Tag Archives: Constitutional rights

We the People

Our Founders were clear on the role of government in the United States:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

We the People are the government. If our government is bad, it’s because We the People created it or were apathetic while someone else was participating. Demonizing the government is the same as demonizing We the People. Democracy allows that if we don’t like an aspect of governing, we can work to change it. Many times that work requires money, so the logic is that those with the most money can influence the government the most. What we have now with runaway campaign spending, unlimited corporate contributions, lobbyist domination, and media moguls is a case of money trouncing We the People (that is the real flesh and blood humans that populate the country).

The government exists to protect our rights as well as a whole host of other charges. The government seeks to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure liberty for now and the future. These are the ideas our constitutionally limited, democratic republic are founded on and those in office should be held to.

I appreciate the comments being made in response to my post yesterday about being unemployed. It is hard for me to keep framing in mind, I want to support or dispute so many points that are made. Continue reading

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The News that Wasn’t

Camera crews are apparently not allowed at some of our so-called “public” hearings in Congress. Yesterday a journalist was arrested for doing nothing but standing by a a taping device. The arrest can be seen here. The chairman of the committee ordered his removal and the removal of all video cameras.  Apparently the reporter, an Academy-Award nominated filmmaker for the film “Gasland”, a film about fracking, was ignored by Congressional staff and therefore denied credentialing to get into the hearing. This might not be unusual, but the actual denial of entrance, the arrest, and the overt way in which the Chairman Andy Harris (R-Md.) avoided accountability and transparency is rare and another blow to the American dream. Here is what some Dems had to say about it in the report by Huffingtonpost:

“I was chair of the Subcommittee for four years, and we frequently had people show up the day of a hearing to film,” Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.) told HuffPost. “We asked for their name, but they were told if they would not disrupt the hearing, they were free to record. A couple of times staff said, ‘You’re getting in the way, don’t stand there,’ but other than that, I do not ever recall anything like this. We certainly never turned anyone away for not providing 24 hours’ notice.”

“It’s an outrageous violation of the First Amendment,” Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) told HuffPost. “Here we’ve got an Academy Award-nominated filmmaker, and it’s an important subject and the subject that he did his prior film on for HBO. And they put him in handcuffs and hauled him out of there. This is stunning.”

“I found it ironic that there was not a flood of cameras there,” noted Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.). “There was the one camera and then before that, the ABC camera … if you have a camera there to bring the issue home to the public, that’s a good thing.”

This does not look good for Republicans they want to discuss fracking, or as they might prefer it to be framed, “hydraulic fracturing”, without being transparent. Continue reading

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