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Wining and dining under the First Amendment
Lawyers for two companies accused in a corruption probe at Sweetwater schools are arguing they should not have to give back construction contract proceeds because the meals, trips and tickets…

By: Ricky Young

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Wining and dining under the First Amendment – Video

Declaring that Florida’s open government laws have been “under attack in recent years,” the First Amendment Foundation asked the two candidates for governor to answer three questions pledging to reverse recent trends and operate with more transparent practices if they are elected.

Gov. Rick Scott and challenger Charlie Crist were asked if they would agree to conduct all public business on public computer networks and devices, release a detailed schedule of appointments and travel, and pledge that he and staff will not use private email accounts when conducting business.

Crist, a Democrat, responded that he would. Scott, a Republican, did not respond.

The First Amendment Foundation is a non-profit open government watchdog that receives its support from voluntary contributions and many of the state’s news organizations.

The governor’s failure to respond comes against a backdrop of increasing questions about his commitment to Florida’s open government laws.

During his term, Scott has blocked data about his private air travels from public flight tracking records. He has released only superficial details about his daily schedules. He has used, and allows his staff to use, private email accounts when corresponding on public business, creating additional barriers to public access. And his staff has been encouraged to use private cell phone accounts when sending text messages about politically sensitive issues.

In each case, the governor has said he has followed the law but his actions have drawn lawsuits.

He is is being sued by Tallahassee attorney Steven R. Andrews, a Republican, for allowing his staff to alter calendar entries, for withholding documents from public records requests and for failing to say who opened his private gmail accountand the gmail accounts of his staff. He faces another lawsuit, from attorney general candidate George Sheldon, a Democrat, alleging that his financial disclosure forms fail to reflect more than $200 million of his wealth because it excludes assets his wife owns but which Scott remains as the beneficiary.

Here are the responses from Crist:

Q: As governor, will you release a weekly calendar in advance that details your appointments, public meetings, and travel schedule?

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Open government group: Scott won't commit to reversing practices in second term



The Open Mind: Free Speech and Due Process, Part 1
In this edition of The Open Mind, Burt Neuborne speaks about how the first Amendment is sugar-coated and his perspective on it. (Taped 1-16-97) In May 1956, Richard D. Heffner, American…

By: cunytv75

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The Open Mind: Free Speech and Due Process, Part 1 – Video

Lee Goodman just completed his first year on the Federal Election Commission where he is also three-quarters through a yearlong term as Chairman. While he wasnt on the Commission when the Supreme Court issued its ruling in Citizens United, he did spearhead the rulemaking that formalized how newly freed corporate speech will be regulated. This involved finding a way to break a five year deadlock. The rules, recently approved by a 4-2 vote, make clear that corporations will not be subject to any new onerous disclosure requirements. Instead, as the Supreme Court intended, political speech is freer, which is a very good thing.

Last week, I interviewed Chairman Goodman by telephone. He spoke passionately about the benefits to democracy from more and freer political speech. He believes strongly that Americans are quite capable of listening to a wide variety of viewpoints and then making an informed choice when they vote. He made his argument on this point as follows:

My view is Citizens United righted the ship of speech in America. Americans, even when organized in associations, should have the right to speak as much as they want about government, the issues of the day, and those seeking to be elected to public office. For about 35 years in American history we banned certain speakers and, therefore, certain political views from the debate.

Clearly, Chairman Goodman is in favor of free speech. He understands that the First Amendment was meant to protect political speech of all sorts, without limits on sources or number. He went on to make clear why limiting free speech is a bad idea:

Some people would rather remove certain podiums from the debate than meet the merits of those views in a debate. Government assumed an improper role in controlling debate. Citizens United corrected this, recognizing that all speakers, including those who choose to incorporate their association, should be allowed into the debate. The American people are better off when they hear more viewpoints, not fewer. They have a right to choose whether to listen to a viewpoint, or not to listen.

This is a hopeful view of the American people. Chairman Goodman believes in the inherent abilities of citizens to make wise choices collectively, and also in their inherent right to make poor choices at times and live with the resultant outcomes. Importantly, in stark contrast to the hyperbolic voices on the side of restricting free political speech, Chairman Goodman recognizes that the volume of speech alone does not determine elections:

Evidence from the 2012 election cycle, analyzed by the Sunlight Foundation, showed that in many cases the win/loss rate for big political groups was quite low (sometimes less than 10 percent). This is proof that more speech does not determine the outcome of elections.

Disagreeing further with those in favor of restrictions on political speech, Chairman Goodman also argued against the oft-advanced proposition that speech must be limited in order to avoid corruption:

I dont believe speech corrupts politicians. I dont believe that President Obama has taken positions or changed positions on issues due to the hundreds of millions of dollars in political contributions and speech in the 2012 election. Rather, speech chases political positions more than the other way around. Further, for those who advance the position that speech corrupts politicians, let them name politicians that are examples of such corruption.

Finally, Chairman Goodman spoke in favor of the prospect that Citizens United, helped by the more recent McCutcheon decision, will make elections more competitive. In other words, more money and more viewpoints will make the political landscape more even, not less:

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FEC Chairman Has A Passion For Free Speech



NATO Secretary General visits top Allied military command
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was briefed on operations and activities by the Alliance's top military commander, General Philip Breedlove, during his first visit to NATO's Supreme…

By: NATO

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NATO Secretary General visits top Allied military command – Video

Google, Facebook and Twitter are warning that giving companies the power to unmask anonymous Yelp reviewers would strike a blow to Internet free speech.

The right to speak anonymously would be greatly diminished if those who objected to anonymous speech could readily employ civil discovery to unmask a speaker, the companies said in a court brief backing Yelps effort to shield the anonymity of its users, even ones who post critical reviews that may be fraudulent.

The closely watched dispute before Virginias highest court centers on a complaint brought by the owner of Hadeed Carpet Cleaning Inc. in Springfield, Va., Joe Hadeed, who claims his suburban business was besieged by a rash of harsh Yelp reviews in 2012. That summer, as WSJs Angus Loten earlier recounted, Mr. Hadeed sued the seven reviewers for defamation and demanded that Yelp disclose their true identities.

He claims at least seven of the bad reviews about his business were fraudulent possibly posted by competitors including one review that came from Haddonfield, N.J., where the company doesnt do business. He says his sales plummeted after the comments were posted.

A state trial court and the Virginia Court of Appeals sided with Mr. Hadeed, holding Yelp in contempt for not turning over the names. Yelp then took its case to the state Supreme Court, arguing that the reviews are protected under the First Amendment.

The ruling fails to give adequate respect to the First Amendment right to anonymous speech, Google, Facebook, Twitter and three other web companies wrote in a friend-of-the-court brief filed Monday. The brief said Yelp has transformed and elevated this countrys long tradition of town halls, private assemblies, robust debate, and anonymous complaints by bringing it online and making it more accessible to people everywhere.

The document was filed Monday, a day before lawyers representing the two sides argued their case before Virginias high court.

Mr. Hadeeds attorney, Raighne C. Delaney, said the free-speech concerns were overblown, according to an Associated Press report on Tuesdays hearing. These businesses are not looking to go out and sue people for no reason, he said.

He told the judges, according to AP, that his client had first made a good faith effort to determine whether the reviewers were Hadeed customers before demanding that Yelp disclose their identities.

Paul Alan Levy, an attorney for Yelp, argued in court that the mere suspicion that the critical comments werent coming from real customers doesnt justify unmasking the reviewers, according to AP.

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Unmasking Yelp Users Would Hurt Free Speech, Warn Google and Facebook



Manufacturing Ignorance UFOs, the First Amendment and National Security LIVE youtube original

By: Moriah7

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Manufacturing Ignorance UFOs, the First Amendment and National Security LIVE youtube original – Video



Cau 6 : What is one right or freedom from the First Amendment?
What is one right or freedom from the First Amendment? Speech.

By: Andy Vu Tran

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Cau 6 : What is one right or freedom from the First Amendment? – Video



October 25Th Secrets Section. Satan is Coming. Illuminati Freemason Symbolism.
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By: TheGroxt1

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October 25Th Secrets Section. Satan is Coming. Illuminati Freemason Symbolism. – Video



A Photographer's Guide to the First Amendment (and what to do if you get arrested)
Great informational video.

By: EMSNews Arizona

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A Photographer’s Guide to the First Amendment (and what to do if you get arrested) – Video



Lawful Larry and the First Amendment

By: Ande Lloyd

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Lawful Larry and the First Amendment – Video



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Ebola in NYC . Denvers White Horse Oct 23 Eclipse. Is Satan here? Illuminati Freemason Symbolism.
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Ebola in NYC . Denvers White Horse Oct 23 Eclipse. Is Satan here? Illuminati Freemason Symbolism. – Video



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Keynote Address: Public Health in the Shadow of the First Amendment
Keynote Address: Public Health in the Shadow of the First Amendment.

By: BY65464

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Keynote Address: Public Health in the Shadow of the First Amendment – Video



Yale Conference on Public Health in the Shadow of the First Amendment
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By: Ny78121dsfd

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Yale Conference on Public Health in the Shadow of the First Amendment – Video

Oct 272014

Posted: Sunday, October 26, 2014 10:57 pm

Letter: The Second Amendment Philip Jones, junior in computer science technicianonline.com

More people need education about the Second Amendment and why the Second Amendment was created in the first place. The Founding Fathers created the Second Amendment as a means to protect the peoples rights throughout future generations. They also created the Second Amendment to be prepared for the next revolution. However, gun control laws are taking these rights away. The more gun control laws on the books, the weaker our country gets. Gun-free zones right here at North Carolina State and other colleges is not only an infringement of our law-abiding rights, but it also makes the campus more unsafe. Campus police is a great resource to have. However, they can only respond so quickly. Concealed carry should be supported on campus, not feared. There have been no incidents since the gun rights in-car campus gun laws were passed. About 99 percent of concealed carry permit holders are law-abiding citizens because criminals will not go through the process to get a concealed carry. Having concealed carry on campus would make our campus and other colleges safer. Off campus, the worst thing to hear is people saying, The Founding Fathers only had muskets. Well, that is also saying the First Amendment should only apply to print media and not television or the Internet. The same applies to the Second Amendment, such as AR-15s and AK-47s. I would hate to see the day when the next revolution comes to our home country and we are unprepared because of tyranny from our lawmakers. Too many people died for the freedom of the Second Amendment, and my generation and future generations are the only people who can be more educated about our Constitution, and stop tyranny from the government.

Posted in Opinion, Letters to editor on Sunday, October 26, 2014 10:57 pm.

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Letter: The Second Amendment



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