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Nov 212014

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U.S. Constitutions First Amendment

MORE THAN 25 percent of teens and adolescents have been bullied reportedly through the Internet or their cell phones. These statistics were obtained by the i-SAFE foundation. More than a quarter of Americas teens report being harassed and humiliated through electronic media. It is up to the schools to ensure that the learning environment remains undisturbed, up to fellow students to report cyberbullying they may witness, and up to the courts to uphold the First Amendment without allowing these students to be harmed.

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution states that Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech. However, our First Amendment right does not need to be limited to limit the impact of social comments conveyed through social media. In 1969, the Supreme Court case of Tinker v. Des Moines centered on students protesting the Vietnam war by wearing black arm bands to school. The school insisted the students remove the bands, and the students argued that this limited their right to free speech.

The court ruled in favor of the students, stating that this case does not concern speech or action that intrudes upon the work of the schools or the rights of other students. Although the school did not win in this case, it set the precedent that schools can combat bullying that intrudes upon the work of the schools or the rights of other students, disrupting students education.

However, while a school has the right to punish a cyberbully for disrupting education, it does not have the right to invade students online accounts without cause, as this does violate a bullys First Amendment right. Therefore, it is the duty of the target and the fellow students to stand up and report cyberbullying so the school may then determine whether a students education is being disrupted and, if so, decide consequences for the bully. The saying sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me is less accurate today. Between texting and social media, the words written electronically are forever. A hurtful comment to a peer is no longer just a passing insult in the hallway.The psychological and emotional torture of cyberbullying is real and devastating.

According to ABC News, 160,000 kids stay home from school each day to avoid bullying. About 4,000 young people commit suicide each year, with bully victims being two to nine times more likely to consider suicide, according to Yale University.

While the First Amendment must be protected, so must the lives and the education of students. When students opportunity to learn is ripped from them as a result of cyberbullying, schools have a right and a duty to intervene on behalf of the victim.

As Andrew Johnson once said, honest conviction is my courage; the Constitution is my guide. With the Constitution as a guide, schools must honestly convict those perverting the First Amendment to infringe upon any students right to education.

.

Kayla Bullwinkel is a senior at Millford High School. With this essay, she won this years New Hampshire Constitution Day essay contest, sponsored by the New Hampshire Supreme Court, the Nackey Loeb School of Communications, and several New Hampshire newspapers,

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Kayla Bullwinkel Schools must go after cyber bullies while respecting the First Amendment

Yesterday the City Council Consumer Affairs Committee heard testimony relating to a bill that would require costumed characters across New York City to register with the Department of Consumer Affairs in order to accept tips or donations. “This straight up seems like fascism to me,” Keith Albahaye, a.k.a. The New York Joker, told the councilmembers. “The First Amendment is the First Amendment. I’m not gonna be allowed on 52nd Street and Broadway in the United States of America?”

At the outset of the hearing, the bill’s sponsor, Bronx Councilmember Andy King, testified that “the bill is not designed to take away anyone’s First Amendment rights,” and he added that his aim wasn’t to raise questions about a performer’s immigration status either. King said that his own five-year-old daughter was traumatized by an encounter with a character this past summer.

“Strawberry Shortcake didn’t get the proper tip she wanted, she ripped off her own head and started to berate her father and her family,” King said. “In the mind of a five year old, how do you comprehend a head being snatched off? In cartoons you can erase the head and you can draw it back on, but in human life you can’t do that. We want to make sure we can maintain that kind of innocence for our children and our families.”

Midtown South Commander Edward Winski testified that since 2009, the police have arrested 38 costumed performers in Times Square, 18 of those occurring this year. Most were for aggressive solicitation, but others were more serious, such as when a Spiderman struck a police officer and when Woody from Toy Story was arrested for sexually assaulted a woman by grabbing her buttock.

Councilmember Dan Garodnick, whose district covers a portion of Times Square, noted that King’s bill merely reiterates the law prohibiting aggressive solicitation, the enforcement of which is currently up to the NYPD.

“Even under the bill as proposed, those same subtle questions exist,” Garodnick said. “I think it still leaves open a lot of those questions which ultimately, if the police are not there to enforce, we’re just where we are today.”

Int. 467 would make it illegal “for any costumed individual while wearing a costume to solicit in return for posing for photographs or otherwise interacting with the public in public places without having first obtained a license.”

Steven Shiffrin, professor emeritus at Cornell Law School and the author of numerous books on the First Amendment, told us in September that a law like this may not pass constitutional muster.

“Wearing costumes is a form of First Amendment expression, and the First Amendment does not permit government to charge its citizens as a pre-condition of exercising their rights,” Shiffrin wrote in an email. “This principle takes on special force when the charge is exorbitant and when the purported justification for its imposition is so obviously a pretext.”

A representative from the Department of Consumer Affairs also revealed that in addition to the $175 fee for the two-year license, characters would have to pay a $75 fingerprinting fee. There are 14 other licensed professions that require fingerprinting, including auctioneers, auto repair workers, bingo hosts, process servers, pawn brokers, and tow truck drivers. The representative noted that the costume license would be the cheapest, though a general vendor license costs $200. A tow truck company pays $600 per truck.

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Times Square Joker Says Costume Law Is "Straight Up Fascism"



David Coburn: Libertarianism vs. Authoritarianism
http://svobodni.cz.

By: REFORMYcz

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David Coburn: Libertarianism vs. Authoritarianism – Video



Book Review | The New Libertarianism: Anarcho-Capitalism By Mr J Michael Oliver
BOOK REVIEW OF YOUR FAVORITE BOOK =— Where to buy this book? ISBN: 9781491068625 Book Review of The New Libertarianism: Anarcho-Capitalism by MR J Mich…

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Book Review | The New Libertarianism: Anarcho-Capitalism By Mr J Michael Oliver – Video

L.E. Baskow

Congressman-elect Cresent Hardy thanks supporters as Republicans gather to celebrate election victories, Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, at Red RockResort.

By Amber Phillips (contact)

Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014 | 1:37 p.m.

Washington

Seated in the posh lobby of the Capitol Hill Hotel just blocks away from the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, Cresent Hardy was tired, but excited.

Nevada’s newest member of Congress was in the middle of a whirlwind seven days of orientation, learning what it takes to be a federal lawmaker. He’d collected stacks of paper listing guidelines for ethics, rules for overseas trips and strict security procedures for his office computers. He needs to hire staff for his tiny, fourth-floor congressional office and is collecting resumes for his team back in Nevada.

But above all else, Hardy is focused on how he can use his blend of Tea Party conservatism and pragmatic libertarianism to lift government’s burden on Nevadans.

“On conservative measures, you won’t find anybody more conservative than I am,” said Hardy, a former Assemblyman who won a surprise election Nov. 4 to represent central Nevada and North Las Vegas. “I’m about as far right as you can get on the issues.”

“But I’m a realist,” he added, explaining he’ll work with whoever shares his views.

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Newly elected Cresent Hardy on his Tea Party conservatism, pragmatic libertarianism

Nov 212014

History of marijuana in America

History of marijuana in America

History of marijuana in America

History of marijuana in America

History of marijuana in America

History of marijuana in America

History of marijuana in America

History of marijuana in America

History of marijuana in America

History of marijuana in America

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Marijuana laws don't cut it

Beginning in the 1930s, shortly after the Supreme Court had incorporated the First Amendment into the due process clause (thereby making it an enforceable constraint not only on the federal government ["Congress shall make no law . . ."] but on State and municipal governments as well) the Jehovahs Witnesses went on a campaign to attack, in court, restrictions on their ability to proselytize door-to-door and to give voice to unpopular views. During one particular 8 year period (1938 to 1946) they brought no fewer than 23 separate First Amendment actions to the Supreme Court (prompting Justice Stone to quip that they ought to have an endowment in view of the aid they give in solving the legal problems of civil liberties). They won some spectacularly important victories West Virginia Board of Ed. v Barnette (1943) (children cannot be forced to recite the Pledge of Allegiance or salute the flag), Chaplinsky v New Hampshire (19420 (establishing the fighting words doctrine, and overturning conviction of a Jehovahs Witness who called a local official a damned racketeer and a fascist), Watchtower Society v. Village of Stratton (2002) (overturning municipal ordinance requiring government permits for all door-to-door advocacy).***

They were widely reviled especially during World War II and the Korean War, their position asconscientious objectors to military service and their refusal to salute the flag made them the object of great hostility but in retrospect, we all owe them a great debt of gratitude. It took (and it takes) real courage to stand up to the combined forces of public opinion and the state to voice opinions that others find highly objectionable and even inflammatory, and we all enjoy, in a much stronger First Amendment than we might otherwise have, the benefits of their having had the courage to have done so.

Yesterday the 9th Circuit issued its decision striking down Californias CASE (Californians Against Sexual Exploitation) Act as violative of the First Amendment. The Actrequired previously-convicted sex offenders to provide [a] list of any and all Internet identifiers established or used, a list of any and all Internet service providers used, and to sendwritten notice to law enforcement within 24 hours of adding or changing an Internet identifier or an account with an Internet service provider; it also provided for fairly severe criminal penalties for non-compliance.

This is the latest in what is becoming a large series of cases involving First Amendment challenges to state sex offender registration statutes. There have been cases like this one in Nebraska, Indiana, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, to name a few. Ive blogged about some of them before e.g.,hereand here and (full disclosure) Ive been involved in several of them (including this California case) as an expert testifying on behalf of the challengers.

The courts opinion here at least to someone on the side of the fence that Im on has a terrific analysis of the First Amendment issues at stake, and some strong First-Amendment-protective language that will, I promise you, come in very, very handy in future battles the ones that are coming that will not involve just convicted sex offenders. The court struck down the statute on the grounds that it unnecessarily chills protected speech in three ways: the Act does not make clear what it is that sex offenders are required to report, there are insufficient safeguards preventing the public release of the information sex offenders do report, and the 24-hour reporting requirement is onerous and overbroad. There is, in particular, some very forceful language about the right, under the First Amendment, to speak anonymously an issue that, as I keep harping on, is going to be a major First Amendment battleground duringthe the next decade or so. The court wrote:

Although this is not what some might call the classic anonymous-speech case, where speakers allege they are required to disclose their identities directly to their audience, we conclude that the Act nevertheless chills anonymous speech because it too freely allows law enforcement to disclose sex offenders Internet identifying information to the public. . . .We agree with the district court that the standards for releasing Internet identifying information to the public are inadequate to constrain the discretion of law enforcement agencies and that, as a result, registered sex offenders are unnecessarily deterred from engaging in anonymous online speech.

[S]ex offenders fear of disclosure in and of itself chills their speech. If their identity is exposed, their speech, even on topics of public importance, could subject them to harassment, retaliation, and intimidation. See McIntyre, 514 U.S. at 34142 (The decision in favor of anonymity may be motivated by fear of economic or official retaliation, by concern about social ostracism, or merely by a desire to preserve as much of ones privacy as possible.); Brown v. Socialist Workers 74 Campaign Comm. (Ohio), 459 U.S. 87, 100 (1982) (holding that disclosure requirements may subject unpopular minority groups to threats, harassment, and reprisals). Anonymity may also be important to sex offenders engaged in protected speech because it provides a way for a writer who may be personally unpopular to ensure that readers will not prejudge her message simply because they do not like its proponent.

Pretty strong stuff. It has made me think about the Jehovahs Witnesses. Convicted sex offenders are probably one of a very small number of groups that are even more despised than the Jehovahs Witnesses were in the Thirties and Forties, and they have consequently been singled out for very harsh treatment in the law. Fighting back, theyre helping to make some good First Amendment precedent, and when the government starts cracking down on other speech by other speakers, or attempting to restrict our ability to use anonymizing tools in our Internet communications as itwill well be grateful to them for having done so.

***Shawn Peters excellent Judging Jehovahs Witnessess tells this story in great detail, if youre interested.

David Post taught intellectual property and Internet law at Georgetown Law Center and Temple University Law School until his recent retirement. He is the author of “In Search of Jeffersons Moose: Notes on the State of Cyberspace” (Oxford, 2009), a Fellow at the Center for Democracy and Technology, and an Adjunct Scholar at the Cato Institute.

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Volokh Conspiracy: Convicted sex offenders, Jehovahs Witnesses, and the First Amendment



Gotta love the First Amendment – handing out chemtrail fliers at a Green Festival
http://StopSprayingUs-SF.com – When I was handing out chemtrail awareness fliers outside a Green Festival in San Francisco's Fort Mason, park officials and police claimed I was breaking the…

By: Patrick Roddie

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Gotta love the First Amendment – handing out chemtrail fliers at a Green Festival – Video

Nov 202014

History of marijuana in America

History of marijuana in America

History of marijuana in America

History of marijuana in America

History of marijuana in America

History of marijuana in America

History of marijuana in America

History of marijuana in America

History of marijuana in America

History of marijuana in America

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Legalizing pot: a no-brainer

Nov 202014

History of marijuana in America

History of marijuana in America

History of marijuana in America

History of marijuana in America

History of marijuana in America

History of marijuana in America

History of marijuana in America

History of marijuana in America

History of marijuana in America

History of marijuana in America

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Why U.S. should legalize pot

Nov 202014

The place we might hope to get to after weve dealt with all our stupidities Iain Banks on the Culture stories. Photograph: Murdo MacLeod for the Guardian

If the death of Iain Banks last summer left a giant, Culture-shaped hole in your life, it is really worth sampling these hugely detailed and lengthy interviews with the late, great man. Conducted by Jude Roberts for her PhD in 2010, the interviews have just been published by the excellent speculative fiction magazine Strange Horizons, as part of a funding drive that has raised more than $15,000 (9,500) to pay for the magazines 15th year of publication.

The full, strident, and often playful answers he gives here are entirely characteristic of his writing and persona more generally, says Roberts; and its true, many of Bankss answers are a joy.

Many critics and reviewers have claimed that the Culture represents the American Libertarian ideal. Given that this is clearly not the case, how do you characterise the politics of the Culture? asks Roberts. Really? I had no idea, replies Banks. Lets be clear: unless I have profoundly misunderstood its position, I pretty much despise American Libertarianism. Have these people seriously looked at the problems of the world and thought, Hmm, what we need here is a bit more selfishness? I beg to differ.

We also learn that Banks started work on a Culture-English dictionary. I was doing it as a laugh, as a sort of tiny hobby, for a brief while. It was quite fun working out how much information you could pack into a nonary grid but it was always going to be too big a job, and it all felt rather arbitrary, just pulling phonemes out of the air and deciding, Right, thats what General Contact Unit is in Marain (something like Wukoorth Sapoot-Jeerd, if memory serves).

And that the Culture stories are me at my most didactic, though its largely hidden under all the funny names, action, and general bluster. The Culture represents the place we might hope to get to after weve dealt with all our stupidities. Maybe. I have said before, and will doubtless say again, that maybe we that is, homo sapiens are just too determinedly stupid and aggressive to have any hope of becoming like the Culture, unless we somehow find and isolate/destroy the genes that code for xenophobia, should they exist.

It emerges that Banks doesnt think much of work by Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, or Emanuel Levinas (or any other continental philosophers). The little Ive read I mostly didnt understand, and the little I understood of the little Ive read seemed to consist either of rather banal points made difficult to understand by deliberately opaque and obstructive language (this might have been the translation, though I doubt it), or just plain nonsense. Or it could be Im just not up to the mark intellectually, of course.

Theres more so much more. Its got me itching to crack open my old copy of Consider Phlebas, and start the whole thing all over again. Although, is my favourite Culture novel The Player of Games? Decisions, decisions.

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Iain Bankss Culture lives on



How First Amendment Procedures Protect First Amendment Substance
While the substance of constitutional rights is always important, it is often the procedures surrounding the protection and enforcement of those rights that …

By: The Federalist Society

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How First Amendment Procedures Protect First Amendment Substance – Video



Ferguson: New video shows officer Wilson accosting man on his own property for simply filming him
Ferguson resident Mike Arman alleges that his First Amendment rights were violated when he was arrested by embattled police officer Darren Wilson in 2013, and that the subsequent police report…

By: TomoNews US

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Ferguson: New video shows officer Wilson accosting man on his own property for simply filming him – Video

Nov 192014

The John Peter Zenger story as it appears in One Nation With News for All.

Visitors can learn more about Zengers role in the birth of press freedom in One Nation With News for All, an exhibit in partnership with the Smithsonians Our American project, which tells the story of how immigrants and minorities used the power of the press to shape the American experience.

The Cox Enterprises First Amendment Gallery puts each of the five freedoms of the First Amendment press, speech, religion, assembly and petition in historical context, and provides perspective on what they mean to us more than 200 years later.

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The Birth of Press Freedom



The First Amendment…(Historically Speaking)
Frederick Douglass Dixon hosts this weekly segment on UPTV.

By: UPTV6

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The First Amendment…(Historically Speaking) – Video



Packard Pokes At: Jews For the First Amendment And Why It Matters
This podcast and video is dedicated to finding the truth of the news that we get bombarded with every week and having a little fun along the way. Story link …

By: Packard Pokes At

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Packard Pokes At: Jews For the First Amendment And Why It Matters – Video

Ayn Randis not afeministicon, but it speaks volumes about theInternetthat some are implicitly characterizing her that way, so much so that shes even become a ubiquitous force on thememecircuit.

Last week, Maureen OConnor ofThe Cutwrotea piece about a popular shirt called the Unstoppable Muscle Tee, which features the quote: The question isnt who is going to let me, its who is going to stop me.

AsThe Quote Investigatordetermined, this was actually a distortion of a well-known passage from one of Rands better-known novels, The Fountainhead:

Do you mean to tell me that youre thinking seriously of building that way, when and if you are an architect?

Yes.

My dear fellow, who will let you?

Thats not the point. The point is, who will stop me?

Ironically, Rand not only isnt responsible for this trendy girl power mantra, but was actually an avowed enemy of feminism. AsThe Atlas Society explains in theirarticleabout feminism in the philosophy of Objectivism (Rands main ideological legacy), Randians may have supported certain political and social freedoms for womenthe right to have an abortion, the ability to rise to the head of business based on individual meritbut they subscribed fiercely to cultural gender biases. Referring to herself as a male chauvinist, Rand argued that sexually healthy women should feel a sense of hero worship for the men in their life, expressed disgust at the idea that any woman would want to be president, and deplored progressive identity-basedactivistmovements as inherently collectivist in nature.

How did Rand get so big on the Internet, which has become a popular place for progressive memory? A Pew Researchstudyfrom 2005 discovered that: the percentage of both men and women who go online increases with the amount of household income, and while both genders are equally likely to engage in heavy Internet use, white men statistically outnumber white women. This is important because Rand, despite iconoclasticeschewingideological labels herself, is especially popular amonglibertarians, who are attracted to her pro-business, anti-government, and avowedly individualistic ideology. Self-identified libertarians and libertarian-minded conservatives, in turn, were found by a Pew Researchstudyfrom 2011 to be disproportionately white, male, and affluent. Indeed, the sub-sect of the conservative movement that Pew determined was most likely to identify with the libertarian label were so-calledBusiness Conservatives,who are the only group in which a majority (67 percent) believes the economic system is fair to most Americans rather than unfairly tilted in favor of the powerful. They are also very favorably inclined toward the potential presidential candidacy ofRep. Paul Ryan(79 percent), who is well-known within the Beltway as anadmirerof Rands work (oncetellingThe Weekly Standardthat I give outAtlas Shrugged[by Ayn Rand] as Christmas presents, and I make all my interns read it.).

Rands fans, in other words, are one of the most visible forces on the Internet, and ideally situated to distribute her ideology. Rands online popularity is the result of this fortuitous intersection of power and interests among frequent Internet users. If one date can be established as the turning point for the flourishing of Internet libertarianism, it would most likely be May 16, 2007, when footage of formerRep. Ron Paulssharp non-interventionist rebuttalto Rudy Giuliani in that nights Republican presidential debate became a viral hit. Ron Pauls place in the ideological/cultural milieu that encompasses Randism is undeniable, as evidenced byexposeson their joint influence on college campuses and Pauls upcomingcameoin the movieAtlas Shrugged: Part 3. During his 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns, Paulattractedconsiderableattentionfor his remarkable ability to raise money through the Internet, and to this day he continues to root his cause in cyberspace through a titularonline political opinion channelwhile his son,Sen. Rand Paul, has made no secret of his hope to tap into his fathers base for his own likely presidential campaign in 2016. Even though the Pauls dont share Rands views onmany issues, the self-identified libertarians that infused energy and cash into their national campaigns are part of the same Internet phenomenon as the growth of Randism.

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The meme-ification of Ayn Rand: How the grumpy author became an Internet superstar



BLM No Show Pahrump 11/13/2014 First Amendment Area
Description Kenny Bent speaks to the people in front of the Bob Ruud Community Center, where the BLM failed to show and present their Resource Management Pla…

By: Les Moore

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BLM No Show Pahrump 11/13/2014 First Amendment Area – Video



The First Amendment…(Historically Speaking) – Episode #7
Frederick Douglass Dixon hosts this weekly program on UPTV.

By: UPTV6

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The First Amendment…(Historically Speaking) – Episode #7 – Video



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