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First Amendment

Arthur Thomas's picture

Power of Words

on Fri, 10/07/2011 - 15:47

While not in Texas, I believe this blog article shows the kind of thinking that can seep into government. This is what happens when the idea that government is here to build society takes over. This is the result of when the idea of creating a society overtakes the idea of protecting it. This is emotional folly and the worst of good intentions over principle. 

When you have a foundation of principles based on ideas of liberty then questions like these are obvious. You never destroy freedom. Even in the heart tugging case of 'for the children' you realize that a sacrifice of rights hurts them more in the long run. This is a very clear example of just what it means to have absolute rights and the responsibilities that come with them. What is the right of free speech? Is it just some high minded goal of letting people say stuff about politics now and then? Is it more fundamental than that? Does it mean we can potentially 'harm' another with our words? Even through Libertarian principles of non aggression we cannot physically harm someone, but what of hurting them deeply with words or ideas? All humans run into the sting and agony of emotional pain from these things that have no weight but hold great meaning. Most of us know that an emotional attack on the heart can hurt more than a cut to the arm. If these things are so powerful then why should we retain all rights over them? 

The power that they hold mandates that we must maintain absolute right to express ourselves. We must never yield power each of us contains through our words. As with all great powers there is a balance each of us must find. We can lift, empower, educate, and bring hope with our words, but we can also, demoralize, lie, and bring despair with them as well. This is the essence of liberty and personal responsibility that comes with it. If you want to power to lift someone up then the ability to lower someone must exist. If you threaten one ability then you threaten both. When the right to create words that convey how you feel and think about the world are stripped from your mouth then the power is no longer yours. That power then belongs to others. When all you are allowed to say are words that are supposedly positive then what meaning does that hold when it is the only option. How are the words yours any more? 

Pain exist in the world and it is foolish to think that words cannot cause great pain. This is also the great blessing of liberty to use them to heal. We should not try to silence words that hurt because we take away the meaning of the words that heal. When other are allowed to put words into our mouths then we no longer own our thoughts or expression which are fundamental to freely expressing ourselves and tailoring our society. Keep your words. Keep your power. Keep your right to fix the damage other would cause through their ignorance and desire to rob you of your power.

A word or thought may seem like a simple thing. Intangible and fleeting. They form ideas though that are more powerful than any weapon. Ideas change society. They change the flow of our very future. Never, for any reason, allow someone to take away your ability to tailor your future.

Lynn and Roger Bloxham's picture

Center for Competitive Politics

on Fri, 08/19/2011 - 22:14

Taking advantage of the  opportunity of an out of town guest speaker who was in San Antonio for another event (and in spite of surgery) our energetic membership chair, Gil Robinson,  pulled together a stellar meeting. 

The president of Center for Competitive Politics, Sean Parnell was brimming over with pertinent information on First Amendment  battles.  The mission of the Center for Competitive Politics addresses challenges to political speech, assembly and petition. Though the Center is non partisan, libertarian's interests are closely aligned. 
The right to speech of all types, but certainly political speech has suffered greatly in recent years.  The right to political speech, assembly and petition appear many times,  to libertarians, to be ignored or even denied. Too often libertarians notice the  other parties and groups who should be defending these important rights, are trying to negate them.    Mislabeled causes, such as the "Fairness Doctrine" are supported by people who have not analyzed the issues  and weighed them against the First Amendment.   
In the face of immense unpopularity the Center has pressed forward to prevail in several major cases and been a consistent voice for the  importance of political speech. Ongoing efforts are to provide expert testimony to Congress and state legislators,  opposing efforts to limit campaign contributions and standing against  schemes for taxpayer funding of campaigns.  
They successfully represented in a major challenge to campaign finance restrictions. and stopped a congressional effort to limit grass roots advocacy.  
Recent legal efforts included filing amicus briefs in  major campaign finance cases such as McComish v. Bennet, Sampson v. Buescher, Citizens United v. FEC, Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co., Inc., San Juan County v. No New Gas Tax.

Writing, research and advocacy is on going in presenting the defense of  political speech.  

The informal dinner gave the attendees valuable information and a better understanding of the importance of current attacks on political speech.  It was also an opportunity to show appreciation for all the important work the Center for Competitive Politics accomplishes in  protecting political speech.
The Center for Competitive Politics
As a 501(c)(3),  donations are tax deductible.