"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Today's Must-Read: First Amendment? What First Amendment?

You may have gotten the idea, from way too many reports, that the right believes the only freedom guaranteed by the First Amendment is religious freedom -- their religious freedom, because any other belief is a political philosophy, not a real religion. They tend to ignore things like freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly.

And now a number of states are starting to put that idea into practice:

Thom Hartmann reminds readers that the war on drugs arose as a Nixonian tactic for suppressing the antiwar left and black people. Half a century later, Nixon's heirs are using Arizona's RICO statutes to suppress dissent in Donald Trump's America. Arizona's version of North Carolina's "economic terrorism" bill, Hartmann writes, "would hyper-criminalize any sort of organized political dissent if any person involved with that dissent (including, presumably, agent provocateurs) were to engage in even minor 'violence,' so long as that violence harms the 'property,' regardless of value, of any person (including a corporation)." Attend a street protest and you might go to jail and lose everything. Riot is helpfully redefined under the proposed Arizona law to include, "A person commits riot if, with two or more other persons acting together, such person recklessly uses force or violence or threatens to use force or violence, if such threat is accompanied by immediate power of execution, which EITHER disturbs the public peace OR RESULTS IN DAMAGE TO THE PROPERTY OF ANOTHER PERSON." (Caps in the original.)

Stifle dissent and protect money. These guys never do anything that's not at least a twofer.

Read the whole thing, but I'm warning you -- it's pretty sickening.

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