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Politics & Power

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Show Your Support for People with Autism - Boycott Mattel

Congress Mounts A Two-Pronged Attack On Free Speech In America

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
Benjamin Franklin – 1755

In Washington D.C. the people elected to represent the people of the United States who have sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States are working to pass legislation that is an outright attack on the First Amendment to the Constitution. As an addendum to the USA PATRIOT Act they want to give the President the authority to declare a “cyber emergency” and shut down part or all of the internet within the United States.

If this sounds somewhat oddly familiar that would be because you probably heard on the news somewhere about protests in Egypt organized through social networking sites and the Egyptian government shutting down the internet in Egypt to try to disrupt the online organizing. Funny enough last summer Senator Joe Lieberman thought our President should be able to do that too so he introduced S. 3480 which gives the President the power to do it.

Under the guise of “national security” the bill would allow the President to direct that parts or all of the internet be put under the control of the Department of Homeland Security to protect the vital interests of the country. No evidence of a threat needs to be presented to a judge or Congress or anybody. There is a “cyber emergency” because the President says there is. Free speech on the internet is shut down because the President says so. Frankly, that's just not good enough. Nobody should have that much power, ever.

The bill was not passed during the last session of Congress when the Democrats had the majority in both houses. But it is picking up steam in the new session with a new balance of power. To make things even more interesting there is a bill in the House H.R. 174 IH that does the same thing. If the Lieberman bill fails there is a backup to get the job done.

Now, most people who follow Washington know that there are often House and Senate versions of bills that do the same thing. The interesting thing about this case is that the Lieberman bill in the Senate has been getting a lot of press of late but nobody is talking about the House bill. It’s almost as if one is being allowed to be skewered in the press so the other one can be quietly passed.

We need to stop either of these bills from becoming law. If we allow our leaders to continue to strip away our freedoms we will wake up one day to find that we have none left. We cannot let fear guide our nation. There is no good cause to put the power to silence dissent into the hands of any leader. We cannot blindly trust our leaders to be benevolent. We must watch them closely and fight to the last against them curtailing any of our freedoms.

The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America states: 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. If Congress passes a law with the express purpose of giving government the power to silence every voice on the internet it would fly in the face of everything America is supposed to stand for.

Call or write or e-mail your Senators and Representatives and tell them that the people do not approve of the President having that much power over what we see and hear. Tell them that you are watching and that you will hold them accountable for their actions. There is too much at stake to continue to sit on the sidelines. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never written to your Senator or Representative before. This is important enough to take a stand and be heard for the first time.

It’s not just our own freedom at stake. Our children will pay a price as well if this bill becomes law. We must draw a line here and say that we refuse to sacrifice any more freedoms for the sake of fear. We are Americans and we don’t run and hide, we stand and fight. We will not accept our voices being silenced by anyone, including our elected leaders. Tell Congress enough is enough. No kill switch for the internet, now or ever.

Troy Wilson-Ripsom | Staff Writer | E-mail Comments on this column. | Click icon to Digg this article



Get Involved

Do you sit and yell at the TV when politicians come on? Do you shake your head sadly whenever you see a homeless veteran? Is that all you tend to do?

It's time to put up or shut up America. We all love to talk about how we could do things better or how we would do it if we were in charge. Well, it's time to put your money where your mouth is. If you can think of it, you can write it down. If you can write it down, you can type it. If you can type it, you can e-mail it and if you can e-mail it, you can send it here.

We at Reform America are committed to giving voice to anyone who wants to put their ideas out there to make our nation a better place. As the readership grows, we are able to take those views to a wider and wider audience. Grassroots campaigns begin with voices speaking out. You have opinions. Voice them. We aren't about conservative or liberal. We aren't about pro-this or anti-that. We're about Americans and the First Amendment. Reform America is about politics by, for and of the people. You are the people. You only need to speak up. America is listening. Send your article to: stories@reform-america.net



Have You Been Downsized Due to Outsourcing?

For several years now we have listened to some within the business community tell us that America can't compete on a global scale unless they send our jobs overseas where they can be done cheaper. The question becomes, if we don't have good paying jobs here, how can we sustain our own economy? We want to hear from you. Have you lost your job? Have you been forced into a lower wage job due to outsourcing? Has outsourcing been a success for you? Did you end up in a better job?

Tell us your story so we can make sure the politicians see how outsourcing really impacts the workers who are backbone of America. Send your story to stories@reform-america.net





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