US Supreme Court - Brought to you by Koch Industries

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CorruptUser
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Re: US Supreme Court - Brought to you by Koch Industries

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Apr 04, 2014 5:06 pm UTC

They publish their views on TV and Radio and so forth. People think they are immune, but every advertising executive knows that if people keep hearing about why Senator Jackass is a better candidate for president than Governor Douchebag, they'll go for Jackass.

Tyndmyr
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Re: US Supreme Court - Brought to you by Koch Industries

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Apr 04, 2014 5:25 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:

It's not obvious, however, that the real world works that way. If Koch or MoveOn or whoever puts up a billboard, it doesn't get any harder for me to publish my own stuff online.


That also works the other way round. If it doesn't take money to publish views, then how are spending limits also limits on speech or the press?


Meh. Money and effort govern all things. Yes, posting a blog online might be very cheap...so cheap that it isn't worth billing individual users, but it's not quite free in absolute terms. In the same way, making words by talking is pretty cheap.

However, they had talking and newspapers both back in the early days of the country, and clearly, free speach covers all of that. Seems fairly open and shut that you are free to spread your political views regardless of if doing so costs money.

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Re: US Supreme Court - Brought to you by Koch Industries

Postby addams » Fri Apr 04, 2014 5:53 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:They publish their views on TV and Radio and so forth. People think they are immune, but every advertising executive knows that if people keep hearing about why Senator Jackass is a better candidate for president than Governor Douchebag, they'll go for Jackass.

Yep.

That is the Point is it Not.
In the Depths of the Human Mind.....

What voice do we listen to?
!The Strongest!

!!We Will Survive!!

We want what that Mormon Guy has.
If we follow him Home, we can have what he has.

We will be like Family.

We will have to do it his way.
Small price to pay for such Riches.

He is a Perfectly Content Man.
With Family and Friends and Riches that would make Solomon blush.
He lives a Solomon like existence.

His Judgment is Impeccable.
Have you not seen The Adds?

He will take us Home.
He will make Judgements for us,
as he has made them for himself.

We will all be so Happy.
Some people are Rebellious.

What do Mormons do with the Rebellious?
Leave them alone to raise herds of Blonds out on the Open Desert?

Seems like the right thing to do, to me.
Can that man put a Mercedes key in Every Hand?

Good! Him!
Let's follow him Home!

Look! Mormon State is Doing The Right Thing!
http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2013/ ... rcent.html

I don't care how many wives he has.
Can he help other men afford to have themselves?

Yea! Utah!
I spoke to a Woman that said she had been down that way.

Something is happening.
What? I don't know.

If it eases the suffering, I am all for it.

Who are you going to Vote For?
Does it Matter? Why?

Are you going to play the Lottery?
Same chance of winning?

pfft. Do you know who you will vote for?
Or; Will you be informed of your choice?

If there are only two to choose from, your chances of winning are significantly improved.
Of course, What did you win?

A Stranger that does not know you exist?
or, A Different Stranger that does not know you exit?

Oh! Oh! If you have Money, that Stranger might know you exist.
Money not only gives a person a voice, It makes a person visible.

The Framers did not think of that. Did they?
The Greeks and Romans did.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: US Supreme Court - Brought to you by Koch Industries

Postby Heisenberg » Fri Apr 04, 2014 5:58 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:However, they had talking and newspapers both back in the early days of the country, and clearly, free speach covers all of that. Seems fairly open and shut that you are free to spread your political views regardless of if doing so costs money.

Not really, no. Freedom of speech and a freedom of the press are both protected by the first amendment. If speech included printing newspapers, it would be redundant to protect freedom of the press.

Do you think that if you have the right to a certain action that implies you have the right to pay someone else to perform that action for you? Does the right to vote, for instance, also give you the right to pay a thousand people to vote the way you want them to?

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CorruptUser
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Re: US Supreme Court - Brought to you by Koch Industries

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Apr 04, 2014 6:03 pm UTC

The first amendment, like all things, says whatever the people in charge decide it says.

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sardia
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Re: US Supreme Court - Brought to you by Koch Industries

Postby sardia » Fri Apr 04, 2014 6:31 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
Zamfir wrote:

It's not obvious, however, that the real world works that way. If Koch or MoveOn or whoever puts up a billboard, it doesn't get any harder for me to publish my own stuff online.


That also works the other way round. If it doesn't take money to publish views, then how are spending limits also limits on speech or the press?


Meh. Money and effort govern all things. Yes, posting a blog online might be very cheap...so cheap that it isn't worth billing individual users, but it's not quite free in absolute terms. In the same way, making words by talking is pretty cheap.

However, they had talking and newspapers both back in the early days of the country, and clearly, free speach covers all of that. Seems fairly open and shut that you are free to spread your political views regardless of if doing so costs money.

Wealth inequality wasn't the same back then. The country's wealth was very evenly distributed, unlike now. It's one thing to declare it all free speech, but this "free speech" is paid for to pass laws that benefit the ones who paid the most for it. That's all fine as long as the ones who paid the most are the same as most of the country. Where we have problems is when the 1% decide that screwing the country is more profitable.

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Re: US Supreme Court - Brought to you by Koch Industries

Postby LaserGuy » Fri Apr 04, 2014 6:43 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Wealth inequality wasn't the same back then. The country's wealth was very evenly distributed, unlike now. It's one thing to declare it all free speech, but this "free speech" is paid for to pass laws that benefit the ones who paid the most for it. That's all fine as long as the ones who paid the most are the same as most of the country. Where we have problems is when the 1% decide that screwing the country is more profitable.


Ironically, the Founding Fathers were quite preoccupied with what they saw as the severe income inequality present in their days.

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Re: US Supreme Court - Brought to you by Koch Industries

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Apr 04, 2014 7:13 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Wealth inequality wasn't the same back then. The country's wealth was very evenly distributed, unlike now. It's one thing to declare it all free speech, but this "free speech" is paid for to pass laws that benefit the ones who paid the most for it. That's all fine as long as the ones who paid the most are the same as most of the country. Where we have problems is when the 1% decide that screwing the country is more profitable.


*shrug* This was an era of slaves, property restrictions on voting, and poll taxes. Equality was...eh. Well, they were working in the right direction. But we should not over-praise them. Even on matters of wealth, the founding fathers were pretty significantly better off than average.

And there is little indication they saw "too much free speech" as a problem, or wished for restrictions on speech for those who were wealthy.

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Re: US Supreme Court - Brought to you by Koch Industries

Postby Heisenberg » Fri Apr 04, 2014 7:25 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:And there is little indication they saw "too much free speech" as a problem, or wished for restrictions on speech for those who were wealthy.
That's probably because there's no way they'd consider advertisements to be equivalent to speech. They didn't want more "free speech," whatever that is. They wanted fewer people jailed for speaking against the government.

If you know of someone who's in jail right now for voicing an opinion, then by all means blather on about freedom of speech. If you know a billionaire who wants to give more money to politicians, then maybe you should amend the Constitution to incorporate freedom of spending.

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Re: US Supreme Court - Brought to you by Koch Industries

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Fri Apr 04, 2014 7:58 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:

It's not obvious, however, that the real world works that way. If Koch or MoveOn or whoever puts up a billboard, it doesn't get any harder for me to publish my own stuff online.


That also works the other way round. If it doesn't take money to publish views, then how are spending limits also limits on speech or the press?

By no means am I denying that there are important forms of speech that cost a lot of money. What I mean to call attention to in that passage is not supposed to be the fact that online speech is cheap; it's that there is a lot of room for a lot of different speech, so that a great volume of speech on behalf of one viewpoint does not render opposing speech futile. What I am saying is that the "loud voices drowning out quieter ones" metaphor fails. The same point could be made even if we were just talking about very wealthy speakers. If one candidate spends $3 million on pamphlets, another candidate can just as easily do the same. If one candidate spends $3 million and the other spends $5 million, the wealthier one doesn't make the poorer "impossible to hear."
Nothing rhymes with orange,
Not even sporange.

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Re: US Supreme Court - Brought to you by Koch Industries

Postby addams » Fri Apr 04, 2014 8:05 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:And there is little indication they saw "too much free speech" as a problem, or wished for restrictions on speech for those who were wealthy.
That's probably because there's no way they'd consider advertisements to be equivalent to speech. They didn't want more "free speech," whatever that is. They wanted fewer people jailed for speaking against the government.

If you know of someone who's in jail right now for voicing an opinion, then by all means blather on about freedom of speech. If you know a billionaire who wants to give more money to politicians, then maybe you should amend the Constitution to incorporate freedom of spending.

You seem to have a good understanding of Reality.
Your tense structure is 'off' a little.

When the Supreme Court makes a Ruling, it Does! Amend the Constitution!
That has been done. That little PaperWork task is complete.

Blathering on about imprisoned persons has not reached a PaperWork conclusion, yet. right?
Is blathering on about iimprisoned persons an open-ended activity?

Harmless Celebrity Gossip?

Scientists don't talk about things that can't be tested.
Helpless human beings inside cages, held by the Americans, can't be tested.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: US Supreme Court - Brought to you by Koch Industries

Postby LaserGuy » Fri Apr 04, 2014 8:13 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
sardia wrote:Wealth inequality wasn't the same back then. The country's wealth was very evenly distributed, unlike now. It's one thing to declare it all free speech, but this "free speech" is paid for to pass laws that benefit the ones who paid the most for it. That's all fine as long as the ones who paid the most are the same as most of the country. Where we have problems is when the 1% decide that screwing the country is more profitable.


*shrug* This was an era of slaves, property restrictions on voting, and poll taxes. Equality was...eh. Well, they were working in the right direction. But we should not over-praise them. Even on matters of wealth, the founding fathers were pretty significantly better off than average.

And there is little indication they saw "too much free speech" as a problem, or wished for restrictions on speech for those who were wealthy.


If someone donates money to a campaign, and the campaign uses that money for, I don't know, buying a whole new wardrobe for the candidate, or hiring a firm to study voter demographics, or whatever, is that still considered speech?

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sardia
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Re: US Supreme Court - Brought to you by Koch Industries

Postby sardia » Fri Apr 04, 2014 9:13 pm UTC

Tyndmyr, are you throwing your lot in with Clarence Thomas?

Under the direction the SCOTUS is going under now, Yes. yes it is. What Tyndmyr isn't recognizing is this: It's ccurrently onstitutional to limit spending on political campaigns. What the judges threw out was limiting spending on multiple campaigns at the same time. Whether that disparity is due to Robert not getting around to it yet, or if believes that it is constitutional to limit spending on political campaigns. Judge Thomas was the one bemoaning the missed chance to completely abolish spending limits, so it's not like nobody was thinking it.

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Re: US Supreme Court - Brought to you by Koch Industries

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Apr 04, 2014 9:18 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:
sardia wrote:Wealth inequality wasn't the same back then. The country's wealth was very evenly distributed, unlike now. It's one thing to declare it all free speech, but this "free speech" is paid for to pass laws that benefit the ones who paid the most for it. That's all fine as long as the ones who paid the most are the same as most of the country. Where we have problems is when the 1% decide that screwing the country is more profitable.


*shrug* This was an era of slaves, property restrictions on voting, and poll taxes. Equality was...eh. Well, they were working in the right direction. But we should not over-praise them. Even on matters of wealth, the founding fathers were pretty significantly better off than average.

And there is little indication they saw "too much free speech" as a problem, or wished for restrictions on speech for those who were wealthy.


If someone donates money to a campaign, and the campaign uses that money for, I don't know, buying a whole new wardrobe for the candidate, or hiring a firm to study voter demographics, or whatever, is that still considered speech?


Political donations are considered part of free speech, yes.

If the political campaign is using them for terrible, terrible things, well...that's obviously an issue with that candidate(and I have no trouble bashing Palin for doing this). Any such abuse should fall on the campaign for this, not the donor. In fact, the donor might be rightly pissed if he considers it misuse.

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Re: US Supreme Court - Brought to you by Koch Industries

Postby addams » Fri Apr 04, 2014 10:07 pm UTC

ahhh. I remember back in The Old Days.
And; In some nations, today.

Each and everyone that wants to hold Office must pass a test of competence.
And; Each is given $12.50 to spend.

One will receive the position.
By Popular Vote? I hope not.

Of course, in my Wild Imagination individuals that serve well are rewarded with Respect and Popularity.

Do we want a dazzling little actress to do the Slogging work of serving?
No! The dazzling little actress would not understand the job.

A committee of the competent, the bright, the interested and the not too interesting might make level headed choices.

Is American Politics Exactly like the Miss America Pageant only the Campaign lasts for 2 years? Not 2 weeks?
For people that like Pageants it must be Heaven! I like behind the scenes stuff. Pageants have Great Food!

Politics is an Industry.
In more ways than I had realized.

It is a subsidiary of the News Programs.
Who knows what is going on?

Who writes the script?
So interesting? Nope.

Fucking Boring.
People manipulating People.

ech. Why?
Money? oh. That's different.

Really? Those people take them selves pretty darned seriously.
I take them seriously too. Everyone does.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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sardia
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Re: US Supreme Court - Brought to you by Koch Industries

Postby sardia » Fri Apr 04, 2014 11:27 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:
sardia wrote:Wealth inequality wasn't the same back then. The country's wealth was very evenly distributed, unlike now. It's one thing to declare it all free speech, but this "free speech" is paid for to pass laws that benefit the ones who paid the most for it. That's all fine as long as the ones who paid the most are the same as most of the country. Where we have problems is when the 1% decide that screwing the country is more profitable.


*shrug* This was an era of slaves, property restrictions on voting, and poll taxes. Equality was...eh. Well, they were working in the right direction. But we should not over-praise them. Even on matters of wealth, the founding fathers were pretty significantly better off than average.

And there is little indication they saw "too much free speech" as a problem, or wished for restrictions on speech for those who were wealthy.


If someone donates money to a campaign, and the campaign uses that money for, I don't know, buying a whole new wardrobe for the candidate, or hiring a firm to study voter demographics, or whatever, is that still considered speech?


Political donations are considered part of free speech, yes.

If the political campaign is using them for terrible, terrible things, well...that's obviously an issue with that candidate(and I have no trouble bashing Palin for doing this). Any such abuse should fall on the campaign for this, not the donor. In fact, the donor might be rightly pissed if he considers it misuse.

Are you saying there should be no limit to free speech, to political spending, or both?

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Re: US Supreme Court - Brought to you by Koch Industries

Postby Isaac Hill » Fri Apr 04, 2014 11:50 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:They publish their views on TV and Radio and so forth. People think they are immune, but every advertising executive knows that if people keep hearing about why Senator Jackass is a better candidate for president than Governor Douchebag, they'll go for Jackass.
When I don't have a preference for a race, I vote for whichever candidate I've seen the most attack ads against. At least I can cancel out someone who was swayed by the ads and make them a bit less effective. Plus, ads can be so misleading that all you really learn from them is that the attacked candidate pisses off someone with a lot of money to spend, and has a decent enough shot at winning to make them spend it. I've voted for flimsier reasons.

According to Wikipedia, the younger Koch brother turns 74 next month. At what point can candidates just take their money and then ignore them? If you're running for the House, sure, they'll probably still be around next election cycle. But, if you're running for the Senate, they'll have to make it to their 80s if they want to get back at you.
Alleged "poems"
that don't follow a rhyme scheme
are not poetry

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Re: US Supreme Court - Brought to you by Koch Industries

Postby LaserGuy » Sat Apr 05, 2014 3:15 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Political donations are considered part of free speech, yes.

If the political campaign is using them for terrible, terrible things, well...that's obviously an issue with that candidate(and I have no trouble bashing Palin for doing this). Any such abuse should fall on the campaign for this, not the donor. In fact, the donor might be rightly pissed if he considers it misuse.


How exactly is it speech if nobody is actually doing any speaking, in even the loosest sense of the term? If the candidate literally does nothing with the money, how is that speech, either on the part of the donor, or on the part of the candidate?

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Re: US Supreme Court - Brought to you by Koch Industries

Postby Derek » Sat Apr 05, 2014 3:40 am UTC

Isaac Hill wrote:According to Wikipedia, the younger Koch brother turns 74 next month. At what point can candidates just take their money and then ignore them? If you're running for the House, sure, they'll probably still be around next election cycle. But, if you're running for the Senate, they'll have to make it to their 80s if they want to get back at you.

If you backstab a prominent donor, even if they die and can't punish you, other major donors will take note.

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sardia
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Re: US Supreme Court - Brought to you by Koch Industries

Postby sardia » Sat Apr 05, 2014 4:59 am UTC

LaserGuy wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Political donations are considered part of free speech, yes.

If the political campaign is using them for terrible, terrible things, well...that's obviously an issue with that candidate(and I have no trouble bashing Palin for doing this). Any such abuse should fall on the campaign for this, not the donor. In fact, the donor might be rightly pissed if he considers it misuse.


How exactly is it speech if nobody is actually doing any speaking, in even the loosest sense of the term? If the candidate literally does nothing with the money, how is that speech, either on the part of the donor, or on the part of the candidate?

Tyndmyr, just because you consider political donations to be free speech, doesn't mean that political donations are unlimited. Even free speech isn't unlimited. You said that the first amendment is clear. It is not. The amendments mean whatever the hell the judges and the executives want it to mean so long as they can justify it based on precedent and public support. If you think the amendments are so ironclad, think about the miranda rights, the right to remain silent or to ask for a lawyer. A judge allowed the cops to deny a man his right to remain silent and used it against him to convict the defendant.

I feel you view the world as entirely cynical, except when someone makes a decision that you favor. Then that person is making a principled stand for noble reasons.

That said, there is a silver lining in this corrupt cloud. Conservatives are arguing that since campaign donations are essentially unlimited, it'll divert money back into the more transparent party system and other traditional means of campaigning. Others suggests we should focus on transparency and avoiding vagueness.
http://www.scotusblog.com/2014/04/sympo ... egulation/
I'm not so hopeful about that. It's been years since citzen's united, and nobody has moved an inch towards more transparency in the superpacs/pacs. I don't expect any such move, especially with the Democrats on the defensive in a midterm election year.

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Re: US Supreme Court - Brought to you by Koch Industries

Postby addams » Sat Apr 05, 2014 5:42 am UTC

Derek wrote:
Isaac Hill wrote:According to Wikipedia, the younger Koch brother turns 74 next month. At what point can candidates just take their money and then ignore them? If you're running for the House, sure, they'll probably still be around next election cycle. But, if you're running for the Senate, they'll have to make it to their 80s if they want to get back at you.

If you backstab a prominent donor, even if they die and can't punish you, other major donors will take note.

No, they won't.
A well oiled machine does not let that sort of thing happen.

Think the Wizard in Oz.
Now think, evil.

Now think of a Meeting of those guys.
Who would be in the Room?

Donors? Where is the Real Money?
Media? Where?

Not only Money, but also Power.
And; Evil. Loads and Loads of Evil.

There is a Darkness in the World and it may be coming from the US Political/Media System.

I like to work in the Light.
I understand about working in the Dark.
I am old. We had darkrooms.

How would a person turn on a Light?
Is it metaphorically? Or; literally?

Turn on a light.
What is going on and what kind of a mess do we have?

We are working in Secrets and Darkness.
I like the Dark. Still...Has it been a fun Party?

A fucking fifteen year Orgy.
When will ya' all be ready to turn on the light?

The people need and want light.
Not all.

Light hurts people that have been living in the Dark.
What we will see is going to hurt, too.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: US Supreme Court - Brought to you by Koch Industries

Postby KnightExemplar » Sat Apr 05, 2014 5:53 am UTC

sardia wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Political donations are considered part of free speech, yes.

If the political campaign is using them for terrible, terrible things, well...that's obviously an issue with that candidate(and I have no trouble bashing Palin for doing this). Any such abuse should fall on the campaign for this, not the donor. In fact, the donor might be rightly pissed if he considers it misuse.


How exactly is it speech if nobody is actually doing any speaking, in even the loosest sense of the term? If the candidate literally does nothing with the money, how is that speech, either on the part of the donor, or on the part of the candidate?

Tyndmyr, just because you consider political donations to be free speech, doesn't mean that political donations are unlimited. Even free speech isn't unlimited. You said that the first amendment is clear. It is not. The amendments mean whatever the hell the judges and the executives want it to mean so long as they can justify it based on precedent and public support. If you think the amendments are so ironclad, think about the miranda rights, the right to remain silent or to ask for a lawyer. A judge allowed the cops to deny a man his right to remain silent and used it against him to convict the defendant.


However, the law is clear in this case, unfortunately. The concept of "free speech" is just that, a concept. But the Amendment's language is what is important. The words state: Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech. Freedom of Speech can be hampered by the market however. As stated before, the Printing Press gave specific early Americans a significant advantage in political power.

BTW: Miranda Rights are interpreted and unclear. "Miranda Rights" were granted on the basis of a Judge's interpretation of the 5th and 6th Amendments. Mind you, Judge's interpretations can and do change over the years, as long as they make a somewhat valid case for it.

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.


In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.


Notice, neither the 5th nor 6th Amendments directly grant you Miranda Rights. However, the 1st Amendment's interpretation of "Free Speech" is very clear. It is that Congress will make no law about it. Congress will not even attempt to make "free speech" available for everyone, its simple job is to stay out of speech laws in general.

As for the "right to remain silent", that is also a lie. You have the right to "[not] be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself". Also known as self-incrimination clause. But if you have evidence against someone else, your "right to silence" disappears. Again, the "Right" is about self-incrimination. It has nothing to do with silence against the face of the law.

Its probably a good idea to actually study law, rather than learning law from movies. Movies / books are good sources of entertainment, but they often misrepresent the true meaning of the various rights that are granted to us in the constitution.

LaserGuy wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Political donations are considered part of free speech, yes.

If the political campaign is using them for terrible, terrible things, well...that's obviously an issue with that candidate(and I have no trouble bashing Palin for doing this). Any such abuse should fall on the campaign for this, not the donor. In fact, the donor might be rightly pissed if he considers it misuse.


How exactly is it speech if nobody is actually doing any speaking, in even the loosest sense of the term? If the candidate literally does nothing with the money, how is that speech, either on the part of the donor, or on the part of the candidate?


Because 5 people out of 9 with funny robes said so. For other funny questions, ask yourself How the hell is Abortion protected under the 14th Amendment? Similarly, The Affordable Care Act is fine because it is technically a tax.

Its ultimately a little bit silly, but Judges more or less have free reign over the interpretation of the law. As long as they're sufficiently smart about it, they can probably make a legal argument for anything. The current Supreme Court is clearly leaning towards "Judicial activism" at this point frankly... although I'd rather wish they were a bit more Judicially Active and performed a less literal interpretation of the First Amendment here.
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Re: US Supreme Court - Brought to you by Koch Industries

Postby Isaac Hill » Sat Apr 05, 2014 1:24 pm UTC

Derek wrote:
Isaac Hill wrote:According to Wikipedia, the younger Koch brother turns 74 next month. At what point can candidates just take their money and then ignore them? If you're running for the House, sure, they'll probably still be around next election cycle. But, if you're running for the Senate, they'll have to make it to their 80s if they want to get back at you.

If you backstab a prominent donor, even if they die and can't punish you, other major donors will take note.
Sure, they'll take note that you'll backstab donors who won't be in a position to keep donating. That'll deter near death donors, but not anyone expected to live to see the next election cycle.

I'd be more open to arguments about the 1st amendment's "Congress shall make no law..." bit if Congress hadn't already made laws abridging freedom of speech and the press. Slander and libel are both illegal, but there's nothing in the 1st amendment saying the speech has to be true. The Supreme Court has ruled that the 1st amendment applies to state and local government, but I'll still get busted for disturbing the peace if I stand in my own yard at 2 am shouting about the government.

Also, if money = speech, does that mean prostitution is legal? This wad of cash is just my pickup line.
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Re: US Supreme Court - Brought to you by Koch Industries

Postby sardia » Sat Apr 05, 2014 2:10 pm UTC

Knightexemplar, you're assuming that political donations are free speech. That assumption came into being only recently, and is being hammered by the current Robert's court. It could be that he really wants political donations to be free speech, and it's just a happy coincidence that the ruling fell on party lines with the 5 GOP appointees ruling in a way that helps the GOP. And for a guy who thinks that I should take law classes, you're pretty shady yourself. For one thing, you're not even looking at how the ruling applies to this case and how you it would look like under your view.

The majority ruling was that political donations can be limited, but individually. What was unconstitutional in this case was limiting campaign donations towards multiple people. That doesn't square at all with your "the law is clear... congress shall make no law" bullshit. Congress can, has and will continue to create laws that limit political activity, donations and spending. That's not to say your argument has no merit, because it was brought up by Judge Clarence Thomas. He argued in his dissenting view that all political donation regulations were unconstitutional, and bemoaned the missed chance to strike them all down.

In addition the Miranda rights limitation I was referring to is
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berghuis_v._Thompkins
Nobody knew what the miranda rights entailed, so when a guy was silent for 3 hours of interrogation and then cracked under the strain. The judge accepted it as totally legit and not a violation of their miranda rights. After that, all defendants have to specifically call out their miranda rights like dumb anime show. If they don't, then anything they say afterwards counts as waiving their rights. More importantly, the cops get to continue interrogating the defendant.
We're kinda in agreement here that laws are only as strictly interpreted as the judges want them to be, which was my point about this decision.

Don't get all high and mighty on me when you casually assume all my knowledge is from the movies. Especially when you get the specifics of this case wrong.

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Re: US Supreme Court - Brought to you by Koch Industries

Postby KnightExemplar » Sat Apr 05, 2014 2:43 pm UTC

sardia wrote:In addition the Miranda rights limitation I was referring to is
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berghuis_v._Thompkins
Nobody knew what the miranda rights entailed, so when a guy was silent for 3 hours of interrogation and then cracked under the strain. The judge accepted it as totally legit and not a violation of their miranda rights. After that, all defendants have to specifically call out their miranda rights like dumb anime show. If they don't, then anything they say afterwards counts as waiving their rights. More importantly, the cops get to continue interrogating the defendant.


My point however, was that Miranda Rights themselves are an interpretation of the Supreme Court (case: Miranda v. Arizona). They are not written in the 5th nor 6th Amendment, and were never really explicitly granted by Congress. The only reason we have Miranda Rights to begin with is because of basically... Judicial Activism. I think I can make a stronger case that Congress "Shall make no law" with regards to political donations (by proxy of Political Donations == Free Speech), compared to trying to string together Miranda Rights from the 5th and 6th Amendments.

Mind you, I agree that the better approach would have been to make up a bullshit reason to limit the 1st Amendment in this case, because this sort of restriction IMO is important in preventing corruption in the Government. But strictly speaking, if you were to ask me how to interpret the Constitution... I'd have to agree with the Court on this case.
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Re: US Supreme Court - Brought to you by Koch Industries

Postby sardia » Sat Apr 05, 2014 3:22 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:
sardia wrote:In addition the Miranda rights limitation I was referring to is
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berghuis_v._Thompkins
Nobody knew what the miranda rights entailed, so when a guy was silent for 3 hours of interrogation and then cracked under the strain. The judge accepted it as totally legit and not a violation of their miranda rights. After that, all defendants have to specifically call out their miranda rights like dumb anime show. If they don't, then anything they say afterwards counts as waiving their rights. More importantly, the cops get to continue interrogating the defendant.


My point however, was that Miranda Rights themselves are an interpretation of the Supreme Court (case: Miranda v. Arizona). They are not written in the 5th nor 6th Amendment, and were never really explicitly granted by Congress. The only reason we have Miranda Rights to begin with is because of basically... Judicial Activism. I think I can make a stronger case that Congress "Shall make no law" with regards to political donations (by proxy of Political Donations == Free Speech), compared to trying to string together Miranda Rights from the 5th and 6th Amendments.

Mind you, I agree that the better approach would have been to make up a bullshit reason to limit the 1st Amendment in this case, because this sort of restriction IMO is important in preventing corruption in the Government. But strictly speaking, if you were to ask me how to interpret the Constitution... I'd have to agree with the Court on this case.

Your argument doesn't match the ruling of the case. You stated that Congress should make no law that infringes on the 1st amendment. The ruling states that collective limits on contributions is bad, but individual limits on contributions is fine. Under your view, all contribution limits would be unconstitutional. Your view is much more in line with Judge Thomas's dissenting view, which didn't win. Can you explain how you got from the premise:
1. There should be no limits on free speech.
2. Political donations are free speech.
3. Donation limits are a limit on free speech.

3. Therefore collective donation limits are struck down. However, individual limits are upheld.

How did you get to line 4 from 3, 2 and 1?

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Re: US Supreme Court - Brought to you by Koch Industries

Postby KnightExemplar » Sat Apr 05, 2014 3:37 pm UTC

sardia wrote:How did you get to line 4 from 3, 2 and 1?


Shenanigans 8-) 8-) 8-)

Sorry if I'm not taking it very seriously. If you want a more serious answer, then I'll give you one on the spot (but I'll be honest, my opinion isn't exactly important... so thats why I'm not thinking about the details too much).

Political donations to parties and causes is free speech. Political donations to a specific candidate however, is not free speech but something else. This would be a ruling consistent with the SuperPAC ruling in Citizens United. Direct Campaign Contributions are not considered free speech... but is considered straight up corruption / political favors. But contributions to a party or corporations are considered free speech, so long as parties / separate entities are not coordinating with each other.

Basically, the 1st Amendment only protects political donations when they are unrelated to a specific candidate.
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Re: US Supreme Court - Brought to you by Koch Industries

Postby CorruptUser » Sat Apr 05, 2014 3:54 pm UTC

There are 10 ways you can bribe a crooked politician, and 100 ways for the honest one.

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Re: US Supreme Court - Brought to you by Koch Industries

Postby wumpus » Sat Apr 05, 2014 4:40 pm UTC

Anyone know which of these various rulings mean Former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell [and wife] can walk on a bribery charge? I mean, how can you charge them with recieving $200k [plus other gifts] of "free speech"?

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Re: US Supreme Court - Brought to you by Koch Industries

Postby Silknor » Sat Apr 05, 2014 5:44 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Your argument doesn't match the ruling of the case. You stated that Congress should make no law that infringes on the 1st amendment. The ruling states that collective limits on contributions is bad, but individual limits on contributions is fine. Under your view, all contribution limits would be unconstitutional. Your view is much more in line with Judge Thomas's dissenting view, which didn't win. Can you explain how you got from the premise:
1. There should be no limits on free speech.
2. Political donations are free speech.
3. Donation limits are a limit on free speech.

3. Therefore collective donation limits are struck down. However, individual limits are upheld.

How did you get to line 4 from 3, 2 and 1?


I'll try to answer that from the perspective of the plurality opinion. Here's the key part of Scotusblog's analysis:

The Chief Justice’s opinion began by reiterating that “[t]here is no right more basic in our democracy than the right to participate in electing our political leaders” – including by making campaign contributions. The First Amendment protects that right, the opinion explained, but Congress can put some restrictions on your ability to exercise that right by contributing directly to candidates as long as it does so to guard against corruption or the appearance of corruption.

Here, the Chief Justice continued, there is only one kind of corruption that Congress can try to combat by limiting campaign contributions: “quid pro quo” corruption, which involves “a direct exchange of an official act for money.” Quoting the Court’s controversial 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Chief Justice made clear that making campaign contributions in the hope of gaining influence and access does not constitute corruption. To the contrary, in the Court’s view, influence and access exemplify “a central feature of democracy—that constituents support candidates who share their beliefs and interests, and candidates who are elected can be expected to be responsive to those concerns.”

Having defined “corruption” to include only “quid pro quo” corruption, the Chief Justice then rejected the government’s argument that aggregate limits are necessary to prevent such corruption. If Congress believes – as it apparently does – that there is no risk of corruption for someone like McCutcheon to give the base limit to nine candidates, how is there suddenly a risk of corruption if he gives the base limit to a tenth candidate? The Court was equally unmoved by the government’s argument that the aggregate limits are needed to prevent evasion of the base limits. Examples of how such evasion might work, the Court wrote, “are either illegal under current campaign finance laws or divorced from reality.” But if the federal government does really wants to prevent evasion of the base limits, the Court suggested, Congress has other, less draconian options – for example, restricting a candidate’s ability to transfer money from a campaign contribution to a political party and vice versa.


So the difference from your outline of Knight's view is that there can be limits on free speech given a compelling government interest. The plurality held that preventing quid pro quo corruption (or the appearance thereof) is such a compelling interest, indeed the only compelling interest that can justify limiting donations. And if giving $5200 per cycle, half in the general and half in the primary, to a candidate isn't corruption, and neither is giving that amount to nine candidates each*, then it's hard to see what the justification for the aggregate cap is, assuming that preventing quid pro quo corruption is the only reason you can limit donations. I think corruption takes a broader range of forms than handing someone a check to change their vote, but it's not clear if the current Supreme Court majority agrees.

*Which is what Congress has allowed, so presumably the sense of Congress is that those amounts aren't corrupting.
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Re: US Supreme Court - Brought to you by Koch Industries

Postby Isaac Hill » Sat Apr 05, 2014 8:19 pm UTC

If Congress believes – as it apparently does – that there is no risk of corruption for someone like McCutcheon to give the base limit to nine candidates, how is there suddenly a risk of corruption if he gives the base limit to a tenth candidate?
This reasoning is absurd. Sure, the 9 candidate limit is arbitrary, but that's how laws work. Someone exactly 18 years old isn't more capable of casting an informed vote than someone 17 years 364 days old. Not everyone's driving is equally impared by a BAC of 0.08. The highway does not become a paved death trap at 66 miles per hour. If you accept that a line must be drawn, you have to accept that it will be drawn by lawmakers via the political process.
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Re: US Supreme Court - Brought to you by Koch Industries

Postby Wnderer » Sat Apr 05, 2014 10:13 pm UTC

Isaac Hill wrote:
If Congress believes – as it apparently does – that there is no risk of corruption for someone like McCutcheon to give the base limit to nine candidates, how is there suddenly a risk of corruption if he gives the base limit to a tenth candidate?
This reasoning is absurd. Sure, the 9 candidate limit is arbitrary, but that's how laws work. Someone exactly 18 years old isn't more capable of casting an informed vote than someone 17 years 364 days old. Not everyone's driving is equally impared by a BAC of 0.08. The highway does not become a paved death trap at 66 miles per hour. If you accept that a line must be drawn, you have to accept that it will be drawn by lawmakers via the political process.


It's not absurd. Their interpretation of the first amendment is:

1. Congress may not make a law, solely to limit a person's political influence.
2. Congress may make laws to limit corruption of government officials.

The law does not pass the test as a limit to corruption, therefore it's only purpose is to limit speech and therefore unconstitutional.

The First Amendment guarantees freedom of political speech, not equality of political speech. And it this belief that is unfair that rich people have more influence than poor people that drives these financial limit laws. But I don't see any complaints that famous people have more influence than others; that artists, actors, comedians, talk show hosts, musicians and sports stars have more political influence than electronics engineer like McCutcheon or business men, lawyers, doctors and other educated professionals and financially successful people.

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Re: US Supreme Court - Brought to you by Koch Industries

Postby sardia » Sat Apr 05, 2014 10:56 pm UTC

Wnderer wrote:
Isaac Hill wrote:
If Congress believes – as it apparently does – that there is no risk of corruption for someone like McCutcheon to give the base limit to nine candidates, how is there suddenly a risk of corruption if he gives the base limit to a tenth candidate?
This reasoning is absurd. Sure, the 9 candidate limit is arbitrary, but that's how laws work. Someone exactly 18 years old isn't more capable of casting an informed vote than someone 17 years 364 days old. Not everyone's driving is equally impared by a BAC of 0.08. The highway does not become a paved death trap at 66 miles per hour. If you accept that a line must be drawn, you have to accept that it will be drawn by lawmakers via the political process.


It's not absurd. Their interpretation of the first amendment is:

1. Congress may not make a law, solely to limit a person's political influence.
2. Congress may make laws to limit corruption of government officials.

The law does not pass the test as a limit to corruption, therefore it's only purpose is to limit speech and therefore unconstitutional.

The First Amendment guarantees freedom of political speech, not equality of political speech. And it this belief that is unfair that rich people have more influence than poor people that drives these financial limit laws. But I don't see any complaints that famous people have more influence than others; that artists, actors, comedians, talk show hosts, musicians and sports stars have more political influence than electronics engineer like McCutcheon or business men, lawyers, doctors and other educated professionals and financially successful people.

We do have complaints, we call them the 1%.

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Re: US Supreme Court - Brought to you by Koch Industries

Postby MartianInvader » Sat Apr 05, 2014 11:08 pm UTC

Guys... Free speech does not mean, and never has meant, that you can say whatever you want whenever you want. You can't threaten someone, you can't slander someone, you can't conspire to commit a crime, you can't yell "fire" in a crowded theater, and you can't spend more than a certain amount on political advertising. Of all these activities, I'd say the last one is the most damaging, as it undermines the foundations of democracy itself.
Let's have a fervent argument, mostly over semantics, where we all claim the burden of proof is on the other side!

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Re: US Supreme Court - Brought to you by Koch Industries

Postby addams » Sat Apr 05, 2014 11:18 pm UTC

Do you know how meaningless your conversations are to the People that need something from their Government Officials?

How will each one of the Men and Women shamed and weak;
How will each one tell the Men and Women charged with the Spending of the Common Coffers what is important to them?

Did The People want this War?
Yes. Yes, they did.

Have they suffered enough?

The people inside the Political/Media Industry don't suffer, much.
Those are the Voices we hear. Everything must be, 'Pretty OK.' right?

The People on TV look Good.
The People shopping in the Malls look pretty Good.

Who wants to buy some Air Time?
The Dirty Weak Homeless Guy?

What do you think He has to say?


Did he take Speech Class?
Did he take "Play To The Camera, Sir." (we love you) Classes?
Can he whip up a Meeting with Lexus to do the Graphics?

Men like that don't have anything interesting to say, "Do they?"
They sure as shit could never compete with the Koch Brothers.

Those must be some Charming Men. The Koch Brothers.
Did they take Charm Lessons?

Don't Laugh!
That is what it was called when they were Young!

I live in a Nation that could sure use some Charm Lessons.
Charm Lessons. Finishing School. Starting School. Something!

By the time a person gets to Finishing School a person should be Almost Tame.
Do you think of the American People are Refined and Polite? yea. Me, too.
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Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
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Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: US Supreme Court - Brought to you by Koch Industries

Postby Derek » Sun Apr 06, 2014 2:32 pm UTC

MartianInvader wrote:you can't yell "fire" in a crowded theater,

This example was originally used by the Supreme Court in support of a ban on the distribution of anti-draft pamphlets during WWI. Food for thought.

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Re: US Supreme Court - Brought to you by Koch Industries

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Apr 07, 2014 5:18 pm UTC

MartianInvader wrote:Guys... Free speech does not mean, and never has meant, that you can say whatever you want whenever you want. You can't threaten someone, you can't slander someone, you can't conspire to commit a crime, you can't yell "fire" in a crowded theater, and you can't spend more than a certain amount on political advertising. Of all these activities, I'd say the last one is the most damaging, as it undermines the foundations of democracy itself.


You totally can say fire in a crowded theater. The mere act is not banned, and should not be. It is only when it is part of a deception to bring harm to others that you have a problem.

One has to reach pretty far to equate a political donation to an attempt to cause immediate harm.

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Re: US Supreme Court - Brought to you by Koch Industries

Postby MartianInvader » Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:26 am UTC

I wouldn't say dumping toxic waste chemicals into a river is an attempt to cause immediate harm either, but as more and more people do it, they damage and destroy important systems our country relies on. That's why you've got to regulate these things.
Let's have a fervent argument, mostly over semantics, where we all claim the burden of proof is on the other side!

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Re: US Supreme Court - Brought to you by Koch Industries

Postby leady » Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:32 am UTC

I thought you folks were taught your own constitution :) although you do nicely prove how pointless a constitution is in practice

I also like the strange dual standard that individuals should be restricted yet collective organisations like unions are not as far as I can see. No inbuilt political bias there :)

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Re: US Supreme Court - Brought to you by Koch Industries

Postby addams » Tue Apr 08, 2014 11:33 am UTC

leady wrote:I thought you folks were taught your own constitution :) although you do nicely prove how pointless a constitution is in practice

I also like the strange dual standard that individuals should be restricted yet collective organisations like unions are not as far as I can see. No inbuilt political bias there :)

Are you addressing that statement at Americans?
Taught our Constitution?

Do you understand what is going on inside the US?
Taught? The people of the US are taught by the TV.

Constitutional Law is taught by Glen Beck and Friends.
They don't teach it the way I learned it.

That may not be fair to the students and faculty.
Why teach something the so difficult that the student can not use?

The US constitution was a wonderful piece of Cooperative Poetry.
The Politics shows through for people that study that stuff.

It was an attempt to frame, 'A Better Life'.
It has not been functioning law sense the day it was superseded by the Pat Act.

The day the Pat Act was signed into Law,
The US constitution became, "A quant and outdated Document."

Americans love to be authorities.
Some are so passionate they will kill and put themselves in danger to defend the 2nd amendment.

Rarely, have any of those folks ever read the constitution.
To be fair, it is not easy to read.

Have you seen the font they used?
What were they thinking?
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
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Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.


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