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Front Page » June 29, 2010 » Opinion » Must defend free speech
Published 1,606 days ago

Must defend free speech


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By Robert L Warren
East Carbon

Editor:

Hooray for the Articles in May 25th's Sun Advocate 'Letters to the Editor' submitted by Jeff Manley, Jerry Stotler, David Fryer, Tom McCourt and Gabriel Hunt. An excellent example of one of America's freedoms, 'Freedom of free speech'. Which is currently under attack if Obama and his lap puppies get their way as noted in the same issue by Richard Borla under personal listings.

Obama is urging the American people to tune out other voices and listen only to him. He bemoans the growth of new media during his commencement address at Hampton University in Virginia: Obama's political career was built on a narrative that he and his unknown close associates carefully constructed. The only biographical information we know about the president comes from his two autobiographies, both of which contain large embellishments and historical inaccuracies.

Obama laments the role cable news plays in the political discourse because they dare discuss issues he does not want the people to hear. While he demonizes broadband, blogs, talk radio, FOX, and cable news, his czars and his recent Supreme Court nominee, Elena Kagan, are perfectly comfortable with the idea of the U.S. government restricting free speech.

The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday June 10 took its first formal steps towards adoption of new regulations for the broadband industry. In a 3-2 vote along party lines, Democrats at the FCC on Thursday agreed to begin formal consideration adopting new rules for high- speed internet companies. Julius Genachowski, FCC chairperson, has said the media regulator would seek only limited enhancement to its regulatory powers. The legal change Mr. Genachowski is pursuing would give Obama and his administration far greater authority to enforce what information the American public could see and hear.

Senator Jay Rockefeller, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, which oversees the FCC, said he supported the FCC, but added: "In the short term, this is the right course and the right thing to do. In the long term, I believe we need to develop consensus to update the law, further safeguarding consumers and spur universal broadband censorship."

Free-flowing information is a vital part of any free society. If the public is unable to get information unfiltered by the government, they will never hear a fair and open debate. Obama's recent attack on new media is part of a strategic assault on free speech.

Susan Crawford, Obama's Internet czar, has pushed "net neutrality," which if made into law will transform the Internet and ultimately give the government power to regulate content. "Net neutrality" is nothing but another government regulation that will inevitably have consequences that could reach into every individual's home internet connection. Efforts to regulate the Internet, coupled with the efforts of FCC, Associate General Counsel and Chief Diversity Officer Mark Lloyd to silence talk radio, constitute two grave threats to free speech and access to independent ideas.

The final part of this triple threat to speech is Elena Kagan, Obama's nominee to the Supreme Court. Kagan, in one of her few public statements on any issue, stated in the University of Chicago Law Review: "If there is an 'overabundance' of an idea in the absence of direct governmental action - which there well might be when compared with some ideal state of public debate - then action disfavoring that idea might 'un-skew,' rather than skew, public discourse."

Therefore, in Kagan's view, the government can determine what the ideal level and content of free speech and public debate is, and it can regulate or block anything above that level. Under this view, Obama's own administration could determine that there is too much criticism of him and regulate the offending media outlets.

Obama's assault on free speech is threatening the very core of our Republic. If the government can silence its critics, the American people may never know the truth. Blogs, broadband, tea party, talk radio, FOX and cable are an integral part of our democracy. Patriotic Americans must stand up and defend the right to consume and disseminate unfiltered information for themselves, as our Founding Fathers Constitution meant it to be.

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