Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Blogger alert -- McCain Feingold is coming for you

By Aussiegirl

Call it Pewgate -- call it blog-gate -- it all boils down to restricting our rights to be the pamphleteers of the 21st Century. Bloggers beware -- McCain Feingold is coming after you, with the help of the kind folks at the Pew Charitable Trust (and, I might add, President Bush who signed this faulty legislation with the hope that he could have it both ways, political appeal that would then be overruled by the Supreme Court. Unfortunately for him -- and us -- this was an unwise decision.

Richard Poe, writing in today's
gives us the scary and the gory details -- if you blog -- if you read blogs -- if there is a blog in your future -- you must be aware of this:

The blogosphere is under attack. For three weeks, bloggers have battled the Federal Election Commission, seeking exemption from campaign finance laws that would effectively regulate political speech on the Web. How did it come to this?

The answer lies in a burgeoning scandal which we might call Pewgate. Ryan Sager of the New York Post broke this extraordinary story on March 17. He learned that the McCain-Feingold Act the law which empowers the FEC to muzzle bloggers was pushed through Congress by fraud.

. . . The McCain-Feingold Act of 2002 gave federal judges and FEC officials the right to determine who can buy political ads on TV or radio during election season, and what they may say in those ads.

On September 18, 2004, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ordered the FEC to extend McCain-Feingold's censorship power over the Internet.

Here's how the Pew Charitable Trust got into the act:

"The idea was to create an impression that a mass movement was afoot - that everywhere they [politicians] looked, in academic institutions, in the business community, in religious groups, in ethnic groups, everywhere, people were talking about reform."

To this end, Pew and its allies dispensed $140 million between 1994 and 2004. . . Pewgate's tentacles reach even to the U.S. Supreme Court. Many of the legal arguments upon which the court based its December 10, 2003 decision to uphold McCain-Feingold derived from data now deemed to have been fraudulent data cooked up by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University, a Soros-funded operation which received millions in Pewgate lucre.

Richard Poe is a New York Times-bestselling author and journalist. His latest book is Hillary's Secret War: The Clinton Conspiracy to Muzzle Internet Journalists.


At 10:36 PM, Anonymous One Eyed Cat said...

There is a cryptically funny aspect to that bill. It says we cannot "publish from computer equipment we own" I guess there will be a madrush to librabry computers should it be enacted.


At 11:59 PM, Blogger Michael Morrison said...

The wise men of the Supreme Court have been took before.
I think it was 1935 (hardly a man is now alive ...) and they were considering the (I think) Miller case, in which a moonshiner or bootlegger was under attack for owning a (gasp!) shotgun.
The lying bleeps of the federal persecution said the Second Amendment didn't cover shotguns because shotguns were never military weapons. (Which would seem to indicate, by the way, that so-called "assault weapons" should even now be covered by that amendment, and the current laws banning or attempting to ban them would be unconstitutional.)
Well, OK, maybe the lying bleeps weren't lying. Maybe they were just stupid, but in fact shotguns were in use militarily as far back as the Revolution -- they were called fowling pieces, but they were shot guns.
Shotguns have, in fact, been used in probably every war and "police action" in which there have been U.S. troops.
Even today, the U.S. military has standing orders for shotguns from one of the major arms manufacturers.
I keep wondering why someone doesn't get a retrial, but I suppose I really do know why: Law and human rights and the Constitution no longer are relevant to ... well, to much.


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