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Yes, but only while wearing pajamas

Yes, but only while wearing pajamas

Are bloggers entitled to constitutional protection, Dick Durbin wonders out loud.

I have a better question, are Senators entitled to anything?


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Today’s bloggers are yesterday’s pamphleteers.

Again, “the press” as used in the 1st Amendment does NOT refer to a guild, trade, profession, etc.

It refers to the MEANS of mass communication…and WHATEVER those means happen to be.

Remember that pamphleteers were both numerous and influential in early America, and they were often HATED by the establishment (sometimes for good reasons).

For once Durbin actually has a point. Sort of. The discussion is not about the constitution, but about the proposed “journalist shield law”, something that has no basis in the constitution, and is actually repugnant to it, because it creates a special class called “journalist” and gives members of that class special rights that have never been heard of before, specifically the right to frustrate a criminal investigation by keeping the identity of a source private. Nobody has that right, and nobody should have that right, but Durbin thinks a special class should have it, so he has to wonder who belongs in that class. It’s exactly the same as racial preference laws creating a need for a Racial Classification Act.

    Ragspierre in reply to Milhouse. | May 27, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    While I sorta agree with SOME of what you said, you are mistaken.

    There are various kinds of privilege that have long been recognized, which make compelling disclosures even in criminal matters off-limits. The spousal and clergy privileges being just two.

      Milwaukee in reply to Ragspierre. | May 27, 2013 at 10:48 pm

      Inroads have been made on those privileges. If a patient shares with a doctor or therapist an interest in harming themselves or another the therapist is required to report that to other authorities. So doctors aren’t so privileged. Journalist are not in the same class as spouses or attorneys, so I’m not so sure how much privilege they need to get. Perhaps what they need to do is share their sources instead of keeping exclusive scoops. Journalists have a commercial interest in keeping a source secret.

      If Everybody knew Ragspierre was the source, then Everybody would know when revenge was taken upon him. The publicity would provide protection secrecy can’t provide.

Durbin is a dictator in Democratic clothing, although the disguise has become less of a camouflage and more of an identifier lately.

No “shield law” OR “constitutional right” can protect us when the Attorney General is willing to file a false affidavit to keep his misdeeds secret.

TrooperJohnSmith | May 27, 2013 at 5:04 pm

The Senate would be better off, not to mention America as a whole, were the Senate “Dickless”.

Gotta tell ya prof… Senators are entitled to and frequently make fools of themselves. You know, like Sheldon Whitehouse, Durban, Schumer, Pelosi, McCain etc.

None of ’em could pass a basic civics test and none of ’em should be in the positions that they occupy. But then you hafta consider the dumbed down public that voted ’em in time after time…

the first word that came to mind was “Pamphlateer”… glad to see others remember history.

Sad to see a Senator taking a position which at its basic is “The Constitution is outdated” – especially when they start throwing out buzz words like “21st Century” and “was written 200 years ago”.

Never mind that Ben Franklin and Adam Smith were basically Bloggers of their day – if Dobbs had his way, we wouldn’t have seen the likes of “Federalist Papers”.

So let’s step aside from our response that Bloggers are the same as the Patriots that sparked a revolution and set out to create a government ‘of the People’…. let’s look at the logical sequence of his thinking…

“We need to look at who is the Journalist” – first, who is the “We” – Congress? if so, why not ‘Executive Branch’? If the ability to decide who is a journalist also extends to the Executive Branch, would this not also be extended to the many different Administrative branches of the government? Would it then become privilege of the IRS, ATF, FBI, DHS to decide who is “journalist”?

So, now the government will be in a position to “decide” who the Constitution applies to. This group here is constitutionally protected, this group there is not.

Are we ready for this?

And what would the criteria be for deciding who is a journalist? The government’s next move would be to make the transistional step to moving from deciding “who” is a ‘Journalist’ to ‘What’ is “journalism”. Anyone want to venture a guess just how tolerant the government will be of criticism?

The purpose of journalism is to inform – should we not be repulsed by the idea of the government wanting to decide who has the privilege of informing the public? (note – it would become just that… a ‘privilege’, because it is no longer a Right).

The right to assemble, the right to speak out, the right to arm oneself, the right to worship… UNALIENABLE.

Nowhere does it say “as determined by the government” – no, the Declaration says “they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,”

And since he seems to have forgotten this first part, maybe it’s high time we remind him of the next sentence: “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,”

Because when the Politicians forget those two sentences, then we have an obligation to remind them of the following sentence….

whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government

An old white man espousing the irrelevancy of old white men.

Midwest Rhino | May 27, 2013 at 7:43 pm

Durbin is just following the left’s old tactics … attack any that support freedom. They said it clearly enough at the IRS … attack the Tea party, those that teach the constitution, and any that make Obama’s message look bad. Teaching freedom and the constitution is EXACTLY what makes Obama look bad.

As the left’s stranglehold on media breaks down, Obama’s internal army directly attacks FOX, and is figuring how to destroy bloggers. Truth and freedom are antagonists in the tragedy of petulant child King Obama and his mob.

Juba Doobai! | May 27, 2013 at 7:57 pm

Since the senators don’t abide by the Constitution I guess they’ve never heard of it.

    DocWahala in reply to Juba Doobai!. | May 27, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    No, they’ve “heard” of it – as in “swear to uphold and defend”. Thing is, they want to both forget it, and see to it that you and I never get to hear much more about it.

    The Prog Left would be most happy if they could figure out a way to declare the Constitution unconstitutional.

If non-verbal actions (e.g., burning a flag) are constitutionally protected “free speech”, then it is *UNQUESTIONABLE* that the specific action of publishing words is constitutionally protected free speech regardless of the occupation, profession, party membership, or choices of association (e.g., Tea Party) of the author or publisher.

The 17th Amendment was passed in 1913. Of the 25 longest serving United States Senators, 24 of them have come since then. One spent about half of their time after the amendment’s passage.

We should repeal that amendment. The repeal should allow states to have state senatorial districts created along geographic lines, as United States Senate “districts” are along geographic lines. Allowing the “one-man-one-vote” mentality too often means a small handful of densely populated counties dominate state politics. In Illinois, for example, statewide races can be won carrying one county. Sometimes the winner will carry 6 counties. Those counties tend to be cities with large numbers of Democrats and people on the dole.

    DocWahala in reply to Milwaukee. | May 27, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    AMEN!! – Repeal the 17th.

    there was a VERY SPECIFIC reason the Founders didn’t want the Senate to be elected the same way the House of Reps.

    And while we’re at it… the number oHouse Reps shouldn’t be frozen – ridiculous now to have one congressman represent 700,000. it should never have been frozen. The number of reps should be allowed to climb as the nation grows.

Turban Durban.

We are dangerously close to a civil war, and all the more so because of GOP failure to sit on Obama.

Durbin knows that Democrats have the bricks and mortar “media” under their thumb. Now it is time to go after anyone left over which is online. He couldn’t be more obvious. After stamping out all free expression comes the thought police.

Henry Hawkins | May 28, 2013 at 11:20 am

This just in… Illinois Senator Dick Durbin(D) this morning entered a new bill to the Senate, the Unequal Protection At The Whim Of The State Bill, to regulate just who exactly gets to speak freely and who ought to sit the hell down and shut up about Democrat senators.

    Ragspierre in reply to Henry Hawkins. | May 28, 2013 at 11:56 am

    They tried that already.

    McAnus-Feingold was what it was called. It protected the political class generally, however.

    “Bipartisan” is not a virtue in every instance.