Old Patriot's Pen

Personal pontifications of an old geezer born 200 years too late.

NOTE The views I express on this site are mine and mine alone. Nothing I say should be construed as being "official" or the views of any group, whether I've been a member of that group or not. The advertisings on this page are from Google, and do not constitute an endorsement on my part.

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Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States

I've been everywhere That was the title of a hit country-and-western song from the late 1950's, originally sung by Hank Snow, and made famous by Johnny Cash. I resemble that! My 26-year career in the Air Force took me to more than sixty nations on five continents - sometimes only for a few minutes, other times for as long as four years at a time. In all that travel, I also managed to find the perfect partner, help rear three children, earn more than 200 hours of college credit, write more than 3000 reports, papers, documents, pamphlets, and even a handful of novels, take about 10,000 photographs, and met a huge crowd of interesting people. I use this weblog and my personal website here to document my life, and discuss my views on subjects I find interesting.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Stop the Censorship of the Internet

The Internet is abuzz with threats to censure political discourse by "controlling" e-mail and the Internet (primarily blogs) under the "McCain/Feingold Campaign Finance Reform" bill. If Truth in Advertising were forced upon Congress, this bill would be more aptly named "Incumbent Protection" bill. Trying to enforce this law upon independent, unregulated speech is both incompatible with our Constitution, and a major reach on the part of those attempting to put these controls in place. It's time for that online Revolution.

Here is my first salvo, directed at John McCain, US Senator from Arizona, and a major player in drafting and implementing these controls:

As an Air Force enlisted photo interpreter, I spent a large percentage of my time in Vietnam looking for downed pilots and prisoner of war camps. Part of the reason was personal - I never knew when any of those downed individuals would be friends of mine from my short but memorable days as an Academy cadet. The majority of the reason, however, and the reason I volunteered to go to Vietnam, was that I believed in the concept of freedom, and the rights of a people to choose their own leaders. I believe that support of OUR Constitution, which I strongly endorse, includes the concept that we should help others live free, also.

Today I find a US Senator trying to limit free speech, to limit the Internet, and to stop the very freedoms I spent 26 years protecting. Shame on you, John McCain, and shame on those who agree with you. As I wrote recently on my own blog, "Old Patriot's Pen", "Weblogs are a combination of the Town Crier, town square soapbox, and pamphleteers of Revolutionary War America." You want to stop that, to silence these voices of freedom. What you are doing is unConstitutional, and wrong in so many different ways it's impossible to list them all.

I suggest you go back and re-read the full second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, and understand that your actions are viewed by a large number of people as falling under the category of "destructive of these ends".

McCain/Feingold is a disaster for free speech, and needs to be repealed. Attempting to limit the Internet is the greatest abuse of freedom attempted yet in the 21st Century.

Blogs are under attack exactly because they are unfettered free speech. While everyone in politics says they support free speech, in reality they hate it with a passion. There is too great a chance that free speech will bring their downfall, especially those with skeletons in their closets. That's probably more than half the population.

Independent Americans need to stand up against this attack on our freedoms. We need to constantly barrage Congress to repeal this ill-considered and ill-constructed attack on free speech, and this thinly-disguised attack on Internet freedom. If they can't tax it to death, Congress thinks it can regulate it out of existence, or at least strangle it until it's worthless and without power. If we prize our freedom, we cannot allow this to happen. For many of us, the Internet is our only source of unfiltered, unregulated information and news, and our only contact with major portions of the world. Allowing Congress any power over the Internet is anathema to personal freedom. According to our own Declaration of Independence, the sole function of government is to "secure the rights" of the individual. It's time we held Congress to account for that truth.

I encourage every Americn to bookmark this site, and visit it often. I encourage every reader to also read my previous article, "Blogs are Here to Stay", below this one. I also encourage everyone to create your own blog, and post about this subject. There are four or five places on the Internet where you can create a blog for free. Let's show John McCain that there is a major power arrayed against him - the same people power that was so effective in the Ukraine, and that forced the Syrian-backed government of Lebanon to disband.

Here are some news links to this discussion:

Here are other bloggers discussing this:

Michelle Malkin
(Michelle has a long list of other bloggers discussing this.)
Little Green Footballs
LaShawn Barber
Rex Hammond's Rexblog
Professor Bainbridge
In the Agora

Here is contact information for various elected officials:

Write to them, send them emails, and let them know you want this censorship stopped.
Sen. John McCain
Sen. Russ Feingold
Colorado Senator Wayne Allard
Colorado Representative Diane Degette
Colorado Representative Tom Tancredo
Colorado Representative Mark Udall
I'm thoroughly disgusted that Joel Hefley and Ken Salazar don't have email points of contact.

Here are links to Unelected Officials"

Federal Election Commission

Here are links to some "blogger protection""

Lone Star Times


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