#FreeSpeech #Kaepernick

Freedom of speech

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.

First is the matter of racial equality. When slavery was abolished, it was not by constitutional fiat but by the joining of military necessity with the moral force of a great antislavery movement, acting outside the Constitution and often against the law. The Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments wrote into the Constitution rights that extralegal action had already won. But the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments were ignored for almost a hundred years. The right to equal protection of the law and the right to vote, even the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education in 1954 underlining the meaning of the equal protection clause, did not become operative until blacks, in the fifteen years following the Montgomery bus boycott, shook up the nation by tumultuous actions inside and outside the law.

The Constitution played a helpful but marginal role in all that. Black people, in the political context of the 1960s, would have demanded equality whether or not the Constitution called for it, just as the antislavery movement demanded abolition even in the absence of constitutional support.
What about the most vaunted of constitutional rights, free speech? Historically, the Supreme Court has given the right to free speech only shaky support, seesawing erratically by sometimes affirming and sometimes overriding restrictions. Whatever a distant Court decided, the real right of citizens to free expression has been determined by the immediate power of the local police on the street, by the employer in the workplace and by the financial limits on the ability to use the mass media.

The existence of a First Amendment has been inspirational but its protection elusive. Its reality has depended on the willingness of citizens, whether labor organizers, socialists or Jehovah’s Witnesses, to insist on their right to speak and write. Liberties have not been given; they have been taken. And whether in the future we have a right to say what we want, or air what we say, will be determined not by the existence of the First Amendment or the latest Supreme Court decision but by whether we are courageous enough to speak up at the risk of being jailed or fired, organized enough to defend our speech against official interference and can command resources enough to get our ideas before a reasonably large public.
The language of the First Amendment looks absolute. “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech.” Yet in 1798, seven years after the First Amendment was adopted, Congress did exactly that, it passed laws abridging the freedom of speech-the Alien and Sedition Acts.

The powerful words of the First Amendment seem to fade with the sounds of war, or near war. The Sedition Act of 1798 expired, but in 1917 when the United States entered World War I, Congress passed another law in direct contradiction of the amendment’s command that “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” This was the Espionage Act of 1917.

“The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic…. The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent.”
… the national government can restrict freedom of speech in relation to foreign policy, through judicial reinterpretations of the First Amendment. But what about state laws restricting freedom of speech or press? For over a century, the First Amendment simply did not apply to the states, because it says, ”Congress shall make no law.” The states could make whatever laws they wanted.

Four years later, however, when a group of people were arrested in a shopping mall for distributing leaflets against the Vietnam War, the Court said they were properly arrested. What was the difference between this case and the other? The union people, the Court said, were expressing themselves about an issue connected with the shopping center. But the Vietnam War had nothing to do with the shopping center, so those people had no First Amendment right to express themselves.’ Much like the kneeling – which is directed towards police brutality of African American folk, yet the anthem, the flag nor football has any connection with police brutality.
The point in all this recounting of cases is that citizens cannot depend on the First Amendment, as interpreted by the courts, to protect freedom of expression. One year the Court will declare, with inspiring words, the right of persons to speak or write as they wish. The next year they will take away that right.

A young black man named Charles MacLaurin learned this by hard experience in the year 1963. That summer, he addressed a group of fifty black people in front of the courthouse in Greenville, Mississippi, protesting the arrest of several young black people who had been demonstrating against racial segregation. It was a peaceful meeting, in which MacLaunn criticized the conviction and urged that blacks register to vote to deal with such injustices. A police officer told McLaurin to move on. He said he had a right to speak and continued. He was arrested, charged with disturbing the peace and resisting arrest, found guilty by the local court, sentenced to six months in jail, and this was affirmed by the Mississippi Supreme Court.
When he appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, he discovered the rule that most citizens (who grow up hearing again and again from some aggrieved person: “I’ll take this to the Supreme Court!”) don’t know: Four of the nine justices must agree to take a case (in technical terms, to grant certiorari). Only three Supreme Court justices voted to take MacLaurin’s case. By now, it was 1967, and so, four years after his conviction, he went to prison.

An even more serious problem with the First Amendment is that most situations involving freedom of expression never make it into the courts. How many people are willing or able to hire a lawyer, spend thousands of dollars, and wait several years to get a possible favorable decision in court? That means that the right of free speech is left largely in the hands of local police. What are policemen likely to be most respectful of-the Constitution, or their own “police powers”?

This is always the price of liberty-taking the risk of going to jail, of being beaten and perhaps being killed.

Source Howard Zinn

Advertisements
Posted in Black Lives Matter, Community, Law Enforcement, Social Injustice | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

#Cellphone #Addiction

But smartphones can also foster anxiety and undermine performance. Even hearing one ring or vibrate, produces a welter of distractions that makes it harder to concentrate on a difficult problem or job. The division of attention impedes reasoning and performance. One study found that when a person isn’t able to answer a ring or vibration, blood pressure spikes, the pulse quickens, and problem-solving skills decline.

The evidence that our phones can get inside our heads so forcefully is unsettling a lot like drug addiction. Smartphones have become so entangled with our existence that, even when we’re not peering or pawing at them, they tug at our attention – much like drugs when one is not using them they are thinking of ways and means to get them, diverting precious cognitive resources. Just suppressing the desire to check our phone, which we do routinely and subconsciously throughout the day, can debilitate our thinking.

Nearly all drugs, directly or indirectly, target the brain’s reward system by flooding the circuit with dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter present in regions of the brain that control movement, emotion, motivation, and feelings of pleasure. The overstimulation of this system, which normally responds to natural behaviors that are linked to survival (eating, spending time with loved ones, etc), produces euphoric effects in response to the drugs. This reaction sets in motion a pattern that “teaches” people to repeat the behavior of abusing drugs.

As a person continues to abuse drugs, the brain adapts to the dopamine surges by producing less dopamine or reducing dopamine receptors. The user must therefore keep abusing drugs to bring his or her dopamine function back to ”normal” or use more drugs in an effort to try to achieve a dopamine high.

cell phone addiction

Posted in Addiction, Mental Health | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

#SemperFi – #GIBill

Statement by VA Secretary David J. Shulkin –  Passage of the Forever GI Bill

Congress has spoken with a strong voice in support of our Veterans this afternoon.  The Forever GI Bill expands the success our Veterans have had with the GI Bill providing opportunities that otherwise would not be possible.

In particular, it restores benefits to Veterans who were impacted by school closures since 2015 and has special benefits for our reservists, surviving dependents, and Purple Heart recipients.  This nation is stronger when our Veterans are studying and working next to their civilian counterparts.  Passage of this bill is a win for Veterans and their families.

What an amazing concept to extend the GI Bill especially to Purple Heart recipients – How old were the last 20 purple heart recipients? I can tell because the link doesn’t work – Worlds Largest Online Veterans Database

 

 

 

Posted in Veterans | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

#Goodnight Glen Campbell

Country music icon Glen Campbell has died at the age of 81, Fox News has learned. The legend behind hits including “Wichita Lineman” and “By the Time I Get to Phoenix”

Posted in Good Night | Leave a comment

#Debit Card – #Credit Card Fees – Additional #Income

Enter the local market on Round Hill Road in Greenwich, CT to purchase one of their amazing $7.00 tuna sandwiches and the clerk states, “You have to purchase at least $10 or pay an additional .50 cents”.

According to the Federal Reserve, the average interchange fee per transaction for all debit card issuers in 2009 was 43 cents. Data collected from the fourth quarter of 2011 indicated that the average interchange fee received by non-exempt issuers declines 45% from the 2009 level to 24 cents. – Source Google Search

In order to process credit cards and debit cards, a merchant must negotiate a “merchant discount fee” either with his or her financial institution or, for Discover and American Express, with the credit card company directly. The negotiated fee is then subtracted from each customer transaction with a credit or debit card. The “interchange transaction fee,” which is paid to the credit or debit card issuer, makes up the largest percentage of the merchant discount fee and is the focus of this report.

In 2011, the Federal Reserve adopted Regulation II, which limits the amount of interchange fees that debit card issuers can charge for transactions. The rule limits the interchange fee to a maximum of 21 cents plus .05% of the transaction value. The rule exempts financial institutions with less than $10 billion in assets. To date, there are no such laws or regulations limiting the interchange transaction fees an issuer may charge for credit card purchases. Since credit card interchange fees vary significantly from one card to another and from one merchant to another, some merchants may pay higher fees for credit card transactions while others pay higher fees for debit card transactions. Source – OLR Research Report

I wonder if Round Hill Road Store claims the balance of fees charged as income?

Round Hill Road Store, Round Hill Road, Greenwich, CT

 

 

Posted in Scams | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

I’ll be back soon

Posted in Reading | 1 Comment

#HUD Miami Dade #Homeless


​Per OIG – We reviewed the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust’s Continuum of Care Program because our office had not audited this entity. In addition, this assignment was in accordance with our annual audit plan and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) 2014-2018 strategic objective to end homelessness. Our objective was to determine whether the Trust ensured that Program funds were used for eligible activities and sufficiently supported.

The Trust did not always properly administer the Program by not (1) supporting costs for one project, (2) reporting Program income for another project, and (3) supporting a participant eligibility for a third project. This condition occurred because the Trust believed it had adequate documentation and did not properly oversee its subrecipients. As a result, it could not support Program costs of $98,433.

Posted in Reading | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

When Do We Judge The Effectiveness Of Our New First Lady | DR. DIANA DON’T PLAY

https://drdianadontplay.com/2017/05/30/when-do-we-judge-the-effectiveness-of-our-new-first-lady/

Posted in Reading | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

HUD PIH’s Required Conversion Program Was Not Adequately Implemented

OIG
We audited the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) required conversion program activities to determine whether HUD ensured that public housing agencies (PHA) properly evaluated their distressed units and converted them to tenant-based rental assistance programs. We selected this program for review based on an approved internal audit suggestion in our annual audit plan. Our audit objective was to determine whether HUD adequately implemented its required conversion program to ensure that its PHAs complied with the procedures for the required conversion of distressed public housing developments to tenant-based rental assistance programs.

HUD did not adequately implement its required conversion program. Specifically, HUD did not properly identify potential projects requiring conversion and did not follow up to ensure that PHAs took action by conducting proper analyses to determine if listed projects should be converted to tenant-based rental assistance. HUD also did not apply available remedies when PHAs did not properly identify projects or implement required conversions. We attributed this deficiency to lack of oversight and miscommunication among the Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH), Office of Field Operations; the Special Application Center; regional PIH field offices; and the PHAs. As a result, HUD did not require PHAs to identify and convert distressed projects, and up to $75 million in operating subsidies and capital funds could continue to be spent on projects that have not been determined to be physically viable or less expensive than tenant-based rental assistance.

We recommend that HUD develop and implement policies and procedures to identify potentially distressed projects and monitor and enforce the required conversion program. Additionally, we recommend that HUD determine whether nine PHAs provided appropriate documentation to support whether potentially distressed projects should be converted to tenant-based rental assistance and if conversion is required that it is accomplished timely, thereby ensuring that up to $75 million is used effectively for projects that are cost effective and have long term viability and ensuring that tenants receive other rental assistance.

Posted in Politics | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

#Hernandez’s 2013 Murder Conviction – Vacated

Judge agrees to erase ex-NFL star Aaron Hernandez’s conviction in 2013 murder because he died before the appeal was heard.

The former New England Patriots tight end hanged himself in his prison cell last month while serving a life sentence in the killing of semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd.

Patrick Bomberg said Hernandez “should not be able to accomplish in death what he could not accomplish in life.”

Hernandez’s appellate attorney told the judge that the state’s highest court has applied the legal doctrine “without exception,” even in cases of suicide.

After hearing arguments from both sides, Judge Susan Garsh said she expects to issue a decision late Tuesday morning.

Source: ESPN.com

Posted in Prison Reform, Reading | Tagged , , | Leave a comment