Posts Tagged ‘Bill of Rights’

Turkey’s Crackdown on a Free Press, Free Speech and Asli Erdogan

March 28, 2017

During the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, a Trump supporter (background here) was photographed wearing a t-shirt that read: “Rope. Tree. Journalist. Some assembly required.”

Perhaps the t-shirt’s message was meant to be tongue-in-cheek, but the message landed with a dull thud. Free speech and a free press are pillars of the U.S. Bill of Rights, even if those freedoms are abused by certain quarters. There is little room to joke about such matters.

And such matters as a free press become more poignant in light of international attacks on a free press, particularly in Turkey.

There, in the wake of a coup attempt to oust President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, mass arrests of journalists have been undertaken, media outlets closed, and many other civil and military purges undertaken.

To humanize the situation in Turkey, simply follow the stories (here and here) of Turkish novelist Asli Erdogan (no relation to the Turkish president).

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Boston Marathon Bombing Turning Ripe… and Stinking

May 23, 2013

In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, I was stunned by the extremely heavy-handed approach federal authorities took towards an already injured 19 year old, hunched over in the bottom of a boat preparing to die. Three stun grenades and a hail of bullets were launched at this kid discovered by the boat owner, an owner who had calmly peered under the boat’s canvas, found the suspect, then turned his back and walked towards his house to notify authorities without so much as a verbal threat from the suspect.

Now we get a story of another suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing who was interrogated at his home, then shot during the proceedings. How in the hell does something like that happen? The whole purpose of having additional personnel in place during an interrogation is to ensure the suspect can be restrained should he launch himself against the interrogator. And wasn’t the suspect frisked prior to the interrogation? This, of course, assumes any validity of the story that the suspect had possession of a knife, a detail that is now being backpedaled out of the story.

At best, this is extremely sloppy police work. The argument can certainly be made that law enforcement was hopped up on their own adrenaline.

At worst, there is a possibility that outright lies are being made by law enforcement about the interrogation, wherein the suspect may have revealed damning evidence against authorities regarding the bombing, and the suspect was silenced before the truth could emerge.

This Boston Marathon bombing case is beginning to smell like rotting roadkill, surrounded by the thick of summer heat.

The Quiet Constitutional Crisis Behind the 2nd Amendment

April 9, 2013

The following post discusses the original intent behind the Second Amendment. Readers should hold their assumptions, read carefully, and check their conclusion jumping until the end.

Introduction

The rhetoric over gun control legislation is heating up, yet from no corner of the political spectrum do we hear discussed the underlying constitutional crisis that precipitated this ongoing debate, one that America has lived with for over a century. Unfortunately, the accusations and aspersions thrown from either side towards the other generates more heat than light, and it is nigh time to investigate the original intent of the Second Amendment. Although many alleged constitutional authorities have waxed obliquely on the reasons behind the insertion of this amendment, James Madison left little doubt as to why the arming of citizens was a critical civil liberty. His reasoning can be found in The Federalist No. 46.

I find, however, that far too many Americans do not understand the intent of the Bill of Rights, much less the intent of the Second Amendment, and so it is here I must begin. I suspect this reality arises more from the degraded state of our high-school education in civics than from anything else. For those who are comfortable with their understanding of the Bill of Rights, you can safely skip to the next section. (more…)


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