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For Upcoming Conventions, Secret Service Aims to Handcuff First Amendment


#1

For Upcoming Conventions, Secret Service Aims to Handcuff First Amendment

Peter Van Buren

Thomas Jefferson said that an informed citizenry is critical to a democracy, and with that as a cornerstone the Founders wrote freedom of the press into the First Amendment to the Constitution.


#2

Ever since third party candidate Ross Perot did so well in the 1992 debates and election, third party candidates have not been allowed to attend, let alone participate in general election debates. Ralph Nader was threatened with arrest in the parking lot until he turned around and left. Jill Stein was arrested. So forget any Thomas Jefferson ideas about "an informed public". This July Philadelphia and Cleveland are going to look like the eastern bloc nations I visited 40 years ago, venues that Stalin would love.


#3

Blockbuster article detailing the electronic fascism that looms over us all. A free press is not an intimidated press nor a self censoring press nor a prior approval necessary press. They proceed apace with imposing a ruling elite ethos whereby a privileged few insure the privileges of the few. You are press if we say you are. Welcome to the America you never thought you'd see. All it took was letting it happen and then so it did.

At some point they calculate that everyone will become too afraid to still protest or even object to the electronic fascism that will plague the lives of their children and grandchildren.


#4

This is something even worse Ray...this is not allowing some of the press to even cover the convention. It isn't about participation it is about controlling the press. All Americans should start to realize just how important this election really is. This is the crossroads election. The last chance to turn back from the darkness and those who would rather rule instead of supporting democracy know it too. Americans who love being a free people often have a hard time believing that other Americans are willing to destroy that freedom. Those who would control others always protect their own freedom while that are taking away yours.

This should be unconstitutional.


#5

Looks like what we have here is inverted totalitarism where networks like Fox News get to control the narrative but claim to be fair and balanced. Fair to the 1%; and balanced to the right!


#7

This is unconstitutional, Wereflea. But it dovetails in with the placing of protestors blocks away from the convention sites in both cities in caged areas. All of this in the name of security. This also allows for the conventions to be kept "bright and sunny" for all the world to see. No more of the 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention police riot stuff to give the U.S. a black eye on the world stage. No siree Bob. Just Kumbaya and hail to the chief, hold hands and pass the smores. Freedom is dead in the U.S. so let's get over it. All the guys that have died in the more than 225 years of continual wars "protecting the country from evil" died in vain, their blood shed for nothing. Now Evil walks among us and darkness rules the minds of our leaders and workers will pay for all this right down to the prison suite that will be called home by most of those living in the future.


#8

A political Cartoonist for a magazine in the USA was fired for his cartoon of a couple of farmers criticizing a major corporation.

Said Corporation threatened to pull its advertising.

A German journalist claims that for years he was provided with articles along with cash payment sent to him by the CIA to publish under his name.

Has the press ever been free our is the free press just another of those illusions of democracy?


#9

Controlling what passes for a national narrative has been in progress for decades and this convention season will be no different. It's one of the reasons Clinton signed the Telecommunications Act of 1996, allowing a few to own all the media they could buy, putting many a journalist right out the door on their ass.
In 1992, he also helped create the superdelegate system the democrats have today, the stated purpose of which, is "to prevent the nomination of any grassroots candidate" within that party. A wholly undemocratic process if ever there was one.
While most Americans who haven't tuned out the political process as yet still obtain most of their information from the corporate media machinery, George Orwell would have called, The Ministry of Truth, this creates what can only be called, misinformed consent of the people and while it may still pass for legitimacy, if it keeps up much longer, with more and more wealth going to those few at the top, people will be too broke NOT to pay attention, as is too often the case today.


#10

In all honesty and sincerity friend, I truly believe that this is the turning point election. This is the last chance fill up for democracy. Either we keep it or we lose it this time around. Reality converges on us due to climate change and oligarchy and the corporate state and our own dissolving disappearing democracy...all converging on this election. What results from this is seriously big stuff. That is why they have risked pulling back the curtain on themselves. They play a crooked game risking all because this election is truly epic and will have major long lasting effects.

Demonstrate and protest, spread the word...its the last chance for true democracy because it we let them get away with cheating us out of the people's most popular candidate they will never again risk letting that happen again. The future is rife with trouble and soon too and they know it. This election caught them by surprise. It was all set up to be Jeb against Hillary...two inherited candidacies both the same in essence though. Just a fun race for the goal. Instead this election knocked them for a loop.

An actual people's candidate showed up out of nowhere and got serious traction. Worse he rapidly became popular. They couldn't believe it, so they played their Trump card (literally) and then he did the same thing. He got popular. Jeb went down in ignominious defeat that said volumes about pundits and consultants. It soon became obvious that Hillary was on a downward trajectory unless she got help. The status quo looked in the mirror and admitted to themselves that change probably meant that they were at risk of being exchanged for someone new. So they said the hell with change because they benefited from things just like they are. They rigged the game but it is shaky and may not hold. The one thing is that for the first time... The elite find themselves arrayed against democracy based solely on their own self interest. They betray their own life long beliefs.

So don't give up. They are scared that their fix won't hold. All they want is for it to slip by everybody quietly this one last time. If they can get away with this rigged election without people protesting and demonstrating in anger at being cheated then the elites will be happy.

Demonstrate and make some noise because their hold on the rigged game can crumble. This one last time... Americans still believe in their democracy but whether they believe in themselves in another story. We will see.


#11

"All it took was letting it happen and then so it did."

Did the citizenry "let it happen" with respect to the covert program known as Project Paperclip? That program brought the Nazi masterminds into the U.S. military labyrinths and also placed many at Ivy League universities?

Did the citizenry "let it happen" with respect to the assassination of JFK, one of 3 seminal events that moved covert fascism front and center into this nation's heart?

Did writers "let it happen" with respect to McCarthyism... as Joseph McCarthy and J. Edgar Hoover cracked down on any thinkers who dared to challenge the patriarchal-capitalist orthodoxy of that era?

Did slaves "let it happen" as per slavery?

Did women "let it happen" as per 2nd class chattel status?

Did Native Americans "let it happen" as per colonization by mad armed maniacs?

Did Americans "let it happen" as per 911? And do you even understand what that event was all about and "cui bono"?

Power (asymmetric as it is) is at the center of all of these events and phenomena and that power also uses propaganda, lies, coercion and secrecy to make ITS agenda the agenda of the land.

Your frame puts the onus on citizens for what EVIL people enact.

The fact that you ALWAYS use this frame is more than suggestive of your role here: as a protector of empowered, status quo interests.


#12

There have been constraints... but the era of deregulation which led to lots of independents going out of business or otherwise being swallowed up by corporate syndicates has had a HUGE influence over content.

In my "coming of age" era there were TONS of anti-war protest songs heard often on the radio. Phil Donahue and others freely interviewed people from all points on the political spectrum.

As Paul Craig Roberts explains, the FBI sought out certain surveillance powers way in advance of 911. The Church Commission, as you probably know, began to undo the authoritarian work of the J. Edgar Hoover (spy exclusively on the Left) years.

But ALWAYS the authoritarians do their CREEP and seek to once again obtain powers BARRED by the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights guarantees of a number of basic (now breached) Civil Liberties. 911 (which I view as a well-planned Inside Job) certainly answered their prayers.

I used to talk about astrology in radio programs in Daytona, Miami, and Naples... but once Clear Channel bought up the big markets (they are Conservative Christian owners), my topic was rendered taboo. This is true of many other independent thinkers, too.

How about NO anti-war voices in the run-up to the wars against Iraq and every other nation on the PNAC wish list?

It IS different now. But there's a kind of intake, outtake... almost like breathing that simulates periods of expansion (of thought) and contraction. This contraction is awful for free thinkers everywhere and since the elites sense their power slipping away... crackdowns are inevitable.

Demonizing independent thinkers or making it so they cannot be heard (note the muscle used to go after whistleblowers like Snowden and Assange, among others) is part of the calculus.


#13

They're already scared shitless...unless you live in Blissville, USA.


#14

You guys don't get it. This isn't just an attack on the MSM. Yes, most of MSM is owned by a few corporations that have the ability through $$$ to control what we hear. The thing is, what we have that they can't control is thousands and thousands of citizen journalists, who take to Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and Messengers galore and report what they are seeing and they record what they are seeing and what they are hearing, and we owe it to ourselves to forward that reporting when we find it. Keep an eye on YouTube as the conventions are going on. Save searches with keywords Bernie and Convention, and check frequently. You find something that has interesting content, share it with your social media. BECOME THE PRESS.

1968 was a watershed moment when our country realized they could no longer control the people. Peyton Place was dead, the Stepfords had all woken up. Our lives exploded in 1968 over war and social injustice. Poverty did not play a major role at that time because the country was doing rather well over all.

This time however, people are literally going to bed hungry, or their kids are. People are working two and three and four jobs just to keep a roof over their head and food on the table. 12 and 13 year old kids are coming home and getting on the internet to work for the family. People are SCARED not just black people or brown people or yellow people, but all the people. I am afraid that this summer is going rival or even surpass 1968, and this time we don't have a peace movement to call for cooler heads to prevail.

Be a citizen journalist. Report what you see. Record what you see and hear. If you don't feel comfortable doing under your own name, set up pseudonym social profiles to do so . Don't let the MSM be the only source of our information.


#15

We still have a peace movement, SC Democratgirl. Unfortunately the peace movement will be excluded from being anywhere near a convention by the FBI.


#16

Become the press! Wise words.

Occupy the press - be the press.

Communicate throughout the world online. Communicate locally at the same time.

The one thing missing is progressive link where we communicate online without having a specific place to visit. You tell your friends they tell theirs and pretty soon we all know about it. A kind of understanding of like minds sharing news and events. Back in the sixties every local peace group would publish the same list of demonstrations around the country months in advance using a small peace Calender list which let people plan ahead to attend. Despite having far more ability to communicate online...people only hear about events after something happens.


#17

Try Seymour Hersch, Amy Goodman and others. Look where you are... Common Dreams.

Generalities don't work generally...lol


#18

And anyone who watches the Conventions on TV will get to witness all of these (except Bernie and his faithful) bought and paid for stooges wax poetic about our "Freedom and Liberty".
This is the very definition of Inverted Totalitarianism.


#19

Im not sure the background check is that big of a deal. Everyone does get that we are all being watched right? The one thing that conspiracy 'theorists' kept pointing out about this back in the '60s was that noone is going to stop this nor will anyone care enough to change all the external viewing. Guess they were right afterall.


#21

Well, the second U.S. president John Adams did bring in the Sedition Act and while some editors did go to jail for violating it, more did not, but went right along with it. Censorship has a long history in the U.S., either self censorship, or the state sponsored variety, so yes, I agree. Your point is well taken.


#22

Those who colonised north America were not, whatever else they may have been, mad or maniacs. Given the feudal shit-hole of Europe at the time, it was quite sensible to go somewhere else. Some of them, no doubt, were utterly ruthless, but that does not indicate insanity.

Did citizenry let things happen? Keeping one's head down in politically difficult times may be a wise thing to do personally but it lets bad things happen on the larger scale. It's a choice that is available to every citizen.