Dick Durbin Wants Federal Government to Decide Who Are “Real” Reporters
Whenever a government grows too large, it tends to encroach on the rights of the people. Benjamin Franklin said, “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
It seems that these days, whenever the government wishes to curtail our rights, they claim public safety, national security, or the war on terror.
Our Founding Fathers had experience with a government that curtailed their rights.Their belief was that governments are founded to secure those rights, not take them away.
However, they were also aware that people would not want to abolish a government that they had grown accustomed to:
…and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.- The Declaration of Independence
Let’s look at some of the grievances our Founders had with King George:
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
Some of those may sound very familiar, as our government is acting in much the same way. There are those who like to say that the Revolution occurred because of taxation without representation, but it went deeper than that.
Have we been deprived of Trial by Jury? The NDAA 2012, sections 1021 and 1022 provide for that.
Have they imposed taxes without our consent? They keep trying, by raising taxes and constantly creating new taxes and fees.
Have they suspended our Legislatures? No, but with the adoption of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth amendments, the Federal government has effectively neutered the State legislatures, and are always passing laws to tell the States what they can and can’t do.
Have they created new offices and sent officers to harass our people? Have you been paying attention to the IRS intimidation and NSA wiretapping scandals?
What began under the previous administration has carried forward to this administration, and been expanded.
The Federal government is trying to pass laws to deprive citizens of weapons, despite our Second Amendment guarantees.
The government is trying to strangle freedom of religion by forcing companies that are owned by religious people to pay for acts they find intolerable, like abortion and birth control.
They have circumvented the Fourth Amendment by watching us. Constantly.
They have circumvented the Fifth and Sixth Amendments with the NDAA 2012, sections 1021 and 1022.
They have circumvented the Constitution by suspending Habeas Corpus during a time when there is no rebellion.
Now, Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, wants to restrict the First amendment, specifically, the freedom of the press by declaring who are “legitimate” journalists. Of course, this would mean that only newspaper companies could write anything.
I would probably be classified as an “illegitimate” journalist.
So, while I still have the ability to say what I want on this internet medium, I am going to take the opportunity to exercise my First Amendment rights.
Essentially, Durbin wants to create a “privileged” class that has rights the rest of us don’t.
It all comes down to laws that protect journalists from having to reveal their sources, unless there is a compelling public interest reason to do so.
Okay, fine, but it seems to go further than that.
I write commentary. I don’t chase stories, or go undercover, or interview people. I comment on stories that I read from various sources.
But there are bloggers out there who do journalistic work. The folks over at hotair.com, for example, or Powerline. Even the Daily Kos falls into the category of a blogger who does work as a journalist. Does this mean that if they interview someone who doesn’t want to be identified, that the government can compel them to reveal that source, because they aren’t “legitimate” journalists?
People may think I am overreacting, but whenever the government tries to take your rights away, they always try to frame it to look like it is for your own good, for your safety, that they aren’t doing it to take your rights away.
Give up your guns. It is in the public interest. We can’t have the occasional nut job killing innocent people.
No, I can’t see anything going wrong with that.
Someone once told me that if our Founding Fathers were alive today, they would be surprised that the Constitution still stands and we are using it today.
If our Founding Fathers were alive today, they would be surprised, dare I say, shocked, that we haven’t overthrown this government yet.