GOP Decides To Take On The First Amendment in Texas!

I realize that I am not a journalist nor is Blogging Blue a newspaper. But as an individual American expressing myself and publishing my own ideas for all of the world to see…the First Amendment protections surrounding freedom of speech particularly, are important to me. The event(s) that I am about to write about, the link to the original article is included below, occurred in Texas. I am not surprised. Texas looks upon itself as unique within the United States and that is even spelled out a bit in their Constitution. And I doubt that this is the first step in a concerted effort to limit individual rights under the first amendment…but you never know…the local politicians would certainly have been emboldened by the national discussion…even pronouncements coming out of the White House twitter account. At minimum it is a blatant attempt to silence one very vocal opponent. So I need to fire a shot across their bow saying get off my lawn, hands off THE First Amendment.

So here’s what went down: Did Texas woman’s political yard sign go too far? Sid Miller calls her out, and others call the cops. And here’s the sign:

I pulled this sign out of the full photo in the article for emphasis. You can see the entire yard display of a typical raft of political yard signs surrounding this. But here’s the rabbit hole:

Marion Stanford expected the political sign she painted to rile up some folks in her small town of Hamilton in Central Texas.

But she didn’t expect to end up in a heated Facebook exchange with Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, or for the police to show up to confiscate her sign.

“Here we have a political party that is using women,” Stanford said. “I thought the sign represented what is going on now, and we can’t just stand quiet. I wanted to tell people we could stop it with voting.”

Miller, who is notorious for sharing controversial posts to his nearly 800,000 followers, shared a photo of Stanford’s sign with the caption: “This is in Hamilton, Texas and is supposed to be Judge Kavanaugh’s young daughter. Notice my opponent’s sign in the background. The Democrat sleaze knows NO bounds!”

Stanford said she painted the sign last week after watching Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testify about the sexual assault allegations against him.

“That was not Judge Kavanaugh’s daughter,” she said. “The cartoon was made last year by Washington Post cartoonist Ann Telnaes, a Pulitzer Prize winner.”

I tried to find the original Ann Telnaes cartoon for comparison, but haven’t found it so far. But from the hundreds of others that I have scrolled through, this certainly has the edge and flair that you would expect from a Telnaes cartoon.

So is this cartoon a bit rude for someone’s front yard? Maybe so. It is Constitutionally protected speech, that’s a 100% certainty. Do people have a right to contact her and discuss it with her? Again that’s a 100% certainty. You have the right to your speech but you don’t have the right to be protected from the reactions of the rest of humankind. So far, so good.

So who is heaven’s name is Sid Miller that he gets to create a description and backstory about this sign out of whole cloth? It is pretty straight forward. One female figure wearing a skirt, one cartoonish elephant star spangled, one (appropriate) four letter word, and that’s it. The only thing I missed was there seems to be a little bit of questionable contact with the female on the part of the elephant. So where does he get to read in all of the other garbage about daughter’s and sleaze and whatever? You wanna complain about an image you don’t like…you got that right…but once again you don’t get to use your own made up facts. Mr. Miller went out of bounds to stir up his base in an election cycle. We know who’s wearing the sleaze here.

But if that were the end of the story, it wouldn’t be such a heinous attack on free speech. It goes further. Remember that line about the police above? Well this gets weird.

Miller’s post attracted thousands of reactions, with some Facebook users calling Stanford a pedophile and saying that her sign was pornogaphy and that she should be arrested.

Stanford said she began to receive phone calls and was harassed on Facebook. Tuesday evening, she said, police came to her house and said they had received complaints.

“Police told me to remove the sign or they would take it and would arrest me,” Stanford said. “So I let them take the sign.”

This is where the line gets crossed. The police used threats and coercion to remove a sign from private property that is well within an American’s rights under the First Amendment. But the city administrator knows the police crossed the line:

The city manager of Hamilton, which is about 100 miles southwest of Fort Worth, denied that police mentioned arrest or forcibly took the sign.

“It’s political season, and a citizen here placed a yard sign that featured a political animal taking an inappropriate position with a young child,” Pete Kampfer said. “A police member visited the owner’s home, and the owner asked the officer to take the sign.”

Kampfer said the city strongly values freedom of speech and the Constitution. The sign is still at the police station.

(emphasis added).

Simple solution…the police should return the sign and it should be placed back in Ms. Stanford’s yard. Or there should be a suit against the Hamilton Police Department post haste.

Go figure: Competing headlines in Trump’s America

Trump Promises to ‘Look Into’ Twitter Shadow Banning: ‘Discriminatory and Illegal’. (from someone who used to ban people from his twitter account until the courts said it was a violation of the First Amendment)

vs:

CNN Says White House Banned One of Its Reporters for Asking ‘Inappropriate’ Questions. (which seems to be a whole ‘nother violation of the First Amendment)

Trump Is Biting The Hand That Feeds Him

I don’t remember if it was during the second or third debate that Donald Trump gloated that he was spending a lot less on his campaign than Hillary Clinton. But he was correct…and it’s because he has been able to manipulate the media and keep on the top lead of every media outlet by continuing to upstage himself with the next outlandish statement or stunt.

And the media just keeps eating it up and giving him the ink and airtime. I don’t remember what the last estimate was for the amount of free press he’s gotten but it’s in the billions of dollars.

But of course as the campaign winds down toward November 8th, he needs to rouse his core supporters by renewing the assault on his ‘liberal mainstream media’. So we hear him call the press following his campaign as the ‘worst people’ and continue to deride them in his rallies. And it’s gotten to the point that attendees are ignoring Mr. Trump and are heckling the press corps instead.

So Mr. Trump continues to attack the very constitution he pretends to revere. This doesn’t bode well whether he wins or loses.

Now, About That Gun

On August 13th, after a short foot chase, a young Milwaukee resident turned to face a Milwaukee police officer. The police officer said the suspect was holding a hand gun. The officer shot and killed the suspect. A hand gun was recovered at the scene. This recovered weapon was reportedly stolen from a home in Genesee in Waukesha County.

The Milwaukee Police Department described the weapon as a semi-automatic hand gun and was loaded with 23 rounds.

A semi-automatic hand gun with 23 rounds. I haven’t seen any more recent descriptions of the gun so I don’t know what make or model it is or whether 23 rounds is its maximum or just what it contained when recovered.

But what does a young man in Milwaukee need with a hand gun that holds 23 rounds? What does a home owner in Waukesha County need with a gun that holds 23 rounds. What do you or I need with a gun that holds 23 rounds.

The West was won with six shooters.

Dirty Harry cleaned up San Francisco with six shots…or in all of the confusion was it only five?

Even the United States Army…a place where maximum fire power is imperative…issues Baretta M9 pistols holding 15 rounds.

So why do we allow guns with such large capacities on our streets and in our homes? I would suggest limiting hand guns to 6 or 8 or 10 rounds…limit magazines to those numbers…and just plain get rid of everything else.

Yes, yes, that is an awful idea…I mean there is the 2nd Amendment and all…but I can’t own a rocket propelled grenade, a howitzer, or a nuclear weapon…so there are limits to the 2nd Amendment…I am just suggesting we move the line a bit.

Anyone know why it’s the 2nd Amendment and not the first?? Is freedom of speech and religion more important? And without looking what’s the 3rd? I will admit I had to look it up.

The conservative response to the Paris terror attacks, brought to you by Scott Walker and Donald Trump

In response to the Paris terror attacks, Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump has said if elected president he’d “strongly consider” shutting down mosques if they were suspected of spreading hatred.

When asked if there was something Trump would do “here in the homeland” to protect against attacks like the one in Paris over the weekend that killed more than 100 people, he responded, “Well, you’re going to have to watch and study the mosques because a lot of talk is going on at the mosques. And from what I heard in the old days, meaning a while ago, we had great surveillance going on in and around mosques in New York City and I understand our mayor totally cut that out. He totally cut it out.”

Host Joe Scarborough asked specifically about reports from France that said the country’s minister of the interior planned to shut down some mosques in the wake of the attacks with known ties to terrorist groups. “Donald Trump, the French are talking about that. Is this something you would consider doing as president?” Scarborough asked.

‘You’re going to have to watch and study the mosques because a lot of talk is going on at the mosques.’
Trump replied, “Well, I would hate it do it but it’s something that you’re going to have to strongly consider because some of the ideas and some the hatred, the absolute hatred, is coming from these areas. You know, New York City as an example. We had a group of people from what I understand that really knew what they were doing, that were really studying the situation and they’re not doing that anymore under the new mayor. And I think that’s a mistake. It’s something that many people — not just me — are considering and many people are going to do.”

I’m not sure how Donald Trump thinks shutting down places of worship would be acceptable under the First Amendment, and speaking of things I’m not sure of, I’m not entirely sure how Gov. Scott Walker thinks he can prevent Syrian refugees from coming into Wisconsin, given that immigration/political asylum are issues that fall under the purview of the federal government.

With this in mind, I am calling upon the President to immediately suspend the program pending a full review of its security and acceptance procedures. The State of Wisconsin will not accept new Syrian refugees.

While Donald Trump and Scott Walker were busy letting their prejudice show, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers showed his class after a fan at Lambeau Field interrupted a moment of silence before Sunday’s game with a derogatory comment (emphasis added).

“I think it’s important to do things like [the moment of silence]. We’re a connected world, you know — six degrees of separation,” Rodgers said after the game, as The Washington Post’s Des Bieler reported. “I must admit, though, I was very disappointed with whoever the fan was who made a comment that I thought was really inappropriate, during the moment of silence. It’s that kind of prejudicial ideology that I think puts us in the position that we’re in today, as a world.”