second thoughts on the first amendment

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by rickyb, Nov 15, 2019.

  1. rickyb

    rickyb Well-Known Member

    i am reading this howard zinn book and its speeches he gave throughout the decades. one of the chapters is called second thoughts on teh first amendment.

    he says the supreme court once used this absurd reasoning to make the first amendment meaningless. on top of that states can have their own laws which make it meaningless, like i think he said some states had a law saying you cant hand out anti slavery pamphlets. and then theres something to do with balancing free speech vs what the police want LOL.

    zinn generally argues that all of american freedoms are because of social movements struggling for freedom, not because of a constitution, or because you elected some politician. zinn makes no distinction between breaking the law or not, he says quite often the law is just a way of maintaining order. he quotes this lady who had some kind of power in nazi germany who said "they were just following the law".

    Free Speech Zinn

    The members of the Supreme Court, sitting as individual circuit judges (the new government didn't have the money to set up a lower level of appeals courts, as we have today) consistently found the defendants in the sedition cases guilty. They did it on the basis of English common law. Supreme Court Chief Justice Oliver Ellsworth, in a 1799 opinion, said, "The common law of this country remains the same as it was before the Revolution."
    That fact is enough to make us pause. English common law? Hadn't we fought and won a revolution against England? Were we still bound by English common law? The answer is yes. It seems there are limits to revolutions. They retain more of the past than is expected by their fervent followers. English common law on freedom of speech was set down in Blackstone's Commentaries, a four-volume compendium of English common law. As Blackstone put it:
    The liberty of the press is indeed essential to the nature of a free state, but
    this consists in laying no previous restraint upon publications, and not in freedom from censure for criminal matter when published. Every freeman has an undoubted right to lay what sentiments he pleases before the public; to forbid this is to destroy the freedom of the press; but if he publishes what is improper, mischievous, or illegal, he must take the consequences of his own temerity.
    This is the ingenious doctrine of "no prior restraint." You can say whatever you want, print whatever you want. The government cannot stop you in advance. But once you speak or write it, if the government decides to make certain statements "illegal," or to define them as "mischievous" or even just "improper," you can be put in prison.

    zinn also mentioned that the quality of speech is not the same as quantity. meaning if you have money you can put out more ads, or have a national tv show to get your message across. he made this speech in 1980s, and at least now we have the internet.
  2. Box Ox

    Box Ox Well-Known Member


    More crazy nonsense! You're the best, Uncle Rick! LOLLLLLLLLL
  3. Old Man Jingles

    Old Man Jingles Rat out of a cage

  4. Baba gounj

    Baba gounj You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it!

    rickyb, have you tried bleach enemas , I hear its a cure for everything.
  5. rickyb

    rickyb Well-Known Member

    the constitution is frequently ignored. civil rights is a prime example.
  6. rickyb

    rickyb Well-Known Member

    Poet Margaret Randall gave up her American citizenship to live for seventeen years in Mexico, Cuba, and Nicaragua, but then married an American citizen and wanted to regain her citizenship and return to the United States. The Immigration and Naturalization Service insisted she could not return. In court, it quoted from five of her books, saying, "Her writings go beyond mere dissent . . . to support of Communist dominated governments." In short, she was being kept out because of her ideas. (After a long battle in the courts, she won her case in 1989.)"

    A Latin-American journalist Patricia Lara, a citizen of Colombia, was kept from entering the United States in 1986 to attend a journalistic awards ceremony at Columbia University. What was revealed in the legal proceedings was that the Immigration and Naturalization Service had a "lookout book" containing the names of 40,000 people who were to be kept out of this country on grounds of national security."
  7. rickyb

    rickyb Well-Known Member

    Madison's intent seemed finally to become part of the Constitution with the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868, which said that no state "shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." But in 1894, someone wanting to make a speech on the Boston Common was arrested because he had not gotten a permit from the mayor as required by city law. When he claimed that the Fourteenth Amendment now prevented any state from depriving persons of liberty, including freedom of speech, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the mayor could "absolutely or conditionally forbid public speaking in a highway or public park," that the Fourteenth Amendment did not affect the "police powers" of the state.

    This was a localized version of the national security argument for limiting freedom of speech, and it prevailed until 1925. In that year, 137 years after the ratification of the Constitution, the Supreme Court finally said that the states could not abridge freedom of speech, because of the Fourteenth Amendment. However, this still left freedom of speech as something to be balanced against the "police powers" of the states. In the years that followed, the balance would sometimes go one way, sometimes another, leaving citizens bewildered about how much they could depend on the courts to uphold their rights of free expression.

    For instance, in 1949, after Chicago police arrested Father Terminiello, an anti-Semitic preacher who had attracted an angry crowd around his meeting hall, the Supreme Court ruled that the Terminiello had a First Amendment right to speak his mind, and the fact that this excited opposition should not be used as an excuse to stop his speech. It said that one "function of free speech under our system of government is to invite dispute."

    Shortly after that, however, Irving Feiner, a college student in Syracuse, New York, was making a street corner speech from a small platform, denouncing the mayor, the police, the American Legion, and President Truman, when one of his listeners said to a policeman standing by, "You get that son-of-a-bitch off there before I do." The policeman arrested Feiner, and the Supreme Court upheld the arrest, saying this was not free speech but "incitement to riot," although the tumult and excitement around Terminiello's speech had been far greater than in Feiner's case.

    The uncertainty continues. In 1963 the Supreme Court overturned the arrest of 187 black students assembling peacefully on the grounds of the South Carolina state capitol to protest racial discrimination. But three years later when a group of civil rights activists demonstrated peacefully on the grounds of a Tallahassee jail, the conviction was upheld. Justice Hugo Black said for the majority that people do not have a constitutional right to protest "whenever and however and wherever they please.""
  8. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Well-Known Member

    Looks like ricky bobby learned how to copy and paste.
  9. Box Ox

    Box Ox Well-Known Member

    No such thing as an original thought from Uncle Rick!
  10. Indecisi0n

    Indecisi0n Well-Known Member

    We don't read books here.
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
    • List
  11. rickyb

    rickyb Well-Known Member

    late 1800s georgia and Louisiana passed laws which stopped free speech in their states regarding slavery.

    howard zinn very much in favor of americans breaking certain laws to put pressure on politicians and courts to act in the common good. he was talking about the pentagon papers where you can see govt officials worry about the protests and how it was affecting their decision process regarding the vietnam war.
  12. TheBrownFlush

    TheBrownFlush Well-Known Member

    We bought Louisiana for 3 cents and acre. If we sold it today, we might be able to triple our money.
  13. rickyb

    rickyb Well-Known Member

    i think after the brits colonized iran, they paid them 1 cent for every $100 they profited off iran's oil
  14. rickyb

    rickyb Well-Known Member

    theres a housing bubble.
  15. vantexan

    vantexan Well-Known Member

    The British never colonized Iran. And when the British were in that area of the world oil wasn't the commodity it is today.
  16. rickyb

    rickyb Well-Known Member

    the brits were the dominant empire before the US empire.
  17. Old Man Jingles

    Old Man Jingles Rat out of a cage

    In 2019 Ricky Bob Moocher, a Canadian that was critical of the US and wore clothing with anti-American slogans was denied entry to the US by US Border Agents.
    LOL :raspberry-tounge:
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
    • List
  18. brownmonster

    brownmonster Man of Great Wisdom

    I hear he can just walk right in through Mexico.
  19. rickyb

    rickyb Well-Known Member

    those hypocrite border agents can claim "national security" and keep people out. it all makes sense now, i thought the same thing yesterday.
  20. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    Is that because they just elected another Democrat? Or because it's a big, ugly swamp place?