The Thoughts of SES Blog

Misinterpretations and overextensions of the First Amendment

Posted in Thoughts on Idiocy by ses31 on February 5, 2010

There’s a petition going around: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/legalize-gambling-in-alabama-2010.

At last check, it had gone from 126 to 135.

Here’s the text:

“Target: Alabama Voters, Members of the Alabama Legislature
Sponsored by: People Who Love Freedom and Cherish Freedom of Speech
When the current Alabama Governor ran for office the first time, one campaign pledge was “no new taxes.” Within weeks after assuming office, the first thing he did was act to raise them thru a Constitutional amendment vote. His position was “we need more tax revenue and the people of Alabama DESERVE the right to vote on it.” The Governor and his pro-Amendment 1 backers DEMANDED that the people be given their constitutional right to vote (believing full-well that with their well-financed interests, they would win). We agreed then and we agree now that was the right of Alabamians to vote for or against more taxes … People could vote YES or NO. They voted NO.

HOWEVER, the Governor, his friends in the gambling industry in adjacent states, Alabama’s powerful religious lobbies (a contradiction in terms considering their tax-exempt status) are working hard to DENY YOU the same opportunity. They DO NOT WANT YOU TO EVEN HAVE THE RIGHT TO VOTE ON A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT THAT WILL LEGALIZE BINGO IN A FEW COUNTIES… IF IT PASSED Can you imagine their unmitigated gall? Their blatant hypocrisy? Their self-anointed moral superiority ?

This petition is about 1 thing and 1 thing only: Freedom of Speech. Even if you are AGAINST legalizing bingo and/or forms of gaming, you should be outraged that you are being denied your right to vote NO.

AND: If you love freedom, individual rights, freedom of speech (for which our Founding Fathers and countless other brave Americans have died defending and assuring, since we became a Republic) you should be equally outraged that members of the Alabama Legislature (republicans and democrats alike) are SO AFRAID OF LOSING THEIR POSITIONS IN THE HOUSE OR THE SENATE, THAT THEY WILL NOT EVEN LET PROPOSED LEGISLATION ALLOWING A STATE-WIDE, CONSTITITIONAL REFERENDUM … in other words, YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE FOR OR AGAINST BINGO TO EVEN GET OUT OF THEIR CONVENIENT LITTLE COMMITTEES.

Shame on them … and Shame on the voters who allow them to get away with it by denying all of us the right to speak our minds, freely, in the privacy of the voting booth.

Remember these words from Kris’ song: Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose. Even if you HATE gambling, you must cherish your freedom and if you are denied the right to vote against it, you are not a citizen, you have allowed yourself to become a slave.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE: SIGN THIS PETITION AND DEMAND THAT THE ALABAMA SENATOR AND THE ALABAMA REPRESENTATIVE WHO “REPRESENTS” YOU SUPPORT, VOTE FOR AND PASS LEGISLATION IN THE 2O10 SESSION THAT BEGINS IN JANUARY, 2010 THAT WILL GIVE YOU THE RIGHT TO VOTE FOR YOUR FREEDOM BY VOTING FOR OR AGAINST LEGALIZING BINGO… DO NOT LET THESE “ELECTED OFFICEHOLDERS” STEAL YOUR FREEDOM. SIGN THE PETITION SO YOU CAN VOTE IT UP OR DOWN. THIS IS FREEDOM OF SPEECH. DON’T GIVE IT AWAY AND DON’T LET IT BE STOLEN FROM YOU BECAUSE OF APATHY OR OMISSION.

Proudly signed by the petition’s initiator,
Dr. Russ Fine
Birmingham, Alabama”

Here’s the guy’s biographical information:

“Russ Fine, PhD, MSPH
ICRC Director and Principal Investigator
Acting Rehabilitation Core Director
SCIB Director and Principal Investigator
Professor of Medicine, UAB School of Medicine
Professor of Health Care Organization and Policy, UAB School of Public Health

Dr. Russ Fine, an injury epidemiologist/biostatistician by training, is the founding director and principal investigator of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Injury Control Research Center (UAB ICRC). He supervises and directs the UAB ICRC’s overall operations and has final responsibility for decisions regarding program, management, fiscal, and policy-related matters.

Dr. Fine is a graduate of Southern Illinois University, the University of Missouri Medical Center, and the University of Oklahoma Medical Center. He has experience in many areas of public health and injury control, from investigating commercial and private aviation crash sites for the Federal Aviation Administration to establishing and directing the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Statewide Pediatric Lead Poisoning Program.

Dr. Fine was recruited by UAB’s Department of Rehabilitation Medicine in late 1974 and he achieved the rank of full tenured professor in 1983. While with the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine he served as its director of research and scientific affairs, director of research for the NIDRR-sponsored Medical Rehabilitation Research and Training Center in Spinal Cord Dysfunction, co-director of the UAB Spinal Cord Injury Care System, and co-director of the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center.

In 1988, Dr. Fine was appointed professor of medicine in the UAB Department of Medicine’s Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology. Dr. Fine holds secondary appointments in the UAB School of Public Health’s Department of Health Care Organization and Policy and in UAB’s Graduate School. He is a Fellow of the American College of Epidemiology and a member of numerous professional organizations, including the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, the World Federation of Neurology, the New York Academy of Sciences, and the Society of Sigma Chi. Dr. Fine served as chairman of the late Governor George Wallace’s Task Force on Drunk Driving for the state of Alabama and is cofounder of Mothers Against Drunk Driving in Alabama, serving as president of that organization in Jefferson County from 1984 to 1986.

He is the author or coauthor of more than 100 contributions to scientific literature and has been awarded numerous funded and peer-reviewed scientific research grants and contracts that have brought nearly $46 million to UAB since 1975. In 1993, the story of his relationship with a despondent quadriplegic contemplating suicide was the subject of The Switch, a widely acclaimed made-for-television movie that was broadcast nationwide on the CBS television network.”

http://www.uab.edu/scib/DrFine.html

One cannot expect a medical doctor to correctly interpret the meaning of the First Amendment as this guy has clearly misinterpreted and overextended the meaning of it.

Here is the wording to The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America as quoted in The Law of Public Communication2007 Update by Kent R. Middleton and William E. Lee. (New York: Pearson).

“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.”

What this means is that Congress shall no make law preventing us from freely worshipping as we choose, speaking as we choose or writing as we choose, the last two, under the provisions of certain provisions that have been passed through time for the purposes of common decency and safety. It means that we have the right to a peaceful demonstration and to let our President, Senators, Congressmen, and other elected official know when we have a grievance or a problem with they are handling things

The First Amendment is NEVER to be used to imply that should a body of legislators deciding we won’t get to voe on something is morally irresponsible and irreprehensible is stealing our right to the freedom of speech. That’s NOT what the FIRST Amendment reads. That’s NOT what it means.

Voting isn’t even covered until a different and later amendment on.

But what else can I expect from someone who only went to medical classes? Journalism vs. medicine.

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2 Responses

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  1. […] original post here: Misinterpretations and overextensions of the First Amendment Aviation […]

    *Some crackpot who didn’t really my explanation of why the guy’s interpretation of the First Amendment was wrong and trying to defend the position by rattling off all of the experiences he had-NONE of which relate to Media Law or journalism or broadcast. So the opinion of this journalist stands as is!

    • ses31 said, on February 6, 2010 at 12:34 pm

      That does not make him an expert in an area that involves media law and journalism.


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