WARNING: Adult Language Show – if you are offended by bad words, DO NOT listen to this episode of The Dave Bowman Show
So… fair warning. There is a great deal of adult (read that as “sailor”) language in this episode. I mean, it’s not gratuitous or anything, it’s just necessary to illustrate a point or two. If that offends you, well… to paraphrase George Carlin, there are two buttons on your MP3 player. Use them and keep your complaints to yourself.
It’s been a stressful week. Some days it’s had to concentrate on the issues we talk about because life intervenes. but… we were able to make the best arrangements we could yesterday and will finalize them today. So hopefully things will be a little calmer over the next few weeks.
I’m fascinated by the mentality behind censorship. It doesn’t really matter who is doing it, I always find myself wondering why they feel the need to make other people shut up? I get the control aspect of it. at the root of it all is, of course, controlling people by controlling what they can and cannot say. And, if Orwell is to be believed, what they even think. Or at least admit that they think.
So when Mark Zuckerberg sits in front of Congress and “asks” to be regulated, I get that he doesn’t get it. At the end of the day, why would he?
But when so-called “Leaders” agree with him, we are left to ponder where the whole thing went wrong. When the very people who have sworn to uphold and defend our rights don’t, with what options are we left?
Over the last seven years, I haven’t had much to say about Julian Assange. There’s a reason for that. Mainly because he was never what either side as portraying him. He is neither an evil genius supervillain enemy of the State nor is he a 1st Amendment Hero of the Free Press.
Look, I get that Assange, Manning, and Snowden have revealed things that we could not confirm before their actions. That doesn’t change the fact that (a) they most likely committed crimes or conspired to commit crimes to reveal these secrets; and (b) because Snowden and Assange ran away, we have not had the chance to debrief them. We actually have no idea the extent of the potential damage. Sure, they revealed things to us that embarrassed our government. What did they reveal to their hosts that we don’t know about?
The stupidity of the conspiracy theory that the US is just somehow going to disappear Assange is ludicrous. Bradley Manning participated in it all. He’s out of prison and ran for Congress. Assange is facing five years in a Federal lockup. And even that is a big assumption as many legal experts have already weighed in on the indictments inherent weaknesses. It is equally possible that a jury might never buy the governments arguments that he assisted Bradley Manning in successfully hacking into defense department computers. As it turns out, there is a line – thin though it may be – between investigative journalism and hacking.
He spent seven years living in a de facto jail cell inside the Ecuadorian embassy abusing their staff and property because, and again, I say this because I believe it, he is an ungrateful jerk and a moron.
At the end of the day, there’s a great deal of noise and commotion over Julian Assange. almost all of it unnecessary and meaningless. But – believe me – it makes him feel like he is the most important man in history.
Mark Zuckerberg has made it clear that he does not understand the 1st Amendment. Or what “political speech” actually is.
Now, within the context of his creation, Facebook, he is free to promote or suppress speech as he sees fit. The problem is that he doesn’t want to do it. I mean, he does want to do it, but he doesn’t want to be blamed for it. Instead, he wants the government to do it for him.
The problem is, of course, that like many in the entertainment and governmental industries, he doesn’t seem to grasp that the Government cannot do that… well… in fairness, there aren’t very many people who grasp that.
It all makes my annual question to 129 men who died this day in 1963 more poignant.
Benjamin Harrison barely registers a twitch on the needle of “Famous Presidents.” He wasn’t a particularly successful President, even though he had a Party Majority in both Houses of Congress. Somehow or another, things just… didn’t get done.
There were however at least two things that should make him more appreciated. First, he was the driving force behind the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. Of course, he also appointed the Supreme Court Justices who would help to gut the legislation, and he never held any of the Congressmen who voted FOR it accountable for its enforcement. So while its remnants are still on the books today, it wasn’t the Trust-busting panacea it was supposed to be when he signed it. Continue reading →
By June of 1788, ten States have ratified the proposed Constitution. While the technicalities of Article IX have been met, most people understand that the reality is that for the Union to survive, it must be unanimous. Or at least everybody except Rhode Island, which we will deal with separately.
New York is next up on the clock, and already the sniping between the Federalists, led by Alexander Hamilton, and the longtime Governor of the State, George Clinton (a Revolutionary War General and close friend of Washington’s) has become both intense and deeply personal. Hamilton is deeply connected to the wealthy landowning elites, while Clinton is much more of an introspective “man of the people.” His policies have endeared him to the Middle Class, while the wealthy landowners (Hamilton) have been cut out of New York’s political spoils.
Of all of the States, New York is virtually the only one that – because of Clinton’s economic policies – emerged from the depression of 1780 in good shape. In fact, the State Treasury has over $3 Million (in 1788 dollars) in surplus. Clinton is wisely using this to improve New York’s economy and – of course – keep the votes of the middle and lower classes. Hamilton, who married the daughter of the man Clinton upset in the 1777 Gubernatorial election, opposes the policies that keep New York’s money in New York and not allowing Congress to take over the impost (tax) money that New York is collecting. In fact, at one point New York reluctantly agrees to hand it over to Congress, but petulant Rhode Island torpedoes the deal by refusing to agree. Of course.
More than anyone though, it is these two men, Hamilton and Clinton, who will face off in New York over the Constitution. Clinton will become the very embodiment – in fact, he is the man for whom the term is coined – of the Anti-Federalist. He is not an anti-nationalist. He believes strongly in the Union and in liberty. But he opposes ratification. Hamilton is co-writing the Federalist Papers. it doesn’t take long before the hotter-headed of the two begins to take shots -metaphorically – at the other in the media.
When everything is said and done, One of them will become a two time Vice-President, mostly forgotten despite his accomplishments. The other will become a controversial figure and the centerpiece of rewritten history…
Do you know why I don’t worry about Global warming or volcanoes or recycling? Because we are all going to die. Evolution is as certain as a sunrise (for the next few billion years, anyway). Nobody gets out alive and humanity will come to an end someday, regardless of how many taxes we raise or plastic water bottles we bury. NASA reminded us of this fact this week. with a 107 kiloton calling card from nature…
I am continually amazed at people who tell me that they believe in the Constitution and the rights that it guarantees are the first people in line to do the opposite when it suits them. Take @DevinCow, ahem, Congressman Devin Nunes. He once wrote a book filled with platitudes and promises about how much he loves liberty and the rights we have protected by the Constitution.
A passion for Free Speech is a hazard of the job, I suppose. from my high School daze in Utah right down to today, freedom of speech and religion are two things about which I am both passionate and obsessive. In all likelihood, we could do a show every day about the benefits and the dangers to Free Speech. On Friday we talked about President Franklin Pierce and his willingness to allow people in Kansas to be executed for speaking out against slavery.
Every bit as disturbing as Franklin Pierce allowing the death penalty for free speech against slavery, is that today, there is a growing concept that “odious ideas” shouldn’t just be held in disdain, but outright silenced.
Let me be clear, I am not a Flat-Earther, I am not an Anti-Vaxxer, I am not a conspiracy guy at all. I was most definitely not a Birther. I once held a conspiracy theory of my own. Passionately. Those days are long behind me because I learned along my life’s journey that the conspiracies are less about the truth being out there than they are about the proponents needed to be stage center.
Now, however, we live in an era where those with odd or unusual beliefs, even beliefs that are “odious,” are seen as a threat. And threats, as you know, have to be eliminated.
The Freedom to Speak and worship have always been in danger. sometimes gravely, sometimes surreptitiously. Still, those who want you to be silenced are rarely secret about their desire to silence you…