“A funny thing happened on the way to stop Obama from signing HR 347 …”

by on March 9, 2012 · 87 comments

in American Empire, Civil Rights, Organizing, Politics, Popular

A funny thing happened on the way to figuring how to get President Obama not to sign HR 347. Yesterday late afternoon, I was on an urgent national conference call to discuss how to stop the bill.  HR 347 is a bill that was passed with lightening speed with almost no opposition just recently by the Senate and House.

During the call, we were told that the bill is on President Obama’s desk and that he had until March 12th to sign it or veto it. This national phone connect was a “call to action” against the bill.

The bill has been nicknamed the “anti-Occupy Wall Street” bill, the “No Trespass” bill, the “end of dissent” law, and various other terms to describe its potential draconian effects on protest and dissent in America.  It authorizes restricted zones where all protest is banned in and around government buildings and facilities, and bans protest around those receiving Secret Service protection. It does more and I’ve included its text – scroll down.  “It kills protest around these people,” a moderator flatly stated at the beginning of the call.

So, a funny thing happened while on this conference call to urgently figure out what we could to prevent Obama from signing it.  After all, he was a constitutional law professor before he became a politician.

During the conference call, a woman broke in, and said: “I have some very bad news.  Obama signed this bill – HR 347 – today. He  signed it today.”  Today – March 8th – International Women’s Day. The bill was law.

This depressing news set us all back and changed the tenor and attitudes expressed over this national network of activists.

On the phone we had folks from Georgia, Connecticut, New York, DC, Salem Oregon, southern Massachusetts, Minnesota, Detroit, Dallas, Oakland, Indiana … and San Diego, of course.  Most of those hooked up to this line were or are involved with the Occupy movement, and in fact, the call had been set up by Occupy activists in Washington, DC – (including San Diego’s own Michael B. – whose voice I recognized 3,000 miles away).

The earlier urgency we had all expressed evaporated. In its place was exasperation and despair. But for many on the phone call, their determination remained.  So, it wasn’t really a “funny thing” that had happened – no, more like a devastating thing had happened – but it sure was ironic.

These points about HR 347 and its Senate companion SB were made.  It severly curtails protests, and keeps us from protesting the very people who are responsible for putting the country where it’s at today. It’s restrictions apply to some government functions.  It criminalizes protest around federal buildings and agencies – even those in a labor strike could be subject to criminal charges.

We were not certain when the bill actually goes into effect, but we believed that unless there was language in the bill itself about that – there isn’t any, the bill – now law – would go into effect on January 1, 2013.  So, we had some time, someone noted, to think about what to do, to make plans  – we had ten months to galvanize a reaction to it that would repeal it.

Because the Senate passed it with unanimous consent and there were only 3 “nay” votes in the House, there’s a challenging road ahead for those who wish to repeal it.

Still, troubling aspects of the new law are certainly disquieting.  The signified “special events of national significance” could be the political party conventions coming up, or the Super Bowl. People could be banned from protesting any government or quasi-government function that the Department of Homeland Security decides upon.

Plus, protesters could be arrested in these restricted zones even if they didn’t know it was a crime to be there.  If convicted of being in a restricted zone, you’d get a misdemeanor – but it would be a felony if there was some kind of weapon – would a Swiss Army knife do the trick? – or if there were injuries …  The felony conviction calls for up to 10 years of imprisonment – certainly a chill on dissent.

One person on the conference call emphasized how local county and city governments could even have their government buildings and agencies declared “restricted”.  Local police departments could determine local events would be safe from protests.

That same guy – an older man who sounded a lot like Dan Rather – stated that the near-unanimous consent and speed with which this bill was passed by Congress and now signed into law shows the degree to which the President and the governing elite believe the American people are tired of the Occupy Movement. The new law bans protests that the movement has targeted over the last 6 months.

Halfway through its second hour, the conference call seemed to be winding down.  Most wanted to think about the law and what to do, now that the urgency had vanished.  Form a group, create a website, hold a debate on what we need to do.  These were on our future agenda.   We are to spend the week thinking about this, and are to come back with proposals.

What would you propose?

Here’s the text of the bill that actually was passed by both houses:

H.R.347 — Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011 (Enrolled Bill [Final as Passed Both House and Senate] – ENR)

One Hundred Twelfth Congress  of the  United States of America

AT THE SECOND SESSION

Begun and held at the City of Washington on Tuesday,  the third day of January, two thousand and twelve

An Act

To correct and simplify the drafting of section 1752 (relating to restricted buildings or grounds) of title 18, United States Code.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the `Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011′.

SEC. 2. RESTRICTED BUILDING OR GROUNDS.

Section 1752 of title 18, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

-`Sec. 1752. Restricted building or grounds

`(a) Whoever–

`(1) knowingly enters or remains in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority to do so;

`(2) knowingly, and with intent to impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions, engages in disorderly or disruptive conduct in, or within such proximity to, any restricted building or grounds when, or so that, such conduct, in fact, impedes or disrupts the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions;

`(3) knowingly, and with the intent to impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions, obstructs or impedes ingress or egress to or from any restricted building or grounds; or

`(4) knowingly engages in any act of physical violence against any person or property in any restricted building or grounds;

or attempts or conspires to do so, shall be punished as provided in subsection (b).

`(b) The punishment for a violation of subsection (a) is–

`(1) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than 10 years, or both, if–

`(A) the person, during and in relation to the offense, uses or carries a deadly or dangerous weapon or firearm; or

`(B) the offense results in significant bodily injury as defined by section 2118(e)(3); and

`(2) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both, in any other case.

`(c) In this section–

`(1) the term `restricted buildings or grounds’ means any posted, cordoned off, or otherwise restricted area–

`(A) of the White House or its grounds, or the Vice President’s official residence or its grounds;

`(B) of a building or grounds where the President or other person protected by the Secret Service is or will be temporarily visiting; or

`(C) of a building or grounds so restricted in conjunction with an event designated as a special event of national significance; and

`(2) the term `other person protected by the Secret Service’ means any person whom the United States Secret Service is authorized to protect under section 3056 of this title or by Presidential memorandum, when such person has not declined such protection.’.

Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Vice President of the United States and

President of the Senate.

{ 84 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Jack March 9, 2012 at 12:48 pm

So as I understand it, the Obama administration has created a state of martial law in which American citizens can be incarcerated indefinately without due process, or executed by the military if deemed necessary and now all first amendment rights of free speech with regard to protesting as defined by law enforcement is a felony. And why was McCain such a bad alternative…I seem to forget now.

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avatar StopWhining March 9, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Because that is the only agenda McCain supported, along with his cronies and other wealthy elitists who make pawns of the guy.

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avatar mntnman March 10, 2012 at 4:46 am
avatar Lab0990 March 10, 2012 at 9:14 am

McCain was a bad alternative because the insane Palin would’ve given him a stroke or poisoned him to get her talons hooked in the United States and then that nut job would be running the country instead.

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avatar Tim March 10, 2012 at 9:15 am

What I can see now that I couldn’t see then was that Obama and McCain were only “alternatives” to one another in respect to issues which the oligarchs can be ambivalent about. Those issues are important, which I recognized, so I voted for the Blue Team. What the signing of this bill underscores is that the Blue Team and the Red Team are both filling stadiums and garnering ratings for the benefit of the same league. This of course means that, today, fighting for Women’s rights or gay rights is fighting for an equality of oppression unless it is undertaken with the awareness of the fact that those power are shoving hard for a Lowest Common Denominator of Freedom for the 99.5%. Once we are all civic-ly powerless we may finally see equal (dis/non)empowerment for minorities and others.

Except of course whichever minority(ies) i(are)s being painted as the Terrorist Threat du Jour.

Talk about fucked.

Since the same great big outfit that runs the “two party” system also has a monopoly on violence, it is going to take a lot of creativity, cooperation, patience and guts to imagine, create and effectuate anything but more but Corporatocracy.

But is there anything else worth doing?

There are some structural advantages to the side of the game we’re on too, we must realize and remember.

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avatar JMW March 11, 2012 at 4:52 am

Structural advantages? Like what? Please specify.

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avatar Tim(1) March 15, 2012 at 6:51 am

In some cases they are comparable to the advantages like the ones the Mujahadeen (remember them? Taliban 1.0) had over the Russians. In some cases comparable to the advantage the “insurgent” with a grenade and a cell phone (or whatever it takes to make an IED; I don’t really know) has over the greatest and grandest military power the world has ever known.

One specific advantage is Truth. Truth is much easier to operate (present? convey?) than systems of lies.

By this I mean that it is, so to speak, natively easier to operate. Standing in a forest of lies, conveying truth can be hard as hell, no argument. But truth has what i want to call a structural advantage.

Every truth you tell or show has at least a chance of hanging together with every other truth in virtue of its simple correspondence to reality. Every lie you tell has to be crafted so as to work with many if not all of the rest of your lies. The curtain between truth and falsity has to be maintained–which is very expensive and time consuming. I see a structural advantage in not having to cover these overhead costs, as it were, of our communication.

Spies in certain Occupations have been frustrated to learn that behind the curtain of that Occupation was …. the other half of the great outdoors. Insofar as whatever you are doing you are content to do publicly, your enemie’s espionage expenditures are wasted. Furthermore, the espionageurs will be motivated to imagine or invent stuff to justify more espionage–complicating and again adding overhead costs to the other side. Of course with effectively infinite resources they can handle the “payroll” of even useless spies. Still, they have a good deal of extra complexity to manage. This can lead to some befuddlements, to retarded response times, in some cases.

Another structural advantage is the one (constellation of many, actually) that the swarm of bees has over the maurauding bear.

Another structural advantage is a pretty rich decentralization. Of course like everything this sword has two edges, but the edge that cuts in our favor is pretty sharp and durable.

An immense structural advantage we have is numbers of people. Whereas they have an immense structural advantage in numbers of dollars.

Another sort of structural advantage we have is access to non-violence. Sure they have the advantage of an almost perfect monopoly on violence; more nearly perfect every day. A gargantuan advantage! But while they must (and love to) prepare for us to abandon non-violence (they know that a mere few hundred kamikazis could decapitate a creature that is almost all head to begin with, in a matter of months or weeks–and that no reliable defense exists for them to use), we do not have to be ready for such a range of strategies from them.

There are several more, including this one: Even if JMW is on the other side, probing for weaknesses on our side and snickering at the thought that I am prepared to hand over the blueprints, I needn’t worry. I could snicker at his/her snickering if so disposed. I mean their side goes to great lengths to publicize/advertise/feature/attempt-to-indimidate-with accounts of their structural advantages. The sense of the word “structural” that I am employing means in part to indicate that these are aspects of the game visible to all if they look, and quite salient whether recognized by the other party or not.

Another sort of advantage is that if you are not on this side you peobably cannot appreciate all I have shared. You will misunderstand or underestimate these things.

There is in fact so much more. Merely reflecting on this and deciding which notions to discuss is heartening.

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avatar Tim March 10, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Jack, that is some spin. Here are the facts, it was the Bush adm. who passed a contingency plan with KBR (remember them from the Iraq war??) to build (if necessary) an interment camp to hold American citizens. This was right after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and Democrats had really nothing to do with proposing it or passing it…it was a largely republican bill with republican support. Here’s a link…
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article12078.htm

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avatar Jack March 12, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Sorry for the confusion Tim, I was refering to the new bill from the article and I was not clear, commenting on the NDDA as well. The newer bill is a stab at controlling demonstrations and based upon its vagueness…anyplace, anytime for any duration could become off limits to protests…and that would be a first amendment violation. The reference to the NDAA is a clear violation of the 4th, 5th, and 6th amendments to constitution.

I am not trying to spin anything. It is how, as I have trained, practice and now, teach, to look at the language of a statute. I am always critical of statutes which start out specific and end with…”or any other thing we deem it to be.” If you look at NDAA, and HR 1372, they both have similar language at the end.

In Peace, Jack

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avatar Tim(1) March 15, 2012 at 6:10 am

There are at least two people here posting as “Tim”. I was the one whose comment started with:”What I can see now…”

Some other Tim stuff comes from someone else –who maybe has been posting here as Tim for ages. I mean to cast no aspersions.

So I sign this as Tim(1) in hopes of minimizing confusion.

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avatar SteeleJay March 13, 2012 at 5:41 am

McCain voted for it too, dude.

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avatar Matt Morgan April 13, 2012 at 9:02 am

People are blaming Obama for this? Takes a 2/3 vote to overturn a Presidents Veto, the House vote tally which took place 02/28/12, was 338 for and 3 against. The Senate passed it with an unanimous vote. Takes about 288 votes to over rule a Presidents veto. So either Obama supported this, or just signed it to help stop tax dollar waste. He knew his veto would be over turned and it would of gone into law.
Since you bring up the Martial Law issue:
Where was the outcry when this bill was passed under President Bush:

Martial Law act of 2006

Martial law is perhaps the ultimate stomping of freedom. And yet, on September 30, 2006, Congress passed a provision in a 591-page bill that will make it easy for President Bush to impose martial law in response to a terrorist “incident.” It also empowers him to effectively declare martial law in response to what he or other federal officials label a shortfall of “public order” — whatever that means.

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avatar Jean March 9, 2012 at 3:01 pm

just spit-ballin here> But wouldn’t virtual protests deploying 3d projection mapping onto the structure (or surrounding ones) drive home the unconstitutionality of the law (via presence in absentia) and provide a spectacle the media would be hard-pressed to ignore?
Granted the necessity of darkness, not to mention feasibility, and a possible lingering sense of impotence might make it’s impact less than desirable considering the resources and time it would take to develop… but it could also be seen as exploiting a loophole that would dynamically expose the unconstitutionality of the ‘special area’…
“You want a special event? You got it!”
maybe it’s worth further consideration or some experimentation… just a thought.
;} thanks for the noos!

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avatar Jean March 9, 2012 at 3:04 pm

examples of technique, not content…
http://mashable.com/2011/04/24/3d-projection-mapping/

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avatar Lois March 10, 2012 at 1:56 pm

I was also thinking about the 3rd projection mapping. But then would we have to avoid snipers?

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avatar Lois March 9, 2012 at 3:52 pm

Allthough HR 347 will not take effect until January 2013, fighting this bill should be our first priority. It also needs to be done with “lightning speed” with no time wasted. After all, it must have seemed very urgent for Obama to have until the 12th of this month to sign it. We have hardly worked on the NDAA bill and look what we have got ahead of us.

Please get to the meeting on NDAA on the 15th that Frank has set up. 1/2013 may sound a long way off, but consider how much has been accomplished to stop us. Our cause demands hard work and commitment, but all the Government needs is a few days or so to put us down.

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avatar Rob Liberty March 9, 2012 at 9:43 pm

I voted for Mr. Change-we-could-believe-in. But I did not vote for State Terrorism.
I am actually afraid of my Government now. Pres Obama signed the anti-1st Amendment, anti-protest law. Pres Obama first had extending Bush’s PATRIOT ACT for 4 more years. Then Obama asked for and got the NDAA power from Congress, as reported here, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mPZlysCAm0

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avatar Calinmi March 10, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Rob I am in the same place you are. I voted for the “change”, if I had known.. ah hindsight! I’m sure we could challenge it in Federal Court, how does one go about doing that??

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avatar Matt Morgan April 13, 2012 at 9:06 am

For all you people who dislike Obama. Read this, and tell me if you still think Obama is to blame for all the problems.
The House has 242 Republicans and 190 Democrats. There are 47 Republicans and 2 independents, and 51 Democrats in the Senate. Laws/Acts have to pass the House where Republicans control, and have to get at least 50% plus one vote to pass the Senate, but then there is the filibuster problem. A little knowledge for people who don’t remember their school days, and a little fact: To end a filibuster, 60 Senators must vote to agree to end the debate.The Senate rules allow debate without end. Since January 2007, Republicans have filibustered more bills than ever before in the US Senate history. This has prevented the US Senate from performing normal business because the minority Republican Party prevents bills from getting a simple up-or-down vote. So who controls the Senate really ? For the whole time Obama has been in office he has had one or both his hands tied. Hard to change things if you can never get anything on your desk to sign.

Here is something I find upsetting, that is used to waste our tax dollars. Some Filibuster techniques include reading the entire works of Shakespeare, or introducing hundreds of completely unrelated Amendments to the bill.

If the Democrats had 60 Senators, and controlled the House, then we could put more blame on Obama.

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avatar trixie mofit March 9, 2012 at 10:53 pm

stated that the near-unanimous consent and speed with which this bill was passed by Congress and now signed into law shows the degree to which the President and the governing elite believe the American people are tired of the Occupy Movement. I maybe wrong but some of your answer might lie in this statement. The degree to which the President and the governing elite believe the American people are tired. Why not put it to a poll. Find out just how many of the American people are tired of the Movement. Find out how many people are tired of the government. Find out how many people are against this law. anyhoo, thanks

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avatar Jack March 10, 2012 at 9:36 am

Tired of the Occupy Movement or tired of “us,” and our potential to protest. Perhaps we have made a dent and the government is finally becoming afraid of us.

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avatar Christopher Moore March 10, 2012 at 6:20 am

I wish he would veto this thing but frankly I think he has been generally ineffective/unwilling to stop this kind of creeping authoritarianism, or even admitting that it’s a problem (since taking office anyway, he was rather vocal about it during BushCo.) – he’s too busy trying to compromise with people that think he’s a Kenyan/Indonesian Manchurian-Sekrit-Stalinist/Muslim plant out to deprive us of our God-Given right to high-fructose corn syrup and surrender unilaterally to North Korea.

I hear he’s trying to get rid of don’t ask/don’t tell in the NFL now.
Nothing is sacred anymore.

Maybe it just serves his purposes now (hard to turn down more executive power ain’t it?) not to take a stand on civil liberties, and he doesn’t give a fuck anymore – or never really did.

It’s an eye-gougingly awful bill.

If it ever reaches the Supreme Court, I hope they put it to good use in their judicial heads/privvies/whatever.

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avatar Matt Morgan April 13, 2012 at 9:15 am

If you look at the stats, you will see if he had Vetoed this bill, it still would of went into law, just would of spent more time in the House and Senate wasting tax dollars. It passed the house with over the 2/3 needed to over turn a President veto, and it passed the Senate unanimously. We really don’t know if he supported it or not. Him vetoing it would of been a clear sign he didn’t agree with it. Him signing it, really isn’t a clear sign he agreed with it. If you were told something was going to happen no mater what you chose to do, but it would cost more money if you didn’t just sign onto it, which would you do?

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avatar Mike Haddock March 10, 2012 at 8:34 am

Ladies and Gentlemen, the First Amendment:

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.

The law is blatantly unconstitutional. If the Supremes allow this law to stand, we are truly fucked.

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avatar geoffrey smith March 10, 2012 at 8:44 am

This “law”, intended to promote only government (ie corporate) free speech, is OBVIOUSLY unconstitutional. We can’t rely on this Court to stand up for the constitution. So this illegal “law” will have to be repealed on the streets. Those who are proponents of this “law” are criminals and should be tried in a fair court. Do we reside n a state governed by law or in a state ruled by a few men? The answer to this question is becoming (depressingly) more clear every day.

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avatar Dan Blaylock March 10, 2012 at 8:46 am

“”We are to spend the week thinking about this, and are to come back with proposals.
What would you propose?””

I can tell you what the rightwing faction in this country –many of whom, in their utter complacency and fawning obeisance to the Corporate State, are no doubt quite happy to see this sort of restriction put into place– would likely propose that you do; — “Hey buddy, iffin you don’t like it, why don’t you move to Switzerland or somewhere.”

Not that that is a bad suggestion, though. If I possessed the requisite money and working skills to be accepted, and had a few connections there, (and if my wife would agree to go) I’d take them up on it. This nation is, day by day, becoming more fascist in the way that the government interacts with the citizenry. As Noam Chomsky has pointed out, this country is the world’s number one exporter of terrorism….and I’d just as soon leave before the coming total collapse of the economy, or before our government leaders incite the foreigners who they are killing and preying on (primarily in the oil producing countries) to make another retaliatory strike….the next one likely being nuclear.

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avatar tj morgan March 10, 2012 at 10:33 am

i hear that but the majority of this country are the everyday working the week for a living people…do not have excessive money to flee to a most likely in the long run even worse place…too bad we cant just all have our own little island to fail or achieve on our own…by ourself not a select body of people making our decisions for us…who can afford to mightily protest even???the ones that can probably want this bill…

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avatar Charlie March 12, 2012 at 7:21 pm

I lived in Switzerland for a year and a half. Did you know that they have Hotel Police that go to every Hotel every night to see who is staying there? Did you know that if you are stopped by the Police for any reason and you do not have your passport on you that you are subject to arrest? Be careful of what you wish for!!! I have been to many countries and I can tell you that things are still much better here than most places.

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avatar Myron Stoick March 10, 2012 at 8:51 am

This is a travisty by a man we all trusted. But this will make occupy stronger in all the other places such as… 1) Hedge fund managers homes. 2) Corporate farm establishments 3) Big bank asset locations 4) All current protest locations until 2013! Do it but do it even bigger and right now!

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avatar Jack March 12, 2012 at 8:01 am

I would suggest care at this point. Remember those folk just may become a part of the broader umbrella of protection from us….

…`(C) of a building or grounds so restricted in conjunction with an event designated as a special event of national significance; and

`(2) the term `other person protected by the Secret Service’ means any person whom the United States Secret Service is authorized to protect under section 3056 of this title or by Presidential memorandum, when such person has not declined such protection.’.

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avatar Offended March 10, 2012 at 8:58 am

HR 347 amends an existing law to clarify it’s meaning. it is used ONLY WHEN THE SECRET SERVICE is used to protect President(s), their families, presidential candidates, and foreign leaders of importance. Stop being Fox news for a few minutes and read the laws yourselves instead of relying on Left-wing extremist “news” and blog sites.

It does NOT limit your freedom to protest or magically make your area to protest in an area confined to your desk where your computer is. You never were allowed to enter in an area that the secret service has roped off or otherwise made illegal to enter.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1752
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/3056

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avatar Jack March 10, 2012 at 9:50 am

I just love it in when the great uneducated try to tell us what the law means. You take one little part of the new code and think you have it all wrapped up and then blame the “liberal” media for overreacting.

So Offended, what is your take on section 1752 (b) (2)(C) which defines a restricted building or grounds as, “building or grounds so restricted in conjunction with an event designated as a special event of national significance…”

Color me educated, but that little bit is the kicker. It is any building or grounds in or on which the government deems a special event of national significance…pretty vague if you ask me. And when its vague, it is subject to misuse. And if it is subject to misuse, you can bet it will be misused.

Finally, where does the constitution take away our right to free speech when one branch of the government or one governmental agency or another deems it “unpleasant.” It does not.

Save discussion of the law for the educated.

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avatar Phoenix Rising March 10, 2012 at 8:19 pm

For all those in panic mode over this bill: it is a simplification of the existing code. See http://goo.gl/4rHFW (Cornell Law LII) for the old wording, which also contains “events of national importance”.

Had Obama vetoed the law, or Democrats stood up against it, exactly one thing would be different in 2013: we’d still be going by the old wording of the same law, which specified the same penalties for the same actions.

So you can all stop whining about Obama’s fascist tendencies and go back to fighting for good causes.

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avatar JEC March 12, 2012 at 8:24 am

Consider the political designs; the two parties closing ranks to fend off challenges during their staged conventions. Consider the political symbolism – why this, now? Panic – no, that’s an overstatement. Concerned, sure. Distrusting, obsolutely. It’s another brick, added to NDAA, that fills out a dismal image of a different America. How did Nazi Germany become Nazi Germany; one act at a time.

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avatar Matt Morgan April 13, 2012 at 9:34 am

Jack, you really shouldn’t label people the uneducated. Both political parties do what Offended just did. They take part of a bill or what not and use it to promote their agenda. Through my research I have found Republicans tend to twist stuff the most. They blame Obama for the recession that started over a year before he got in office. They blame Obama for the sluggish economy, while since 2007 the Republicans have filibuster bills at record numbers. They hold 242 seats in the House to the 190 Democrats seats. Republicans control the house, and since they can’t control the Senate they filibuster to prevent any bill they don’t like from going to the President to sign.
Until the Democrats control the House and Senate(takes 60 to really rule the senate) you can’t blame Obama or any Democrat for all the problems.

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avatar Nancy Wade-Hull March 10, 2012 at 9:26 am

I received an email from the Obama campaign asking what they could do to get me to contribute $ to the reelection campaigne. I emailed back they need to repeal this NDAA martial law in which American citizens can be incarcerated indefinately without due process. I never heard back. And yes, Offended, I knew about the HR 347 amendment, but we all still have this Damocles sword over our heads.

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avatar Valerie Smith March 10, 2012 at 9:30 am

It seems to me that the language is significantly vague that the First Amendment may well be challenged…I don’t see why this should not be taken up by the Supreme Court for that reason. A bit of “Police Tape” around a building can make ANY BUILDING off limits as the scope of a “National Event” is not clearly stated.

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avatar Stacia March 10, 2012 at 9:38 am

I think you should contact the organizer of the activist group called Invisible Children…. they are incredibly well informed and know how to handle Government to help you with your mission…. Check it out… watch his 20 min. video and see how they have handled our Government …www.kony2012.com

What an eye opener… And now we know how to handle our Government…

Joseph Kony documentary: bringing the world’s attention to the horrific Lord’s Resistance Army – Boi
boingboing.net

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avatar Molly Kelly March 10, 2012 at 10:03 am

My first reaction is to think boycott, boycott, boycott. Form an alternative society, complete with delegates and elections and turn our backs on the establishment. Do not give your children plastic toys and avoid it’s use whenever possible. And ladies, do not put chemicals on you face. Read the labels. They are filling it up with gross substances when all you need is some jojoba oil. Support farmer’s markets. The occupiers are so intelligent, we will figure it out.

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avatar tj morgan March 10, 2012 at 10:27 am

some of what youre saying makes sense immediately some im going to ponder before i accept re reject but i do like what youve said…for the most part anyway

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avatar Nancy Wade-Hull March 10, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Thanks, Molly. My older daughter & family are very active in the local farmers’ markets, we support the Buy Local movement, and have our money in credit unions. If we don’t spend our money on supporting the big corporations, they have less control over us. It’s a start.

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avatar Kimberly March 10, 2012 at 10:10 am

Are you all reading the same bill I am??? Where does it mention “Freedom of Speech”, and when did disruption in restricted grounds become the way to speak freely? Doesnt EVERYONE know that bad behavior while communicating only strengthens the opposition? If we want to stand up and make changes, we have to do it calmly, intellectually and with valid, point based decorum.

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avatar JEC March 12, 2012 at 8:31 am

How’s that bumper sticker goes – “Well Behave Women never make history!”. I think the same goes for the rest of us. Bad behavior like destroying stores and looting, that is bad. Bad behavior like a sit down strike, or a general strike, which HR347 speaks to, does make a difference and works. Non-violent direct action, Ganhdi’s way. I think you’ll agree, history views Ganhdi as a well behaved person.

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avatar Matt Morgan April 13, 2012 at 9:41 am

You know JEC I took this test that shows where you views put you. After taking the test you can also chart yourself based on the different candidates. What made me thing of this is that I was put closer to Ganhdi, and all the candidates or potential candidates were all close together except Ron Paul. Just goes to show you that Democrats and Republicans running for office for the most part really aren’t that different.

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avatar Tom Alexander March 10, 2012 at 10:24 am

It doesn’t show how tired they think the American people are of the Occupy movement; it shows how tired they themselves, and the corporate interests they represent, are.

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avatar Tom Alexander March 10, 2012 at 10:31 am

Not to mention threatened by it.

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avatar Matt Morgan April 13, 2012 at 9:43 am

I totally agree, the top 400 earners are the ones controlling the government for the most part.

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avatar Dodie Reese March 10, 2012 at 10:26 am

While what I have read here is extremely disturbing, I am also wondering where the likes of the NRA are on this Bill, (remembering the many hip and shoulder-slung weapons present at Pres. Obama’s speeches a year or so ago). What of those states advocating for more open access to government buildings and property for licensed gun owners. How do you know that the purpose of entering that building or grounds is NOT for ‘disruptive purposes’?

What about the stance of University/College Presidents….would this Bill not put a kabosh on any visit by Presidential Candidates; Supreme Court Justices; the Pres.; Vice-Pres.; Speaker; or any family members of above; etc.

And how will this affect those law makers who themselves advocate being able to carry their own handgun onto the House or Senate floor, (especially State Legislators) if as one conference caller suggested that local police could designate “restricted areas”.

The points above are not inclusive of the ‘real detriments’ this Bill would have on our Constitutional Rights as citizens….but I just wanted to throw out some considerations that I believe many on the Right will eventually see as the most oppressing to their causes.

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avatar dorndiego March 10, 2012 at 10:30 am

What about a Car-a-Van on the fringes of the declared no-protest zone. Slow down your Car or Van, which bears a message board/poster? A traffic jam. Would that be illegal? Of course. Anything can be made illegal under all the Acts, Authorizations, Orders, Dispatches, and Commandments that have been coming down. This one’s gonna take some serious doses of courage to oppose, ’cause it’s federal, and that means troops.

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avatar Fellow Liberal March 10, 2012 at 10:35 am

It seems to me from the given text above that all the bill is trying to do is clarify that protests are not allowed to disrupt the function of government and to insure the safety of government officials or anyone else protected by secret service. Nothing in the bill, from what was given, stops any Occupy protest provided that no one gets hurt and it doesn’t disrupt official functions (what counts as official function is a little unclear to me if that also applies to businesses, but even if it did it seems commonsensical that one’s first amendment rights shouldn’t interfere with the rights of others.)

Plus this bill applies to all protests and protesters, including the Tea Party, so this idea that it’s primarily meant to target Occupy protests is, unless I missing something, unfounded and baseless. The Tea Partiers march in Washington, D.C. and on national monuments quite often, or at least that’s what theyre known to do, so it may turn out to impact them more than Occupy.

The Occupy protest are supposed to be civilized and peaceful, and all the police brutality and official resistance only increases the stakes for peace. I would encourage people that if an primary source is present to read it and form your own opinions before seeking others lest you become more like the opposition (conservatives) you tout as being ignorant and unwilling to seek original knowledge.

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avatar Lois March 10, 2012 at 11:01 am

So it is being said that this bill has been in effect for some time. What is the purpose of the new one? I guess I better go back and read them closer.

By the way, does the non-protestor parents and children have to have top secret clearances for the Monday Easter Egg rolls on the White House lawn?

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avatar Jean Netherton March 10, 2012 at 11:05 am

This is not new.
HR 347 -”To correct and simplify the drafting of section 1752 (relating to restricted buildings or grounds) of title 18, United States Code.”
Title 18 has been around since 1948, and section 1752 since 1971.
This was in place already. Read them both side by side. Fear mongering from the right is bad enough. Let’s don’t be ‘those’ guys.

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avatar Rose March 10, 2012 at 11:09 am

Reading this bill, “Restricted area” is defined in a fairly limited way:
`(A) of the White House or its grounds, or the Vice President’s official residence or its grounds;

`(B) of a building or grounds where the President or other person protected by the Secret Service is or will be temporarily visiting; or

`(C) of a building or grounds so restricted in conjunction with an event designated as a special event of national significance; and

`(2) the term `other person protected by the Secret Service’ means any person whom the United States Secret Service is authorized to protect under section 3056 of this title or by Presidential memorandum, when such person has not declined such protection.’.

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avatar LK Randall March 10, 2012 at 12:14 pm

“…engages in disorderly or disruptive conduct in, or within such proximity to, any restricted building or grounds …”

The “within such proximity” is problematic – and completely undefined…

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avatar mike March 10, 2012 at 12:55 pm

As I read this new law, it looks like if I attend a Rick Santorum political rally in his quest to become the Republican candidate protesting his insane stance on many of his views, now that he has Secret Service protection, I would be arrested under this new law. I was born in the land of the free and I fought for that freedom in Vietnam, sadly I now live in a land that now has less freedom because of this new law, the Patriot Act and others.

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avatar Jean Netherton March 10, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Not a new law…just updating the wording to a law that has existed since 1971.

No argument that the Patriot Act (much of which is still secret) needs to be repealed. There is enough legitimate things to ‘fear monger’ without wasting energy on this.

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avatar Laura March 10, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Did anyone actually go on and read the bill? It specifically states everything, and it is talking about the White House or any place the President or VP may be, or any person with Secret Service protection. I pressume this is to protect the President and VP. There are many threats out there we do not always know about. But knowledge is power and reading it for yourself will give you the most knowledge. You be best advised to not listen to propaganda. You can still protest and have free speech, but with all the crazies out there with guns they are just taking precautions.

Here is the link for all the lazy people who do not want to research anything

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr347enr/pdf/BILLS-112hr347enr.pdf

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avatar Eliott Morris March 10, 2012 at 4:17 pm

hey laura .. remember when the US gov’ment told Native Americans they could still be free and have land as long as it was the land and freedom of the US Governments choosing? Yeah I remember that as well because it put Native Americans on reservations where they could do little more than drin k themselves to death. How do you feel about your rights to protest being put on a reservation? The Constitution clearly states NO LAW shall be passed restricting our right to protest. As a matter if fact, protest is absolutely essential to a healthy gov’ment. Guns, crazies, whatever. You allow yourself to start being saturated by opinions that any human with the capacity for self preservation couldn’t have possibly formed on their own, and you may as well submit to the Mens Club now.

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avatar Chris March 11, 2012 at 7:52 am

First, there are some ambiguous phrases in the law which leave it open to severe manipulation—not just manipulation by the Feds, but also by State and Local governments.

Second, don’t you find it a teensy bit strange that, during a time when the GOP is willing to filibuster on what they want to the point of bringing government to a halt (catering to their special interests while allowing unemployment to expire, among other things)—a time when the very idea of agreeing with Obama on *anything* gives them a knee-jerk reaction to go 180 degrees on whatever it is—a time when bi-partisanship is virtually non-existent… that this bill passes in the Senate with only 3 nay votes, and passes UNANIMOUSLY in the House?

Put it this way: Boehner’s Crew aren’t going to side *unanimously* with the Dems and Obama on *anything… UNLESS what they stand to gain from it makes siding 100% with Obama and the Democrats “okay to do.” When you look at the psychology side of all this, the unanimous support (and speed of passage) says one thing to me: Corporate interests which fund the candidates laid down the law and said “You WILL vote for this so we can never have another round of nationwide protests like we had last year. Last years tactics with Homeland Security-trained police forces and brutality didn’t work; we’re going to make it easier for municipalities to arrest these people, and hopefully deter these people—and you’re GOING to vote for it.”

Municipalities committed many illegal acts last year toward protesters (including unprovoked and unwarranted bodily harm, sometimes life-threatening)… and I *think* at least some of the cities now face law suits over that. My opinion is that the vague parts of this bill are purposeful: designed to give municipalities the ability to interpret those parts in whatever ways are needed to deter/arrest protesters more easily, and for greater fines/prison time.

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avatar Matt Morgan April 13, 2012 at 9:53 am

Chris I agree with you, but you made one error. It passed the Senate unanimously, and had only 3 no votes in the House. The House vote tally which took place 02/28/12, was 338 for and 3 against. The rest of the house either weren’t there to vote or abstained. Interesting fact: Ron Paul voted against it in 2011, but abstained in the deciding vote.

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avatar Al March 12, 2012 at 3:22 am

Laura, you are going to have to do better than that. See above comments; your rationalization is delusional. You “presume” it’s just for the President or VP? You say that right after acknowledging it may be for anybody with secret service protection… I’ll not trust your presumption.

“There are many threats out there we do not always know about.”

Well, no shit, Sherlock; thanks for the words of wisdom. You’re right, now that you said that, I have re-thought my opposition to this bill. Not.

I hate how you assume with an air of arrogance that you were one of the few smart enough to actually read the 1 page bill. I guess you missed this:

“…engages in disorderly or disruptive conduct in, or within such proximity to, any restricted building or grounds …”
LK Randall March 10, 2012 at 12:14 pm: went on to say this:

“” The “within such proximity” is problematic – and completely undefined…””

Got it?

No, it is not FREE speech if it is RESTRICTED, especially under VAGUE terms.

I know I am laying the sarcasm on very thick, but you are so full of shit I feel it is warranted.

PS Jean Netherton, your attitude is the equivalent of: Oh, we’ve been f•••ed for decades, it’s silly to discuss it now. And yes, it is a re-wording of section 1752, and I did read them side by side. It is different. Here’s one example:

“(d) None of the laws of the United States or of the several States and the District of Columbia shall be superseded by this section.” was removed.

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avatar Eliott Morris March 10, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Any fish that has the cajones to tell the rest of us to calm down, that we’re over reacting, like Offended and people like him, needs to go back and read Mike Haddocks post. Congress shall make NO LAW prohibiting the right of the people to peacefully assemble. Too many peaceful protests have ended with protesters being bashed by police or tear gassed, arrests, etc .. showing just how little respect our leaders have for this freedom, and now they want to restrict it in spite of the VERY clear wording of the US Constitution? I’m not really sure how you can sit back in defense of that. It goes against your very best interests. ?? If you don’t want to protest something like this, or even get involved in any way, thats one thing. But to take the time to try and deter the people who are trying to do something that is only going to benefit you in the end?? Man thats just idiotic. ?? You can show desent against your fellow man, but not against an unconstitutional law? Consider resetting your priorities.

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avatar Matt Morgan April 13, 2012 at 9:59 am

Very true, if people did there homework they would find that the Superbowl is covered by this bill. A little rewriting, instead of For the People by the People it should read:For the Rich by the Rich.

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avatar Ashley March 10, 2012 at 4:32 pm

We need to Rally, we need every group evrywhere to speak about this. We need to focus on taking this bill DOWN. There is now but a small window of time in which we can non-violently persuade change and we need to seize it. Talk to the unions, talk to HRC, talk to the coffee party, use the web sites to get the word out, care2.com has petitions to be signed. This is not to be taken lightly, this is not war on another land this is war against the people who hope for a better tomorrow. This is “V is for Vendetta” happening right before our eyes.

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avatar ceannrua March 10, 2012 at 8:44 pm

You seem VERY confused. the law DOES NOT repeat DOES NOT ban protest. bans it around people places. You CAN still protest. this would prevent ann coulter from getting hit by a pie, young ladies can get health care without getting yelled at, or could have prevented reagan from getting shot. All good thing. you can still protest ann coulter, women getting health care, or back in the day reagan, just a little bit away for safety.

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avatar Chris March 11, 2012 at 7:54 am

Remember too, all candidates receive Secret Service Protection—so there’s the potential that anyone protesting at, say, Santorum’s rally/speaking engagement, anyone “mike-checking,” anyone “glitter-bombing”… could now quite easily face felony charges.

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avatar Chris March 11, 2012 at 8:18 am

THIS is why so many of us are suspicious of this new law: it’s not just the vague wording in places (and our understanding of how cities and police depts. and the feds WILL manipulate it)—it’s also that we’ve just seen the equivalent of God and Satan sitting down together and saying “Enemies Shmenemies—forget all that, this is so important we’re willing to agree it should be done without argument or debate… and it needs to get done Yesterday.”

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avatar Chris March 11, 2012 at 8:19 am

Look at how often and virulently Boehner and his crew have fought tooth and nail against *anything* Obama was for. Look at how far they were willing to go to piss off the public—i.e. when they brought govt. to a halt and let people’s unemployment expire, in their insistence that the 1%’s tax cuts get renewed OR ELSE.

For some of these people, it’s practically a religion to take a position 180 degrees from what Obama wants, or what the Dems want.

Now, along comes this bill… and the House passes it UNANIMOUSLY. Let me say that again: UNANIMOUSLY. And the Senate had only 3 no votes against it. THEN, although Obama has until the 12th to think it over, he signs it early on the 8th. This bill flew through Congress and barely lit on the president’s desk before he signed it.

Now—as an average citizen, in what order would you rate the importance of the various acts and bills that the two sides have fought tooth and nail over? Taxes on the rich? Affordable Health Care? Unemployment? Coverage for G.I.? Don’t Ask Don’t Tell? Contraception? Redefining Rape? DOMA? Efforts to repeal Citizen’s United? Military Budget? The Canadian Oil Pipeline? The BP Oil disaster? Cuts to Social Security, Medicaid, Education, Transportation? The Freakin BAILOUT? The Iraq and Afgan Wars? Deregulation of Wall Street? Domestic Drilling and Fracking?

All these topics have been hotly debated in Congress. Most of these topics (if not all) have seen bloody war between the GOP and the Democrats in Congress, with metaphorical torn limbs littering the floor. We’ve seen the GOP close sessions down; we’ve seen them turn off television coverage of public sessions. We’ve seen them practically argue that the sky is pink, if Obama says it’s blue.

So tell me: how in HELL does a bill like this get UNANIMOUS SUPPORT in the House, get only 3 no’s in the Senate, and fly across Obama’s desk with signed approval? To me, the only logical answer is that the corporate interests which fund *both* parties sent out a directive: pass this with some suitably vague wording, to give municipalities plenty of play in confronting/prohibiting further Occupy Protests (and other similar protests). They found beatings and brutality didn’t work, so they’re upping the legal ante (and likely, also providing legal protection to cities so that no further injured protesters can sue said cities).

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avatar Matt Morgan April 13, 2012 at 10:26 am

Chris, I just started a Facebook page I think you could add value to. If you have time feel free to add, or start an educated debate. http://www.facebook.com/FightingAgainstIgnorance

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avatar TEX March 11, 2012 at 1:26 pm

after reading this , it dawned on me,, that if you cant protest in these places, you cant also pro rally in these places!! so if you have a pro rally on federal grounds , you are also in violation of the laws!!

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avatar TEX March 11, 2012 at 1:27 pm

go pro obama supporter!

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avatar Charlie March 12, 2012 at 6:47 pm

As a 63 year old gun toting, right wing, libertarian I find this discussion amusing. Why you would believe that only the left would support your position is beyond me. The right to protest peacefully is fundamental to all Americans left and right. The Corporate Boogieman that you are all so afraid of is not the enemy in this case. This is not their doing. It is BIG Government and their self granted right to control everyone and everything, that is the problem. If you could look beyond your own self righteous thinking you might be able to make peace with us on at least this issue and gain support from our side as well. It would seem to me that the left ignores history as you are still wearing blinders when picking your enemies. We all want many of the same things and we could and probably would stand by you on this issue.

The loss of Freedom for One is the loss of Freedom for All.

OB resident 69-72 Viet Nam Veteran International Financial Consultant

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avatar JEC March 13, 2012 at 9:48 am

Dear Charlie – In a nutshell – you love and trust coporpations; you hate and distrust your government. About sums it up. The great divide. I am a student of history – in depth. Across history there are the selfish and the alturistic. Most are a mix of the two, still Corporations represent the selfish, and government the alturistic, usually. What’s amazing is your embrace of selfishness. Then again your fear of government may be that instinct telling you that our government, our democracy, is not ours, it belongs to someone else, apart and threatening. And you might be right, the government is owned and controlled by – let’s see, who? Oh, the Corporations. Historically speaking this was once called fascism. You like it?

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avatar RB March 13, 2012 at 11:26 am

A student of history would know the Bill of Rights was the result of the founders distrust and fear of unbridled government.

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avatar Charlie March 14, 2012 at 10:15 am

Thank you RB

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avatar JEC March 14, 2012 at 11:56 am

Why certainly RB – shall every comment be a recital of history – I highly recommend “1877 a Year of Violence”, “Labor Wars” or the “Rise and Fall of the Great Powers”, all excellant historical pieces. The point to these discussions seem to get lost in a fog of misreads and supposition. Charlie – I referred to Corporations as built on selfishness – remember celebrating “Greed is Good” not to long ago? I did not insert the word ‘evil’ you did. I take it you view selfishness as evil. In excess it can be, certainly. Did you catch the Goldman Sachs letter of resignation yesterday – toxic was the executive’s term. But let’s find something we can agree on. Big government like Big corporations are distance inpersonal powers that take our labor and give little in return. The founders fought to create a government that serves the people. Most of that is done by the States and local governments. The Federal government provides little direct service. Roads, sewers, water, electricity, trash, these things are easy. Then they get complicated – currency, treasury, military, foreign policy and public health. But how about justice? Right/wrong, fairness, settling disputes, punishing criminals, how is that done? Is it done at all? You say you tote a gun. Shall we all and settle our disagreements the same way? Bring back the quick draw. And corporate boogieman? Trick question, what’s the difference between Standard Oil and the Mafia? Standard Oil is bigger. That you will find in the history books.

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avatar Frank Gormlie March 14, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Write-on!

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avatar Charlie March 14, 2012 at 3:29 pm

JEC

First,thank you for your much more reasoned and clearly thought out response. You and I agree on more than we disagree.

There are some in the corporate world who have no qualms about engaging in immoral, unethical, and illegal behavior. They should be locked up, their properties confiscated, and made to compensate to the best of their abilities those that they have injured. Believe me when I say a large majority of the people on my side of the fence absolutely agree to this. My only question is why the attorney general hasn’t brought any of these people to justice? We think all of the fines should go directly to the injured parties not to the government coffers, would you agree? We already pay them to prevent this from happening and it was their lax behavior that let it happen in the first place. Not to mention government policies that encouraged this type behavior. We also believe that those whose incompetence didn’t stop this much earlier should be forthwith fired and never allowed to rise to a responsible position in the government again.

As for my permit to carry a gun; This is really a different subject but I will try to keep it brief. My permit does not allow me to shoot anyone who displeases me, quite the contrary. None of my friends that also carry nor I have ever fired our guns in anger. We carry only to protect ourselves and our families from say a carjacker, an armed robber, or any other life threatening situation. And even then only as a last option. You would be hard pressed to find many, if any, permitted citizens using their weapons in an irresponsible or illegal way. Enough said?

BTW My friends and I got a kick out of you suggesting (?) that I am or would support Fascism. You made our day. LOL We are mostly Libertarians at heart and believe the constitution means EXACTLY what it says and shouldn’t be massaged to mean anything else. You don’t like then go thru the process of changing it. It is the American way.

Thanks again

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avatar Matt Morgan April 13, 2012 at 10:24 am

JEC, I just started a Facebook page I think you could add value to. If you have time feel free to add, or start an educated debate. http://www.facebook.com/FightingAgainstIgnorance

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avatar Charlie March 13, 2012 at 12:19 pm

I neither love nor trust government or corporations. You will find good and evil in both. I love and trust people of good will and try to help where I can. To quantify all corporations as evil shows a lack of understanding on your part.

Fascism is defined as a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.

As a supposed student of History I would think that you would at least understand a political philosophy before you accused someone of believing in. Fascist governments are not run or controlled by corporations by definition. BTW again you should know that we are a Republic not a Democracy. You are either a poor student or you need to sue the school that you are attending for your improper education.

Now you called me selfish as well. Considering that you know nothing of me or how I spend my money I find this statement ludicrous. For all you know I could have replaced Mother Theresa at her orphanages. But I will tell you that I give as little as legally possible to the government as they do more harm than good.

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avatar dorndiego March 13, 2012 at 7:46 am

Guns and Money, Charlie, that’s where we differ. I’m a 68-year-old ex-reporter
and university teacher who, in both roles, chased corporations and people trying
trying to get them to give up the truth and you’re getting close, kid. In this case,
it IS your Big Government that is the enemy. Big Government, to me, has come
to mean the misuse of the military and local firepower aimed at those who dissent, and okay, sometimes those who do object are naive and even feckless young.
For starters,I wish some of you guys on the right would for once show up against local police, their use of tasers and pepper spray, and against, to continue, the wars we fight from our cushions in front of thetelevision, the drones we approve of (and maybe even give models of to our grandkids). Sooner or later, Big Government will send the real ones out to pinpoint kill women and children halfway around a fragile planet for reasons we can’t even name. And, guess who’s making money doing it? Maybe it’s the corporate world? I kinda think so.
I’m betting that somewhere deep inside you’re against that too, aren’t you Charlie?
See, we’re not so far apart.

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avatar Charlie March 13, 2012 at 11:09 am

Dorndiego

I also own and operate several International Corporations and we work with others of like mind. Do we make a profit where we can? Of course we do as that is the point of forming a corporation in the first place. Profit is not EVIL as so many of the Rags readers seem to think. We originally tried to operate as US corporations but the government made that impossible. We were hiring Americans to do our work but every time we turned around a government agent was in my office demanding my time. I had to explain this, that, and the other while they were threatening me, my families finances, and what we were trying to accomplish. So we shut down our US operations (unfortunately having to fire 7 employees) and moved everything overseas. Now we pay no corporate taxes, have a friendly government that actually tries to help us, and operate in peace. As an American Veteran I don’t like it but it became a necessity.

I guess that is my biggest problem with the left. It would seem that they want more and more government as they see that as the answer to their problems. But, as is very clear with this bill it is not. The government is the problem not the solution and always is. If many of the people that comment in this paper were to have their way then we would end up with a Nationalist Socialist government and all that it would bring.

You can’t force me or the “1% ers” to take care of all your problems, we will move and take our wealth with us. This will become very clear to you if you continue to try to overtax those who are successful. Why should I work, I don’t need the money? I work because I like creating things and helping people improve their lives. For this I am called an Evil Capitalist and told that I MUST give the money that I work 60 to 80 hours a week for to someone else. Most of which is used to operate the bloated government. Do you know that only about 1 in 3000 (number not exact as I think that the figure I saw was actually higher) federal employees are ever fired. Is that because they are so good at what they do?

I fear for our Republic (this is not a Democracy as few seem to know) and our freedom. So many people are so willing to give away their freedom so that they can step up to the government trough but it is like a mouse trap. Be careful what you wish for.

I do appreciate people like you that will hold the bad corporations accountable as they should be. I only wish that you would open your eyes and the eyes of those around you as to what an even bigger government would mean to them. Most corporations are not evil but quite the opposite.

I agree that the military is misused in many cases. As my father, my brother, and I are all war veterans I object to many of these misadventures or at least how they are run. If you have ever been in a war a had to look death straight in the face you will never think that war is glorious but it is sometimes necessary. I also have a son in the Army Infantry who has served for the last 15 years serving in Bosnia, Korea, Israeli / Egyptian border and Afghanistan so I do have a dog in this hunt. However, in my line of work I have met some truly evil people and I would shoot them myself if I could. It is always a judgement call and you are not always right.
Unintended consequences have a bad habit of happening. Just like so many government programs.

As for your rallies; If your people would learn to actually demonstrate peacefully, not hurl insults, rocks, etc. at the Police or in other words emulate the Tea Party. Do you know that they actually clean up after themselves before they leave? You don’t have the right to camp out, block business entrances, accost people that you don’t know anything about, and at least be able to hold a civil conversation with those that disagree with you. MAKE YOUR POINT and if you are convincing others may change their mind and join you. Continue with this in your face stuff and people will eventually turn on you much like the Democrat Party are abandoning you now.

On a personal note, If I am ever in San Diego I would love to sit down and share a cup of coffee with you. I could tell you about things that are happening that you won’t ever see in the news. Some good some bad but all interesting. I actually do have friends on the left and wouldn’t mind more.

Live Free or Die

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avatar Matt Morgan April 13, 2012 at 10:22 am

I don’t necessary agree with all you believe, but I like that you do your homework, and don’t just don’t say you are wrong I am right. I just started a Facebook page, that I think you could add value to it. http://www.facebook.com/FightingAgainstIgnorance

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avatar Gary P Caton March 13, 2012 at 6:47 pm

This law is clearly unconstitutional, no?

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.

so the things to do are:
1) Protest like hell until it goes into effect on Jan 1
2) challenge it in court

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