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Archive for free speech

IRS Scandal

In case you live under a rock, or in case you get your news from MSNBC, the big scandal of the day is that the IRS is targeting conservative and Tea Party groups.

Yawn. This is news? I mean, I guess it is in the fact that it’s finally being reported, but no doubt this has been suspected for a long time.

My biggest frustration with all of this is the Democrats. When are you going to start cleaning house? What boggles my mind is that honest, hard working, freedom loving Americans are so loyal to their own party, that they are unwilling to rid it of corruption as it has taken over. I’m sorry, using the IRS as bullies to shut down political opposition (aka speech) during two election cycles is tyranny. There is nothing else you can call it. Sure it’s your guys doing it, so you’ll look the other way, but you same people screamed foul at W for barely even sneezing!

The Republicans have NOOOO problem jettisoning politicians the moment they are accused of wrong doing, whether or not such accusations are even true. Remember Tom Foley? Tom Delay? Dan Maes? Why can’t you Democrats do the same?

Of course, these attacks by the IRS are justified according to Democrat Harry Reid. According to him, because these conservative non-profit groups are sometimes fronted by rich (gasp!) people, they shouldn’t be allowed to qualify like the liberal non-profit groups (fronted by rich people). So, let me get this straight, rich people shouldn’t have free speech protection? Actually, yes, I’ve had some liberals tell me, and with all sincerity, they say money should be removed from speech so that it becomes fair. Then they pat themselves on the back for being so freedom minded.

Money does make speech easier, but guess what, it exists on both sides. Need I remind you that Democrats have outspent Republicans on every major national election since 2006? Money is speech and there shall be NO law restricting it!

Other prominent liberals have justified these IRS attacks by saying violent and racist groups like the TEA party should have extra scrutiny placed on them. WHAT?!? I’m confused. Do these liberals really believe that the TEA party is racist and violent, or are they just saying this as a convenient way to quickly demonize and dismiss their opposition? Every time a liberal tries to pin the TEA party as violent, I ask them, based on what? Can you name for me an actual violent incident involving a TEA party member? I can tell you how many times TEA party members have been falsely accused after any number of terrorist attacks, only to be quietly exonerated later. (Gabby Giffords, Aurora shootings, Boston bombings.) Perhaps they only remember the first media accusations and not the later correction?

And the charges of racism? Sooooo… let me get this straight. Smaller government and fiscal responsibility are racist?

This is a tactic often used by dictators. Falsely accuse your political opponent of the worst possible immorality you can think of. (In America, right now, that’s the charge of racism.) Then because they are so immoral, you can justify perpetrating whatever injustices against them you want, you know, like IRS harassment. It’s how Hitler got an entire German country to turn against the Jews.

What are your values? Forget party allegiance. Take the time to investigate the people on your side and those from the other side. When anyone, Republican or Democrat, engages in unethical activities in order to gain political power, the entire nation should be holding them accountable, not just the opposing party.

Side Note: Phew! Sorry this is so long. But it’s like the adage, a lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can even put on its shoes. Lies are easy to spread as one liners on Facebook, Twitter and anywhere else. “The TEA party is racist.” Once it’s out there and people start believing it, just saying “no they’re not” will not suffice. Unfortunately, it requires long documentation and rational explanation in order to set the record straight and even then, people are slow to believe. That’s the beauty of cartoons sometimes. They can hammer home a truth much quicker and more poignantly than words.
Post Script:  Even I was subjected to harassment by the Obama campaign. Back in 2008, I posted Obama’s position on Orphan Works based upon a Newsweek article. A week later, I received a phone call (area code New York City) from a lady claiming to be on the Obama election campaign, telling me they were going to sue me for libel if I didn’t take down that post, citing a Time article in which Obama was quoted as taking the opposite position. Of course, I took it down, but does that mean Obama might have read some of my cartoons? Cool.

What about the 1st Amendment?


Ah, yes, the so called, “Fairness Doctrine.” I don’t understand why this is even up for debate. This shouldn’t be a liberal or conservative issue, Democrat or Republican. The point is, the Fairness Doctrine is a complete violation of our First Amendment rights, no matter how you look at it. (The First Amendment states that Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech. What is the Fairness Doctrine other than a law that Congress is making to control speech! What is the Fairness Doctrine? Oh! Well on that, I’ll explain).

The Fairness Doctrine is a proposal that would regulate media so that each point of view be given equal time. It would mostly apply to radio, and in that sense, talk radio. It would mean a Christian radio station would have to play equal time for the other side. (As if there is one other side.) It would mean talk radio would have to balance people like Rush Limbaugh with his opposite. It would leave tort lawyers and the courts to decide “equal” and “other side.” Most radio stations simply would stop broadcasting anything remotely controversial, just to avoid the hassle.

But Ben, the Fairness Doctrine would mean equality for all sides of an issue. Isn’t that a good thing? Not when government regulates it. I’m all for the free market deciding what should be played and what shouldn’t. If liberals want to purchase some bandwidth and broadcast their own talk radio (which they’ve done, by the way), no one’s stopping them.

But Ben, isn’t talk radio a monopoly of conservative thought? Isn’t up to the government to break monopolies? While I do support the government breaking up monopoly of BUSINESS to a degree, the government should have no right to interfere with the transfer of ideas and thought, regardless of how one sided it may appear. Look, I don’t deny that radio leans conservative. Radio leans conservative to the degree that network TV news leans liberal. In that regard there is no monopoly. Conservatives listen to the radio, liberals watch TV. And we haven’t even touched all the other forms of media, magazines, newspapers, and the mother of them all, the internet. There simply is not a monopoly of thought in this country.

Regardless of what side you are on, I hope I’ve persuaded you with this article. Free speech needs to be protected, no matter who it is that is speaking. Those in congress who are pushing the Fairness Doctrine are in direct violation of the First Amendment.

Political Correctness (part 2)

They’re waiting for him to say something…

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