Cyborg | Designer-Babies | Futurism | Futurist | Immortality | Longevity | Nanotechnology | Post-Human | Singularity | Transhuman

Kansas City SEO Search Engine Optimization

 SEO  Comments Off on Kansas City SEO Search Engine Optimization
Apr 182016
 

For over a decade, weve been helping Kansas City companies and businesses around the country dominate online by creating and executing Content Marketing, SEO and Inbound Marketing strategies. Our team is lead by a nationally published author and recognized authority in search engine optimization and Internet marketing. Check out our website we practice every word of what we preach.

Our team provides SEO services at every level. We thrive in ultra-competitve niches. Home services. Consumer products. Legal services. Ecommerce. Bring it on.

Search Engine Optimization or SEO is the key to website visibility on the Internet. Most websites are never found. SEO puts you in front of your ideal customers at the precise moment they are searching to buy your products & services. You can test the SEO on your current website right now. We offer this free one-click online SEO report.

The Kansas City SEO team believes WordPress is the best content management system (CMS) for Kansas City small businesses. WordPress is extremely SEO friendly. This is a WordPress website. We build custom, high-performance SEO-ready web sites. We like to build on Magento for larger ecommerce websites.

Search Engine Optimization has morphed into Content Marketing. In order to rank in competitive niches, your company needs to continually create great content, strategically participate in social media and build your own custom content distributions channels. And well show you how to do just enough social to avoid diminishing returns.

The rest is here:
Kansas City SEO Search Engine Optimization

 Posted by at 4:42 am  Tagged with:

Liberty Hound – facebook.com

 Liberty  Comments Off on Liberty Hound – facebook.com
Apr 172016
 

Ladies and gentlemen, kids of all ages – Slow Roll season is almost upon us!

With gratitude for such widespread support, we’re planning to grow in so many ways… this year, from the ride itself to our reach in the community – this free event enjoyed by thousands from ages 5-93 presents endless opportunities to make Buffalo better by bicycle.

Amidst all this effort and excitement, we’re still awaiting word from the city on new costs to be imposed this year; while Mayor Byron W. Brown has pledged to both keep these fees reasonable and even lead a ride, we can promise this much – Slow Roll Buffalo will roll on, and it will remain free for all!

Here’s the first half of our 2016 schedule – set your schedules and spread the word!

SEASON OPENER – SUNDAY, May 8th, 1pm – Marcy Casino Buffalo

MONDAYS, meet at 5:30pm – roll at 6:30pm

May 16th – The Oakk Room May 23rd – The Buffalo News May 30th – Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park June 6th – Larkin Square & Hydraulic Hearth June 13th – Heart of Hertel Avenue June 20th – The Groove Lounge June 27th – Resurgence Brewing Company July 4th – Buffalo River Fest Park July 11th – Martin Luther King, Jr. Park July 18th – Artisan Kitchens and Baths July 25th – Lackawanna Fire Station 3

Much more to come…

Read this article:
Liberty Hound – facebook.com

 Posted by at 6:41 am  Tagged with:

What Libertarianism Is | Mises Daily

 Misc  Comments Off on What Libertarianism Is | Mises Daily
Mar 282016
 

Property, Rights, and Liberty

Libertarians tend to agree on a wide array of policies and principles. Nonetheless, it is not easy to find consensus on what libertarianism’s defining characteristic is, or on what distinguishes it from other political theories and systems.

Various formulations abound. It is said that libertarianism is about individual rights, property rights, the free market, capitalism, justice, or the nonaggression principle. Not just any of these will do, however. Capitalism and the free market describe the catallactic conditions that arise or are permitted in a libertarian society, but do not encompass other aspects of libertarianism. And individual rights, justice, and aggression collapse into property rights. As Murray Rothbard explained, individual rights are property rights. And justice is just giving someone his due, which depends on what his rights are.

The nonaggression principle is also dependent on property rights, since what aggression is depends on what our (property) rights are. If you hit me, it is aggression because I have a property right in my body. If I take from you the apple you possess, this is trespass aggression only because you own the apple. One cannot identify an act of aggression without implicitly assigning a corresponding property right to the victim.

So capitalism and the free market are too narrow, and justice, individual rights, and aggression all boil down to, or are defined in terms of, property rights. What of property rights, then? Is this what differentiates libertarianism from other political philosophies that we favor property rights, and all others do not? Surely such a claim is untenable.

After all, a property right is simply the exclusive right to control a scarce resource. Property rights specify which persons own that is, have the right to control various scarce resources in a given region or jurisdiction. Yet everyone and every political theory advance some theory of property. None of the various forms of socialism deny property rights; each version will specify an owner for every scarce resource. If the state nationalizes an industry, it is asserting ownership of these means of production. If the state taxes you, it is implicitly asserting ownership of the funds taken. If my land is transferred to a private developer by eminent domain statutes, the developer is now the owner. If the law allows a recipient of racial discrimination to sue his employer for a sum of money, he is the owner of the money.

Protection of and respect for property rights is thus not unique to libertarianism. What is distinctive about libertarianism is its particular property assignment rules: its view concerning who is the owner of each contestable resource, and how to determine this.

A system of property rights assigns a particular owner to every scarce resource. These resources obviously include natural resources such as land, fruits of trees, and so on. Objects found in nature are not the only scarce resources, however. Each human actor has, controls, and is identified and associated with a unique human body, which is also a scarce resource. Both human bodies and nonhuman, scarce resources are desired for use as means by actors in the pursuit of various goals.

Accordingly, any political theory or system must assign ownership rights in human bodies as well as in external things. Let us consider first the libertarian property assignment rules with respect to human bodies, and the corresponding notion of aggression as it pertains to bodies. Libertarians often vigorously assert the “nonaggression principle.” As Ayn Rand said, “So long as men desire to live together, no man may initiate do you hear me? No man may start the use of physical force against others.” Or, as Rothbard put it:

The libertarian creed rests upon one central axiom: that no man or group of men may aggress against the person or property of anyone else. This may be called the “nonaggression axiom.” “Aggression” is defined as the initiation of the use or threat of physical violence against the person or property of anyone else. Aggression is therefore synonymous with invasion.

In other words, libertarians maintain that the only way to violate rights is by initiating force that is, by committing aggression. (Libertarianism also holds that, while the initiation of force against another person’s body is impermissible, force used in response to aggression such as defensive, restitutive, or retaliatory/punitive force is justified.)

Now in the case of the body, it is clear what aggression is: invading the borders of someone’s body, commonly called battery, or, more generally, using the body of another without his or her consent. The very notion of interpersonal aggression presupposes property rights in bodies more particularly, that each person is, at least prima facie, the owner of his own body.

Nonlibertarian political philosophies have a different view. Each person has some limited rights in his own body, but not complete or exclusive rights. Society or the state, purporting to be society’s agent has certain rights in each citizen’s body, too. This partial slavery is implicit in state actions and laws such as taxation, conscription, and drug prohibitions.

The libertarian says that each person is the full owner of his body: he has the right to control his body, to decide whether or not he ingests narcotics, joins an army, and so on. Those various nonlibertarians who endorse any such state prohibitions, however, necessarily maintain that the state, or society, is at least a partial owner of the body of those subject to such laws or even a complete owner in the case of conscriptees or nonaggressor “criminals” incarcerated for life. Libertarians believe in self-ownership. Nonlibertarians statists of all stripes advocate some form of slavery.

Without property rights, there is always the possibility of conflict over contestable (scarce) resources. By assigning an owner to each resource, legal systems make possible conflict-free use of resources, by establishing visible boundaries that nonowners can avoid. Libertarianism does not endorse just any property assignment rule, however. It favors self-ownership over other-ownership (slavery).

The libertarian seeks property assignment rules because he values or accepts various grundnorms such as justice, peace, prosperity, cooperation, conflict-avoidance, and civilization. The libertarian view is that self-ownership is the only property assignment rule compatible with these grundorms; it is implied by them.

As Professor Hoppe has shown, the assignment of ownership to a given resource must not be random, arbitrary, particularistic, or biased, if it is actually to be a property norm that can serve the function of conflict-avoidance. Property title has to be assigned to one of competing claimants based on “the existence of an objective, intersubjectively ascertainable link between owner and the” resource claimed. In the case of one’s own body, it is the unique relationship between a person and his body his direct and immediate control over his body, and the fact that, at least in some sense, a body is a given person and vice versa that constitutes the objective link sufficient to give that person a claim to his body superior to typical third party claimants.

Moreover, any outsider who claims another’s body cannot deny this objective link and its special status, since the outsider also necessarily presupposes this in his own case. This is so because, in seeking dominion over the other and in asserting ownership over the other’s body, he has to presuppose his own ownership of his body. In so doing, the outsider demonstrates that he does place a certain significance on this link, even as (at the same time) he disregards the significance of the other’s link to his own body.

Libertarianism recognizes that only the self-ownership rule is universalizable and compatible with the goals of peace, cooperation, and conflict-avoidance. We recognize that each person is prima facie the owner of his own body because, by virtue of his unique link to and connection with his own body his direct and immediate control over it he has a better claim to it than anyone else.

Libertarians apply similar reasoning in the case of other scarce resources namely, external objects in the world that, unlike bodies, were at one point unowned. In the case of bodies, the idea of aggression being impermissible immediately implies self-ownership. In the case of external objects, however, we must identify who the owner is before we can determine what constitutes aggression.

As in the case with bodies, humans need to be able to use external objects as means to achieve various ends. Because these things are scarce, there is also the potential for conflict. And, as in the case with bodies, libertarians favor assigning property rights so as to permit the peaceful, conflict-free, productive use of such resources. Thus, as in the case with bodies, property is assigned to the person with the best claim or link to a given scarce resource with the “best claim” standard based on the goals of permitting peaceful, conflict-free human interaction and use of resources.

Unlike human bodies, however, external objects are not parts of one’s identity, are not directly controlled by one’s will, and significantly they are initially unowned. Here, the libertarian realizes that the relevant objective link is appropriation the transformation or embordering of a previously unowned resource, Lockean homesteading, the first use or possession of the thing. Under this approach, the first (prior) user of a previously unowned thing has a prima facie better claim than a second (later) claimant, solely by virtue of his being earlier.

Why is appropriation the relevant link for determination of ownership? First, keep in mind that the question with respect to such scarce resources is: who is the resource’s owner? Recall that ownership is the right to control, use, or possess, while possession is actual control “the factual authority that a person exercises over a corporeal thing.” The question is not who has physical possession; it is who has ownership.

Thus, asking who is the owner of a resource presupposes a distinction between ownership and possession between the right to control, and actual control. And the answer has to take into account the nature of previously unowned things namely, that they must at some point become owned by a first owner.

The answer must also take into account the presupposed goals of those seeking this answer: rules that permit conflict-free use of resources. For this reason, the answer cannot be whoever has the resource or whoever is able to take it is its owner. To hold such a view is to adopt a might-makes-right system, where ownership collapses into possession for want of a distinction. Such a system, far from avoiding conflict, makes conflict inevitable.

Instead of a might-makes-right approach, from the insights noted above it is obvious that ownership presupposes the prior-later distinction: whoever any given system specifies as the owner of a resource, he has a better claim than latecomers. If he does not, then he is not an owner, but merely the current user or possessor. If he is supposed an owner on the might-makes-right principle, in which there is no such thing as ownership, it contradicts the presuppositions of the inquiry itself. If the first owner does not have a better claim than latecomers, then he is not an owner, but merely a possessor, and there is no such thing as ownership.

More generally, latecomers’ claims are inferior to those of prior possessors or claimants, who either homesteaded the resource or who can trace their title back to the homesteader or earlier owner. The crucial importance of the prior-later distinction to libertarian theory is why Professor Hoppe repeatedly emphasizes it in his writing.

Thus, the libertarian position on property rights is that, in order to permit conflict-free, productive use of scarce resources, property titles to particular resources are assigned to particular owners. As noted above, however, the title assignment must not be random, arbitrary, or particularistic; instead, it has to be assigned based on “the existence of an objective, intersubjectively ascertainable link between owner” and the resource claimed. As can be seen from the considerations presented above, the link is the physical transformation or embordering of the original homesteader, or a chain of title traceable by contract back to him.

Not only libertarians are civilized. Most people give some weight to some of the above considerations. In their eyes, a person is the owner of his own body usually. A homesteader owns the resource he appropriates unless the state takes it from him “by operation of law.” This is the principal distinction between libertarians and nonlibertarians: Libertarians are consistently opposed to aggression, defined in terms of invasion of property borders, where property rights are understood to be assigned on the basis of self-ownership in the case of bodies. And in the case of other things, rights are understood on the basis of prior possession or homesteading and contractual transfer of title.

This framework for rights is motivated by the libertarian’s consistent and principled valuing of peaceful interaction and cooperation in short, of civilized behavior. A parallel to the Misesian view of human action may be illuminating here. According to Mises, human action is aimed at alleviating some felt uneasiness. Thus, means are employed, according to the actor’s understanding of causal laws, to achieve various ends ultimately, the removal of uneasiness.

Civilized man feels uneasy at the prospect of violent struggles with others. On the one hand, he wants, for some practical reason, to control a given scarce resource and to use violence against another person, if necessary, to achieve this control. On the other hand, he also wants to avoid a wrongful use of force. Civilized man, for some reason, feels reluctance, uneasiness, at the prospect of violent interaction with his fellow man. Perhaps he has reluctance to violently clash with others over certain objects because he has empathy with them. Perhaps the instinct to cooperate is a result of social evolution. As Mises noted,

There are people whose only aim is to improve the condition of their own ego. There are other people with whom awareness of the troubles of their fellow men causes as much uneasiness as or even more uneasiness than their own wants.

Whatever the reason, because of this uneasiness, when there is the potential for violent conflict, the civilized man seeks justification for the forceful control of a scarce resource that he desires but which some other person opposes. Empathy or whatever spurs man to adopt the libertarian grundnorms gives rise to a certain form of uneasiness, which gives rise to ethical action.

Civilized man may be defined as he who seeks justification for the use of interpersonal violence. When the inevitable need to engage in violence arises for defense of life or property civilized man seeks justification. Naturally, since this justification-seeking is done by people who are inclined to reason and peace (justification is after all a peaceful activity that necessarily takes place during discourse), what they seek are rules that are fair, potentially acceptable to all, grounded in the nature of things, and universalizable, and which permit conflict-free use of resources.

Libertarian property rights principles emerge as the only candidate that satisfies these criteria. Thus, if civilized man is he who seeks justification for the use of violence, the libertarian is he who is serious about this endeavor. He has a deep, principled, innate opposition to violence, and an equally deep commitment to peace and cooperation.

For the foregoing reasons, libertarianism may be said to be the political philosophy that consistently favors social rules aimed at promoting peace, prosperity, and cooperation. It recognizes that the only rules that satisfy the civilized grundnorms are the self-ownership principle and the Lockean homesteading principle, applied as consistently as possible.

And as I have argued elsewhere, because the state necessarily commits aggression, the consistent libertarian, in opposing aggression, is also an anarchist.

This article is adapted from a “What Libertarianism Is,” in Jrg Guido Hlsmann & Stephan Kinsella, eds., Property, Freedom, and Society: Essays in Honor of Hans-Hermann Hoppe (Mises Institute, 2009). An abbreviated version of this article was incorporated into the author’s speech “Intellectual Property and Libertarianism,” presented at Mises University 2009 (July 30, 2009; audio).

Originally posted here:
What Libertarianism Is | Mises Daily

Free SEO Analysis

 SEO  Comments Off on Free SEO Analysis
Mar 192016
 

The SEOmastering.com team has developed a huge amount of SEO services and tools to help webmasters and optimizers to manage and develop their sites. The most important is our SEO Audit Service.

To receive your free SEO analysis, enter a site address in the form above and click “Analyze”. After 10-30 seconds you’ll receive a detailed report of the inspected website.

What does the SEO Audit Service provide? What data is provided? What will you gain? And how much does it cost? The SEO audit costs nothing. Before turning to other answers, please take a look at the slide show displaying the result of the service work (click the image below).

SEO analysis service checks for and provides a huge amount of data and characteristics of the site, over a hundred graphs, as well as several hundred different parameters, some of which include: Back links in various search engines and monitoring services, indexed pages, site speed and whois history, registration date and contact details, keywords density and geographic location, directory presence, security, presence of competitors, traffic and SE positions, and hundreds of other important characteristics.

SEO audit tool can detect site content management system and scripts, used by the page. Service can disclose about 60 CMSes and more than 100 different scripts. If a content management system has been detected, its name links to this CMS Top sites.

Recently, we introduced a new parameter: Spammy links. Spammy factor is based on data from Solomono (indexed pages, domain acceptors), our TrustRank and several refinement coefficients. Please note that the data from Solomono is not always accurate, so this option is recommended only as an evaluation, not as the ultimate truth.

Here’s our classification, depending on the percentage: 0 – 10 % . Excellent.

10 – 20 % . Good.

20 – 30 % . Perhaps it’s OK, but pay attention to the outgoing links.

30 – 50 % . Attention – maybe a lot of outgoing links.

50 – 80 % . Bad – a lot of outgoing links.

80 – 100 % . Very bad – too many outgoing links.

N/A. Not defined. Not enough data.

I would like to draw your attention to the detailed analysis of all possible ratings. In addition to the general ratings, you’ll receive exclusive data developed by our team.

The ratings will be as follows: – Estimated site value – TrustRank – Real PageRank – Google PageRank – Yandex CY and Rang – Alexa Rank

Meaning of estimated value of the site: SEO audit service considers only the current characteristics of the resource. It does not consider effort (financial and moral) expended, personnel, budget, offices and other real estate, stock market activity (e.g. for Google and Yahoo), the subject of the site or your personal capacity, etc. Only current, at the moment, site characteristics.

For each rating, we have developed widgets that you can place on your site. As an example, below are informers for the current site:

You can get informers either on the audit page or on the special widgets page, where you can choose buttons from almost a hundred options.

Widgets are updated automatically each time you do the audit of the site. You therefore don’t need to change any button code placed on your website. Button addresses remain the same, but their values are updated automatically.

Also note: for each site analyzed, there’s a separate page with a unique address. Therefore, in order to obtain a report of an already-checked site, you don’t need to analyze it again. It’s enough to just visit a particular SEO audit address. On the analysis page, there are links to audit, in different formats.

Based on the generated audits, we developed various ratings and TOPs. Here are some of them: New sites, TOP by site value, TOP by TrustRank, Top by Real PageRank and so on. According to these ratings you can see which sites have the advantage.

You can save the audit report as a PDF file, to provide to customers (or superiors), or for more detailed study offline. There is a “Save as PDF” link at the end of the audit page.

It’s recommended that you read carefully the SEO audit service presentation. There’s detailed description of all features generated by the service and you will also find out all nuances of the audit work.

Below, you can see dozens of other SEO services developed by our team. You can also access these tools via the lower-right menu of the website.

See the rest here:
Free SEO Analysis

BruceClay – Search Engine Optimization – SEO Tutorial

 SEO  Comments Off on BruceClay – Search Engine Optimization – SEO Tutorial
Mar 192016
 

Bruce Clay, Inc.’s search engine optimization tutorial is a step-by-step SEO guidethat will teach you how to optimize a website for search, complete with free SEO tools! Are you a website owner concerned that your site doesn’t show up in Google? Or are you planning a website and want to make it search-friendly from the ground up? Whatever your situation, this tutorial will teach you all the SEO basics and important SEO tips to help you optimize your web pages to be found in search engines.

Our SEO tutorial covers only “white hat” methodology that adheres to search engine guidelines. Our founder, Bruce Clay, set the standard for ethical web marketing by authoring the “SEO Code of Ethics,” now translated into 18 languages. A respected leader in the ever-changing search marketing industry since 1996, our company provides Internet marketing services, software tools, and SEO training. In fact, thousands of people have attended our classroom-style training courses throughout the U.S. and internationally. This combined expertise makes Bruce Clay, Inc. uniquely qualified to present an ethics-based, search engine-friendly SEO tutorial to teach you best practices that reflect the latest developments in search.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the science/art of increasing traffic to a website by helping it rank higher in organic (non-paid) search results. SEO tips and strategies that are trustworthy aim to improve both internal and external factors that influence a website’s ranking (aka “on page” and “off page” elements) for SEO. Optimization involves some web programming expertise combined with business, writing, marketing, branding and even competitive puzzle solving skills. If you do all of this right (or at least the best among your competitors), you can achieve higher search engine rankings in the organic sections of search engine results pages. And you can have a website capable of maintaining your revenue goals.

Search engines want to show the “best” results possible the most relevant, most expert and highest quality web pages that will satisfy the searcher. To do this, the engines look at more than 200 factors to determine a site’s relevance to a search request. Some of these factors are woven into the fabric of the website (“on-page” factors). Others are trust signals based on links from reputable sites and (in some cases) social media engagement. No single web page, even with the best search engine optimization in the world, can be perfect in all 200+ ranking factors. Furthermore, no one knows precisely what the factors include or how they are weighted to determine the search results for a given keyword or query. So what’s an SEO to do? This SEO tutorial teaches you a “beat the leader” approach to search engine ranking. To see what Google or Bing thinks is best for any specific attribute, you can look at the sites they are currently rewarding the top-ranked results. Once you know what structural and content choices worked for the “leaders,” you can do even better by making your pages the “least imperfect”!

There are no search engine optimization secrets or tricks just ranking methodologies to follow in order to help a site that offers value to users beat the competition in search results. Today’s SEO must be committed not just to optimizing a website, but also to making it a quality site that attracts links naturally and is worthy of ranking. This bears repeating:

It is not the job of search engine optimization to make a pig fly. It is the job of SEO to genetically re-engineer the website so that it becomes an eagle.

Bruce Clay

Creating a website that can achieve high ranking involves more than just technical skills, or content writing, or links, or engagement objects or search engine submission alone; it requires an integrated effort. It is difficult to accomplish this type of project without a formal, proven SEO methodology and strong search engine optimization tools. This SEO tutorial is an entry-level how-to guide covering all of that and more. It’s like taking a free SEO training course!

Before you begin, you should understand that being among the top 3 rankings in search engine results can be achieved, but not without great effort. Your web pages must earn that high ranking with high-quality content and best-practice SEO optimization basics. Still, even for the best websites, maintaining a top organic SEO ranking requires constant keyword monitoring and content reworking. Search engine optimization never rests but neither does your competition.

This SEO how-to guide follows the proven keyword-placement methodology that Bruce Clay has taught thousands of students worldwide in our renowned SEO training courses. And we’ve also provided free SEO toolsand many bonus videosto help you every step of the way.

To make sure your education is well-grounded and effective, these pages cover a wide range of Internet marketing-related subjects. Here you’ll learn SEO tips for:

Ready to learn? Let’s get the Bruce Clay SEO Tutorial started! It begins with keyword research.

Please review our SEO Code of Ethics and SEO Standards pages before you edit your site pages.

Looking for a short SEO Optimization Checklist? Try ours!

We think it is important that you learn how the search engines relate to each other. View our Search Engine Relationship Chart. This is a Flash rendering of our famous FREE PDF that is suitable for color printing, and all the links are active! The Search Engine Relationship Chart has evolved quite a bit over the years; check out the Search Engine History – Chart Histogram to see how much it has changed.

Bruce Clay, Inc. was singled out as the Best Professional Services Interactive Application award winner for 2004 by the IAC Web Marketing Association for this Search Engine Relationship Chart.

There’s a hierarchy to be considered when developing any SEO strategy. To help businesses and marketers apply this strategy of prioritization, the SEO Hierarchy of Needs shows the relative place of search engine optimization tasks.

View the SEO Hierarchy of Needs in interactive Flash, or download the chart in PDF.

Continue reading here:
BruceClay – Search Engine Optimization – SEO Tutorial

Libertarianism – Mises Wiki, the global repository of …

 Misc  Comments Off on Libertarianism – Mises Wiki, the global repository of …
Feb 252016
 

This article uses content from the Wikipedia article on Libertarianism (edition) under the terms of the CC-by-SA 3.0 license.

Libertarianism is a political philosophy[1] that views respect for individual choice and individual liberty[2] as the foundation of the ideal society, and therefore seeks to minimize or abolish the coercive actions of the State as that is the entity that is generally identified as the most powerful coercive force in society.[3][4] Broadly speaking, libertarianism focuses on the rights of the individual to act in complete accordance with his or her own subjective values,[5] and argues that the coercive actions of the State are often (or even always) an impediment to the efficient realization of one’s desires and values.[6][7] Libertarians also maintain that what is immoral for the individual must necessarily be immoral for all state agents, and that the state should not be above the natural law.[8][9] The extent to which government is necessary is evaluated by libertarian moral philosophers from a variety of perspectives.[10][11]

The term libertarian was originally used by late Enlightenment free-thinkers to refer to those who believed in free will, as opposed to determinism.[12] Libertarianism in this sense is still encountered in metaphysics in discussions of free will. The first recorded use of the term was in 1789, by William Belsham, son of a dissenting clergyman.[13]Murrary Rothbard identified mysterious Chinese philospher Lao-Tzu who lived in the sixth century BC as one of the first libertarian-minded philosphers and another philosopher Chuang-tzu as the first thinker to describe the benefits of “spontaneous order”.[14]

The term libertarian was first popularized in France in the 1890s in order to counter and evade the anti-anarchist laws known as the lois sclrates.[citationneeded] According to anarchist historian Max Nettlau, the first use of the term libertarian communism was in November 1880, when a French anarchist congress employed it to more clearly identify its doctrines.[15] The French anarchist journalist Sbastien Faure, later founder and editor of the four-volume Anarchist Encyclopedia, started the weekly paper Le Libertaire (The Libertarian) in 1895.[16]

In the meantime, in the United States, libertarianism as a synonym for anarchism had begun to take hold. The anarchist communist geographer and social theorist Peter Kropotkin wrote in his seminal 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica article Anarchism that:

Today, worldwide, anarchist communist, libertarian socialist, and other left-libertarian movements continue to describe themselves as libertarian, although their continued appropriation of the phrase is open to controversy, with right libertarians maintaining that left-libertarianism is internally inconsistent and should not be associated with modern libertarianism in any way. These “leftist” styles of libertarianism are opposed to most or all forms of private property.

Age of Enlightenment ideas of individual liberty, constitutionally limited government, peace, and reliance on the institutions of civil society and the free market for social order and economic prosperity were the basis of what became known as liberalism in the 19th century.[18] While it kept that meaning in most of the world, modern liberalism in the United States began to mean a more statist viewpoint. Over time, those who held to the earlier liberal views began to call themselves market liberals, classical liberals or libertarians.[19] While conservatism in Europe continued to mean conserving hierarchical class structures through state control of society and the economy, some conservatives in the United States began to refer to conserving traditions of liberty. This was especially true of the Old Right, who opposed The New Deal and U.S. military interventions in World War I and World War II.[20][21]

Later, the Austrian School of economics also had a powerful impact on both economic teaching and classical liberal and libertarian principles.[22][23] It influenced economists and political philosophers and theorists including Henry Hazlitt, Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Israel Kirzner, Murray Rothbard, Walter Block and Richard M. Ebeling. The Austrian School was in turn influenced by Frederic Bastiat.[24][25]

Starting in the 1930s and continuing until today, a group of central European economists lead by Austrians Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek identified the collectivist underpinnings to the various new socialist and fascist doctrines of government power as being different brands of totalitarianism.

In the 1940s, Leonard Read began calling himself libertarian.[12] In 1955, Dean Russell wrote an article in the Foundation for Economic Education magazine pondering what to call those, such as himself, who subscribed to the classical liberal philosophy. He suggested: “Let those of us who love liberty trademark and reserve for our own use the good and honorable word “libertarian.””[26]

Ayn Rand’s international best sellers The Fountainhead (1943) and Atlas Shrugged (1957) and her books about her philosophy of objectivism influenced modern libertarianism.[27] For a number of years after the publication of her books, people promoting a libertarian philosophy continued to call it individualism.[28] Two other women also published influential pro-freedom books in 1943, Rose Wilder Lanes The Discovery of Freedom and Isabel Patersons The God of the Machine.[29]

According to libertarian publisher Robert W. Poole, Arizona United States Senator Barry Goldwater’s message of individual liberty, economic freedom, and anti-communism also had a major impact on the libertarian movement, both with the publication of his book The Conscience of a Conservative and with his run for president in 1964.[30] Goldwater’s speech writer, Karl Hess, became a leading libertarian writer and activist.[31]

The Cold War mentality of military interventionism, which had supplanted Old Right non-interventionism, was promoted by conservatives like William F. Buckley and accepted by many libertarians, with Murray Rothbard being a notable dissenter.[32] However, the Vietnam War split the uneasy alliance between growing numbers of self-identified libertarians, anarcho-libertarians, and more traditional conservatives who believed in limiting liberty to uphold moral virtues. Some libertarians joined the draft dodger, peace movements and Students for a Democratic Society. They began founding their own publications, like Murray Rothbard’s The Libertarian Forum and organizations like the Radical Libertarian Alliance. The split was aggravated at the 1969 Young Americans for Freedom convention, when more than 300 libertarians organized to take control of the organization from conservatives. The burning of a draft card in protest to a conservative proposal against draft resistance sparked physical confrontations among convention attendees, a walkout by a large number of libertarians, the creation of new purely libertarian organizations like the Society for Individual Liberty, and efforts to recruit potential libertarians from conservative organizations.[33] The split was finalized in 1971 when conservative leader William F. Buckley, in a 1971 New York Times article, attempted to weed libertarians out of the freedom movement. He wrote: “The ideological licentiousness that rages through America today makes anarchy attractive to the simple-minded. Even to the ingeniously simple-minded.”[29]

In 1971, David Nolan and a few friends formed the Libertarian Party.[34] Attracting former Democrats, Republicans and independents, it has run a presidential candidate every election year since 1972, including Ed Clark (1980), Ron Paul (1988), Harry Browne (1996 and 2000) and Bob Barr (2008). By 2006, polls showed that 15 percent of American voters identified themselves as libertarian.[35] Over the years, dozens of libertarian political parties have been formed worldwide. Educational organizations like the Center for Libertarian Studies and the Cato Institute were formed in the 1970s, and others have been created since then.[36]

Philosophical libertarianism gained a significant measure of recognition in academia with the publication of Harvard University professor Robert Nozick’s Anarchy, State, and Utopia in 1974. The book won a National Book Award in 1975.[37] According to libertarian essayist Roy Childs, “Nozick’s Anarchy, State, and Utopia single-handedly established the legitimacy of libertarianism as a political theory in the world of academia.”[38]

According to the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy states “libertarianism holds that agents initially fully own themselves and have moral powers to acquire property rights in external things under certain conditions.” It notes that libertarianism is not a right-wing doctrine because of its opposition to laws restricting adult consensual sexual relationships and drug use, and its opposition to imposing religious views or practices and compulsory military service. However, it notes that there is a version known as left-libertarianism which also endorses full self-ownership, but “differs on unappropriated natural resources (land, air, water, etc.).” “Right-libertarianism” holds that such resources may be appropriated by individuals. “Left-libertarianism” holds that they belong to everyone and must be distributed in some egalitarian manner.[39]

Like many libertarians, Leonard Read rejected the concepts of “left” and “right” libertarianism, calling them “authoritarian.”[40] Libertarian author and politician Harry Browne wrote: “We should never define Libertarian positions in terms coined by liberals or conservatives nor as some variant of their positions. We are not fiscally conservative and socially liberal. We are Libertarians, who believe in individual liberty and personal responsibility on all issues at all times. You can depend on us to treat government as the problem, not the solution.”[41]

Isaiah Berlin’s 1958 essay “Two Concepts of Liberty” described a difference between negative liberty which limits the power of the state to interfere and positive liberty in which a paternalistic state helps individuals achieve self-realization and self-determination. He believed these were rival and incompatible interpretations of liberty and held that demands for positive liberty lead to authoritarianism. This view has been adopted by many libertarians including Robert Nozick and Murray Rothbard.[42]

Libertarians contrast two ethical views: consequentialist libertarianism, which is the support for liberty because it leads to favorable consequences, such as prosperity or efficiency and deontological libertarianism (also known as “rights-theorist libertarianism,” “natural rights libertarianism,” or “libertarian moralism”) which consider moral tenets to be the basis of libertarian philosophy.[43] Others combine a hybrid of consequentialist and deontologist thinking.[44]

Another view, contractarian libertarianism, holds that any legitimate authority of government derives not from the consent of the governed, but from contract or mutual agreement. Robert Nozick holds a variation on this view, as does Jan Narveson as outlined in his 1988 work The Libertarian Idea and his 2002 work Respecting Persons in Theory and Practice. Other advocates of contractarian libertarianism include the Nobel Laureate and founder of the public choice school of economics James M. Buchanan, Canadian philosopher David Gauthier and Hungarian-French philosopher Anthony de Jasay.[45][46][47]

The main differences among libertarians relate to the ideal amount of freedom and the means to that freedom.

Libertarian conservatism, also known as conservative libertarianism (and sometimes called right-libertarianism), describes certain political ideologies which attempt to meld libertarian and conservative ideas, often called “fusionism.”[48][49] Anthony Gregory writes that right, or conservative, “libertarianism can refer to any number of varying and at times mutually exclusive political orientations” such as being “interested mainly in ‘economic freedoms'”; following the “conservative lifestyle of right-libertarians”; seeking “others to embrace their own conservative lifestyle”; considering big business “as a great victim of the state”; favoring a “strong national defense”; and having “an Old Right opposition to empire.”[50]

Conservatives hold that shared values, morals, standards, and traditions are necessary for social order while libertarians consider individual liberty as the highest value.[51] Laurence M. Vance writes: “Some libertarians consider libertarianism to be a lifestyle rather than a political philosophy… They apparently dont know the difference between libertarianism and libertinism.”[52] However, Edward Feser emphasizes that libertarianism does not require individuals to reject traditional conservative values.[48]

Some libertarian conservatives in the United States (known as libertarian constitutionalists) believe that the way to limit government is to enforce the United States Constitution.[53]

Libertarianism’s status is in dispute among those who style themselves Objectivists (Objectivism is the name philosopher-novelist Ayn Rand gave her philosophy). Though elements of Rand’s philosophy have been adopted by libertarianism, Objectivists (including Rand herself) have condemned libertarianism as a threat to freedom and capitalism. In particular, it has been claimed that libertarians use Objectivist ideas “with the teeth pulled out of them”.[54][55]

Conversely, some libertarians see Objectivists as dogmatic, unrealistic, and uncompromising (Objectivists do not see the last as a negative attribute). According to Reason editor Nick Gillespie in the magazine’s March 2005 issue focusing on Objectivism’s influence, Rand is “one of the most important figures in the libertarian movement… Rand remains one of the best-selling and most widely influential figures in American thought and culture” in general and in libertarianism in particular. Still, he confesses that he is embarrassed by his magazine’s association with her ideas. In the same issue, Cathy Young says that “Libertarianism, the movement most closely connected to Rand’s ideas, is less an offspring than a rebel stepchild.” Though they reject what they see as Randian dogmas, libertarians like Young still believe that “Rand’s message of reason and liberty… could be a rallying point” for libertarianism.

Objectivists reject the rigorous interpretation of the non-aggression principle which leads anarchist libertarians to reject the State. For Objectivists, a government limited to protection of its citizens’ rights is absolutely necessary and moral or at least a “necessary evil”. Objectivists are opposed to all anarchist currents and are suspicious of libertarians’ lineage with individualist anarchism.[56]

Libertarian progressivism supports the civil libertarian aspect of freedom as well as supporting the kind of economic freedom that emphasizes removing corporate subsidies and other favoritism to special interests, and applying a responsible transition toward freedom – for example, some support a transition approach that includes certain trade restrictions on imports from countries that have very little freedom, and free trade with those countries would be phased in if they move toward more freedom. Libertarian progressives are sometimes libertarian Democrats.[57][58]

Minarchism is the belief that a state should exist but that its functions should be minimal because its sole purpose is protecting the rights of the people, including protecting people and their property from the criminal acts of others, as well as providing for national defense.[59]

Anarchism is a political philosophy encompassing many theories and traditions, all opposed to government. Although anarchism is usually considered to be a left-wing ideology, it always has included individualists and, more recently, anarcho-capitalists who support pro-property and market-oriented economic structures. Anarchists may support anything from extreme individualism to complete collectivism.

Geolibertarianism is a political movement that strives to reconcile libertarianism and Georgism (or geoism).[60] Geolibertarians are advocates of geoism, which is the position that all land is a common asset to which all individuals have an equal right to access, and therefore if individuals claim the land as their property they must pay rent to the community for doing so. Rent need not be paid for the mere use of land, but only for the right to exclude others from that land, and for the protection of one’s title by government. They simultaneously agree with the libertarian position that each individual has an exclusive right to the fruits of his or her labor as their private property, as opposed to this product being owned collectively by society or the community, and that “one’s labor, wages, and the products of labor” should not be taxed. In agreement with traditional libertarians they advocate “full civil liberties, with no crimes unless there are victims who have been invaded.”[60] Geolibertarians generally advocate distributing the land rent to the community via a land value tax, as proposed by Henry George and others before him. For this reason, they are often called “single taxers”. Fred E. Foldvary coined the word “geo-libertarianism” in an article so titled in Land and Liberty, May/June 1981, pp. 53-55. In the case of geoanarchism, the voluntary form of geolibertarianism as described by Foldvary, rent would be collected by private associations with the opportunity to secede from a geocommunity (and not receive the geocommunity’s services) if desired.

Left-libertarianism is usually regarded as doctrine that has an egalitarian view concerning natural resources, believing that it is not legitimate for someone to claim private ownership of resources to the detriment of others.[39][61][62] Most left libertarians support some form of income redistribution on the grounds of a claim by each individual to be entitled to an equal share of natural resources.[62] Left libertarianism is defended by contemporary theorists such as Peter Vallentyne, Hillel Steiner, Michael Otsuka, and Noam Chomsky.[63] The term is sometimes used as a synonym for libertarian socialism or simply socialism.[64]

Some members of the U.S. libertarian movement, including the late Samuel Edward Konkin III[65] and Roderick T. Long,[66] employ a differing definition of left libertarianism. These individuals depart from other forms of libertarianism by advocating strong alliances with the Left on issues such as the anti-war movement,[67] and by supporting labor unions.[68][69] Some wish to revive voluntary cooperative ideas such as mutualism.[70]

In France, Libert chrie (“Cherished Liberty”) is a pro-liberty think tank and activist association formed in 2003. Libert chrie gained significant publicity when it managed to draw 30,000 Parisians into the streets to demonstrate against government employees who were striking.[71][72]

In Germany, a “Libertre Plattform in der FDP” (“Liberty Caucus within the Free Democratic Party”) was founded in 2005.

The Russian Libertarian Movement (Rossiyskoye Libertarianskoye Dvizhenie, RLD; 2003-2006) was a short-lived political party in the Russian Federation, formed by members of the Institute of Natiology (Moscow), a libertarian think-tank. After electoral failure and government failure, it disbanded.

The Libertarian Alliance was an early libertarian educational group. It was followed by British think tanks such as the Adam Smith Institute. A British Libertarian Party was founded on January 1, 2008.

Well known libertarian organizations include the Center for Libertarian Studies, the Cato Institute, the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), the International Society for Individual Liberty (ISIL) and the Ludwig von Mises Institute. The Libertarian Party of the United States is the world’s first such party.

The activist Free State Project, formed in 2001, works to bring 20,000 libertarians to the state of New Hampshire to influence state policy. They had signed up 1,033 people by 2008. Similar, but less successful, projects include the Free West Alliance and Free State Wyoming. (There is also a European Free State Project.)

The Tea Party Movement is arguably a recent revival of mainstream libertarianism in the United States. Ron Paul and his son Rand Paul’s increasing visibility and popularity with the electorate could also be signs of a revival of libertarianism in mainstream political consciousness in the United States.

Costa Rica’s Movimiento Libertario (“Libertarian Movement”) is libertarian party which holds roughly 10% of the seats in Costa Rica’s national assembly (legislature). The Limn REAL Project seeks for autonomy in a province in Costa Rica.[73]

Libertarianism at Wikipedia

Read more:
Libertarianism – Mises Wiki, the global repository of …

 Posted by at 9:42 pm  Tagged with:

Free Speech v. – Federal Election Commission

 Free Speech  Comments Off on Free Speech v. – Federal Election Commission
Feb 212016
 

On June 14, 2012, Free Speech filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming challenging the constitutionality of the Commissions regulations, policies and practices regarding the determination of when a communication constitutes express advocacy, whether a communication is a solicitation, and whether a group is a political committee. The group sought injunctive relief and a declaratory judgment that the rules are unconstitutional, on their face and as applied.

Free Speech is a Wyoming-based, unincorporated association with a stated purpose of promoting and protecting free speech, limited government, and constitutional accountability.” The political organization plans to use individual donations to finance $10,000 in Internet, newspaper, TV, and radio ads during the months leading up to the 2012 election. Free Speech states that it will not coordinate any of its advertising expenditures and will not accept donations from foreign nationals and federal contractors. Nor will it contribute to federal candidates, political parties, or political committees.

The lawsuit follows the Commissions May 8, 2012, response to the groups advisory opinion request. In AO 2012-11, the Commission concluded that two of the 11 ads Free Speech planned to run expressly advocate the election or defeat of a federal candidate under the Act; four of the proposed advertisements do not; and two of the four proposed donation requests are not solicitations. The Commission could not approve a response by the required four votes with respect to the five remaining ads and the two remaining donation requests, nor could it approve a response as to whether Free Speech would have to register and report as a political committee. 11 CFR 100.22 and 100.5(a).

Free Speechs suit focuses primarily on the regulatory definition of express advocacy at 11 CFR 100.22(b). The suit argues that this regulation and related FEC rules, policies and practices abridge Free Speechs First Amendment freedoms. It also questions the Commissions interpretation and enforcement process regarding political committee status, solicitation tests, the major purpose test, and express advocacy determinations. See 2 U.S.C. 431(4), 431(8), 441d; 11 CFR 100.5(a), 100.52(a), 110.11(a).

The groups main argument consists of three parts. First, it states that the Commissions definition of express advocacy is put forth in unclear terms leaving those who guess wrong [to be] subject to criminal or civil penalties. Secondly, it argues the Commissions political committee registration and reporting requirements are burdensome for all groups whose expenditures aggregate more than $1,000 in a calendar year. See 2 U.S.C. 431; 11 CFR 100.5. Lastly, Free Speech disputes whether independent expenditures must include disclaimers and be reported to the Commission. See 2 U.S.C. 434; 11 CFR 104.4.

On March 19, 2013, the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming dismissed Free Speech’s case. The court denied the plaintiffs motion for a preliminary injunction in a telephonic ruling on October 3, 2012.

Express Advocacy

Commission regulations define express advocacy communications as those that: (a) use explicit words of advocacy; or (b) in context, can only be interpreted by a reasonable person as advocating a candidates election or defeat. 11 CFR 100.22(a) and (b). Communications that meet either of the regulatory definitions and are not coordinated with a candidate or party are independent expenditures and must be disclosed. See 2 U.S.C. 434(c) and 11 CFR 109.10.

Free Speech argued that the Commissions interpretation of express advocacy at 11 CFR 100.22(b) is vague and offers no clear guidelines for speakers to tailor their constitutionally protected conduct and speech, and that the regulation fails to limit its application to expenditures for communications that in express terms advocate the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate (i.e., through use of the so-called magic words such as vote for, elect, support, etc.).

The district court noted that the Supreme Court has ruled in several cases that the definition of express advocacy may also include, in addition to use of the magic words, communications that are the functional equivalent of express advocacy. See McConnell v. FEC, 540 U.S. at 193 (2003) and FEC v. Wisconsin Right to Life, Inc. (WRTL), 551 U.S. 449 (2007).

In WRTL, the Supreme Court stated that other courts should find that a communication is the functional equivalent of express advocacy only if the ad is susceptible of no reasonable interpretation other than as an appeal to vote for or against a specific candidate. WRTL, 551 U.S. at 460-470. The district court noted that the functional equivalent test is closely correlated to the Commissions regulation at 100.22(b), which provides that a communication is express advocacy if it could only be interpreted by a reasonable person as containing advocacy of the election or defeat of one or more clearly identified candidate(s).

The Supreme Court also addressed the issue of express advocacy in Citizens United v. FEC (2010). The court found that a communication at issue in that case was the functional equivalent of express advocacy and further upheld the disclosure requirements as they applied to all electioneering communications.

As a result, the district court held that the Supreme Courts ruling in Citizens United directly contradicts the plaintiffs argument that the definition of 100.22(b) is overly broad with respect to disclosure requirements: if mandatory disclosure requirements are permissible when applied to ads that merely mention a federal candidate, then applying the same burden to ads that go further and are the functional equivalent of express advocacy cannot automatically be impermissible.

Solicitation Standard

Commission regulations require any person who solicits a contribution through any broadcasting station, newspaper, magazine, outdoor advertising facility, mailing or any other type of general public political advertising to include an explicit disclaimer on the solicitation. 2 U.S.C. 441d(a).

The Commission determines whether a request for funds amounts to a solicitation based on whether the request indicates that the contributions will be targeted to the election or defeat of a clearly identified federal candidate. See FEC v. Survival Education Fund, Inc., 65 F.3d 285, 293 (2d Cir. 1995). The plaintiff challenged this approach, arguing that it is unconstitutionally vague and overbroad.

The court disagreed with the plaintiff and noted that the plaintiff is free to spend unlimited funds on its solicitations and to solicit unlimited funds for its express advocacy activities. Communications that amount to solicitations merely trigger disclosure requirements; they do not prevent the plaintiff from speaking. Since disclosure serves an important governmental interest in insuring that the voters are fully informed about the person or the group who is speaking, the court held that the plaintiff had failed to establish any constitutional deficiency in the Commissions approach to determining whether a communication is a solicitation for contributions.

Political Committee Status

The plaintiff also challenged the Commissions method of determining when an organization meets the definition of political committee. The Act and Commission regulations define a political committee as any committee, club, association or other group of persons that makes more than $1,000 in expenditures or receives more than $1,000 in contributions during a calendar year. 2 U.S.C. 431(4)(A). In Buckley v. Valeo (1976), the Supreme Court concluded that defining a political committee only in terms of contributions and expenditures could be interpreted to reach groups engaged purely in issue discussion. As such, the Court limited application of the Commissions political committee requirement to organizations either controlled by a candidate or those groups whose major purpose is the nomination or election of candidates.

The Commission has adopted a case-by-case analysis of an organizations conduct and activities for evaluating whether an organizations major purpose is the nomination or election of federal candidates. See Political Committee Status, 72 Fed. Reg. 5595, 5601 (Feb. 7, 2007).

The district court held that the Commissions method of determining political committee status is a permissible approach that is consistent with Supreme Court precedent and does not unlawfully hinder protected speech. The district court granted the Commissions motion to dismiss. On March 25, 2013, Free Speech appealed the district courts dismissal of the case to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

On June 25, 2013, the Court of Appeals affirmed the district courts dismissal, holding that the district court correctly resolved each of Free Speechs constitutional challenges. The Court of Appeals adopted the district courts opinion in its entirety.

On May 19, 2014, the Supreme Court declined to hear Free Speechs constitutional challenge to the FECs process for determining whether an organization qualifies as a “political committee.” The Courts denial of certiorari lets stand the June 2013 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit to affirm the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyomings dismissal of the suit.

Source: FEC Record — June 2014; August 2013; April 2013; August 2012

(Top of Page)

See the article here:
Free Speech v. – Federal Election Commission

 Posted by at 11:41 pm  Tagged with:

Libertarianism – Queensborough Community College

 Misc  Comments Off on Libertarianism – Queensborough Community College
Feb 142016
 

(NOTE: You must read only those linked materials that are preceded by the capitalized word READ.) Overview of The Problem of Freedom

On the definition of freedom and suggested links: READ: http://www.philosophypages.com/dy/f9.htm#free

For those of you who believe that you are free and have a free will and can make free decisions, here are some interesting definitions and presentations of the basic issues

FREE WILL -Definition http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/freewill/

Definition: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06259a.htm

Human beings are free to choose amongst alternatives available and must be respected as such. This freedom is to be acknowledged and promoted. The believers in free will attempt to argue for their case against those that believe that all human actions are determined by previous events and the laws of the physical universe.

Below are several arguments in support of the Libertarian position.

The libertarians would ask that we consider the DATA of experience:

1. Experience of deliberation

a. I deliberate only about MY behavior

b. I deliberate only about future things

c. I cannot deliberate about what I shall do, if I already know what I am going to do.

d. I cannot deliberate unless I believe that it is “up to me.”

2. Experience that it is “up to me” what to do.

They hold that there is no necessity governing human behavior. There is no causal or logical necessity. (Logical Necessity, e.g. principle of non-contradiction) (Causal necessity – physical law, e.g. gravity)

Suggested Reading: John Hospers, The Meaning of Freedom

http://www.vix.com/objectivism/Writing/TiborMachan/DefenseOfFreeWill.html

Richard Taylor is a modern American philosopher who has taught at the University of Rochester and at Hartwick College. Taylor proposes the following method for finding out whether or not determinism is true: We try to see whether it is consistent with certain data, that is, by seeing whether or not it squares with certain things that everyone knows, or believes himself to know, or with things everyone is at least more sure about than the answer to the question at issue. (Metaphysics, 4th ed., Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1992, p. 38)

The following is from http://www.citruscollege.com/ace/Call/PHIL106-1/notes/Taylor.asp 2001.

Taylors data

(1) I sometimes deliberate, with the view to making a decision; a decision, namely, to do this thing or that.

(2) Whether or not I deliberate about what to do, it is sometimes up to me what I do.

By deliberation Taylor means the experience of weighing something in ones mind, of trying out various options in ones mind. There are certain presuppositions of deliberation, namely,

(1) I can deliberate only about my own behavior and never about the behavior of another.

(2) I can deliberate only about future things, never about things past or present.

(3) I cant deliberate about what Im going to do if I already know what Im going to do.

(4) I cant deliberate about what to do, even though I may not know what Im going to do, unless I believe that it is up to me what Im going to do. (pp. 39-40)

These data are not consistent with the thesis of determinism. If determinism is true, then it is an illusion that I ever genuinely deliberate about anything or that anything is ever really up to me. If these data are true, then determinism is false. Taylor argues that it doesnt make any difference whether we are talking about a forthright, hard determinism, like that of Holbach, or a compatibilist, soft determinism, like that of Hume. According to soft determinism, an action is free just so long as it is caused by an internal state of the agent himself or herself. Against this, he proposes the counterexample of an ingenious physiologist who can induce in a subject any volition he pleases, so that, simply by pushing a button, he can cause the subject to have an internal state which the subject will experience as the desire to do a certain thing. If the subject then does that thing, unimpeded by any external obstacle, that action meets the criterion of being a free action, in accordance with the thesis of soft determinism. That is, the action is due to an internal state of the agent and is not opposed by any external factor. However, we see at once that this action is not free, because it was due to the subjects being in a certain internal state over which he or she had no control. Then Taylor points out that the supposition of the work of the ingenious physiologist isn’t necessary to reach the same conclusion. As long as there is any cause of the internal state that was not under the control of the person whose internal state it is, the resulting action is not free.

There is a real choice that is not to be evaded, then, between accepting determinism and rejecting the data with which we began, on the one hand, or holding fast to our data and rejecting the thesis which is inconsistent with them. Taylor points out, however, that simply rejecting determinism and embracing the thesis of simple indeterminism, which says that some events are uncaused, brings us no closer to a theory explaining free actions that is consistent with our data. He asks the reader to imagine a case in which his or her right arm is free, according to this conception. That is, it just moves one way or another, without any cause whatever. Plainly, if the agent is not the cause for the arm movements, then those movements are not free, voluntary actions of the agent.

Accordingly, Taylor develops a theory of agency with the following elements:

(1) An action that is free must be caused by the agent who performs it, and it must be such that no other set of antecedent conditions was sufficient for the occurrence of just that action.

(2) An agent is a self or person, and not merely a collection of things or events, but a self-moving being. (pp. 51-52)

Taylor recognizes that this involves a metaphysical commitment to a special kind of causation, and he suggests that perhaps causation is not the best language to use to describe it. He proposes that we might want to say instead that an agent originates, initiates, or simply, performs an action. All other cases of causation we conceive of as a relation between events. One event or set of events is a sufficient, or necessary, or sufficient and necessary condition for the occurrence of another. However, an agent is not an event, and we certainly wouldnt say the mere existence of the agent is ever a sufficient condition for the occurrence of one of his or her free actions. Rather, it is only the free action of the agent that is the cause or the origination of the action. Since Taylor can offer no further explanation of how it that this occurs, he admits that it is possible that the data that this theory was developed to explain might be an illusion after all, and his essay ends on an inconclusive note.

-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

Richard Taylor: A Contemporary Defense of Free Will

The idea of freedom operative in this view is one in which there is no obstacle or impediment that prevents behavior, no constraints, for it is constraints that force behavior. Freedom of the human agent is free activity that is unimpeded and unconstrained. So, there is the Theory of Agency in which there exist self-determining beings: free and rational. There exists the self or person, a substance and self-moving being. The libertarians believe that this theory is consistent with the data of human consciousness. But that DATA may be illusion!!

-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

Summary of Taylor’s view by Omonia Vinieris (QCC, 2002)

In his work, A Contemporary Defense of Free Will, Taylor refutes the theories held by compatibilism (soft determinism) and simple indeterminism to illustrate their implausibility. He further goes on to affirm his theory of agency to articulate his libertarian standpoint.

Taylor clarifies the concept of deliberation as it is fundamentally the act of considering or assessing something in ones mind. According to Taylor, deliberation encompasses the following premises: One can deliberate solely about ones own conduct and by no means about that of another due to the simple fact that each person makes up ones own mind and never the mind of a different person. There is only deliberation of future actions and never of precedent ones because one can not deliberate about or consider an action that has already transpired. Deliberation is a conditional state that is unconfirmed because it entails the action before it takes place and therefore if one knows or confirms a future action, deliberation is invalid. Altogether, deliberation itself does not exist or ensue if one does not even believe that it is ever ones own consideration that accounts for ones decision to do anything because that is essentially the principle that deliberation embraces.

In his critique of soft determinism, Taylor explains primarily what line of reasoning it maintains and then pinpoints its incongruity to negate its veracity. Compatibilism is a position whose advocates renounce hard determinist thought. Hard determinist position asserts that we are not morally responsible for our own actions because we are not liable for anything we do. Yet, soft determinists say that freedom and determinism are compatible. Determinism is plausibly coherent with freedom as an agent is a carrier of volition and acts appropriately to his or her desires and wishes. On occasion it may be that ones actions are the product of ones deliberation or conditional forethought. Still, if compatibilism holds true it must simultaneously maintain the determinist idea that ones choices are preordained by prenatal events. If this is so, then how can it be possibly up to anyone to do anything?

Simple indeterminism is the denial of determinism. These indeterminists affirm that free agents are morally responsible for their actions which are tamed and controlled. If actions originate from noncausal events as indeterminists claim, then they are chaotic and untamed. Thus, Taylor considers it a contradiction to suggest that ones actions originate from uncaused events because neither is one really a free agent nor morally responsible for his or her actions. These actions are uncontrollable and irresponsible.

Taylors theory of agency proclaims that all events are caused, but unlike determinist theory, some changes or actions have beginnings. A free action is triggered by the agent itself. An agent, in this case, is described as a human, a self-moving body, capable of being the first cause of motion in a causal sequence. It is important that no series of foregoing conditions is adequate for the actual happening of the action, otherwise it would not be free. He further specifies that we should not speak of causation in terms of his free agency. The agent, rather, initiates an action through its performance. An agent, he asserts, is not a set of events that executes causation and therefore it is the free action of the agent that is the cause of the action that occurred.

In the case of an action that is free, it must be such that it is caused by the agent who performs it, but such that no antecedent conditions were sufficient for his performing just that action.

-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

The Freewill Problem:

Searles Solution to the Freewill Problem:

-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

There are no greater defenders or representatives of the position that humans have free will than the existentialists.They may not offer strict philosophical proof but they do present some strong language in defense of freedom. The next section presents the existentialist view.

See the article here:
Libertarianism – Queensborough Community College

 Posted by at 10:40 pm  Tagged with:

Denver SEO – #1 Search Engine Optimization Company – SEO Denver

 SEO  Comments Off on Denver SEO – #1 Search Engine Optimization Company – SEO Denver
Feb 072016
 

Looking for a reliable Denver SEO expert? Since 1996, Colorado SEO has specialized in providing organic search engine optimization (SEO) and internet marketing services to businesses worldwide.

Our team of seasoned SEO consultants fully understand what it takes to move a web site to the top of the search engines. Colorado SEO offers your company a full spectrum of SEO services that will propel YOUR web site to the top search engines. Contact us at (303) 990-5934 today for a free consultation now!

If you are looking to hire the top SEO firm in Denver, we can help. We are looking for businesses toadd to our extensive list of client success stories. Lets be honest SEO has to be a win-win for both of us YOU the customer and us the SEO provider.

If we do a great job, YOU will see an awesome return on your investment. If you see an awesome return on your investment, you will likely stay with us long term. We are seeking long term, successful relationships with our clients and we would to help you optimize the profitability of your business online.

Contact us today at (303) 990-5934 to chat with one of our Denver SEO experts.

Whether your site seeks to target local keywords or national phrases, we can help. We have tremendous experience in both areas. We are also confident when working with advanced and Enterprise SEO projects.

Since mobile search queries have grown 500% in the past 2 years, and mobile usually yields local results, Google Maps optimization is now more important than ever.

Contact us today at (303) 990-5934 for a free quote, and let our Denver SEO agency start working to improve your companys internet marketing right away.

Get my FREE Quote

Statistics show that more than 1 billion people visit Youtube.com each month. Over 6 billion hours of video are watched during this same time frame. Since Youtube videos are now showing up in the Google search results, and because its the 2nd largest search engine in the world (only behind Google in market share), we believe video marketing warrants plenty of attention!

If you have videos for your business or services, we can help you monetize them. Studies show that web site owners who employ video on their web sites are likely to rank higher in the search engines. As your chosen SEO agency, we will work to optimize the videos with proven techniques and practices, to increase the visibility of your company.

Would you hire an electrician to do your plumbing? Probably not!

Its a common misconception that web developers are also SEOs. Web designers are usually strong at designing web sites, but often overlook the key components of search engine optimization (SEO). SEO firms are specialized in traffic generation and work specifically to increase traffic, leads and revenue to your web site.

An attractive web site is only one component for a successful internet marketing

campaign. Build it and they will come is just not realistic in the world of internet marketing. Our Denver SEO experts and consultants will provide you with the full service solution to effectively drive more revenue to your company via the Web.

Almost 2 billion people have smart phones worldwide. This year, mobile searches will surpass desktop searches for the first time ever.

That said, its important to make sure that your web site is mobile friendly, responsive and easy to find if someone does a search from a mobile device. We use the best practices to make sure your site is optimized for the search engines and that your web site is mobile ready.

Today, we no longer need to explain the benefits of search engine optimization. It seems that everyone gets it now. There are now billions of web searches each month in Google, Yahoo and Bing alone. There are over 2,600,000,000 ACTIVE internet users worldwide and 254,000,000 live in the United States. With that being said, the value of proper search engine optimization cannot be over stated. With a well-trained and highly educated SEO agency working with you, your worries of not being found can be put to rest.

When consumers search the web for products or services you offer, who will they find, YOU or your competitor?

Contact us now at (303) 990-5934 and well put together a custom plan for you to dominate the search engines.

Our Denver SEO firm stays current on all of the updates Google makes. We pride ourselves on being experts in our field. Over the past few years, Google has made changes to their algorithm, and that may have impacted your companys website negatively. We work to stay in top of all important search engine changes, and strive to find the best practices that coincide with the ever changing world of search engine optimization.

Score Higher in the Search Engines, give us a call now at (303) 990-5934. You will be glad you did

Get my FREE SEO Quote

Follow this link:
Denver SEO – #1 Search Engine Optimization Company – SEO Denver

 Posted by at 1:41 am  Tagged with:

cryonics – The Skeptic’s Dictionary – Skepdic.com

 Cryonics  Comments Off on cryonics – The Skeptic’s Dictionary – Skepdic.com
Feb 022016
 

Cryonics claims it can store a dead human body at low temperatures in such a way that it will be possible to revitalize that body and restore life at some unspecified future date. One hook the cryonics folks use is to give hope that a cure for a disease one dies of today will be found tomorrow, allowing that cure to be applied to the thawed body before or while bringing the dead person back to life. Cryonics might be called resurrection by technology and believers in it might be classified as suffering from the Moses syndrome. The simple fact is once you are dead, you are dead forever. This fact may seem horrifying, but it is not nearly as horrifying as the thought of living forever.

The technology exists to freeze or preserve people and that technology is improving and will probably get better. The technology to revivify a frozen body exists in the imagination. Nanotechnology, for example, is a technology that supporters of cryonics appeal to. Someday, they say, we’ll be able to rebuild anything, including diseased or damaged cells in the body, with nanobots. So, no matter what disease destroyed healthy cells in the living body before preservation and no matter what damage was done to the cells of the frozen body during storage, nanotechnology will allow us to bring the dead back to life. This seems like wishful thinking. Nanotechnology might rebuild a mass of dead tissue into a mass of healthy tissue, but without a complete isomorphic model of the brain it will be impossible to return a mushy brain to the exact state it was in before death occurred. (Of course, since this is an exercise in imagination, one can posit that some day we will be able to preserve the brain without any decomposition or transformation at all.) In any case, some other jolt, probably electricity, will be needed to get the heart beating and the brain working again, assuming, of course, that the mush brain has been reconstructed into a healthy brain.

Some preserved by cryonics have the head severed from the body after death. Then, either the head alone is preserved, or both the head and the body are preserved separately. Maybe some future technology will allow the head to be attached to an artificial body. It can be imagined without contradiction, as the philosophers say, so it is not logically impossible that some day our planet will be inhabited by bodiless heads that are connected to machines that allow either actual or virtual experiences of any kind imaginable without requiring the head to leave the room. Of course, when that times comes medical science will have advanced to the point where the aging process can be reversed or maintained in stasis.

A business based on little more than hope for developments that can be imagined by science is quackery. (Cryonics should not be confused with cryogenics, which is a branch of physics that studies the effects of low temperatures on the structure of objects.) There is little reason to believe that the promises of cryonics will ever be fulfilled. Even if a dead body is somehow preserved for a century or two and then repaired, whatever is animated by whatever process will not be the same person who died. The brain is the key to consciousness and to who a person is. There is no reason to believe that a brain preserved by whatever means and restored to whatever state by nanobots will result in a consciousness that is in any way connected to the consciousness of the person who died two centuries earlier.

For those who want to live forever, cloning might be a more realistic possibility but I wouldn’t bank on it. First, there is the aging problem. Even if cloning is successful, you won’t be able to clone yourself as younger. Of course, you can hope that future technology will have solved the aging problem. Perhaps your body can be cloned repeatedly until science can assist you to overcome aging. However, there is no reason to believe that your clone would be a continuation of you. Your bodies might have identical looking cells, but the only way your minds could be identical is if you had no experience. (It is logically impossible for your bodies to have identical experiences since they occupy different spatial and temporal coordinates.) In that case, you would be as good as dead.

origin of cryonics

Teacher Robert Ettinger (physics and math) brought cryonics into the intellectual mainstream in 1964 with The Prospect of Immortality. Ettinger founded the Cryonics Institute and the related Immortalist Society. He got the idea for cryonics from a story by Neil R. Jones. “The Jameson Satellite” appeared in the July 1931 issue of Amazing Stories. It told the tale of

one Professor Jameson [who] had his corpse sent into earth orbit where (as the author mistakenly thought) it would remain preserved indefinitely at near absolute zero. And so it did, in the story, until millions of years later, when, with humanity extinct, a race of mechanical men with organic brains chanced upon it. They revived and repaired Jameson’s brain, installed it in a mechanical body, and he became one of their company.*

Thus was born the idea that we could freeze our bodies, repair them at a later date, and bring them back to life when technology had advanced sufficiently to do the repairs and the reviving.

ethical & other issues

I will leave to others to discuss most of the ethical, legal, political, and economic issues of cryonics. I’ll conclude with some comments about the cryonics case of Ted Williams.

Williams died in 2002 at the age of 83. According to his estranged daughter, Barbara Joyce (Bobby-Jo Ferrell) Williams, he left a will in which he expressed his desire to be cremated and have his ashes spread over his favorite fishing grounds in the Florida Keys. His son (Barbara Joyce’s half-brother), John Henry Williams, arranged for Williams’s body to be processed by Alcor LIfe Extension Foundation. A story in SportsIllustrated.com (SI) stated:

Hall of Famer Ted Williams’ head and body are being stored in separate containers at an Arizona cryonics lab that is still trying to collect a $111,000 bill from Williams’ son [he had already paid $25,000], according to a story by Tom Verducci in the latest issue of Sports Illustrated.

Alcor still has Williams’s head in a canister and his body in a tank, both filled with liquid nitrogen (to keep the remains at a cool -321 degrees Fahrenheit). According to SI, Alcor representatives met with John Henry Williams, but not Ted Williams, about a year before Ted’s death. Furthermore, SI reported that the Consent for Cryonic Suspension form submitted to Alcor after Williams had died had a blank line where his signature should have been.

There was a lawsuit by the estranged daughter that fizzled, allegedly for lack of funds, but no legal action by the authorities was taken against John Henry or Alcor. There is a movement still going to right this ship (see the Free Ted Williams website.) Larry Johnson, who worked briefly at Alcor, is leading the crusade to get Congress and a couple of state legislatures to regulate the cryonics industry and have Ted Williams cremated. A video interview with Johnson on “Good Morning America” discussing the disposition of Ted Williams’s body at Alcor can be viewed by clicking here. Johnson’s book on the subject, Shiver: A Whistleblower’s Chilling Expose of Cryonics and the Truth Behind What Happened to Ted Williams, is scheduled to be published in May 2009.

See also Ralian and my comments on cryonics in Mass Media Funk.

further reading

books and articles

Ettinger, Robert C. W. 1964. The Prospect of Immortality. Doubleday.

Kunzman, Alan, with Paul Nieto. 2004. Mothermelters: The inside story of Cryonics and the Dora Kent Homicide. 1st Books Library. (For Alcor’s version of the case, see Our Finest Hours: Notes On the Dora Kent Crisis by Michael Perry, Ph.D.)

Johnson, Larry with Scott Baldyga. 2009. Shiver: A Whistleblower’s Chilling Expose of Cryonics and the Truth Behind What Happened to Ted Williams. Morgan James Publishing.

Polidoro, J. P. 2005. Brain Freeze -321 f ~Saving “Reggie” Sanford~. Xlibris Corporation. (A novel about a former baseball player whose body is whisked off to a cryonics facility….)

websites and blogs

Nano Nonsense & Cryonics by Michael Shermer

CryonicsA futile desire for everlasting life – Only on Wednesdays

Is Cryonics Feasible? Stephen Barrett, M.D.

Dora Kent – Wikipedia (“News coverage at the time [1987] was limited, due to the gruesomeness of the case and the Christmas season.”)

Cryonics UK

Debates about cryonics with skeptics (condensed from exchanges that occurred in May-June 2006 in the James Randi Educational Forum (JREF).)

Cryonics: The Issues (An Overview) by Ben Best

Can cryogenic cooling miraculously improve car parts, sports equipment, and musical instruments? – The Straight Dope

Last updated 05-Dec-2013

Original post:
cryonics – The Skeptic’s Dictionary – Skepdic.com

First Amendment Activities | United States Courts

 Misc  Comments Off on First Amendment Activities | United States Courts
Jan 312016
 

Apply landmark Supreme Court cases to contemporary scenarios related to the five pillars of the First Amendment and your rights to freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for redress of grievances.”First Amendment, U.S. Constitution

Cox v. New Hampshire Protests and freedom to assemble

Elonis v. U.S. Facebook and free speech

Engel v. Vitale Prayer in schools and freedom of religion

Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier Student newspapers and free speech

Morse v. Frederick School-sponsored events and free speech

Snyder v. Phelps Public concerns, private matters, and free speech

Texas v. Johnson Flag burning and free speech

U.S. v. Alvarez Lies and free speech

Read this article:
First Amendment Activities | United States Courts

 Posted by at 8:41 pm  Tagged with:

First Amendment to the United States Constitution – Simple …

 Misc  Comments Off on First Amendment to the United States Constitution – Simple …
Jan 312016
 

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is a part of the United States Bill of Rights that protects freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, freedom of the press, and right to petition.

The Establishment Clause does not allow the government to support one religion more than any other religion. The government also can not say a religion or a god is true. This is often described as “separation of church and state”, where “state” means “the government”. It also does not allow the government to establish a national religion. It allows people to debate religion freely without the federal government of the United States getting involved. The clause did not stop the various states from supporting a particular religion, and several states did.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Read more here:
First Amendment to the United States Constitution – Simple …

 Posted by at 8:41 pm  Tagged with:

Days Inn Le Roy/Bloomington Southeast | Le Roy, IL 61752 Hotel

 Beaches  Comments Off on Days Inn Le Roy/Bloomington Southeast | Le Roy, IL 61752 Hotel
Jan 242016
 

Enjoy comfort and convenience at our Days Inn Le Roy/Bloomington Southeast hotel, located off Interstate 74, midway between Bloomington and Champaign. Our non-smoking Le Roy, IL, hotel is also just 15 miles from Bloomington-Normal Airport (BMI) and offers easy access to Illinois State University, Illinois Wesleyan University and companies like Pioneer Hi-Bred and Vestas Wind Energy, as well as golf and recreational activities, making us your ideal choice for hotels and motels in the Bloomington area.

Wake up each morning to a free Daybreak continental breakfast with hot waffles, surf the web or check your email using our free Wi-Fi, and take advantage of our ample free parking, including large-vehicle parking. Our in-room amenities include a microwave, mini-refrigerator and flat-screen HDTV, and kids 17 and under stay free with an adult at our pet-friendly hotel.

LOCAL ATTRACTIONS

Those seeking to commune with nature can fish, go horseback riding and rent paddle boats at Moraine View State Park, just seven miles from our Le Roy, IL, hotel or take the drive to Clinton Lake State Recreation Area, just 20 miles away. Golfers can hit the links at nearby Le Roy Country Club, and those in the area visiting students will find Illinois State University and Illinois Wesleyan University just 20 miles from our Le Roy hotel, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign just 35 miles away.

DINING OPTIONS

You will find several restaurants close by our hotel in Le Roy. Jacks Caf serves up hearty family-style fare, and Woodys Family Restaurant features an all-you-can-eat-buffet. Teddy Buckmens offers zesty southern fare, while China King is the place to go if you are craving Chinese food. For those on the run, familiar, tasty cheap eats including McDonalds, Arbys and Subway are all within a half-mile of our Le Roy, Illinois hotel.

Read this article:
Days Inn Le Roy/Bloomington Southeast | Le Roy, IL 61752 Hotel

The Rational Response Squad

 Atheism  Comments Off on The Rational Response Squad
Jan 202016
 

In 2006 a member posted a thread on our message board to ask other atheists about favorite quotes that are anti-religious. The first post of this thread has been edited, to compile most of these atheist quotes in one place. Some of these quotes can be found at Celebatheists.com.

“Surely the ass who invented the first religion ought to be the first ass damned” – Mark Twain

“Faith is believing in that which I know ain’t so.” – Mark Twain

“The hands that help are better far than lips that pray.”Robert Green Ingersoll

“Nothing could be more idiotic and absurd than the doctrine of the trinity.”Robert Green Ingersoll

“Fear paints pictures of ghosts and hangs them in the gallery of ignorance.”Robert Green Ingersoll

“Nothing could be more idiotic and absurd than the doctrine of the trinity.”Robert Green Ingersoll

(paraphrase) – “If God objected to [people with various handicaps], he ought not have created such people.”Robert G Ingersoll

“All thinking men are atheists.” – Ernest Hemmingway

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” Mohandas Gandhi

“Born again?! No, I’m not. Excuse me for getting it right the first time.” – Dennis Miller

Annie Dillard: Eskimo:”If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell?” Priest: “No, not if you did not know.” Eskimo: “Then why did you tell me?”

“Religion is the most malevolent of all mind viruses.” – Arthur C. Clarke

“Without religion, we’d have good people doing good things, and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.” Stephen Weinburg

“”Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear. ” Thomas Jefferson

“Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between church and State.” Thomas Jefferson

“To talk of immaterial existences is to talk of nothings. To say that the human soul, angels, god, are immaterial, is to say they are nothings, or that there is no god, no angels, no soul. I cannot reason otherwise: but I believe I am supported in my creed of materialism by Locke, Tracy, and Stewart. At what age of the Christian church this heresy of immaterialism, this masked atheism, crept in, I do not know. But heresy it certainly is.” Thomas Jefferson

“And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerve in the brain of Jupiter.” Thomas Jefferson

“In Christianity neither morality nor religion come into contact with reality at any point.”- Friederich Nietzsche

“The word “Christianity” is already a misunderstanding – in reality there has been only one Christian, and he died on the Cross.” Friederich Nietzsche

“The Christian resolution to find the world ugly and bad has made the world ugly and bad.” Friederich Nietzsche

“There is not enough love and kindness in the world to give any of it away to imaginary beings.” – Friederich Nietzsche

“It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.” – Carl Sagan

“This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it.” – John Adams

“The world holds two classes of men – intelligent men without religion, and religious men without intelligence.” – Abu Ala Al-Maari

“Creationists make it sound like a ‘theory’ is something you dreamt up after being drunk all night.” – Isaac Asimov

“So far as religion of the day is concerned, it is a damned fake. Religion is all bunk.” – Thomas Alva Edison

“I am myself a dissenter from all known religions, and I hope that every kind of religious belief will die out.” – Bertrand Russell

“I do not believe any type of religion should ever be introduced into the public schools of the United States.” – Thomas Alva Edison

“Tell me there is a God in the serene heavens that will damn his children for the expression of an honest belief! More men have died in their sins, judged by your orthodox creeds, than there are leaves in all the forests in the wide world ten thousand times over. Tell me these men are in Hell; that these men are in torment; that these children are in eternal pain, and that they are to be punished forever and forever! I denounce this doctrine as the most infamous of lies.” – Robert G. Ingersoll

“The Christian god can easily be pictured as virtually the same god as the many ancient gods of past civilizations. The Christian god is a three headed monster; cruel, vengeful and capricious. If one wishes to know more of this raging, three headed beast-like god, one only needs to look at the caliber of people who say they serve him. They are always of two classes: fools and hypocrites.” – Thomas Jefferson

“Religion is “so absurd that it comes close to imbecility.” – H. L. Mencken

“Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration–courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and, above all, love of the truth.”- H. L. Mencken

“. Religions vary in their degree of idiocy, but I reject them all. For most people, religion is nothing more than a substitute for a malfunctioning brain.” – Gene Roddenberry

“If God has spoken, why is the world not convinced?” – Percy Bysshe Shelley

“It is easier to suppose that the universe has existed for all eternity than to conceive a being beyond its limits capable of creating it.” – Percy Bysshe Shelley

“Christianity is the most ridiculous, the most absurd and bloody religion that has ever infected the world.” – Voltaire

“Reality is what it is, not what you want it to be.” – Frank Zappa

“To sit alone with my conscience will be judgment enough for me.” – Charles William Stubbs

“For there is nothing either good or bad, thinking makes it so.” – William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Hamlet, II.ii

“Faith: not wanting to know what is true.” – Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

“The being we call god is merely a pawn working for a powerful and rational force in some far-off galaxy. This force is trying to weed out people who are irrational by seeing who would be stupid enough to believe in his god illusion so easily. Those that believe in this illusion, he will send to eternal damnation and he will deliver the rational beings, those who stoically refused to believe in a god, to heaven.” – Nicholas Yee

“God for you is where you sweep away all the mysteries of the world, all the challenges to our intelligence. You simply turn your mind off and say God did it.” – Carl Sagan (1934-1996), Contact

“Religions are all alike – founded upon fables and mythologies.”–Thomas Jefferson

“It’s fair to say that the Bible contains equal amounts of fact, history, and pizza.” –Penn Jillette

“I don’t see any god up here” – Yuri Gagarin – first man in space, while in space.

God is a concept by which we measure our pain.- John Lennon

“We need more understanding of human nature, becausethe only real danger that exists is man himself.”- Carl Gustav Jung

I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.- Susan B. Anthony

If the gods listened to the prayers of men, all humankind would quickly perish since they constantly pray for many evils to befall oneanother.- Epicurus

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God? – Epicurus

God Himself, sir, does not propose to judge a man until his life is over. Why should you and I?- Samuel Johnson

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.- Galileo

To judge from the notions expounded by theologians, one must conclude that God created most men simply with a view to crowding hell.- Marquis De Sade

God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.- Voltaire

God is the great mysterious motivator of what we call nature and it has been said often by philosophers, that nature is the will of God . And, I prefer to say that nature is the only body of God that we shall ever see. – Frank Lloyd Wright

Forgive, O Lord, my little jokes on Thee And I’ll forgive Thy great big one on me. – Robert Frost

To know a person’s religion we need not listen to his profession of faith but must find his brand of intolerance.- Eric Hoffer

If I were personally to define religion, I would say that it is a bandage that man has invented to protect a soul made bloody by circustance.- Theodore Dreiser

A country dominated by televangelism would be unrecognizable to the Founding Fathers, who envisioned religion as personal and spiritua, not social and political. No particular variety of religion was intended to control the political agenda, to set the community’s moral tone or to judge who are the true believers and members of our society. But this is precisely the objective of the electric church- Razelle Frankel

My faith is that the only soul a man must save is his own.- William Orville Douglas

England has forty-two religions and only two sauces.- Voltaire

Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to the garage makes you a car.- Laurence J. Peter

I think that God in creating man somewhat overestimated his ability.- Oscar Wilde

If there is no God, who pops up the next Kleenex?- Art Hoppe

“Since no one really knows anything about God,those who think they do are justtroublemakers.”Rabia Al-Basri

The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance. – Socrates.

“I refuse to prove that I exist” says God, “for proof denies faith, and without faith, I am nothing.” “Oh,” says man, “but the Babel Fish is a dead give-away, isn’t it? It proves You exist, and so therefore You don’t. Q.E.D.” “Oh, I hadn’t thought of that,” says God, who promptly vanishes in a puff of logic. ~ Douglas Adams,Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Moral: a peerless maxim enumerated by God in his Holy Bible, such as that of Deut. 23:1, if your testicles are crushed or your male member missing, you must never enter a sanctuary of the Lord. ~ Donald Morgan

There is a story, which is fairly well known, about when the missionaries came to Africa. They had the Bible and we, the natives, had the land. They said “Let us pray,” and we dutifully shut our eyes. When we opened them, why, they now had the land and we had the Bible. ~Desmond M. Tutu, “Religious Human Rights and the Bible”

Religion: A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable. ~ Ambrose Bierce

I am treated as evil by people who claim that they are being oppressed because they are not allowed to force me to practice what they do. ~ D. Dale Gulledge

Why should we take advice on sex from the pope? If he knows anything about it, he shouldn’t. ~ George Bernard Shaw

The world is not a prison house but a kind of spiritual kindergarten where millions of bewildered infants are trying to spell God with the wrong blocks. ~Edwin Arlington Robinson

The god who is reputed to have created fleas to keep dogs from moping over their situation must also have created fundamentalists to keep rationalists from getting flabby. Let us be duly thankful for out blessings. ~Garrett Hardin

Sunday school: a prison in which children do penance for the evil conscience of their parents. ~H.L. Mencken

If I were not an atheist, I would believe in a God who would choose to save people on the basis of the totality of their lives and not the pattern of their words. I think he would prefer an honest and righteous atheist to a TV preacher whose every word is God, God, God, and whose every deed is foul, foul, foul. ~Isaac Asimov,I. Asimov: A Memoir

“There’s a big difference between kneeling down and bending over.” – Frank Zappa.

“How do I know the Bible isn’t the word of God? Well if it was the word of God it would be clear and easy to understand…considering God was the creator of LANGUAGE!” – Bill Hicks.

“”I’m proud to be an atheist – it helps me stand for so much more and fall for so much less.” – Dan Barker

“All religions have been made by men.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

“But who prays for Satan? Who, in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most?” – Mark Twain

“We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.” – Richard Dawkins

“Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beutiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?” – Douglas Adams

“We must respect the other fellow’s religion, but only in the same sense to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beutiful and his children smart.” – H.L. Mencken

“One cannot really be a Catholic and grown up.” – George Orwell

“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect, had intended for us to forgo their use.” – Galileo Galilei

“Atheism is a requirement for a complete human being. Religion is a crutch that is shackled to you, one you never really needed in the first place, but were convinced by others that you couldn’t live without. Once you discover it’s only an illusion, that it’s not even a real crutch, you discard it gladly.” -Brent Yaciw

“If there is a God, atheism must seem to Him as less of an insult than religion.–Edmond de Goncourt

“The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike.”–Huang Po

“Faith is a cop-out. It is intellectual bankruptcy. If the only way you can accept an assertion is by faith, then you are conceding that it can’t be taken on its own merits.”–Dan Barker, former evangelist

“Atheism is not a philosophy; it is not even a view of the world; it is simply an admission of the obvious. In fact, ‘atheist’ is a term that should not ever exist. No one ever needs to identify himself as a ‘non astrologer’ or a ‘non-alchemist’. We do not have words for people who doubt that Elvis is still alive or that aliens traversed the galaxy only to molest ranchers and their cattle. Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make in the presence of unjustified religious beliefs. An atheist is simply a person who believes that the 260 million Americans (87 percent of the population) claiming to ‘never doubt the existence of God’ should be obliged to present evidence for his existence-and, indeed, for his BENEVOLENCE, given the relentless destruction of innocent human beings we witness in the world each day.”–Sam Harris, “Letter to a Christian Nation”

“Religion is the opium of the masses.” Karl Marx

Heaven will be a great place as long as you keep the christians out. – G. Janus

“Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest” – Denis Diderot.

Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quietNapoleon Bonaparte

Hence today I believe I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty CreatorAdolph Hitler

I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn’t do my job.George W. Bush

“Let’s face it; God has an ego problem, why do we always have to worship him? “- Bill Maher

“I don’t know anyone less Jesus like than Christians.” – Bill Maher

More here:

The Rational Response Squad

 Posted by at 10:44 am  Tagged with:

The Libertarianism FAQ – catb.org

 Misc  Comments Off on The Libertarianism FAQ – catb.org
Dec 142015
 

There are a number of standard questions about libertarianism that have been periodically resurfacing in the politics groups for years. This posting attempts to answer some of them. I make no claim that the answers are complete, nor that they reflect a (nonexistent) unanimity among libertarians; the issues touched on here are tremendously complex. This posting will be useful, however, if it successfully conveys the flavor of libertarian thought and gives some indication of what most libertarians believe.

The word means approximately “believer in liberty”. Libertarians believe in individual conscience and individual choice, and reject the use of force or fraud to compel others except in response to force or fraud. (This latter is called the “Non-Coercion Principle” and is the one thing all libertarians agree on.)

Help individuals take more control over their own lives. Take the state (and other self-appointed representatives of “society”) out of private decisions. Abolish both halves of the welfare/warfare bureaucracy (privatizing real services) and liberate the 7/8ths of our wealth that’s now soaked up by the costs of a bloated and ineffective government, to make us all richer and freer. Oppose tyranny everywhere, whether it’s the obvious variety driven by greed and power-lust or the subtler, well-intentioned kinds that coerce people “for their own good” but against their wills.

Modern libertarianism has multiple roots. Perhaps the oldest is the minimal-government republicanism of the U.S.’s founding revolutionaries, especially Thomas Jefferson and the Anti-Federalists. Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill and the “classical liberals” of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were another key influence. More recently, Ayn Rand’s philosophy of “ethical egoism” and the Austrian School of free-market capitalist economics have both contributed important ideas. Libertarianism is alone among 20th-century secular radicalisms in owing virtually nothing to Marxism.

Once upon a time (in the 1800s), “liberal” and “libertarian” meant the same thing; “liberals” were individualist, distrustful of state power, pro-free- market, and opposed to the entrenched privilege of the feudal and mercantilist system. After 1870, the “liberals” were gradually seduced (primarily by the Fabian socialists) into believing that the state could and should be used to guarantee “social justice”. They largely forgot about individual freedom, especially economic freedom, and nowadays spend most of their time justifying higher taxes, bigger government, and more regulation. Libertarians call this socialism without the brand label and want no part of it.

For starters, by not being conservative. Most libertarians have no interest in returning to an idealized past. More generally, libertarians hold no brief for the right wing’s rather overt militarist, racist, sexist, and authoritarian tendencies and reject conservative attempts to “legislate morality” with censorship, drug laws, and obnoxious Bible-thumping. Though libertarians believe in free-enterprise capitalism, we also refuse to stooge for the military-industrial complex as conservatives are wont to do.

Libertarians want to abolish as much government as they practically can. About 3/4 are “minarchists” who favor stripping government of most of its accumulated power to meddle, leaving only the police and courts for law enforcement and a sharply reduced military for national defense (nowadays some might also leave special powers for environmental enforcement). The other 1/4 (including the author of this FAQ) are out-and-out anarchists who believe that “limited government” is a delusion and the free market can provide better law, order, and security than any goverment monopoly.

Also, current libertarian political candidates recognize that you can’t demolish a government as large as ours overnight, and that great care must be taken in dismantling it carefully. For example, libertarians believe in open borders, but unrestricted immigration now would attract in a huge mass of welfare clients, so most libertarians would start by abolishing welfare programs before opening the borders. Libertarians don’t believe in tax-funded education, but most favor the current “parental choice” laws and voucher systems as a step in the right direction.

Progress in freedom and prosperity is made in steps. The Magna Carta, which for the first time put limits on a monarchy, was a great step forward in human rights. The parliamentary system was another great step. The U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, which affirmed that even a democratically-elected government couldn’t take away certain inalienable rights of individuals, was probably the single most important advance so far. But the journey isn’t over.

All Libertarians are libertarians, but not the reverse. A libertarian is a person who believes in the Non-Coercion Principle and the libertarian program. A Libertarian is a person who believes the existing political system is a proper and effective means of implementing those principles; specifically, “Libertarian” usually means a member of the Libertarian Party, the U.S.’s largest and most successful third party. Small-ell libertarians are those who consider the Libertarian Party tactically ineffective, or who reject the political system generally and view democracy as “the tyranny of the majority”.

By privatizing them. Taxation is theft — if we must have a government, it should live on user fees, lotteries, and endowments. A government that’s too big to function without resorting to extortion is a government that’s too big, period. Insurance companies (stripped of the state-conferred immunities that make them arrogant) could use the free market to spread most of the risks we now “socialize” through government, and make a profit doing so.

Enforce contracts. Anarcho-libertarians believe the “government” in this sense can be a loose network of rent-a-cops, insurance companies, and for-profit arbitration boards operating under a shared legal code; minarchists believe more centralization would be necessary and envision something much like a Jeffersonian constitional government. All libertarians want to live in a society based (far more than ours now is) on free trade and mutual voluntary contract; the government’s job would be strictly to referee, and use the absolute minimum of force necessary to keep the peace.

Most libertarians are strongly in favor of abortion rights (the Libertarian Party often shows up at pro-rights rallies with banners that say “We’re Pro-Choice on Everything!”). Many libertarians are personally opposed to abortion, but reject governmental meddling in a decision that should be private between a woman and her physician. Most libertarians also oppose government funding of abortions, on the grounds that “pro-lifers” should not have to subsidize with their money behavior they consider to be murder.

Libertarians believe that every human being is entitled to equality before the law and fair treatment as an individual responsible for his or her own actions. We oppose racism, sexism, and sexual-preference bigotry, whether perpetrated by private individuals or (especially) by government. We reject racial discrimination, whether in its ugly traditional forms or in its newer guises as Affirmative Action quotas and “diversity” rules.

We recognize that there will always be bigotry and hatred in the world, just as there will always be fear and stupidity; but one cannot use laws to force understanding any more than one can use laws to force courage or intelligence. The only fair laws are those that never mention the words “black” or “white”; “man” or “woman”; “gay” or “straight”. When people use bigotry as an excuse to commit force or fraud, it is the act itself which is the crime, and deserves punishment, not the motive behind it.

Consistently opposed. The revolutionaries who kicked out King George based their call for insurrection on the idea that Americans have not only the right but the duty to oppose a tyrannical government with force — and that duty implies readiness to use force. This is why Thomas Jefferson said that “Firearms are the American yeoman’s liberty teeth” and, in common with many of the Founding Fathers, asserted that an armed citizenry is the securest guarantee of freedom. Libertarians assert that “gun control” is a propagandist’s lie for “people control”, and even if it worked for reducing crime and violence (which it does not; when it’s a crime to own guns, only criminals own them) it would be a fatally bad bargain.

Libertarians are opposed to any government-enforced limits on free expression whatsoever; we take an absolutist line on the First Amendment. On the other hand, we reject the “liberal” idea that refusing to subsidize a controversial artist is censorship. Thus, we would strike down all anti-pornography laws as unwarranted interference with private and voluntary acts (leaving in place laws punishing, for example, coercion of minors for the production of pornography). We would also end all government funding of art; the label of “artist” confers no special right to a living at public expense.

We believe the draft is slavery, pure and simple, and ought to be prohibited as “involuntary servitude” by the 13th Amendment. Any nation that cannot find enough volunteers to defend it among its citizenry does not deserve to survive.

That all drugs should be legalized. Drug-related crime (which is over 85% of all crime) is caused not by drugs but by drug laws that make the stuff expensive and a monopoly of criminals. This stance isn’t “approving” of drugs any more than defending free speech is “approving” of Nazi propaganda; it’s just realism — prohibition doesn’t work. And the very worst hazard of the drug war may be the expansion of police powers through confiscation laws, “no-knock” warrants and other “anti-drug” measures. These tactics can’t stop the drug trade, but they are making a mockery of our supposed Constitutional freedoms.

Libertarians would leave in place laws against actions which directly endanger the physical safety of others, like driving under the influence of drugs, or carrying a firearm under the influence.

First of all, stop creating them as our government does with military contractors and government-subsidized industries. Second, create a more fluid economic environment in which they’d break up. This happens naturally in a free market; even in ours, with taxes and regulatory policies that encourage gigantism, it’s quite rare for a company to stay in the biggest 500 for longer than twenty years. We’d abolish the limited-liability shield laws to make corporate officers and stockholders fully responsible for a corporation’s actions. We’d make it impossible for corporations to grow fat on “sweetheart deals” paid for with taxpayers’ money; we’d lower the cost of capital (by cutting taxes) and regulatory compliance (by repealing regulations that presume guilt until you prove your innocence), encouraging entrepreneurship and letting economic conditions (rather than government favoritism) determine the optimum size of the business unit.

Who owns the trees? The disastrous state of the environment in what was formerly the Soviet Union illustrates the truism that a resource theoretically “owned” by everyone is valued by no one. Ecological awareness is a fine thing, but without strong private-property rights no one can afford to care enough to conserve. Libertarians believe that the only effective way to save the Earth is to give everyone economic incentives to save their little bit of it.

No. What favors the rich is the system we have now — a fiction of strong property rights covering a reality of property by government fiat; the government can take away your “rights” by eminent domain, condemnation, taxation, regulation and a thousand other means. Because the rich have more money and time to spend on influencing and subverting government, such a system inevitably means they gain at others’ expense. A strong government always becomes the tool of privilege. Stronger property rights and a smaller government would weaken the power elite that inevitably seeks to seduce government and bend it to their own self-serving purposes — an elite far more dangerous than any ordinary criminal class.

No, though abandoning the poor might be merciful compared to what government has done to them. As the level of “anti-poverty” spending in this country has risen, so has poverty. Government bureaucracies have no incentive to lift people out of dependency and every incentive to keep them in it; after all, more poverty means a bigger budget and more power for the bureaucrats. Libertarians want to break this cycle by abolishing all income-transfer programs and allowing people to keep what they earn instead of taxing it away from them. The wealth freed up would go directly to the private sector, creating jobs for the poor, decreasing the demand on private charity, and increasing charitable giving. The results might diminish poverty or they might leave it at today’s levels — but it’s hard to see how they could be any less effective than the present wretched system.

This issue makes minarchists out of a lot of would-be anarchists. One view is that in a libertarian society everyone would be heavily armed, making invasion or usurpation by a domestic tyrant excessively risky. This is what the Founding Fathers clearly intended for the U.S. (the Constitution made no provision for a standing army, entrusting defense primarily to a militia consisting of the entirety of the armed citizenry). It works today in Switzerland (also furnishing one of the strongest anti-gun-control arguments). The key elements in libertarian-anarchist defense against an invader would be: a widespread ideology (libertarianism) that encourages resistance; ready availability of deadly weapons; and no structures of government that an invader can take over and use to rule indirectly. Think about the Afghans, the Viet Cong, the Minutemen — would you want to invade a country full of dedicated, heavily armed libertarians? :-)

Minarchist libertarians are less radical, observe that U.S. territory could certainly be protected effectively with a military costing less than half of the bloated U.S. military budget.

Voluntary cooperation is a wonderful thing, and we encourage it whenever we can. Despite the tired old tag line about “dog-eat-dog competition” and the presence of government intervention, the relatively free market of today’s capitalism is the most spectacular argument for voluntary cooperation in history; millions, even billions of people coordinating with each other every day to satisfy each others’ needs and create untold wealth.

What we oppose is the mockeries politicians and other criminals call cooperation but impose by force; there is no “cooperation” in taxation or the draft or censorship any more than you and I are “cooperating” when I put a gun to your head and steal your wallet.

Think about freedom, and act on your thoughts. Spend your dollars wisely. Oppose the expansion of state power. Promote “bottom-up” solutions to public problems, solutions that empower individuals rather than demanding intervention by force of government. Give to private charity. Join a libertarian organization; the Libertarian Party, or the Advocates for Self-Government, or the Reason Foundation. Start your own business; create wealth and celebrate others who create wealth. Support voluntary cooperation.

No one knows. Your author thinks libertarianism is about where constitutional republicanism was in 1750 — a solution waiting for its moment, a toy of political theorists and a few visionaries waiting for the people and leaders who can actualize it. The collapse of Communism and the triumph of capitalist economics will certainly help, by throwing central planning and the “nanny state” into a disrepute that may be permanent. Some libertarians believe we are headed for technological and economic changes so shattering that no statist ideology can possibly survive them (in particular, most of the nanotechnology “underground” is hard-core libertarian). Only time will tell.

There’s an excellent FAQ on anarchist theory and history at http://www.princeton.edu/~bdcaplan/anarfaq.htm with links to many other Web documents.

Peter McWilliams’s wise and funny book Ain’t Nobody’s Business If You Do is worth a read.

Friedman, Milton and Friedman, Rose, Free to Choose: A Personal Statement (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1980).

Hayek, Friedrich A. The Constitution of Liberty (Henry Regnery Company, 1960).

Hayek, Friedrich A. The Road to Serfdom (University of Chicago Press, 1944).

Lomasky, Loren, Persons, Rights, and the Moral Community (Oxford University Press, 1987).

Machan, Tibor, Individuals and Their Rights (Open Court, 1989).

Murray, Charles A. In Pursuit of Happiness and Good Government (Simon and Schuster, 1988).

Rasmussen, Douglas B. and Den Uyl, Douglas J., Liberty and Nature (Open Court, 1991).

Rothbard, Murray N. For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto, 2nd ed (Macmillan, 1978).

Reason. Editorial contact: 3415 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Suite 400, Los Angeles, CA 90034. Subscriptions: PO Box 526, Mt. Morris, IL 61054

Liberty. PO Box 1167, Port Townsend, WA 98368.

1202 N. Tenn. St., Suite 202 Cartersville, GA 30120

3415 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Suite 400, Los Angeles, CA 90034

1000 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20001-5403

938 Howard St. San Francisco, Suite 202, CA 94103

818 S. Grand Ave., Suite 202, Los Angeles, CA 90017

View original post here:
The Libertarianism FAQ – catb.org

 Posted by at 3:42 am  Tagged with:

Texas SEO company | Dallas SEO | Austin SEO | Houston SEO …

 SEO  Comments Off on Texas SEO company | Dallas SEO | Austin SEO | Houston SEO …
Nov 022015
 

Thanks for visiting Texass conversion driven internet marketing company. 87 % of consumers go to the major Search Engines before purchasing a product so, Search Engine Optimization ought to be a priority of every companies major assets, their websites. How did you find us again? Im sure youd like to have your customers find you the same way you found us, correct? Thats why we offer a consultation that is very valuable to your business and the best thing is its FREE! Dont hesitate to set up a complete market overview for your industry. Its a complete website diagnosis that shows you how your communicating with the internet, a competitor analysis and ROI Forecaster for your market. Email above or just simply give us a call at 855-877-0040. The Algorithm Changed Three times this year already and every time it helps our clients improve in rank after each algorithm update. Check the SEO Results Here. Our mission is to help our customers understand exactly what real SEO is. Link building is only a small part of an overall campaign and we are the only SEO company in the great state of Texas, that will offer you market exclusivity. Have a business and need the upper hand over your competition? Would you like to dominate the online market place for your industry? We challenge you to understand exactly what your competition is doing! Do you understand how your website design sends signals to the Internet? How about your competitions and Start with your FREE market overview just call the # or send us and email. Our team is comprised of industry professionals that have several years of experience. Youll be thoroughly impressed with the assessment and if anything at least youll have something you can always refer to for your business.

Google Adwords and Google Analytics certified. The Texas SEO company consists of several years of experience. Every one on staff has a certification. Whether its for Adwords, Analytics or programming just taking our word for it isnt enough. I encourage you to ask for our referrals and conduct the due diligence for yourself. Call today and ask for an active client reference or testimonial, our clients are always happy to share their success stories with our prospects. Unlike most marketing companies in Miami, we take pride in maintaining a sterling reputation with our clients. With billions of web pages online, many within your own industry, how do make sure your customers find you? How do you assure that Google makes your the best result for their end users? Texas Search Engine Optimization (SEO) improves your sites natural ranking, guaranteeing those that need your services can easily find your business. The Texas SEO Company brings a lethal combination of technical expertise, marketing experience, all with a data driven analysis and an individual commitment to the client to each campaign. Dont forget to get your FREE Market Overview today.

White Hat SEO is a term Im sure you have heard before and is phrase youll have to keep in mind. With all the changes happening in Google over the past couple of years our the tag line BUILD TO LAST has an never been more true. If you want to become an authority in Google you need to put in the work. Of course, there is all the normal coding involved but, if your not appeasing the additional 150 backup checks called Googles algorithm you could very well be giving them information that is not popular to them. For instance, your company has spent mega energy in getting the business off the ground. That same energy is what it takes to become #1 in the search engines and it never ends.

In a Nutshell, your busy attending to your clients and running your business. Do you have the 80, 100 or even 120+ hrs this month to make yourself an authority in the search engines? The obvious answer is NO. Dont hesitate and contact us today for your FREE Market overview. 888-877-0040. Again, It consists of a complete competitor analysis, a website diagnosis(if you have a website and identifies all the available business in your market.

Go here to see the original:
Texas SEO company | Dallas SEO | Austin SEO | Houston SEO …

Free speech news, articles and information: – NaturalNews

 Free Speech  Comments Off on Free speech news, articles and information: – NaturalNews
Nov 022015
 

Tell Congress to support the Free Speech about Science Act of 2011 4/13/2011 – Last year, the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH), a nonprofit organization that works very hard to promote and protect freedom of health speech, came up with a very important piece of legislation called the Free Speech about Science Act (FSAS) that is designed to lift the restrictions on health speech… Support the Free Speech About Science Act and restore freedom of health speech 5/27/2010 – The Alliance for Natural Health, a nonprofit organization committed to protecting access to natural and integrative medicine, has recently come up with a Congressional bill designed to stop government censorship of truthful, scientific health claims about natural foods and herbs, and restore free speech… NaturalNews to launch Free Speech video network 5/4/2010 – On the heels of increasing video censorship committed by YouTube against natural health videos, NaturalNews is announcing the upcoming launch of its worldwide, multilingual video network called NaturalNews.TV. The service goes live in late June and is designed to offer a Free Speech platform for videos… Ron Paul Introduces Three New Bills Designed to Restore Free Speech to Health 8/10/2009 – In recent years, numerous companies have been targeted, raided, and even shut down by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for making health claims about the products they sell. These federal agencies operate outside the realm of constitutional legitimacy and thus… FDA tyranny and the censorship of cherry health facts (opinion) 5/2/2006 – In the past, I jokingly said that broccoli might someday be banned as soon as the public begins to learn about the potent anti-cancer chemicals found in the vegetable. Thats because, as I jested, the FDA wouldnt want people treating their own cancer with the anti-cancer medicines found in cruciferous… Counterthink roundup: Free Speech, Google News, and Big Brother (satire) 1/31/2006 – New provisions in the Patriot Act, which are about to become law, will make it a felony crime for protestors to step foot outside official “protest zones” designated by the U.S. Secret Service. This is how President Bush expands the freedom of Americans — by giving them all the freedom they want, as… See all 56 free speech feature articles. Police: People: Bush: Speech: President: Free: The internet: Internet: Government: Information: Society: World: Media: California: Victory: Financial: Most Popular Stories TED aligns with Monsanto, halting any talks about GMOs, ‘food as medicine’ or natural healing 10 other companies that use the same Subway yoga mat chemical in their buns Warning: Enrolling in Obamacare allows government to link your IP address with your name, social security number, bank accounts and web surfing habits High-dose vitamin C injections shown to annihilate cancer USDA to allow U.S. to be overrun with contaminated chicken from China Vaccine fraud exposed: Measles and mumps making a huge comeback because vaccines are designed to fail, say Merck virologists New USDA rule allows hidden feces, pus, bacteria and bleach in conventional poultry Battle for humanity nearly lost: global food supply deliberately engineered to end life, not nourish it Harvard research links fluoridated water to ADHD, mental disorders 10 outrageous (but true) facts about vaccines the CDC and the vaccine industry don’t want you to know EBT card food stamp recipients ransack Wal-Mart stores, stealing carts full of food during federal computer glitch Cannabis kicks Lyme disease to the curb TV.NaturalNews.com is a free video website featuring thousands of videos on holistic health, nutrition, fitness, recipes, natural remedies and much more.

CounterThink Cartoons are free to view and download. They cover topics like health, environment and freedom.

The Consumer Wellness Center is a non-profit organization offering nutrition education grants to programs that help children and expectant mothers around the world.

Food Investigations is a series of mini-documentaries exposing the truth about dangerous ingredients in the food supply.

Webseed.com offers alternative health programs, documentaries and more.

The Honest Food Guide is a free, downloadable public health and nutrition chart that dares to tell the truth about what foods we should really be eating.

HealingFoodReference.com offers a free online reference database of healing foods, phytonutrients and plant-based medicines that prevent or treat diseases and health conditions.

HerbReference.com is a free, online reference library that lists medicinal herbs and their health benefits.

NutrientReference.com is a free online reference database of phytonutrients (natural medicines found in foods) and their health benefits. Lists diseases, foods, herbs and more.

Visit link:
Free speech news, articles and information: – NaturalNews

 Posted by at 11:41 am  Tagged with:

First Amendment – constitution | Laws.com

 Misc  Comments Off on First Amendment – constitution | Laws.com
Oct 282015
 

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution is contained in the Bill of Rights. The First Amendment has proven to be one of the most fundamental and important in respects to the rights attributed to the populace of the United States. Originally, the First Amendment was implemented and applied solely to Congress. However, by the beginning of the twentieth century, it was upheld that the First Amendment is to apply to all forms of government, including state and local levels. The Supreme Court decided that the Fourteenth Amendment Due Process Clause would apply to the 1st Amendment, and thus rendering such a decision.

As stated in the United States Constitution, Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, of of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Though a relatively short and concise assertion, the text provides for quite an encompassing set of rights that protect the citizens of the United States, and some of the most important and basic human rights. The First Amendment has many clauses that relate to each of the concepts that it sets out to protect. Religion is discussed in two clauses, one regarding the establishment of religion, and the other the free exercise of religion.

This proves to be one of the most important rights to secure by the Fathers of the Constitution, for so many people of European descent immigrated to the American Colonies to avoid religious persecution, and to find a safe haven to practice their religion of choice without any dire consequences. The First Amendment prohibits the government to establish a formal or national religion for the nation. It also addresses that there will be no preference of any particular religion, including the practice of no religion, or non religion.

The 1st Amendment guarantees the people of the United States the free exercise of religion, without interference from governmental factions. This right would also extend to any organization or individual infringing on such right, and would be deemed as unconstitutional.

One of the most commonly referred to clauses under the 1st Amendment is the freedom of speech. This clause has proven to be of great importance, particularly in the twentieth century and continues on with such regard in our lifetime. Under the text of the First Amendment, many issues are addressed regarding Freedom of Speech, and restrictions to exist in which such a practice may prove to be harmful to the general population or public. An example is the concept of sedition, and how this conduct can lead to insurrection against the government.

Other concepts also addressed include commercial speech, political speech, obscenity, libel, slander, and symbolic speech, such as the desecration of the American Flag. Under the First Amendment, there have been important and key court cases that have established a form precedence in how to apply the Amendment to these kinds of circumstances. The Freedom of the press is also included, and subject to similar restrictions as the freedom of speech.

The rights to petition and assembly often seem to be overlooked, for freedom of religion and speech are most commonly associated with the 1st Amendment. The right to petition is important because it gives citizens the opportunity to address their government in issues that have relevance and importance to the commonwealth. The formulation of an assembly, under the First Amendment, can be interpreted as citizens gathering and unifying for the purpose of communicating views or opinions on national issues, and for the relaying of pertinent information. The right to assembly is often related to that of petition, in such a way where citizens may assemble in the process of petitioning the government.

comments

Originally posted here:
First Amendment – constitution | Laws.com

First Amendment – National Constitution Center

 Misc  Comments Off on First Amendment – National Constitution Center
Oct 282015
 

Clauses of the First Amendment

The Establishment Clause

Americas early settlers came from a variety of religious backgrounds: Puritans predominated in New England; Anglicans predominated in the South; Quakers and Lutherans flocked especially to Pennsylvania; Roman Catholics settled mostly in Maryland; Presbyterians were most numerous in the middle colonies; and there were Jewish congregations in five cities.

During colonial times, the Church of England was established by law in all of the southern colonies, while localized Puritan (or Congregationalist) establishments held sway in most New England states. In those colonies, clergy were appointed and disciplined by colonial authorities and colonists were required to pay religious taxes and (often) to attend church services. Dissenters were often punished for preaching without a license or refusing to pay taxes to a church they disagreed with. Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and much of New York had no established church.

After Independence, there was widespread agreement that there should be no nationally established church. The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, principally authored by James Madison, reflects this consensus. The language of the Establishment Clause itself applies only to the federal government (Congress shall pass no law respecting an establishment of religion). All states disestablished religion by 1833, and in the 1940s the Supreme Court held that disestablishment applies to state governments through the Fourteenth Amendment.

Virtually all jurists agree that it would violate the Establishment Clause for the government to compel attendance or financial support of a religious institution as such, for the government to interfere with a religious organizations selection of clergy or religious doctrine; for religious organizations or figures acting in a religious capacity to exercise governmental power; or for the government to extend benefits to some religious entities and not others without adequate secular justification. Beyond that, the meaning of the Amendment is often hotly contested, and Establishment cases in the Supreme Court often lead to 5-4 splits.

The Lemon Test

In 1971, the Supreme Court surveyed its previous Establishment Clause cases and identified three factors that identify when a government practice violates the Establishment Clause: First, the statute must have a secular legislative purpose; second, its principal or primary effect must be one that neither advances nor inhibits religion; finally, the statute must not foster an excessive entanglement with religion. Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971). In the years since Lemon, the test has been much criticized and the Court often decides Establishment Clause cases without reference to it. Yet the Justices have not overruled the Lemon test, meaning the lower courts remain obliged to use it. In some specific areas of controversy, however, the Court has adopted specific, more targeted tests to replace Lemon.

The vast majority of Establishment Clause cases have fallen in four areas: monetary aid to religious education or other social welfare activities conducted by religious institutions; government-sponsored prayer; accommodation of religious dissenters from generally-applicable laws; and government owned or sponsored religious symbols.

Aid to religious institutions

Scholars have long debated between two opposing interpretations of the Establishment Clause as it applies to government funding: (1) that the government must be neutral between religious and non-religious institutions that provide education or other social services; or (2) that no taxpayer funds should be given to religious institutions if they might be used to communicate religious doctrine. Initially, the Court tended toward the first interpretation, in the 1970s and 1980s the Court shifted to the second interpretation, and more recently the Court has decisively moved back to the first idea.

After two early decisions upholding state statutes allowing students who attend private religious schools to receive transportation, Everson v. Board of Education (1947), and textbook subsidies available to all elementary and secondary students, Board of Education v. Allen (1968), the Court attempted for about fifteen years to draw increasingly sharp lines against the use of tax-funded assistance for the religious aspects of education. At one point the Court even forbade public school teaching specialists from going on the premises of religious schools to provide remedial assistance. Aguilar v. Felton (1985). More recently, the Court has upheld programs that provide aid to educational or social programs on a neutral basis only as a result of the genuine and independent choices of private individuals. Zelman v. Simmons-Harris (2002). Indeed, the Court has held that it is unconstitutional under free speech or free exercise principles to exclude otherwise eligible recipients from government assistance solely because their activity is religious in nature. Rosenberger v. University of Virginia (1995).

Government-sponsored prayer

The Courts best-known Establishment Clause decisions held it unconstitutional for public schools to lead schoolchildren in prayer or Bible reading, even on an ostensibly voluntary basis. Engel v. Vitale (1962); Abington School District v. Schempp (1963). Although these decisions were highly controversial among the public (less so among scholars), the Court has not backed down. Instead it has extended the prohibition to prayers at graduation ceremonies, Lee v. Weisman (1992), and football games, Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe (2000).

In less coercive settings involving adults, the Court has generally allowed government-sponsored prayer. In Marsh v. Chambers (1983), the Court upheld legislative prayer, specifically because it was steeped in history. More recently, the Court approved an opening prayer or statement at town council meetings, where the Town represented that it would accept any prayers of any faith. Town of Greece v. Galloway (2014).

Accommodation of religion

Hundreds of federal, state, and local laws exempt or accommodate religious believers or institutions from otherwise neutral, generally-applicable laws for whom compliance would conflict with religiously motivated conduct. Examples include military draft exemptions, kosher or halal meals for prisoners, medical neglect exemptions for parents who do not believe in medical treatment for their ill children, exemptions from some anti-discrimination laws for religious entities, military headgear requirements, and exemptions for the sacramental use of certain drugs. The Supreme Court has addressed very few of these exemptions. While the Court held that a state sales tax exemption limited to religious publications was unconstitutional in Texas Monthly, Inc. v. Bullock (1989), it unanimously upheld the exemption of religious organizations from prohibitions on employment discrimination for ministers. Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. E.E.O.C. (2012).

Two federal laws, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), provide broad-based statutory accommodations for religious practice when it conflicts with federal and certain state and local laws. A unanimous Court upheld this approach for prisoners against a claim that granting religious accommodations violates the Establishment Clause, reasoning that RLUIPA alleviates exceptional government-created burdens on private religious exercise in prisons. Cutter v. Wilkinson (2005).

The Court in Cutter left open the question whether such a regime applied to land use is constitutional and it also left open the possibility that even some applications in prisons may be unconstitutional if they are not even-handed among religions or impose too extreme a burden on non-believers. The Courts recent 5-4 decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. (2014), holding that RFRA exempts for-profit employers from paying for insurance coverage of contraceptive drugs that they believe are abortion-inducing, has reinvigorated the debate over such laws.

Government-sponsored religious symbols

The cases involving governmental displays of religious symbolssuch as Ten Commandment displays in public school classrooms, courthouses, or public parks; nativity scenes in courthouses and shopping districts; or crosses on public landhave generated much debate. The most prominent approach in more recent cases is called the endorsement test; it asks whether a reasonable observer acquainted with the full context would regard the display as the government endorsing religion and, therefore, sending a message of disenfranchisement to other believers and non-believers.

The Courts decisions in this arena are often closely divided. They also illustrate that the Court has declined to take a rigid, absolutist view of the separation of church and state. In Lynch v. Donnelly (1984), the Court allowed display of a nativity scene surrounded by other holiday decorations in the heart of a shopping district, stating that it engenders a friendly community spirit of good will in keeping with the season. But in County of Allegheny v. American Civil Liberties Union (1989), a different majority of Justices held that the display of a nativity scene by itself at the top of the grand stairway in a courthouse violated the Establishment Clause because it was indisputably religiousindeed sectarian. In McCreary County v. American Civil Liberties Union (2005), the Court held that a prominent display of the Ten Commandments at the county courthouse, which was preceded by an officials description of the Ten Commandments as the embodiment of ethics in Christ, was a religious display that was unconstitutional. The same day, it upheld a Ten Commandments monument, which was donated by a secular organization dedicated to reducing juvenile delinquency and surrounded by other monuments on the spacious statehouse grounds. Van Orden v. Perry (2005). Only one Justice was in the majority in both cases.

More broadly, the Establishment Clause provides a legal framework for resolving disagreements about the public role of religion in our increasingly pluralistic republic.

An accurate recounting of history is necessary to appreciate the need for disestablishment and a separation between church and state.

The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment Congress shall pass no law respecting an establishment of religion is one of the most misunderstood in the Constitution.

The Establishment Clause: A Check on Religious Tyranny by Marci A. Hamilton

An accurate recounting of history is necessary to appreciate the need for disestablishment and a separation between church and state. The religiosity of the generation that framed the Constitution and the Bill of Rights (of which the First Amendment is the first as a result of historical accident, not the preference for religious liberty over any other right) has been overstated. In reality, many of the Framers and the most influential men of that generation rarely attended church, were often Deist rather than Christian, and had a healthy understanding of the potential for religious tyranny. This latter concern is to be expected as European history was awash with executions of religious heretics: Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, and Muslim. Three of the most influential men in the Framing era provide valuable insights into the mindset at the time: Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, and John Adams. Franklin saw a pattern:

If we look back into history for the character of the present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution. The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in the Pagans, but practiced it on one another. The first Protestants of the Church of England blamed persecution in the Romish Church, but practiced it upon the Puritans. These found it wrong in the Bishops, but fell into the same practice themselves both here [England] and in New England.

Benjamin Franklin, Letter to the London Packet (June 3, 1772).

The father of the Constitution and primary drafter of the First Amendment, James Madison, in his most important document on the topic, Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments (1785), stated:

During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity, in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution. . . . What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the Civil authority; in many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people.

Two years later, John Adams described the states as having been derived from reason, not religious belief:

It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had any interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, any more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses. . . .Thirteen governments [of the original states] thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind.

The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States, Vol. 4, 292-93 (Charles C. Little & James Brown, eds., 1851).

Massachusetts and Pennsylvania are examples of early discord. In Massachusetts, the Congregationalist establishment enforced taxation on all believers and expelled or even put to death dissenters. Baptist clergy became the first in the United States to advocate for a separation of church and state and an absolute right to believe what one chooses. Baptist pastor John Leland was an eloquent and forceful proponent of the freedom of conscience and the separation of church and state. For him, America was not a Christian nation, but rather should recognize the equality of all believers, whether Jews, Turks, Pagans [or] Christians. Government should protect every man in thinking and speaking freely, and see that one does not abuse another. He proposed an amendment to the Massachusetts Constitution in 1794 because of the evils . . . occasioned in the world by religious establishments, and to keep up the proper distinction between religion and politics.”

Pennsylvania, dubbed the Holy Experiment by founder William Penn, was politically controlled by Quakers, who advocated tolerance of all believers and the mutual co-existence of differing faiths, but who made their Christianity a prerequisite for public office, only permitted Christians to vote, and forbade work on the Sabbath. Even so, the Quakers set in motion a principle that became a mainstay in religious liberty jurisprudence: the government may not coerce citizens to believe what they are unwilling to believe. If one looks carefully into the history of the United States religious experiment, one also uncovers a widely-shared view that too much liberty, or licentiousness, is as bad as no liberty. According to historian John Philip Reid, those in the eighteenth century had as great a duty to oppose licentiousness as to defend liberty.

Establishment Clause Doctrine

The Establishment Clause has yielded a wide array of doctrines (legal theories articulated by courts), each of which is largely distinct from the others, some of which are described in Professor McConnells and my joint contribution on the Establishment Clause. The reason for this proliferation of distinct doctrines is that the Establishment Clause is rooted in a concept of separating the power of church and state. These are the two most authoritative forces of human existence, and drawing a boundary line between them is not easy. The further complication is that the exercise of power is fluid, which leads both state and church to alter their positions to gain power either one over the other or as a union in opposition to the general public or particular minorities.

The separation of church and state does not mean that there is an impermeable wall between the two, but rather that the Framers fundamentally understood that the union of power between church and state would lead inevitably to tyranny. The established churches of Europe were well-known to the Founding era and the Framers and undoubtedly contributed to James Madisons inclusion of the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment, and its ratification. The following are some of the most important principles.

The Government May Not Delegate Governing Authority to Religious Entities

The Court has been sensitive to incipient establishments of religion. A Massachusetts law delegated authority to churches and schools to determine who could receive a liquor license within 500 feet of their buildings. The Supreme Court struck down the law, because it delegated to churches zoning power, which belongs to state and local government, not private entities. Larkin v. Grendels Den, Inc. (1982). According to the Court: The law substitutes the unilateral and absolute power of a church for the reasoned decision making of a public legislative body . . . on issues with significant economic and political implications. The challenged statute thus enmeshes churches in the processes of government and creates the danger of [p]olitical fragmentation and divisiveness along religious lines.

In another scenario, the Supreme Court rejected an attempt to define political boundaries solely according to religion. In Board of Education of Kiryas Joel Village School District v. Grumet (1994), the state of New York designated the neighborhood boundaries of Satmar Hasidim Orthodox Jews in Kiryas Joel Village as a public school district to itself. Thus, the boundary was determined solely by religious identity, in part because the community did not want their children to be exposed to children outside the faith. The Court invalidated the school district because political boundaries identified solely by reference to religion violate the Establishment Clause.

There Is No Such Thing as Church Autonomy Although There Is a Doctrine that Forbids the Courts from Determining What Religious Organizations Believe

In recent years, religious litigants have asserted a right to church autonomythat churches should not be subject to governmental regulationin a wide variety of cases, and in particular in cases involving the sexual abuse of children by clergy. The phrase, however, is misleading. The Supreme Court has never interpreted the First Amendment to confer on religious organizations a right to autonomy from the law. In fact, in the case in which they have most recently demanded such a right, arguing religious ministers should be exempt from laws prohibiting employment discrimination, the Court majority did not embrace the theory, not even using the term once. Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. E.E.O.C. (2012).

The courts are forbidden, however, from getting involved in determining what a religious organization believes, how it organizes itself internally, or who it chooses to be ministers of the faith. Therefore, if the dispute brought to a court can only be resolved by a judge or jury settling an intra-church, ecclesiastical dispute, the dispute is beyond judicial consideration. This is a corollary to the absolute right to believe what one chooses; it is not a right to be above the laws that apply to everyone else. There is extraordinary slippage in legal briefs in numerous cases where the entity is arguing for autonomy, but what they really mean is freedom from the law, per se. For the Court and basic common sense, these are arguments for placing religion above the law, and in violation of the Establishment Clause. They are also fundamentally at odds with the common sense of the Framing generation that understood so well the evils of religious tyranny.

The Establishment Clause: Co-Guarantor of Religious Freedom by Michael McConnell

The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment Congress shall pass no law respecting an establishment of religion is one of the most misunderstood in the Constitution. Unlike most of the Constitution, it refers to a legal arrangement, the establishment of religion, which has not existed in the United States in almost two centuries. We understand what freedom of speech is, we know what private property” is, and we know what searches and seizures are, but most of us have no familiarity with what an establishment of religion would be.

The Church by Law Established in Britain was a church under control of the government. The monarch was (and is) the supreme head of the established church and chooses its leadership; Parliament enacted its Articles of Faith; the state composed or directed the content of its prayers and liturgy; clergy had to take an oath of allegiance to the king or queen; and not surprisingly, the established church was used to inculcate the idea that British subjects had a religious as well as a civic obligation to obey royal authority. The established church was a bit like a government-controlled press: it was a means by which the government could mold public opinion.

British subjects (including Americans in eight of the colonies) were legally required to attend and financially support the established church, ministers were licensed or selected by the government, and the content of church services was partially dictated by the state.

The establishment of religion was bad for liberty and it was bad for religion, too. It was opposed by a coalition of the most fervently evangelical religious sects in America (especially the Baptists), who thought the hand of government was poisonous to genuine religion, joined by the enlightenment and often deist elite (like Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin), who thought church and state should be separate, and by the leadership of minority religions, who worried that government involvement would disadvantage them. Accordingly, there was virtually no opposition to abolishing establishment of religion at the national level. Establishments survived for a while in a few states, but the last state (Massachusetts) ended its establishment in 1833.

The abolition of establishment of religion entails a number of obvious and uncontroversial elements. Individuals may not be required to contribute to, attend, or participate in religious activities. These must be voluntary. The government may not control the doctrine, liturgy, or personnel of religious organizations. These must be free of state control. Other issues are harder.

For a few decades between the late 1960s and the early 1990s, the Supreme Court attempted to forbid states to provide tax subsidies to schools that teach religious doctrine along with ordinary secular subjects. Most of these schools were Roman Catholic. This effort was largely based on a misinterpretation of history, egged on by residual anti-Catholicism. The Justices said that neutral aid to schools is just like a 1785 effort to force Virginians to contribute to the church of their choice. The analogy, however, made little sense: there is all the difference in the world between funding churches because they inculcate religion and funding schools because they provide education. In fact, the history of the early republic shows that states (and later the federal government, during Reconstruction) funded education by subsidizing all schools on a nondiscriminatory basis, and no one ever suggested this violated the non-establishment principle. By 2002, in Zelman v. Simmons-Harris, the Supreme Court returned to this original idea, allowing the government to fund schools on a neutral basis so long as the choice of religious schools was left to voluntary choice. Not only was ruling this true to history, it also best serves the ideal of religious freedom, making it possible for families to choose the type of education they want for their children.

It is sometimes suggested that laws making special accommodations for people whose religious beliefs are at odds with government policy violate the Establishment Clause, on the theory that these accommodations privilege or advance religion. This is a recently-minted idea, and not a sensible one. In all cases of accommodation, the religion involved is dissenting from prevailing policy, which means, by definition, that the religion is not dominating society. The idea that making exceptions for the benefit of people whose beliefs conflict with the majority somehow establishes religion is a plain distortion of the words. And the Supreme Court has unanimously held that religious accommodations are permissible so long as they lift a governmental obstacle to the exercise of religion, take account of costs to others, and do not favor one faith over another. Nonetheless, when religions take unpopular stances on hot-button issues (for example, regarding abortion-inducing contraceptives or same-sex marriage), critics are quick to assert that it violates the Constitution to accommodate their differences, no matter how little support that position has in history or Supreme Court precedent.

The fundamental error is to think that the Establishment Clause is designed to reduce the role of religion in American life. A better understanding is captured in this statement by Justice William O. Douglas of the Supreme Court: this country sponsor[s] an attitude on the part of government that shows no partiality to any one group and that lets each flourish according to the zeal of its adherents and the appeal of its dogma. Zorach v. Clauson (1952).

The Free Exercise Clause

Many settlers from Europe braved the hardships of immigration to the American colonies to escape religious persecution in their home countries and to secure the freedom to worship according to their own conscience and conviction. Although the colonists often understood freedom of religion more narrowly than we do today, support for protection of some conception of religious freedom was broad and deep. By the time of Independence and the construction of a new Constitution, freedom of religion was among the most widely recognized inalienable rights, protected in some fashion by state bills of rights and judicial decisions. James Madison, for example, the principal author of the First Amendment, eloquently expressed his support for such a provision in Virginia: It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage, and such only, as he believes to be acceptable to him. This duty is precedent both in order of time and degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society.

Although the original Constitution contained only a prohibition of religious tests for federal office (Article VI, Clause 3), the Free Exercise Clause was added as part of the First Amendment in 1791. In drafting the Clause, Congress considered several formulations, but ultimately settled on protecting the free exercise of religion. This phrase makes plain the protection of actions as well as beliefs, but only those in some way connected to religion.

From the beginning, courts in the United States have struggled to find a balance between the religious liberty of believers, who often claim the right to be excused or exempted from laws that interfere with their religious practices, and the interests of society reflected in those very laws. Early state court decisions went both ways on this central question.

The Supreme Court first addressed the question in a series of cases involving nineteenth-century laws aimed at suppressing the practice of polygamy by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), also known as Mormons. The Court unanimously rejected free exercise challenges to these laws, holding that the Free Exercise Clause protects beliefs but not conduct. Laws are made for the government of actions, and while they cannot interfere with mere religious belief and opinions, they may with practices. Reynolds v. United States (1878). What followed was perhaps the most extreme government assault on religious freedom in American history. Hundreds of church leaders were jailed, rank-and-file Mormons were deprived of their right to vote, and Congress dissolved the LDS Church and expropriated most of its property, until the church finally agreed to abandon polygamy.

The belief-action distinction ignored the Free Exercise Clauses obvious protection of religious practice, but spoke to the concern that allowing believers to disobey laws that bind everyone else would undermine the value of a government of laws applied to all. Doing so, Reynolds warned, would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself.

Reynolds influenced the meaning of the Free Exercise Clause well into the twentieth century. In 1940, for example, the Court extended the Clausewhich by its terms constrains only the federal governmentto limit state laws and other state actions that burden religious exercise. Cantwell v. Connecticut (1940). Though it recognized that governments may not unduly infringe religious exercise, the Court reiterated that [c]onduct remains subject to regulation for the protection of society, citing Reynolds as authority. Similarly, the Court held in 1961 that the Free Exercise Clause did not exempt an orthodox Jewish merchant from Sunday closing laws, again citing Reynolds.

In the 1960s and early 1970s, the Court shifted, strengthening protection for religious conduct by construing the Free Exercise Clause to protect a right of religious believers to exemption from generally applicable laws which burden religious exercise. The Court held that the government may not enforce even a religiously-neutral law that applies generally to all or most of society unless the public interest in enforcement is compelling. Wisconsin v. Yoder (1972). Yoder thus held that Amish families could not be punished for refusing to send their children to school beyond the age of 14.

Although the language of this compelling-interest test suggested powerful protections for religion, these were never fully realized. The cases in which the Supreme Court denied exemptions outnumbered those in which it granted them. Aside from Yoder, the Court exempted believers from availability for work requirements, which denied unemployment benefits to workers terminated for prioritizing religious practices over job requirements. But it denied exemptions to believers and religious organizations which found their religious practices burdened by conditions for federal tax exemption, military uniform regulations, federal minimum wage laws, state prison regulations, state sales taxes, federal administration of public lands, and mandatory taxation and other requirements of the Social Security system. In all of these cases the Court found, often controversially, either that the governments interest in enforcement was compelling, or that the law in question did not constitute a legally-recognizable burden on religious practice.

In 1990, the Supreme Court changed course yet again, holding that the Free Exercise Clause does not relieve an individual of the obligation to comply with a valid and neutral law of general applicability on the ground that the law proscribes (or prescribes) conduct that his religion prescribes (or proscribes). Employment Division v. Smith (1990). Though it did not return to the belief-action distinction, the Court echoed Reynolds concern that religious exemptions permit a person, by virtue of his beliefs, to become a law unto himself, contradicting both constitutional tradition and common sense. Any exceptions to religiously-neutral and generally-applicable laws, therefore, must come from the political process. Smith went on to hold that the Free Exercise Clause does not protect the sacramental use of peyote, a hallucinogenic drug, by members of the Native American Church.

Smith proved to be controversial. In 1993, overwhelming majorities in Congress voted to reinstate the pre-Smith compelling-interest test by statute with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). RFRA authorizes courts to exempt a person from any law that imposes a substantial burden on sincere religious beliefs or actions, unless the government can show that the law is the least restrictive means of furthering a compelling governmental interest. Almost half of the states have passed similar lawsstate RFRAsapplicable to their own laws. In 1997 the Supreme Court held that Congress had constitutional authority only to apply RFRA to federal laws, and not to state or local laws. Congress then enacted a narrower law, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), which applies the compelling-interest test to state laws affecting prisoners and land use. RFRA and RLUIPA have afforded exemptions in a wide range of federal and state contextsfrom kosher and halal diets for prisoners, to relief from zoning and landmark regulations on churches and ministries, to exemptions from jury service.

Although some exemption claims brought under these religious freedom statutes have been relatively uncontroversialthe Supreme Court unanimously protected the right of a tiny religious sect to use a hallucinogenic drug prohibited by federal law and the right of a Muslim prisoner to wear a half-inch beard prohibited by state prison rulessome touch on highly contested moral questions. For example, the Court by a 5-4 vote excused a commercial family-owned corporation from complying with the contraception mandate, a regulation which required the corporations health insurance plan to cover what its owners believe are abortion-inducing drugs. Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. (2014). In the wake of Hobby Lobby and the Courts subsequent determination that states may not deny gays and lesbians the right to civil marriage, state RFRAs have become a flashpoint in conflicts over whether commercial vendors with religious objections may refuse their products and services to same-sex weddings.

Besides RFRA and other exemption statutes, the Free Exercise Clause itself, even after Smith, continues to provide protection for believers against burdens on religious exercise from laws that target religious practices, or that disadvantage religion in discretionary, case-by-case decision making. In Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. v. City of Hialeah (1993), for example, the Court unanimously struck down a local ordinance against the unnecessary killing of animals in a ritual or ceremonya law that was drawn to apply only to a small and unpopular religious sect whose worship includes animal sacrifice.

The Court recently recognized that the Free Exercise Clause (along with the Establishment Clause) required a religious exemption from a neutral and general federal antidiscrimination law that interfered with a churchs freedom to select its own ministers. The Court distinguished Smith on the ground that it involved government regulation of only outward physical acts, while this case concerns government interference with an internal church decision that affects the faith and mission of the church itself. Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church & School v. E.E.O.C. (2012).

It remains unclear whether Lukumi and Hosanna-Tabor are narrow exceptions to Smiths general presumption against religious exemptions, or foreshadow yet another shift towards a more exemption-friendly free exercise doctrine.

At the time the United States adopted the First Amendment to the Constitution, other nations routinely imposed disabilities on religious minorities within their borders, depriving them of legal rights, making it difficult or impossible to practice their faith, and often enabling violent persecution.

One of this nations deepest commitments is to the full, equal, and free exercise of religion a right that protects not only believers, but unbelievers as well.

Religious Liberty Is Equal Liberty by Frederick Gedicks

At the time the United States adopted the First Amendment to the Constitution, other nations routinely imposed disabilities on religious minorities within their borders, depriving them of legal rights, making it difficult or impossible to practice their faith, and often enabling violent persecution. The Free Exercise Clause was thus an exceptional political achievement, imposing a constitutional norm of civic equality by prohibiting the federal government from interfering with all religious exerciseregardless of affiliation.

Only a few years before the First Amendment was ratified, James Madison wrote that all people naturally retain equal title to the free exercise of Religion according to the dictates of conscience without the governments subjecting some to peculiar burdens or granting to others peculiar exemptions. A Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments (1785). As Madison suggested, at the time the Constitution and Bill of Rights were ratified, the guarantee of religious free exercise was understood to protect against government discrimination or abuse on the basis of religion, but not to require favorable government treatment of believers. In particular, there is little evidence that the Founders understood the Free Exercise Clause to mandate religious exemptions that would excuse believers from complying with neutral and general laws that constrain the rest of society.

The Supreme Court has historically left the question of religious exemptions to Congress and the state legislatures. The first judicially-ordered exemptions arose in the 1960s and early 1970s, when the Supreme Court held the Free Exercise Clause required religious exemptions for Amish families who objected to sending their children to high school, and for employees who were denied unemployment benefits when they lost their jobs for refusing to work on their Sabbath. This doctrine of judicially-ordered exemptions, however, was an historical aberration. In Employment Division v. Smith (1990), the Court considered a claim by members of a Native American religion who lost their jobs as drug counselors for using an illegal drug in a religious ritual. The Court abandoned its new doctrine of religious exemptions, ruling that the Free Exercise Clause did not grant believers a right to exemptions from religiously neutral, generally applicable laws, though legislatures were free to grant such exemptions if they wished. This relegation of exemptions to the political process in most circumstances returned the Free Exercise Clause to its historical baseline. Notwithstanding the narrow ministerial exception recognized in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Church & School v. EEOC (2012), the Court has repeatedly affirmed Smith and the century of precedent cited in that case, and has shown no inclination to overturn its basic principle that neutral and general laws should apply equally to all, regardless of religious belief or unbelief.

The growth of social welfare entitlements and religious diversity in the United States has underscored the wisdom of the Smith rule. Exempting believers from social welfare laws may give them a competitive advantage, and also may harm those whom the law was designed to protect or benefit.

For example, the Court refused to exempt an Amish employer from paying Social Security taxes for his employees, reasoning that doing so would impose the employers religious faith on the employees by reducing their social security benefits regardless of whether they shared their employers religious objection to government entitlement programs. United States v. Lee (1982). Similarly, the Court refused to exempt a religious employer from federal minimum wage laws, because doing so would give the employer an advantage over competitors and depress the wages of all employees in local labor markets. Tony & Susan Alamo Foundation v. Secretary of Labor (1985).

Read the full discussion here.

The Court seems poised to adopt this third-party burden principle in decisions interpreting the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) as well. Five Justices in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. (2014), expressly stated that RFRA exemptions imposing significant costs on others are not allowed. The majority opinion likewise acknowledged that courts must take adequate account of third-party burdens before ordering a RFRA exemption.

The growth of religious diversity makes a religious exemption regime doubly impractical. The vast range of religious beliefs and practices in the United States means that there is a potential religious objector to almost any law the government might enact. If religious objectors were presumptively entitled to exemption from any burdensome law, religious exemptions would threaten to swallow the rule of law, which presupposes its equal application to everyone. As the Court observed in Lee, a religiously diverse social welfare state cannot shield every person . . . from all the burdens incident to exercising every aspect of the right to practice religious beliefs.

Even under the equal-liberty regime contemplated by the Founders and restored by Smith, government remains subject to important constraints that protect religious liberty. Religious gerrymanders, or laws that single out particular religions for burdens not imposed on other religions or on comparable secular conduct, must satisfy strict scrutiny under the Free Exercise Clause. Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. v. City of Hialeah (1993); Sherbert v. Verner (1963). Under RFRA and the related Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA), the federal government and often the state governments are prohibited from burdening religious exercise without adequate justification. Holt v. Hobbs (2015); Gonzales v. O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao Do Vegetal (2005). And, like judicially-ordered exemptions, legislative exemptions that impose material costs on others in order to protect believers free exercise interests may be invalid under the Establishment Clause, which protects believers and unbelievers alike from bearing the burdens of practicing someone elses religion. Estate of Thornton v. Caldor (1985).

If exemptions are to be afforded to those whose religious practices are burdened by neutral and general laws, they should generally not be granted by courts, but by the politically accountable branches of the federal and state governments. These branches are better situated to weigh and balance the competing interests of believers and others in a complex and religiously-diverse society.

Free Exercise: A Vital Protection for Diversity and Freedom by Michael McConnell

One of this nations deepest commitments is to the full, equal, and free exercise of religion a right that protects not only believers, but unbelievers as well. The government cannot use its authority to forbid Americans to conduct their lives in accordance with their religious beliefs or to require them to engage in actions contrary to religious conscience even when the vast majority of their countrymen regard those beliefs as backward, mistaken, or even immoral.

Unfortunately, in the last few years and especially since the Supreme Courts decision requiring states to recognize same-sex marriage this consensus in favor of tolerance has been slipping. All too often, we hear demands that religious people and religious institutions such as colleges or adoption agencies must join the state in recognizing same-sex marriages (or performing abortions or supplying contraceptives, or whatever the issues happen to be), or lose their right to operate.

That has not been the American way. When this country severed its ties with the British Empire, one thing that went with it was the established church. To an unprecedented degree, the young United States not only tolerated but actively welcomed people of all faiths. For example, despite his annoyance with the Quakers for their refusal to support the revolutionary war effort, Washington wrote to a Quaker Society to express his wish and desire, that the laws may always be as extensively accommodated to them, as a due regard for the protection and essential interests of the nation may justify and permit. Letter to the Annual Meeting of Quakers (1789).

What would it mean to have a regime of free exercise of religion? No one knew; there had been no such thing before. It quickly became clear that it was not enough just to cease persecution or discrimination against religious minorities. Just two years after the ink was dry on the First Amendment, the leader of the Jewish community in Philadelphia went to court and asked, under authority of his states free exercise clause, to be excused from complying with a subpoena to appear in court on his day of sabbath. He did not ask that the state cease to do official business on Saturday, but he did ask the court to make an exception an accommodation that would enable him to be faithful to the Jewish law.

This would become the central interpretive question under the Free Exercise Clause: Does it give Americans whose religions conflict with government practices the right to ask for special accommodation, assuming an accommodation can be made without great harm to the public interest or the rights of others?

Read the full discussion here.

In the early years, some religious claimants won and some lost. The Mormon Church lost in a big way, in the first such case to reach the United States Supreme Court. Reynolds v. United States (1878). In 1963, the Supreme Court held that the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment does require the government to make accommodations for religious exercise, subject as always to limitations based on the public interest and the rights of others. Sherbert v. Verner (1963). In 1990, the Court shifted to the opposite view, in a case involving the sacramental use of peyote by members of the Native American Church. Employment Division v. Smith (1990).

Today we have a patchwork of rules. When the federal government is involved, legislation called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act grants us the right to seek appropriate accommodation when our religious practices conflict with government policy. About half the states have similar rules, and a similar rule protects prisoners like the Muslim prisoner who recently won the right to wear a half-inch beard in accordance with Islamic law, by a 9-0 vote in the Supreme Court. Holt v. Hobbs (2015).

The range of claims has been as diverse as the religious demography of the country. A small Brazilian sect won the right to use a hallucinogenic drug in worship ceremonies; Amish farmers have won exceptions from traffic rules; Muslim soldiers have been given special accommodation when fasting for Ramadan; Orthodox Jewish boys won the right to wear their skullcaps when playing high school basketball; a Jehovahs Witness won the right to unemployment compensation after he quit rather than working to produce tank turrets; a Mormon acting student won the right to refuse roles involving nudity or profanity; and in the most controversial recent case, a family-owned business with religious objections to paying for abortion-inducing drugs persuaded the Supreme Court that the government should make those contraceptives available without forcing them to be involved.

In all these cases, courts or agencies came to the conclusion that religious exercise could be accommodated with little or no harm to the public interest or to others. As Justice Sandra Day OConnor (joined by liberal lions Brennan, Marshall, and Blackmun) wrote: courts have been quite capable of applying our free exercise jurisprudence to strike sensible balances between religious liberty and competing state interests. Employment Division v. Smith (1989) (concurring opinion).

At a time when the Supreme Courts same-sex marriage decision has allowed many millions of Americans to live their lives in accordance with their own identity, it would be tragic if we turned our backs on the right to live in accordance with our religious conviction, which is also part of who we are. A robust protection for free exercise of religion is not only part of the American tradition, it is vital to our protection for diversity and freedom.

Freedom of Speech and the Press

Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. What does this mean today? Generally speaking, it means that the government may not jail, fine, or impose civil liability on people or organizations based on what they say or write, except in exceptional circumstances.

Although the First Amendment says Congress, the Supreme Court has held that speakers are protected against all government agencies and officials: federal, state, and local, and legislative, executive, or judicial. The First Amendment does not protect speakers, however, against private individuals or organizations, such as private employers, private colleges, or private landowners. The First Amendment restrains only the government.

The Supreme Court has interpreted speech and press broadly as covering not only talking, writing, and printing, but also broadcasting, using the Internet, and other forms of expression. The freedom of speech also applies to symbolic expression, such as displaying flags, burning flags, wearing armbands, burning crosses, and the like.

The Supreme Court has held that restrictions on speech because of its contentthat is, when the government targets the speakers messagegenerally violate the First Amendment. Laws that prohibit people from criticizing a war, opposing abortion, or advocating high taxes are examples of unconstitutional content-based restrictions. Such laws are thought to be especially problematic because they distort public debate and contradict a basic principle of self-governance: that the government cannot be trusted to decide what ideas or information the people should be allowed to hear.

There are generally three situations in which the government can constitutionally restrict speech under a less demanding standard.

The rest is here:
First Amendment – National Constitution Center

 Posted by at 11:40 am  Tagged with:

First Amendment Center | Newseum Institute

 Misc  Comments Off on First Amendment Center | Newseum Institute
Oct 282015
 

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

The Newseum Institutes First Amendment Center, with offices at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. and at the John Seigenthaler Center, on the Vanderbilt University campus, in Nashville, Tenn., serves as a forum for the study and exploration of free-expression issues through education, information and entertainment.

Founded by John Seigenthaler on Dec. 15, 1991, the 200th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution, the Center provides education and information to the public and groups, including First Amendment scholars and experts, educators, government policy makers, legal experts and students. The Center is nonpartisan and does not lobby, litigate or provide legal advice. It has become one of the most authoritative sources of news, information and commentary in the nation on First Amendment-related developments, as well as detailed reports about U.S. Supreme Court cases involving the First Amendment, and commentary, analysis and special reports on free expression, press freedom and religious-liberty issues.

For older articles and commentary, please visit the First Amendment Centers archival site.

Find First Amendment research articles by topic or keyword.

More

Download or order publications on First Amendment issues.

More

Learn more about the five freedoms of the First Amendment.

More

One third of Americans still think the First Amendment goes too far in the rights it guarantees, according to the 2014 State of the First Amendment survey released June 24 by the Newseum Institute.

More

Learn more about the First Amendment Center and what we do.

More

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution the cornerstone of American democracy is the focus of the Seigenthaler-Sutherland Cup National First Amendment Moot Court Competition.

More

John Seigenthaler founded the Newseum Institutes First Amendment Center in 1991 with the mission of creating national discussion, dialogue and debate about First Amendment rights and values.

More

Excerpt from:
First Amendment Center | Newseum Institute

 Posted by at 11:40 am  Tagged with:



Pierre Teilhard De Chardin | Designer Children | Prometheism | Euvolution | Transhumanism