rewriting history.”

History shows us that government attempts to silence its citizens leads to tyranny. America, however, has a long and proud history of rising up against tyranny – something the White House should remember as it continues to try and stifle lawful protests guaranteed by the Constitution.

Protesting in public is “a traditional way for Americans to support their political views,” says Julya Hampton, legal program director of the American Civil Liberties Union. When governments try to establish legal obstacles to such protests they clearly violate the First Amendment, she adds.

So the protestors who gathered at Crawford this Thanksgiving did so lawfully, exercising their rights as Americans to express their views on their government.

“We are proud to be here,” Dede Miller, Sheehan's sister, said. “This is just so important. What we did in August really moved us forward, and this is just a continuation of it.”

A few hours later, police arrested Miller along with 11 others.

Ray Meadows, the McLennan County commissioner who sponsored the ordinance to restrict free speech, admits he did so at the White House’s urging.

“Of course I did,” he bragged to a county resident when asked at a public hearing on the ordinance.

But Ellsberg, whose leak of the infamous “Pentagon Papers” to the New York Times is credited with helping turn public opinion against the Vietnam war, says the White House cannot control the will of the American people.

“Those of us who finally saw through the Vietnam War saw through this war, and all the actions that were necessary to end the Vietnam War will be necessary here,” Ellsberg said in Crawford on Wednesday. “I think the American people will get us out of this (war).”


JollyRoger said...

One has to wonder why people who so obviously hate American principles of free speech and justice would want to hold office in an environment they so clearly abhor.

Grandpa Eddie said...

Jolly Roger,
That is rather odd why someone who is so opposed to people freely speaking their minds would want to hold such a position.

Jake Porter said...

This isn't the first time this has happened.

During the democratic convention last year they set up free speech zones to stifle debate. At the republican convention things were much worse, they pulled a terrorist threat that was a couple years old to scare the people and put people protesting in a falling in (i think condemned) building with asbestos.

Free speech is a thing of the past anymore.

Keep up the good work.

Grandpa Eddie said...

Another fascist move by the Bush WH to silence free speech and thought. One more step towards an utra right wing police state.

I wouldn't be surprized if some of the demonstrations started to turn violent like they did during the late '60's at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Bet that would get MSM coverage.

Gordon said...

We need to see about a million people on the road to Bush's fake ranch. And a million more after they arrest the first million.

SheaNC said...

I guess they don't care about this: "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 to the U.S. Constitution

Grandpa Eddie said...

I'd like to see that lying little weasel have his goons try to arrest a million people. I don't think they would get very far.

" I guess they don't care..."

I don't think they've cared for a long time. The so-called Patriot Act is a good exaple of that.

granny said...

The Pentagon is expanding domestic surveillance!

My federal agent is minor, but I'm going to out him anyway.

I say we blogswarm and out our agents!

Mine is Bill Pickle or one of his staffers:

Domain Name ? (United States Government)
IP Address 156.33.52.# (U.S. Senate Sergeant at Arms)
ISP U.S. Senate Sergeant at Arms
Continent : North America
Country : United States (Facts)
State : Virginia
City : Centreville
Lat/Long : 38.8321, -77.4614 (Map)

Grandpa Eddie said...

Thanks for that info.
So now we really have the KGB here in the good ol' US of A. Just fuckin' wonderful!

I've had visits from the U.S. Senate Sergeant at Arms in the past. Thought it was harmless, maybe it wasn't.

karena said...

I am going to check that link that Granny posted. Tell us more about the visit you had from the US Senate Sergeant at Arms. What happened?

granny said...

Ed, Karena, my sitemeter tells me that the U.S. Sargeant at arms checks my blog almost every weekday, sometimes twice.

I first noticed it in August.

You aren't saying that you don't get regular hits from some unlikely government office, are you?

Grandpa Eddie said...

I've been getting the Sergeant at Arms showing up here for a few months. Just of and on...until today, somebody from there stopped here just before 4pm. It's probably been a month since the last time. Whoever it is doesn't stay long.

I think it was August when they first stopped here, too.

I've also gotten hits from the Dept. of the Army, Dept. of the Navy, and some military purchasing center. Only once or twice from any one of these.

Bear said...

I'm sure you've heard of them already, but for those who haven't, the Electronic Frontier Foundation ( has a ton of info on what the administration is trying to pass on the sly, and the eff's attempts to stop it. Worth the time to check out, especially for the section on "Bloggers rights".

On an aside, I've found Rock Against Bush, Vol. 1 &2, to be great music to blog to... My personal favorites are "No W" ("ask me why you're feeling screwed...there's a Colin, Dick, and Bush just a hammerin' away") and "Idiot Son of an Asshole" ("He's too dumb to eat pretzels, apparently smart enough to rig an election.")


Grandpa Eddie said...

I've been to EFF before's been awhile though. They do have alot of info there.

Don't remember a "Blogger's Rights" section...I think it's time I went back. Thanks, pal.