First Amendment Fatwa

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Obama’s failure to acknowledge one and denounce the other implies a latent disdain toward free speech and peaceful assembly.  On Tax Day, Obama disregarded free citizens exercising First Amendment rights to peaceful protest and recently, in like manner, failed to forcefully condemn aggression against the Iranian people demanding justice for what appears to be a dishonest election.

Former Supreme Court Justice, William Orville Douglas once said that, “The First Amendment takes confidence in the common sense of our people and in the maturity of their judgment the great postulate of our democracy.” Based on Obama’s blasé stance toward the first of our Constitutional rights, could it be that he doesn’t believe the public has common sense or maturity of judgment?  Does he think the American electorate should be prevented from speaking out in protest against government autocracy? One has to wonder whether the power of the people’s voices irritate Obama because the president seems to bristle at the sight of large numbers of people demanding to be heard.

In April over a half a million American citizens exercised their First Amendment rights at nation-wide tea parties.  Citizens gathered to voice discontent with taxation, government regulation, over-spending, bailouts, government control of production and the redistribution of wealth.  Yet, as five hundred thousand Americans peacefully protested, the White House reported that Obama was, “…unaware of the Tea Parties.” Obama, threatened by populist disapproval of his tax and spend agenda, chose to ignore and disregard the dissent of those he views as his detractors.

When the president did choose to address the demonstrations he did so in a derogatory style.  He coupled derision for the protesters with criticism of a major news organization, which he never fails to mention in a deprecating manner. The president interpreted the free exercise of First Amendment rights by thousands of Americans as “…folks waving tea bags around.” The leader of the free world’s smarmy description appeared to be an attempt to demean the power of the right to assemble in peaceful protest, an odd reaction from the one who swore to uphold the Constitution, which guarantees Americans those rights.

Obama is not secretive about his disdain for opposing viewpoints.  During the run-up to the election Obama was, “…convinced that if there were no Fox News, he might be two or three points higher in the polls.”  More recently he blamed Fox News exclusively for the growing opposition to his health care policy saying, “First of all, I’ve got one television station that is entirely devoted to attacking my administration.”  Does Obama consider his policy initiatives so crucial that he might justify potentially quelling open debate by news organizations viewed as adversarial to his agenda?

Obama’s comments and attitudes toward protests, contradictory news organizations and pundits sound frighteningly like what is being heard in Iran. In an attempt to silence all media and quash the election protests the Iranian Revolutionary Guard have taken action against what they refer to as “deviant news sites“.  Much like Obama, the present powers of Iran believe that open and free press curtails theocratic control, undermining the mullahs plan to remain in power.

Defeated Mir Hossein Mousavi called for the protest rallies in response to what he called a “shameful fraud” in the supposed landslide re-election Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Protesters responded by risking their lives to march in silent challenge to the authority of Iran’s despotic regime. Ordinary Iranian people hungry for freedom, demanding justice boldly flout both violence and intimidation in Tiananmen Square defiance.

The bravery of common Iranian citizens defying their government to peacefully assemble and publicly protest has been met with very little support from an American president who appears to brush aside the political courage of a new generation of Iranian freedom fighters. Iran’s youthful protesters are exercising what can only be described as a version of American First Amendment rights. Obama’s response begs the obvious question, does he view thousands of Iranian reformist candidate supporters, adorned in green and waving photos of defeated Mousavi, the same way as the folks he described on April 15th as “waving around tea bags?

Obama’s only response has been to prematurely announce Admadinejad’s victory followed up by expressing what he says is “deep concern” about the results.  Curiously, he then articulated that it is not, “…productive…to be seen as meddling…in Iranian elections.” Barack Obama declined the opportunity to voice support for democratic reform from repressive despots.  He morally equated condemning vicious governmental crackdown on peaceful protesters as interfering.   Obama enthusiastically meddles when wresting the means of production from the American private sector but when enslaved people fight for democratic ideals Obama avoids voicing his opinion for fear of being viewed as intrusive.

A disturbing trend is emerging. Obama trivializes abuses against citizens of oppressive regimes fighting for democratic rights and is attentive toward the rights of Black Panthers intimidating voters outside polls during an American election. It stands to reason that Obama, who may have benefited personally from electoral dishonesty and inconsistency, would find it hard to condemn Iranian elections where, “People feel humiliated because they came and voted in large numbers,” yet, their vote went unrecognized

As our nation watches the violence against peaceful protest and free press in an oppressive nation it would be wise to pay close attention to subtle nuances and similarities with our own president’s actions. Some leaders believe that their political agenda justifies the means of attaining power.  Obama seems to display an acute awareness that his condemnation of Iran’s power grab could threaten his own authority.  His lack of action and reaction illustrates an obvious disdain for the political nemesis of peaceful protest.

Our leader swore to uphold the Constitutional rights of every American and to insure the safety of our freedoms. Yet, Obama ignores peaceful protest by large portions of the American electorate, views free press as a menace, and seems to demand total compliance from citizens and media alike.  And, as the world waits, he chooses to remain silent as Iranian reformers are beaten and die on the streets of Tehran fighting for the rights he swore to champion.

The example of fearless Iranians, marching through the streets of Iran, behooves Americans to continue to worship, speak, write, petition and gather, notwithstanding the potential of future costs to our own well being.  Americans have been passed, from those who fought and died for freedom, the torch of truth, common sense and maturity. Despite our leaders, we are ultimately responsible for the great postulate of democracy remaining intact.  We remain the beacon to a world that cries out for God given rights to liberties, which presently are jeopardized in a great nation where once they were secure.

17 Comments

  1. Teresa Pierce

    “Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good
    of its victim may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live
    under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies.
    The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may
    at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good
    will torment us without end for they do so with the approval
    of their own conscience.”
    C. S. Lewis

  2. Pingback: Jeannie-ology

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  4. ddland45

    I seem to remember during the 2004 Republican Convention hordes of police and security rounding up war protesters and people opposed to President Bush and arresting them because they were “…exercising First Amendment rights to peaceful protest…”. Are you being a bit hypocritical here, Jeannie? I don’t remember many, if any, teabaggers being herded into police vans for excercising their right to free speech.
    I watch FAUXNEWS almost all day and I rarely see any positive stories, even a “balanced” discussion on any of Obama’a policies, so who could blame him for thinking that FAUXNEWS has dedicated their existence to opposing him?
    Oh, and by the way, maybe you can answer this since I’ve gotten no response from anyone else. I’m all for peaceful protests, be they against taxes or unecessary wars, but where were all of these angry voices when President Bush was breaking the bank and vaporising the surplus BEFORE 2008?
    And wouldn’t you agree that the existence of your website and others who voice their opposition to this Administration contradicts your comparison to Iran’s theocratic Mullahs? The first thing the Iranian government did was shut down internet communication and website access. To my recollection, that hasn’t happened here, has it Jeannie?
    Really, Jeannie, some of your other overblown “opinions” border on the comical. But, this IS your website and it IS your opinion and no one begrudges you that, even this Administration.

  5. jeannieology

    ddland what I think is comical how someone like yourself listens to “Faux” news all day and reads my right-wing website…that is what is really comical not what you describe to be my “overblown” opinions…I wouldn’t give 2 seconds of my time to the Daily Kos.

    Obama has sent up some red flags…he dismisses and demeans first amendment rights unless of course they are extolling his greatness, but I guess you don’t see that ddland…now do you?

    Don’t jump ahead of yourself there…ddland, Obama’s Internet Czar isn’t up and running yet…so what will happen in the future with all of us terrorist type, “right-wing extremists” remains to be seen now doesn’t it ddland?

  6. Cindy

    I would like to respond to ddland’s comment about people being rounded up at the Republican Convention. People who make open and direct threats are arrested. The left is involved in pie-throwing and name-calling. But, putting that aside, I know that those who are now berating the “right” will, if things continue down this road, be moaning about our lost freedoms under a totalitarian government. It’s just the simple matter of those who recognize it for what it is before it fully culminates. Learn from history. Read books like “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich,” which is practically a strategical blow-by-blow account of what is happening now. Neville Chamberlain refused to see. It took Winston Churchhill to step up at the right time. Whose name do people remember now?

  7. jeannieology

    Comment by: SELJO
    “The leader of the free world’s smarmy description appeared to be an attempt to demean the power of the right to assemble in peaceful protest, an odd reaction from the one who swore to uphold the Constitution that gives Americans those rights.”

    Just one thing. The Constitution does not “give” use our rights. It guarantees those rights, which were given by “The Creator.” I am sure that the current POTUS DOES think in the term in which you wrote (the State gives rights to the people out of graciousness). I know, you probably didn’t even think about the language you used, but it is important. The Statists have been winning the language war for decades now, and we MUST fight back with truth that will cut through their nonsensical, obfuscating language tricks.

    This commenter was 100% correct so I changed the word from GIVES to GUARANTEES…the language war must be won with words that encompass TRUTH — Thanks SELJO for the gentle nudge in the right direction!!!

  8. ddland45

    Most open-minded people have no problem discussing issues with people of opposing viewpoints Jeannie. That’s why I listen to FAUXNEWS and visit your site. You seem to be studious and relatively intelligent, though a tad bit paranoid. And like Vito Corleone said, “keep your friends close, and your enemies closer”.
    I don’t view you as an enemy, Jeannie, but I am intrigued by the mindset of those who think like you do. Illegal wire taps and unfunded war spending went unnoticed on your “outrage meter”, but temporary stewardship of collapsing car companies and new emmission standards have you in an indignant uproar.
    I engage people with opposing views because I would never think myself so aggrogant that my opinion was the only one. I don’t participate with sites like Huffington or Kos because there is nothing to be gained from being surrounded by people who are of like minds. To avoid discussions or even viewing such sites, IMO, Jeannie, shows a bit of arrogance on your part.
    And to Cindy, regarding her response to my comments; there is a documentary about free speech airing on HBO this month showing people peacefully attempting to protest during the convention being rounded up and arrested. There were no threats of violence or name-calling from the protesters.
    And it is not productive or accurate to compare the current Administration with the Third Reich. Such comments ring of more right-wing pitchfork fearspeak that there is too much of already. Did you see the loon on Glenn Beck yesterday wishing for a terrorist attack on the U.S. just to prove how Obama isn’t protecting us? How far are such people willing to go?

    • jeannieology

      Now that ddland has given his evaluation of my intelligence as being “relative” (compared to what and who) I feel so much better. Now if he’s comparing my intelligence to some of his compadres on the left…I guess I should be highly insulted.

      But then again…he/she did intimate my close minded nature because I refuse to spend time reading comics and schizophrenic rantings at jeanniegarofalo.com –so I guess that cancels out the anemic compliment.

      So ddland you are welcome here at the not so intelligent, closeminded, enemy website and always welcome to share your insights — and until Obama hands out the patent leather lace up boots, the brown shirts and the little yellow acorns to be sewed on the right-wingers lapels I guess we’re ok…

      Oh by the way…your discernment about my paranoia is totally off base…I’m the most un-paranoid person I know and I’m sure if you knew me or my family they would attest to that truth.

      Following around your enemies is certainly more paranoid than staying in your own backyard having a glass of wine and a stogie — wouldn’t you say?

  9. Cindy

    I was speaking of a methodology. There are a tremendous number of strategic steps taken in order to gain power such as playing on racial unrest and economic dysfunction. Have you read the book? The similarities are astounding!

  10. ddland45

    I’m actually amused!!!! I would love to know if your “baloney meter” was being over-hauled when the Bush Administration was trumping up his excuses for going to war against Iraq. You assume that my views concerning the war on terror “is not fueled by an understanding of the Islamic mindset”. Which is what? That ALL Muslims hate the West? That “true” Islam is a religion of hate and violence?
    Who among those who have similar “mindsets” as you do view the Middle East and the war on terror with an opinion not skewed by the classic Western World view rooted in the Dark Ages? “Most open-minded people have no problem discussing issues with people of opposing viewpoints” Then you say, “Orthodox Muslims don’t have an open mind.” There are plenty of people in this country who could testify that many “Orthodox Christians” are just as resistant to differing opinions and lifestyles. History has proven the hard-core believers from both ends of the spectrum have more in common than they would admit when it comes to dealing with “the non-believers”.
    Anyone who has studied economics without a pre-conceived ideology understands the role government has ALWAYS played in regulating “free enterprise” in this country; sometimes dragging big business kicking and screaming into a world where employees aren’t enslaved, consumers aren’t victimised by dangerous food or products and our communities aren’t destroyed by corporate indifference to the environment and our future generations.
    You would have us trust big business and the free market to do the right thing, but again, history proves this idea to be false. Corporate interests serve only the bottlom line and God and country are a distant second. Consumers aren’t even in the race.
    You state that you are “stunned by the level of mean spiritedness prevalent on leftist blogs”, yet you make no mention of the equally vile and corrosive environment found on right wing websites like FAUXNATION, which frequently post inflammatory headlines that all too often have more to do with inciting “emotional” repsonses from the flock than actually initiating rational discussion. The fact that you obviously know what “teabagging” is demonstrates that both sides have spent too much time rolling in the gutter and not enough time researching their views and positions.
    “If you can’t see the difference in the spirit of my article and the mean spiritedness of liberal rants, then I certainly don’t have the words…” Sir, I don’t see ANY difference between intractable extremes. And all the name calling you resort to doesn’t further your cause or convince anyone who is not already a dyed-in-the-wool hard core right-winger to listen to you.
    I will continue the dialog with Jeannie, as FAUXNATION has become unreliable when it comes to posting. I hope that the level of “civility” improves since the only thing gained by using “emotional” and violent outbursts to make a point is “emotional” and violent responses.
    I would say the terrorists are finding that out….

  11. ddland45

    Hahahahaha! Jeannie, if you took the time to read my response, instead of “spouting off”, you would have noticed that the quotes I used came from Mr. Publis’s website where I DID read his post. I am pleased to engage in discussion of the issues of our times with educated and, yes Jeannie, intelligent people like yourself. I promise not to resort to name calling and unecessary insults if treated with equal decorum and respect.
    Have a glorious day!

Polite comments encouraged.