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SENTRY JOURNAL » Uncategorized » While we were distracted did we lose free speech? (H.R. 347)

While we were distracted did we lose free speech? (H.R. 347)

While we were being distracted by the Sandra Fluke-Rush Limbaugh debacle last week somehow we lost some more of our liberties; liberties that are protected by OUR constitution.  This time the target is free speech. Yes you heard right we may have lost our ability to express ourselves through the act of protesting the government and it sneaked in right under our radar.  Yesterday morning while I was getting ready for work I caught Judge Napolitano on Fox and Friends talking about how last week President Obama had signed into law H.R. 347. Below is the Fox and Friends clip of this interview.

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How I missed this, I don’t know.  What I do know is that since the turn of the year our President has violated the constitution three times.  First back in January when he bypassed congress and made four appointments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the National Labor Relations Board while congress was still in proforma session.  We did not hear a peep from the left and those illegal appointments still stand.  The second violation came when he signed into law the NDAA which has a provision in it that authorizes the government to detain American citizens indefinitely if suspected of ties to terrorist organizations.  And now we have H.R. 347 the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act.  Below is the congressional summary of the law.

2/6/2012–Passed Senate amended. (This measure has not been amended since it was reported to the Senate on November 17, 2011. The summary of that version is repeated here.) Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011 – Amends the federal criminal code to revise the prohibition against entering restricted federal buildings or grounds to impose criminal penalties on anyone who knowingly enters any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority. Defines “restricted buildings or grounds” as a posted, cordoned off, or otherwise restricted area of: (1) the White House or its grounds or the Vice President’s official residence or its grounds, (2) a building or grounds where the President or other person protected by the Secret Service is or will be temporarily visiting, or (3) a building or grounds so restricted due to a special event of national significance.

I’m not a fan of the progressive group called The Young Turks; however in the below video they even seem a bit concerned that an environment has been created to limit free speech.  Just skip the ad.

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This is not good folks and what’s worse yet is 224 House Republicans supported this unconstitutional act.  Michele Bachmann who claims to be a staunch supporter of the constitution voted yes along with Allen West.  I’m sure their intentions were to diminish the ability of the disorderly and loud OWS protestors to disrupt the workings of government; however this is a net that has the power to snare all types of potential protests to include the orderly and patriotic tea party protests. Folks this is wrong on so many levels I don’t even know where to begin.  And my guess is our elected representatives know in their hearts this is wrong.  This is why they quietly passed this terrible bill.  You can see how your representative voted here>>

Three times since the turn of the year our constitution has clearly been violated and there has been zero consequences for these actions.  I wrote my elected representative (Rick Berg) when the President made his proforma appointments and all I got was lip service.  This is the same guy who wants me to vote for him as a candidate for the Senate.  Why should I?  He also supported H.R. 347 and voted yes.  This tells me I have an elected representative who really doesn’t care about or takes the constitution very seriously.  The only time we get overwhelming bi-partisan support on bills these days is when they somehow curb our liberties.  Funny how that works.  Based on my readings about the type of men the founders were, I believe I know what they would do about these bills and acts.  First off, bills like the NDAA and H.R. 347 would never had made it through the Senate or House. Red flags would have went up all over the place and these bills would have been easily defeated.  So what does this tell about the men and women who represent us.  It tells me just how much they’re missing the mark in regards to our founding fathers.  They’re 180 degrees out.  Secondly our founders would have immediately began impeachment proceedings against any President for signing these bills into law.  The President is required to act in a manner that does not violate the law of the land and in these instances he has failed.

How many more liberties do we need to lose before we finally wake up and realize that the men and women who are supposed to serve us believe they are our masters with a blank check to do whatever they want?  How much longer are we going to stand by and watch our constitution shredded with each bill/act signed into law.  How much more can America take before we lose her?  I say again how much more…

You can read more about this topic at Bunkerville.

Liberty forever, freedom for all.

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  • Bunkerville March 14, 2012 at 4:20 AM

    Thanks for the link. Pretty rich that Keith Ellison was one of the no votes. Not one Senator called for a Roll Call vote is a stunner.
    Bunkerville recently posted..‘End of free speech’ signed by ObamaMy Profile

  • Steve Dennis March 14, 2012 at 5:35 AM

    This is very disturbing to say the least John, and even more disturbing because the people we thought were Tea Party people also voted for it. Even if Bachmann and West voted for it to calm down the OWS crowd it isn’t acceptable. I do not agree with OWS but they have (had) a right to their opinion. This was passed and signed in secret while nobody was paying attention; we are losing more of our freedoms everyday and soon we won’t have any and we will wonder how we went wrong.
    Steve Dennis recently posted..Rick Santorum wins Alabama and MississippiMy Profile

    • John Carey March 14, 2012 at 5:41 AM

      I personally don’t know how this stands up in court Steve. The first amendment is very clear on this matter and congress and the President did exactly what they’re not permitted to do. They created a law that abridges these these rights to a certain degree. Now if we can only find a few judges who still believe in the constitution. I’m writing Rick Berg on this. He needs to be called out on his vote. I encourage you to do the same.
      John Carey recently posted..While we were distracted did we lose free speech? (H.R. 347)My Profile

      • Steve Dennis March 14, 2012 at 5:59 PM

        Hopefully somebody will challenge this is court John, if they do I don’t see how it can possibly stand.
        Steve Dennis recently posted..Rick Santorum wins Alabama and MississippiMy Profile

        • John Carey March 14, 2012 at 10:00 PM

          I don’t see how it can stand because the 1st amendment is very clear on this. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

          This is exactly what congress did and the president signed into law. They created a law that has the potential to abridge the freedom of speech and we can’t stand for this.
          John Carey recently posted..While we were distracted did we lose free speech? (H.R. 347)My Profile

  • Infidel de Manahatta March 14, 2012 at 6:19 AM

    The problem is the American people won’t wake up. They don’t too. Slavery is the natural condition of mankind. Our Republic, may she rest in peace, was doomed from the start.

    Sorry to be so pessimistic but that’s just how I see it.
    Infidel de Manahatta recently posted..Obama’s Poll Numbers Hit 100% Approval Rating!My Profile

  • [...] The Sentry Journal has done a great post including an analysis of this and with the video from [...]

  • Jim at Conservatives on Fire March 14, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    I read about this over at Bunkerville’s place yesterday. I’m so frustrated with all of our politicians. We have been on a very slippery slope ever since the Patriot Act was passed. Something that is ostensibly an issue of security can in theory be used to stop any unwanted protest just by sending someone with a Secret Service escort to the protest. We need more Ron Pauls in Congress.
    Jim at Conservatives on Fire recently posted..The Black Culture of Poverty. Who’s at Fault?My Profile

    • John Carey March 14, 2012 at 10:10 PM

      I agree Jim. The problem is people are completely out of touch with Ron Paul types because they’re out of touch with our founders. People have become much too comfortable with big government in their lives. There is really not that much difference in the two parties anymore. They just have different ways to get us to the same place…tyranny.
      John Carey recently posted..While we were distracted did we lose free speech? (H.R. 347)My Profile

  • LD Jackson March 14, 2012 at 6:59 PM

    What’s disturbing to me is the fact that both Oklahoma senators, Tom Coburn and Jim Inhofe allowed this bill to pass the Senate without a voice vote. They have both been thorns in the sides of liberals for years, yet they just let this one slip by. I don’t understand their thinking.
    LD Jackson recently posted..The Coming Triple Pronged Attack On the NationMy Profile

    • John Carey March 14, 2012 at 10:12 PM

      I really don’t think most of them realized how it was worded. Maybe they didn’t read it. What bothers me more than Obama actually signing into law is the people who voted to support this unconstitutional act who claim they support the constitution. These are the most dangerous type.
      John Carey recently posted..While we were distracted did we lose free speech? (H.R. 347)My Profile

  • Country Thinker March 15, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    Below is a link to the vote. ONLY 3 IN THE HOUSE VOTED NO, including the much-maligned Ron Paul.

    I’ve been arguing for years that the Republicans are just as bad as Democrats when it comes to ignoring the Constitution and advancing statism. This is just another example. For folks like Bachmann, it’s “I defend the Constitution excpet when I don’t.”

    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/vote.xpd?vote=h2011-149
    Country Thinker recently posted..Redneckonomics: The Economics of Reusable Grocery BagsMy Profile

  • CG9 March 15, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    FYI: http://www.justiceonline.org/commentary/hr-347-get-the-truth.html Curiously enough, I was unable to track down any outraged commentary by Napolitano or the fine folks at FOXNews from when the law was originally signed….by Bush, in 2006. Perhaps, you will have better luck.

    • Bunkerville March 15, 2012 at 1:43 PM

      This is not Bush’s bill
      Feb 28, 2011: This bill passed in the House of Representatives by roll call vote. The vote was held under a suspension of the rules to cut debate short and pass the bill, needing a two-thirds majority. This usually occurs for non-controversial legislation. The totals were 399 Ayes, 3 Nays, 30 Present/Not Voting. Vote Details.
      Feb 6, 2012: This bill passed in the Senate with changes by Unanimous Consent. A record of each senator’s position was not kept.
      Feb 27, 2012: A vote in the House of Representatives to agree with the other chamber’s changes passed by roll call vote. The totals were 388 Ayes, 3 Nays, 42 Present/Not Voting. Vote Details.

      It is suggested that it was “with changes” that brought about the concern. Jonathan Turley has a review of this bill. Wander over to his post.
      Bunkerville recently posted..US, UK Agree on Release of Emergency Oil Stocks: ReutersMy Profile

    • Country Thinker March 15, 2012 at 2:48 PM

      Napolitano wasn’t with Fox in 2006. And I doubt the folks at Fox generally have a problem with this since Republicans voted overwhelmingly for it. In Fox-land “R” makes right, and in the rest of the television outlets, “D” makes right.

      They’re all wrong.
      Country Thinker recently posted..Redneckonomics: The Economics of Reusable Grocery BagsMy Profile

    • John Carey March 15, 2012 at 7:11 PM

      The law was not originally signed in 2006 it was amended to substitute “Restricted building or grounds” for “Temporary residences and offices of the President and others” 18 U.S.C 1752 was actually implemented in 1971. It was bad in 1971, bad in 2006, and worse now. Gene Howington over at Jonathan Turley wrote an excellent piece about this topic. Here is what he says.

      “The root of the problem with this legislation lies in the omission of the word “willfully” to make the condition simply “knowingly” in conjunction with the phrase “or so that, such conduct, in fact”. The use of this conditional phrase effectively nullifies the intent component in the absence of “willfully” being explicitly stated. You may not have willfully or knowingly done anything other than exercise your free speech and free assembly rights, but if you “in fact” “[impede] or [disrupt] the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions”, you can be arrested and charged under this proposed revision of 18 U.S.C. § 1752 whether the impediment or disruption was willful or not. The reworded law as the bill is currently formulated effectively does away with intent as a requirement in addition to expanding the meaning of the term ‘restricted buildings or grounds’ to mean virtually any place in proximity to or place proper a government function or an “event of national interest” is taking place. This would allow for the arrest of protesters just about anywhere.”

      You can read the rest of the article here>> http://jonathanturley.org/2012/03/03/imprecise-language-and-the-risks-of-h-r-347/

      That pretty much sums it. This is about Republicans or Democrats because clearly both parties are ok with limiting free speech. This isn’t about left or right. It’s about all of our rights no matter which side of the political spectrum you fall on.
      John Carey recently posted..While we were distracted did we lose free speech? (H.R. 347)My Profile

  • Harry March 15, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    Ugggh. This makes me sick. What did it take… two or three months for every tea party freshman to be corrupted? The Summer of 2010 seems so long ago…
    Harry recently posted..Thank You, Kathleen DonnafieldMy Profile

    • John Carey March 15, 2012 at 7:22 PM

      Once they’re in their first concern is getting reelected. This is why the founders said it was extremely important to elect virtuous people who will do the right thing. Apparently we got it wrong in 2010. Time to try again and again and again until they figure our we’re going to keep doing it until they serve us again and honor their oath.
      John Carey recently posted..While we were distracted did we lose free speech? (H.R. 347)My Profile

  • [...] ➤ What I do know is that since the turn of the year our President has violated the constitution three times.  First back in January when he bypassed congress and made four appointments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the National Labor Relations Board while congress was still in proforma session. We did not hear a peep from the left and those illegal appointments still stand.  The second violation came when he signed into law the NDAA which has a provision in it that authorizes the government to detain American citizens indefinitely if suspected of ties to terrorist organizations.  And now we have H.R. 347 the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act. ~ John Carey at SENTRY JOURNAL [...]

  • [...] Original Post:  The Sentry Journal [...]

  • [...] friends. theCL: Why the Federal Reserve Demands Control of Money Part 1… And Part 2 SJ: While we were distracted did we lose free speech? (H.R. 347) RR: George Clooney Arrested at Sudanese Embassy in Planned Protest of Omar Al-Bashir (VIDEO) [...]

  • Trestin March 20, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    This is how it always works, whenever the media is disproportionately fixed on a story, there is something more important we are not noticing.
    Trestin recently posted..Being BusyMy Profile