Sunday, August 09, 2009

Boozman to Obama - TAKE DOWN THAT SITE!

I try to be careful about perpetuating items that are a little too far left or right of center. What one person considers a Major Issue may be more of a conspiracy issue than provable fact. And yes, on this blog I am the sole arbiter of how far from the center something might be, or even if it falls into the "conspiracy theory" arena. I'm also the arbiter of whether it's something I care to even acknowledge or spend any time on. This particular issue is something I feel I have to write about because it is so dangerous to our Constitution and very liberties.

It seems there has been a request from the White House for Internet users to report on sites that are "fishy" regarding healthcare reform to an email address at the White House. I haven't seen the website linked to the email address, but I have seen the response (see below) from Arkansas U.S Rep. John Boozman to the White House.

Boozman Statement on White House Internet Monitoring

Washington, Aug 7 -

U.S. Representative John Boozman (R-AR) today issued the following statement regarding White House Internet Monitoring efforts:

“The Obama Administration has requested that e-mails and internet materials produced by private citizens that are critical of the President's policies be reported to an e-mail address at the White House.

The White House website states: "If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to"

American citizens should be free to criticize the policies of the President or any other elected official, including me, without fearing that the criticism will be policed and monitored by the government.

The First Amendment specifically protects speech, and our Constitutional rights must be protected when we use the internet.

I call on President Obama to disable this e-mail address and I ask that he stop soliciting this kind of surveillance on private citizens.”

With all the comments lately referring to Nazis, I have remind you about a well known practice in Nazi Germany. Most Germans were cautious enough to be careful about what they said outside their homes, but spoke more freely in the company of their own families. Children were encouraged to turn their own parents into the government if they criticized Hitler, other government officials, or the government itself. At the very least, it was to identify dissenters.

I have to point out one of my favorite observations: Perception is everything. Let me explain what I mean. I am not privy to what goes on in the White House, so I don't know the reasons why they may do as they do. I can only go on what I do know: that Rep. Boozman is asking the White House to take down a website that asks people to report when they see anyone critizing the healthcare plan. My first thought is that the White House is trying to limit my First Amendment right to Free Speech.

The White House may have very honorable reasons for asking Interneters to tell them who has a criticism of the healthcare plan. Perhaps the White House wants to have answers for the problems presented by those against the plan. But, and this is a big but, the perception is that they want Interneters to snitch on each other.

To have answers ready for questions or to identify dissenters? It doesn't really matter. Those who believe in the Constitution see it as a serious 1st Amendment issue. I know people, who simply because they see it as a government attempt to interfere with their Constitutional right to Free Speech, will start blogging and talking about the healthcare issue when they wouldn't have to begin with simply because the implication is that the White House doesn't want dissention.

Much has been said about the White House "hate list". If wanting to live in a country where I can state my opposition to a government plan means I am against the government, then go ahead a put me on the list. I don't hate the Obama administration, nor do I want it to fail, but I will trust in the judgment of the American people when they go to the polls in 2010 and again in 2012.

I am an American, and as such, I am protected by the American Constitution, until it is replaced by something else. When that day happens, America will no longer be the greatest country in the world. It will be just a shabby, tattered, sad, caricature of it's former self. We'd no longer be the country where the streets are paved with gold, where everyone can live and speak freely. We'd be no better than a third rate nation run by petty dictators and bureaucrats. I know there are those who think we're there now, but as of today, they have the right to speak those words out loud to anyone who cares to listen. In what third rate country does that happen today?

It's our rights granted under the Constitution that make us free to speak out against what we perceive to be governmental blunders and politician's faux pas. Under the First Amendment we can laugh at politicians when they say something laughable. It's our Constitution that set us apart from those second and third rate nations where you can speak long as you parrot what the government tells you to say. It's our Constitution that makes this the greatest nation in the history of the world.

If the White House is asking our fellow citizens to report when a blogger or anyone else criticizes the government, it doesn't really matter why they want to know, it's that slippery slope again...and we're on a toboggan gaining speed toward that third rate nation status.

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