Friday, November 30, 2012

And So It Begins

I warned of upcoming efforts to limit our freedom and end our constitutional republic.  Well, now Hank Johnson, a Congressman from Georgia, is calling for an amendment to the United States Constitution to allow for governmental control of free speech.

At this point, he is only looking for governmental control over free speech rights of corporations.  He was quoted as saying, "We need a constitutional amendment that would allow the legislature to control the so-called free speech rights of corporations."

I know many who are anti-corporation will think this is great news.  I counter by quoting a famous movie character, "Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny".

Once we take the first step of limiting rights under the first amendment to one group, what stops the inevitable next step?  The Constitution is there to protect the rights of freedom.  Let us not start down the path of eliminating those rights.

Once we eliminate the right of free speech to corporations, why not have governmental control of a church's right of free speech.  Then maybe we can eliminate a political party's right to free speech.  Where does it end?  I think liberals or "progressives" are absolutely full of it on many issues.  Yet, I would fight to the death for their right to express their thoughts and theories.  Is that not what America is all about?


Anonymous said...

great post.Makes the hairs stand up on the back of my neck just thinking of the possibilty of this ever happening.

Anonymous said...

As much as I would like to disagree with you, Master Yoda, I can not.Our corperations do have to much power in Washington. To introduce legislation that would limit the rights of one group over another based on what is popular at the time, will distroy our Republic. I firmly belive that our 'Bill of Rights' is cast in stone. There are other ways to reign in the power of the corperations. This Ga. Rep. is blowing out smoke for head lines. If these knee jerkers would spend time on campaign finance reform, maybee we could acheive some real effects.

Anonymous said...

1st thay take away your guns, then thay take away your rights.

Andrew Champ-Doran said...

Mr. Cahill,

I think you have to ask three questions here. One is, "How seriously do you take this guy?" This is, after all, the back-bencher who seriously stated, in a house sub-committee hearing, his concern that Guam would "tip over" with too many people on one end of the island.

Question two is related. "How much juice does Hank Johnson have to get any traction on this?" He co-sponsored a bill after the Citizens United decision that would do the same thing, and it went nowhere at all.

I remember a time in the mid 80's when someone started selling Yugos. They advertised it as a new car you could afford for under $5,000. It was real unsafe junk. Very few people were fooled, though, and the company went out of business for lack of sales. I suspect that about three more statements from this guy will have the same result, and he won't get elected in 2014.

My third, broader question, is this: Do corporations have the right to free speech, or is it for people only? I'd also ask, does money equal speech? If my money buys me a bigger megaphone than yours, do I get more free speech than you? Is my right to free speech entirely unlimited, or were they right to throw Debs in prison for criticizing US involvement in WW I? I think they convicted using the "yelling 'Fire!' in a crowded theater" argument there.

I know the Citizens United ruling clarified some of this, and maybe this belongs in our other constitutional discussion. I certainly don't say you are wrong, but, doesn't the Representative have the free speech right to call for a Constitutional Convention on turning the sky green, if he'd like? It certainly doesn't make me agree with him, or think him any more than frivolous, or make me want to join him in his thoughtless quest. I just think he's got the right to try.

Andrew Champ-Doran

Anonymous said...

Cash is considered free speech - that's the heart of Citizen's United. Sorry Rich...I don't buy in to allowing corporations to give unlimited funds to candidates. Buying an election is not what this country was founded on. It no longer is by the people, for the people.

Anonymous said...

And so it continues...I haven't visited your blog in several weeks (maybe months), and unfortunately you haven't changed. You still refuse to publish anything that conflicts with your ideologies. You insist that corporations must have free speech, but you only think anyone should have free speech as long as they share your opinion. If it conflicts, you don't publish.

I have to give Robin Yess credit - she'll publish opposing opinions.

Richard T. Cahill Jr. said...


As I have said before, you are a liar. I have published your comments before.

Second, have you read the blog?? There has been an ongoing debate/disagreement between myself and another blogger.

I welcome debate.

Richard T. Cahill Jr. said...

To those who have posted in response, I offer my reply.

The First Amendment provides for freedom of speech. It is not unlimited or a license. Taking away those rights, even from a corporation, is a slippery slope we must avoid.

As for the argument that corporations or wealthy people have more free speech, I reject that. When you are dealing with a massive government and a media that is largely in the tank for said government, the ability to be heard is essential.

Finally, the so-called corporation money is countered by union money and special interest money. As well, the corporate money is on both sides of nearly ever

The answer to our problems is not to shred the Constitution.

Richard T. Cahill Jr. said...

Mr. Champ-Doran,

The congressman has the right to express his opinion.

I have the right to disagree with his opinion and am doing so.