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Re: This is How We Take Action

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  • Wed, Jul 01, 2009 - 07:05pm

    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: This is How We Take Action

Dear Gungnir,

I am loathe to open a debate on this subject, since my job is merely to enforce rules.  However, I think that your post certainly deserves some response, and hopefully I can provide useful clarification.

[quote=gungnir] No one specifically endorsed violence, nor violent revolution, indeed the only violence that I observed was the moderator infringing on 1st Amendment rights. [/quote]

The First Amendment gives all persons and private entities the right to be free from government censorship of speech or press.  That would be far too dangerous a power for the federal or state governments to possess.  However if the editor of a newspaper declines to publish your comments in his newspaper, that is no violation of any right.

[quote=Gungnir] …no one specifically stated any specific action on any specific date, nor incited any violent action… [/quote]

If that were to occur it would be not merely a violation of posting rules, but a crime, and might well subject the individual and the site to investigation and legal fees.  It would not be responsible for us to allow the site to teeter on the very edge of illegality.  Especially because violence and/or violent revolution is not what this site is about.  Period.

A recent thread described the sweeping grand jury subpoena received by an internet newspaper site when several users posted comments in response to a story, suggesting that members of a federal jury ought to be harmed if they returned a certain verdict.  No specific dates or times were mentioned in that case, to my knowledge.  But the subpoena demanded the full names and IP addresses of every user.  Whether such an overly-broad subpoena might survive a motion to quash it is beside the point: we have an obligation to the users not to needlessly subject them to federal grand jury investigations.

[quote=Gungnir] if you consider communicating the same information that is contained in the Declaration of Independance, the Constitution, or the Bill of Rights as controversial enough to edit, then there is something seriously wrong both here, and in the current consciousness of the United States. How can the fundamental documents of incorporation of the United States as a sovereign nation be controversial, they’re on show at the Library of Congress…[/quote] I am not an historian, and I am in no position to claim that the rules of this site will change in any case, but I can offer a perspective which may clarify.

When it was written that "whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it" this would seem to have been in reference to the democratic right of the people to, by vote, alter the form of government.  If the government was of such a type that a democratic vote was prohibited, then it was the right of a smaller unit to associate or dissociate itself as it so voted.  The American colonies dissociated themselves from Britain only by vote of the Continental Congress, which consisted of representatives duly elected from each colony.  The colonies proceeded into the Revolutionary War with their local governments almost entirely intact.

Today the United States Constitution (as well as the constitutions of the states) provide procedures whereby they may be altered or abolished, and the votes on such a matter would not be counted by the federal government: they would be publicly counted in open rooms by civilian members of local Boards of Registrars (or their equivalent) in each city and town, and the tallies would be compiled and certified by each state independently.  That is the right to abolish the constitution which is reserved to the people.

However, though the founding fathers (particularly Jefferson) occasionally quipped about the desirability of occasional riots and tumults, the use of the army to aggressively put down insurrections and riots was absolutely common both during the period of the confederation, and after the new constitution was adopted in 1789.

As I said, the above is merely a perspective.  As for this site: We are simply not about violence.  This newspaper doesn’t print those types of editorials.  Our policy on this matter is firm.  Open discussion, debate, and even ridicule of our policy is welcome.  Discussion of violent rebellion is not.