Tag Archives: US Constitution

The News Pauper: On Freedom of Speech in the Year 2010

By W.B. Dunne

As the News Pauper peruses the demise of sensible discourse since the end of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987, he is forced to ask himself if the Founding Fathers expected anything like Fox News or Rush Limbaugh to exist. It seems to be common belief that the actions of these right-wing ‘Nattering Nabobs’ and those like them will somehow put the Constitution to a test…those archaic intellects can’t be safe in a world with Mass Media Mensas like Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes to contend with!

It seems to smack of panic-stricken recognition of the threat of irrelevance or defeat that drives the daily shrillness on Fox. Glenn Beck bounces the rhetorical superball down the crazy collider and Rush superconducts the energy generated into the mainstream conversation.

In the beginning, Rush carried the crazy relatively alone, but now, a generation later, the crazy is refracted and amplified. Like shards in the gutter from some smash and grab, there are so many knock-offs of Rush we may never be completely free of them.

The NP begs the reader to consider the environment in which our founding documents were spawned, and consider the possibility that the intent of the First Amendment was the following:

Hyperbole must exhaust itself eventually, so there is much to be gained by allowing that energy to dissipate itself than to waste energy fighting or censoring it. The Founders knew this and made it a priority for their timeless document.

Many see the Citizens United decision in the US Supreme Court as a challenge to the First Amendment’s ability to protect the rights of common citizens in this country, in favor of large corporations spending huge sums to affect the results of elections. The NP sees the wisdom of the Founders peeping through…having the benefit of being true visionaries rather than false Fox Prophets…they realized that it is human nature to react in the moment and to only play these things out to their extremes in retrospect, after the effect of the momentary reaction has taken place and the benefit of the insight is useless.

How lucky we are as a society to be the beneficiaries of such a system, which intentionally stems the knee from jerking when it is struck by something.

The way that this is set up, every dime that is spent attempting to undermine democracy is doomed to be lost by the ones doing the undermining…and absorbed into the democracy itself.

The NP has done his share of complaining about the state of the nation due to the rhetoric in the discourse, but has recently been shown the light by the Founders themselves. I’m convinced that the corner has been turned and the light of democracy will soon shine its warmth again. The desperate crowing of the right is the ‘tell’ for me, it is a degree of hyperbole that demonstrates the final throes, if you will, of an ill-planned and poorly executed attack on democracy by a cabal of evil and their laughable junior minions.

All the money in the world won’t remove the stain of guilt from Dick Cheney and Karl Rove, who brought us George Bush, the first selected President in American History.

Karl Rove is attempting a big comeback with his American Crossroads unit. Funded primarily by those with the most to lose in the restoration of the interests of the general welfare, it will be a pleasure to see them fade into history, under the circular file name “Frauds”.

Once these elements of our society are rendered obsolete, we can begin the task of bringing the greed to heel. I predict that, one day, conspicuous consumption, which is veiled with words like “exclusive” or “upscale,” will give way to conspicuous generosity.

Perhaps it will be the goal of the corporate person itself!

A child will one day say to herself,

“I wish to grow up to be a philanthropic trillionare CEO of Corporation X, so I could be credited with the relief of the suffering of generations of humans by conquering poverty and disease through the eradication of ignorance.”

It is quite enough for the NP to have a few read this and smile.

For now.

© W.B. Dunne. All Rights Reserved.

The News Pauper: A Thing of Beauty

By W.B. Dunne

It is with particular delight that the News Pauper announces that Eric Holder is my new favorite Attorney General ever

The announcement that the trial of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is to be held in New York City has led some on the right to say that the AG has granted citizenship to the terrorists. Bah actually, this is shaping up to be the route Obama will have to take in order to reverse the precedents set by the past eight years of Cheney-mentia.

I had not thought of it at first, but what a completely brilliant way to flip the flow on the criminal mismanagement that has occurred. By having this trial to begin with, the system has a chance to heal from its wounds, the press will have little else to focus on, and the facts of the case will certainly expose the treason of the architects of the policy. The right-wing noise machine is already wringing its hands at the terror of terrifying terrorists, in NYC, by having a fair and impartial trial in broad daylight. This is because it creates a scenario that if the criminals get off on any technicality, it will be that they did not receive the speedy trial they, and we, deserved.

A hearty, extra helping of reality to the Bush-wreckers of the Constitution.

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The Tattlesnake Cheney the War Criminal Edition

Those who watched Dick Cheney’s speech Thursday, May 21 had a glimpse of the ‘real Cheney’ stripped of his usual condescending corporate-CEO cold-bloodedness and country-club sham machismo — for the first part of his remarks he was a shaken, sick old man of 68 desperately trying to make a case for brazenly violating the laws of civilization and the US Constitution, apparently clinging to the notion that if he can summon up enough public support for his torture policies he can avoid the temporary judgment of a jury, and the more lasting condemnation of history.

For, in fact, Cheney’s fervid protestations that ‘we didn’t torture’ and his subsequent bizarre assertions that ‘everything we did was legal’ fail on both counts, yet another prime example of the perpetually wrongheaded Cheney approach on display since he assumed the vice presidency by way of an illicit Supreme Court decision in 2000.

The waterboarding that Cheney has blithely admitted to in several different public forums has been defined as torture since the autos-da-f纯a> of the Spanish Inquisition 500 years ago, and various international tribunals and American courts in the Twentieth Century have reaffirmed that definition. Cheney’s justification that the torture he authorized was ‘legal’ because a couple of DOJ lawyers told him so holds no more water than if they had advised him it was legal for him to own slaves. The Constitution Cheney took an oath to uphold states clearly that ‘cruel and unusual punishment’ is banned, as do several treaties the US has signed which are by dint of Congressional approval the law of the land, as well as the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment signed by Republican President Ronald Reagan in 1988 which specifically prohibits the sort of cruel and degrading treatment of detainees Cheney authorized.

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