Friday, December 12, 2003

MORE FREE SPEECH REFORM Jonah Goldberg points out that in this law, Congress simply sensored groups like the NAACP, ACLU and NRA, saying you can't criticize anyone during a time when it matters and people are listening. Clearly, this law is about protecting incumbents and is worthy of King George III. Of course, the press likes it because thier power increases, and we can run ads against it near an election. Imagine that.

It will be interesting to see if these happy news bureaus are still happy when their revenues are down because the NAACP isn't running ads blaming Bush for dragging black men behind trucks.

FREE SPEECH REFORM Here's a good review of what just happened, from Federal Review blog:
ITS 60 DAYS BEFORE THE PRIMARY, SO SHUT UP
So says the government. Really, the federal government has passed a law that says you can't speak out in favor of your preferred candidate for political office. And the Supreme Court just said that the law is perfectly OK. Here's how the American Bar Association reports the story.

Now, I know that many resist an originalist interpretation of the Constitution, but if a right to free speech means anything as a philosphy for organizing society and its government, it must mean a right to freely speak about the government. Instead, the right is now only about art, not politics, as though the Constitution was merely a set of bylaws of some dung-smearing performance artists. More from the ABA Journal:
In their dissents, Thomas and Scalia both sharply questioned a body of First Amendment jurisprudence that allowed restrictions on political speech but disallowed restrictions on computer child pornography and sexually explicit cable programming.

"Apparently, the marketplace of ideas is to be fully open only to defamers, nude dancers, pornographers, flag-burners and cross-burners," Thomas wrote. He added that "the court today upholds what can only be described as the most significant abridgement of the freedoms of speech and association since the Civil War." For his part, Scalia called the decision "a sad day for the freedom of speech."
The effect of this law -- the only people speaking about candidates for federal office within 60 days before an election will be the candidates themselves and the news media, providing their ever balanced "analysis". The media's power increases, the people's decreases, and the incumbents are protected from those who want to speak out against them.

What a perversion.
Perversion indeed, and unprincipled incumbents like Feingold, Kennedy, Edwards, McCain and, yes, Bush are responsible.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

GALACTIC
I really enjoyed the new Battlestar Galactica that premiered on Sci-Fi last night. It had a good epic feel and a good sense of the importance of characters, not just action. Ronald D. Moore, who wrote the character driven Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, is helming this new Galactica. I look forward to tonight's show and hope there will be a series.

And the homage to the original series - when the band at the decommissioning ceremony played the original theme - was a nice touch.