Who Will Protect the Freedom to Blog? – Michelle Malkin – Townhall Conservative Columnists

Who Will Protect the Freedom to Blog? – Michelle Malkin – Townhall Conservative Columnists.

Free speech is under fire. Online thugs are targeting bloggers (mostly conservative, but not all) who have dared to expose a convicted bomber and perjuring vexatious litigant who is now enjoying a comfy life as a liberally subsidized social justice operative. Where do your elected representatives stand on this threat to our founding principles?

On Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-GA, bravely stepped forward to press this vital issue. In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Chambliss decried the “harassing and frightening actions” of Internet menaces who recently have gone after several conservative new media citizen journalists and activists.

GOP Rep. Kenny Marchant of Texas added his voice, telling Holder in a statement that he is “very afraid of the potential chilling effects that these reported actions may have in silencing individuals who would otherwise be inclined to exercise their Constitutional right to free speech.” And the American Center for Law and Justice, a leading conservative free speech public interest law firm, announced it was providing legal representation to the National Bloggers Club — a new media association that has provided support and raised funds for targets of this coordinated harassment. (Full disclosure: I volunteer on the National Bloggers Club board of directors.)

The ACLJ described the importance of the case very simply: “Free speech is under attack.”

Chambliss and Marchant called specific attention to one terrifying tactic against these bloggers: SWAT-ting. These hoaxes occur “when a perpetrator contacts local police to report a violent incident at a target’s home.” Callers disguise their true identities and locations in order to provoke a potentially deadly SWAT/police response descending upon the targets’ homes.

As online conservatives — and now ABC News — have reported, recent SWAT-ting victims include New Jersey-based Mike Stack, a blogger and Twitter user targeted last summer after helping to expose disgraced former N.Y. Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner’s shady social media activities; California blogger Patrick Frey, a deputy district attorney at Los Angeles County District Attorney‘s Office who recently posted a bone-chilling account and audio of his summer 2011 SWAT-ting on his blog, Patterico.com; and CNN contributor and RedState.com managing editor Erick Erickson, whose Georgia home was targeted by a faker claiming an “accidental shooting” there late last month.

A common thread among these and other online targets: They all have published web links, commentary or investigative pieces related to Brett Kimberlin, the infamous “Speedway Bomber.”

In 1978, Kimberlin was sentenced to more than 50 years in federal prison for drug dealing, impersonating a federal officer and a weeklong bombing spree in Speedway, Ind. The violent crimes left one victim so severely injured that he committed suicide. A civil court awarded the widow of the victim, Carl DeLong, $1.6 million. Kimberlin was released from jail in 2001, but has yet to pay up.

Investigative journalist/researcher Mandy Nagy, who blogs for the late Andrew Breitbart’s Internet media powerhouse, Breitbart.com, dared to chronicle Kimberlin’s lucrative business and political ventures over the past two years. Kimberlin has a large hand in two well-funded outfits, Velvet Revolution and the Justice Through Music Project, that have received funding from the likes of George Soros’ Tides Foundation and left-wing activist and singer Barbra Streisand. The charitable groups have viciously attacked prominent conservative individuals and groups, including Breitbart, investigative journalist James O’Keefe and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Nagy has been hounded relentlessly online and falsely accused of wild criminal conspiracies by Kimberlin associates for blowing the whistle on his shady online network.

After providing brief pro bono legal services to a liberal blogger who refused to whitewash Kimberlin’s past, conservative blogger and lawyer Aaron Walker lost his job. His employer was terrified by the thought of Kimberlin bombing his office and also fired Walker’s wife, who had worked for the same firm.

Walker is embroiled in Kafkaesque, free speech-squelching litigation with serial lawsuit-filer Kimberlin in Maryland. Last week, an inept judge who admitted abject ignorance about the Internet — and appalling apathy toward key free-speech Supreme Court cases — essentially gagged Walker from exercising his First Amendment rights and blogging about Kimberlin. Kimberlin pulled off a snow job in court, bizarrely claiming that an independent online effort to support Walker and expose Kimberlin’s past amounted to a criminal terror campaign against him. Renowned constitutional law professor Eugene Volokh of UCLA is providing pro bono help to appeal the order against Walker.

National Bloggers Club President Ali Akbar was targeted for spearheading charity efforts for Kimberlin targets; stalkers publicized his mother’s home, and Texas authorities are now investigating. Another conservative blogger who had the audacity to report on Walker’s plight, Robert Stacy McCain, was forced to move out of his home last month after Kimberlin phoned his wife’s employer and intimidated his family.

Never in the eight years that I have worked as an independent blogger have I seen such a concerted threat to the fundamental right of citizen journalists to speak their minds freely and without fear of bodily harm. As former Justice Department official J. Christian Adams points out, it is a federal violation of Title 18 U.S.C. Section 241 to conspire to deprive someone of his “free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States.”

Members of Congress swore an oath to uphold the Constitution — all of it. Who means it?



English: Andrew Breitbart - Reminding us all t...

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Posted by USARogue

In the aftermath of the passing of one of America’s great defenders of freedom, Andrew Breitbart, we need to take a moment and reflect. His passion was exceptional, his vision undaunted. His energy must be our motivation. Outside of Breitbarttv.com and Breitbart.com his other sites were common in their message Big Hollywood, Big Government, Big Journalism and Big Peace. The message here was “Big” . He, as many of us also realize, understood that all of these things were part of the problem other than Big Peace. Big Peace cannot exist with the massive expansion of the others, especially Big Government.

Our government is out of control. A National Debt soon to reach $16.3 trillion with no end in sight is consuming the very fabric of our Republic. Unfunded Liabilities of $117 trillion are even more unimaginable.  In 2000 when Bush came into office there were 4.129 million non-uniformed employees, in 2008 there were 4.206 million non-uniformed employees. So, in the 8 years of the Bush administration they added a total of 77,000 employees. As of 2011 there are 4.443 million non-uniformed employees. So in the first 2 1/2 years of the Obama administration they have had a 237,000 employee increase. In 2010, federal civilian workers had an average wage of $83,679, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. By comparison, the average wage of the nation’s 101 million private-sector workers was $51,986. When benefits such as health care and pensions are included, the federal compensation advantage over private workers is even larger, according to the BEA data. In 2010, federal worker compensation averaged $126,141, or double the private-sector average of $62,757. How long can the private sector keep supporting the public sector at this rate?

Last summer we watched the pathetic battle of nit-wits between the GOBP (Good Ole Boys Party) and the Liberal/Progressive elitists about the debt ceiling. The drama was intense, the debate exhausting, the rhetoric fulminant, the results unfortunately were the same as always. We are burning through money even faster than was initially predicted. As the Bipartisan Policy Center study, released last Friday, now anticipates the nation will reach its $16.4 trillion debt limit as early as late November rather than mid 2013. This is due in part to the fact that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has determined corporate tax receipts are coming in substantially lower than anticipated. Imagine that, over 24 million Americans under/unemployed, our largest trading partner the European Union is in the throes of economic calamity, and the government forgot to calculate the revenue shortfall due to decreased sales.

We helped the GOBP retake the House in 2010. We sent them with a very simple mandate, STOP SPENDING! As we have embarrassingly watched, the party of Tammy Faye Boehner  and the criminals on the Left, have been unable to find anything that can be cut of substance to stop the tsunami-like spendathon our government has been on for decades. Interestingly, government auditors spent the past five years examining all federal programs and found that 22 percent (22%) of them, costing taxpayers a total of $123 billion annually, did not show any positive impact on the populations they serve. More than 1-in-5 of our massive federal programs are basically useless. We can just keep finding $123 billion to waste rather than eliminate these programs. This is appalling for two reasons. First, for the obvious reason that this massive bureaucracy still exists. Second, that it took auditors 5 (FIVE!) years to do the study. Anything that takes that long to just assess must be TOO BIG TO SUCCEED! In 1984 Reagan created a special commission called the “Private Sector Survey on Cost Control”, better known as the “Grace Commission”. This was a similar study and it took 3 years then to find out there were 963 different social programs. Amazingly the OMB estimated that only 250 programs existed. The commission found nearly 2,500 cost-cutting and revenue generating recommendations that could save the government almost $425 BILLION Dollars in the first 3 years. With complete incorporation the plan was reported to be able to save nearly $2 TRILLION Dollars by 1999. Not surprisingly over 90% of the recommendations were ignored by Congress. If ever there is a reason for “Sunset Clauses” being applied to each piece of legislation, this is it.

The vision that Andrew Breitbart had was for smaller government. The TEA Party was built on this same principle. His, and our, message is unified. Unfortunately we have a European Socialist President and a Marxist Democratic party followed closely by the dysfunctional establishment GOBP. What should be astonishing to everyone is a recent study done by the European Central Bank (ECB). Europe is in the midst of a massive fiscal crisis caused by too much government. As has been their and our compulsion, they just feel spending more borrowed money, rather than any austerity measures to reduce the size of government, is the solution. The study finds that government spending is unambiguously harmful to economic performance.

…we analyse a wide set of 108 countries composed of both developed and emerging and developing countries, using a long time span running from 1970-2008, and employing different proxies for government size… Our results show a significant negative effect of the size of government on growth. …Interestingly, government consumption is consistently detrimental to output growth irrespective of the country sample considered (OECD, emerging and developing countries).

Evidence shows that the problem is government spending, and that problem exists regardless of whether the budget is financed by taxes or borrowing. This underscores the fact that their, and our, policy makers fail to understand the distinction and erroneously focus on the symptom (deficits) and ignore the underlying disease (BIG GOVERNMENT). God Bless you Andrew Breitbart and TEA Party for your vision. This brings us to the recurrent insanity in government where one bad government policy is used to justify another bad government policy. The ECB study shows that the only good solution is to reduce the burden of the public sector on the private sector.

… economic progress is limited when government is zero percent of the economy (absence of rule of law, property rights, etc.), but also when it is closer to 100 percent (the law of diminishing returns operates in addition to, e.g., increased taxation required to finance the government’s growing burden – which has adverse effects on human economic behaviour, namely on consumption decisions).

The key here is that government is too big in the United States and other industrialized nations. Finally, the ECB study analyzed different budget process reforms.

…we use three indices constructed by the European Commission (overall rule index, expenditure rule index, and budget balance and debt rule index). …The former incorporates each index individually whereas the latter includes interacted terms between fiscal rules and government size proxies. Particularly under the total government expenditure and government spending specifications…we find statistically significant positive coefficients on the overall rule index and the expenditure rule index, meaning that having these fiscal numerical rules improves GDP growth for these set of EU countries.

WHEW! If this seems like a bunch of economic gibberish, that’s because it is. Basically what it says is that spending limits are better than balanced budget rules. This is important because it shows that rules focusing on deficits and debt are not as effective because it allows politicians to use them as an excuse to raise taxes. Basically, the simple solution is that government spending must grow slower than the private sector, or more simply, spending cannot exceed revenue. You and I live by this golden rule in our own lives, government MUST do the same.

Notice that none of the media have covered this study. A study this significant should be the main topic of discussion until the election. Of course the media will hush this up as it is antithetical to Obama’s class-warfare and tax-the-rich according to his “fair share” initiative. Republicans should be throwing this in the face of the Democrats over and over in an effort to promote the mandate we sent them with in 2010.

Rest in Peace Andrew Breitbart. Your Conservatism, passion and commitment will be truly missed. Our strongest remembrance of your effort is to simply mimic it.

Finally, we need to embrace these words:

“The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first.” – Thomas Jefferson

RIP Andrew Breitbart – Tea Party Nation

Andrew Breitbart

Andrew Breitbart (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

RIP Andrew Breitbart – Tea Party Nation.

Posted by Judson Phillips

Andrew Breitbart has died.  He was 43 years old.

 The cause of death has not been released and honestly it is none of our business.  The fact he is gone is bad enough.

 Andrew Breitbart was an unbelievable personality.  He has been described as an author, publisher, and entrepreneur. 

 He could also be described as fearless and in some ways, the wild man of the conservative movement. 

 He was famous for being very willing to mix it up with liberals.  In 2010, at the massive Tea Party Express rally in Searchlight Nevada, when union thugs threw eggs at the Tea Party Express bus and other cars, Breitbart went into the union crowd, refusing to back down and daring them to do something to him.   Less than a month ago, he was at CPAC and when the Occupy protestors decided to act like the fools they are, Breitbart was the guy who went outside and confronted them. 

 I met him two years ago, when we did the National Tea Party convention.  Breitbart was someone who early on recognized the value of the event, even more than we did.  He reached out and helped in a number of ways.  He never asked for anything in return.

 There was a point where the convention almost failed.  Some leftist groups were working hard to make the convention fail, thinking it would embarrass the movement. 

 At one of the most crucial moments, we reached out to him and he went above and beyond the call of duty to do something that saved the convention.  Perhaps one day the entire story will be told but the bottom line is he did not have to but he did.

 Not everyone agreed with him on a lot of issues.  I certainly did not.

 But today is not a day to talk about past differences and past fights.

 Breitbart relished fighting those who would destroy this great country.

 He loved this country, he loved what he was doing and he was an amazing patriot.

 Rest in Peace.