Yet Another Blatant Attack on the First Amendment

Discussion in 'Political Opinions & Beliefs' started by Bob0627, Apr 10, 2018.

  1. Bob0627

    Bob0627 Well-Known Member

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    First They Came for Backpage

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    The First Amendment to the US Constitution is pretty clear: “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press …”

    The Communications Decency Act is similarly clear: “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.”

    But even after repeated judicial rebuffs on these grounds the federal government continues to attempt to “get” Backpage.com for allegedly “facilitating” sex work by accepting advertisements — usually, and usually falsely, described by rabid demagogues like US Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) as “human trafficking.”

    On April 6, several federal agencies stole (the word they used was “seized”) the site’s domain names and raided its co-founder’s home, arresting him pursuant to a 93-count indictment from a grand jury.

    As of the raid, the indictment remained “sealed,” legalese for “why should the US government be obliged to tell mere serfs what it is up to or why?” That’s a rotten kettle of fish in and of itself. A “justice system” that operates in secret has no legitimate claim to the title.

    News accounts that may be based on leaks (I’ve been unable to verify that the indictment has been un-“sealed”) describe the charges as relating to “money laundering” and “human trafficking.” The “money laundering” nonsense brings an additional disturbing element with it to the extent that it’s described as being about the use of cryptocurrency (Bitcoin), another activity that the feds would like to bring under their control.

    I hesitate to describe the secrecy and cryptocurrency angles as distractions. They’re absolutely important. But the most urgent problem from my point of view is that the federal government has openly arrogated to itself the power to outlaw speech and punish publishers for allowing that speech on their platforms, so long as it clicks its collective heels together and says “there’s no crime like human trafficking” three times first.


    Read the entire article ...

    http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/13238

    Please note that no proposed legislation ever undergoes serious examination for constitutional compliance prior to passage into "law". That means that CONgress can regularly invent any legislation it wants. It takes a lawsuit by an affected party to determine if a law can be struck down (or not). But that takes a lot of time and money and by then the offending law can cause immense damage.
     
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  2. DarkSkies

    DarkSkies Well-Known Member

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    This is not an attack on the 1st Amendment. It is an attempt to stop human trafficking.
     
  3. Questerr

    Questerr Banned

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    And will instead make human trafficking harder to track by driving prostitution further underground and making them less likely to approach police for help when human trafficking is happening.
     
  4. DarkSkies

    DarkSkies Well-Known Member

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    Leaving a site known for human trafficking is far more irresponsible. The underground is only so deep, so if law enforcement is serious they can put a major dent, if not stop, human trafficking.
     
  5. Bob0627

    Bob0627 Well-Known Member

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    It's a direct attack on the 1st Amendment disguised as an attempt to stop human trafficking. What part of "Congress shall make no law ..." don't you understand?
     
  6. DarkSkies

    DarkSkies Well-Known Member

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    That doesn't apply here. If this was an actual attack on the first, the government would have come for all sorts of adult sites. They just came for this one because they were involved in illegal activities.
     
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  7. JakeStarkey

    JakeStarkey Well-Known Member

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    Backpage is a criminal activity. Who are those who support Backpage: criminals?
     
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  8. navigator2

    navigator2 Banned

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    First of all, 99% of prostitution doesn't involve human trafficking. Also, when a fisherman wants to go catch a fish, he goes to a pond with fish. If LEOs frequented Backpage looking for human traffickers, now they have to seek elsewhere without as many leads. If the site truly was harboring such activity, now the allure of bait is gone. That doesn't make it go away, it only slithers deeper into the cracks.
     
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  9. DarkSkies

    DarkSkies Well-Known Member

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    I don't buy this for a second. When governments get serious about stopping certain crimes, they take the necessary measures and pretty much stop them. Underground or no underground.

    We are having a difficult time stopping certain crimes because we're not really serious about them. Backpage have complaints about child sex trafficking for years and hardly anything was done about it because the issue was treated lightly.
     
  10. Bob0627

    Bob0627 Well-Known Member

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    The First Amendment always applies to the US government, there are no exceptions. You still haven't explained what it is you don't understand about "Congress shall make no law ...".

    If, if, if, non sequitur.

    Publishing written material and human trafficking are not one and the same. The US government will have to prove Backpage knowingly and deliberately engaged in human trafficking by publishing written material. That would be impossible because it makes zero sense. And that's if this is really about justice but it isn't. They committed obvious charge stacking (93 counts????) and sealed the indictment so no one is privy to what the exact charges are.
     
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  11. navigator2

    navigator2 Banned

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    If you don't investigate, then you'll likely not find a problem. Sounds like an enforcement problem to me. You think it's going to go away now? LOL!
     
  12. DarkSkies

    DarkSkies Well-Known Member

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    FALSE. The 1st Amendment is a limited Amendment meaning there are restrictions to it. One can't facilitate and advocate illegal activities while hiding behind the first, for example.


    There's no reason to be dismissive. My point still stands.

    Except the activities were not limited to publishing written materials. With that, your point collapses here.
     
  13. DarkSkies

    DarkSkies Well-Known Member

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    They have investigated and apparently they did find problems. I will accept the point that it is an enforcement problem because I agree (even if for different reasons than you may have).

    Anyway, leaving up a site that actively facilitates child trafficking is irresponsible. There are more productive ways of dealing with human trafficking than the "wait and see" approach of leaving up such a site.
     
  14. navigator2

    navigator2 Banned

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    I still say, if you want a fish, you need a pond. And 90% of all fish are caught in 10% of the water. :grin:
     
  15. DarkSkies

    DarkSkies Well-Known Member

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    You believe websites like Backpage are bait sites then? You'd have a strong point if most predators used sites like Backpage, but they don't so...

    And frankly, using stings in websites can be seen as entrapment.
     
  16. Bob0627

    Bob0627 Well-Known Member

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    There are no limits to the First Amendment. If there were, they would have been explicitly stated in the Constitution. Please show me where in the Constitution there are exceptions to the First Amendment as you claim.

    You haven't shown where there is a limitation to the First Amendment, you've only introduced an irrelevant red herring. You keep avoiding answering my questions. Again, what is it you don't understand about "Congress shall make no law ...."?

    Your point is a hypothetical, totally irrelevant to the First Amendment prohibition on Congress.

    My point stands on the First Amendment despite your imagination. The FACT is that Congress cannot make any law violating the First Amendment which it did and are now using to prosecute Backpage. Whatever other charges there are, you and I are not privy to them nor do they have anything to do with Congress violating the First Amendment.
     
  17. DarkSkies

    DarkSkies Well-Known Member

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    It is common knowledge that the 1st Amendment is not absolute. An Amendment is literally the change in the Constitution so the Constitution would state nothing on an Amendment.

    Anyway, here are the following limitations on the 1st Amendment:

    • Fighting words
    • Obscenity
    • Child Pornography
    • Libel and Slander
    • Perjury
    • Extortion
    • Harrassment
    • Threats
    • Sometimes Hate Speech
    • Inciting Violence
    • Supporting Terrorism
    • Solicitation
    • Speech that encourages illegal or dangerous acts
    • Any other crimes involving speech
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2018
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  18. Bob0627

    Bob0627 Well-Known Member

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    It was common knowledge that the Earth was flat and the center of the Universe. Your point means absolutely zero. What is stated in the Constitution is what is the Supreme Law of the Land by the Constitution's mandate. You keep avoiding my question. What is it you don't understand about "Congress shall make no law ...". It is as explicit as it gets. Furthermore, the 10th Amendment prohibits the federal government from asserting powers not explicitly granted to it by the Constitution.

    What does that mean? Are you saying that "Congress shall make no law ..." says nothing? These are words that are part of the Constitution by the Constitution's own mandate. Do you need an English language dictionary to help you understand what those words mean?

    Again, please show me where in the CONSTITUTION there are ANY exceptions to the First Amendment. So far this is yet another one of your evasions. Posting a list of words that don't appear in the Constitution is worthless nonsense. If it isn't in the Constitution and it isn't in full compliance with the Constitution it isn't law and any color of law is null and void from inception.
     
  19. DarkSkies

    DarkSkies Well-Known Member

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    Here is the answer to your question: Congress did not make a law abridging free speech though. The exceptions to free speech was done by the Supreme Court. Those types of speech that I listed above therefore are not protected under the First Amendment. Please understand how our system works before you try and insult me.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2018
  20. Bob0627

    Bob0627 Well-Known Member

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    The Supreme Court has no authority to enact ANY legislation or to amend the Constitution. This is strictly prohibited by the 10th Amendment. The abridgment of free speech is embodied within the recently passed bill HR 1865, otherwise called FOSTA ("Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act").

    https://www.aclu.org/letter/aclu-vo...865-allow-states-and-victims-fight-online-sex

    Once again, please show me where in the CONSTITUTION there are ANY exceptions to the First Amendment. Do I need to interpret that sentence for you? You have yet to do so. You have also consistently failed/avoided to explain what it is you don't understand about "Congress shall make no law ...".

    I am fully aware of how the (in)justice system works according the US government. I am also fully aware of how the justice system should work in accordance with the Constitution. I've been studying the Constitution and civil rights laws and doctrines for more than 20 years now. Please do not insult me, so far you have shown zero understanding of how it is supposed to work and bend over understanding of what the US government wants you to believe how it works.
     
  21. DarkSkies

    DarkSkies Well-Known Member

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    The Supreme Court has the authority to make interpretations of the law under the 3rd article in the Constitution. They don't need to enact or abridge anything. They make their interpretations and the law carries on from there. It remains in the confines of the Constitution anyway. Moreover, what about the 10th Amendment? It just says that, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." The Constitution allows the establishment of one Supreme Court and it is the final interpreter of the Constitution so the 10th does not apply here at all.

    Regarding your point on FOSTA, I don't see how law enforcement needs it to take down Backpage. I did go ahead and read the document and agree with the sentiments expressed in it. However, there are many ways to get sites like Backpage off the net and free speech is simply an angle to keep it up. Never mind the site violating numerous laws. Backpage has been reported by regular individuals so law enforcement doesn't have a 1st Amendment issue here. It's not like they said, this site is obscene let's screw with it.

    I have to say this so you get some perspective. There is nothing in the Constitution addressing murder, robbery, rape, assault, and human trafficking either. This doesn't mean, that the Constitution did not allow the Supreme Court or lesser courts to address these issues. Illegal actions are simply not protected under U.S. law. Criminals are still protected enough for due process, but they can't hide behind the 1st.
     
  22. Mac-7

    Mac-7 Banned

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    I never heard of backpage but it may be simular to old Craigslist prostitution page was cleaned up about 10 years ago
     
  23. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Is your argument that literally no statement, publication or broadcast in the US should be restricted in any way for any reason by any law?
     
  24. Bob0627

    Bob0627 Well-Known Member

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    That's incorrect, there's nothing in Article III that authorizes the Supreme Court to interpret the Constitution. If that were true, it could easily interpret the Constitution that it has authority over the Executive and the Legislature or that it has no meaning other than what the Supreme Court dictates. The power to interpret the Constitution was seized by the Supreme Court in Marbury v Madison (1803) in direct violation of the 10th Amendment. This is why I said you have a bend over understanding of justice, it's whatever the government tells you it is, not what the Constitution dictates.

    I don't believe you understand what you just wrote. You're saying the Supreme Court has legislative powers.

    The only thing that remains in the confines of the Constitution is what is written in the Constitution, not what the Supreme says is written in the Constitution but isn't.

    Right, it just says that and means what it says. Are you trying to trivialize what it says?

    The 10th Amendment applies to restrict the powers of the federal government to EXACTLY what the Constitution grants and NOTHING more. Therefore there is no power granted to SCOTUS to interpret the Constitution. If you believe that, please show me the exact words in the Constitution (Article III or anywhere in the Constitution) that says the Supreme Court has the power to interpret the Constitution. So far I've asked you 2 simple questions that require 2 simple answers and all you've done is avoided both questions. I fully expect you to avoid or dance around this 3rd request.

    It doesn't matter what you believe law enforcement needs or not, it did exactly that.

    This issue is a lot more about the First Amendment, I could care less about Backpage other than I protect and defend anyone's right to free speech regardless that I never took the Oath of Office unlike these criminals who did and are now violating their Oath. Law enforcement can only enforce the law so long as their enforcement does not violate the Constitution, they also all took the Oath of Office.

    "Everything Hitler did was legal." - Martin Luther King Jr.

    You haven't yet posted anything for my "perspective" other than to reveal yours.

    Nor should there be. The 9th Amendment covers the protection of ALL rights not explicitly stated in the remainder of the Constitution, the rest are stated. That includes all violations of individual rights by the government and by others.

    The Constitution grants the Supreme Court the power of judicial review. That means it has the power to determine if a law is in full compliance with the Constitution or not when a grant for petition of writ of certiorari is granted by the Supreme Court. That has nothing to do with "hiding". The First Amendment is not a drape to "hide" behind, it's a directive prohibiting Congress from creating any law that violates the protected right of free speech, among other things. You just don't get it otherwise you would have stated that from when I first asked you if you understood what the first few words of the First Amendment says.
     
  25. Bob0627

    Bob0627 Well-Known Member

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    I don't have any argument. I have what the First Amendment says, period, end of story. I didn't make it up, the founders did.
     

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