Freedom Of The Press

A Moment To Celebrate The 167th Anniversary Of The New York Times, America’s Leading Media Source, Helping To Keep Us Free And Informed!

In the midst of the sustained attack on freedom of the press going on in 2018, today is the 167th anniversary of America’s leading newspaper, the “newspaper of record”, the NEW YORK TIMES.

Since 1851, the New York Times has published and challenged the American government, foreign governments, and powerful economic forces, who have tried to limit the ability of that paper to report the truth of the news, and the paper has won 125 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper. Its motto is “All the News That’s Fit to Print”. It has the notable New York Times Book Review, the New York Times Magazine, and the Sunday Review, all part of its Sunday edition.

The New York Times has not been perfect, anymore than any institution, as it failed to report accurately the Holocaust going on in Europe in World War II; the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the Middle East over the past number of decades; and has been accused of distortion about the Iraq War, and the US-Iran relationship. The newspaper also has been accused of engagement in plagiarism by certain journalists, and accusations of bias, and public perceptions of lack of credibility and accuracy, including attacks by Right Wing propaganda groups, and President Donald Trump, who talks about the “Failing” New York Times, which actually is in very good financial shape.

Any researcher in just about any field of knowledge uses the former NY Times Index, as this author has done, and now available in the TimesMachine, the Online Archive of every issue of the paper since 1851.

The New York Times was extremely significant in promotion of the truth, when it won the right to publish the Pentagon Papers in 1971, in the Supreme Court case of New York Times Company V. United States, winning over the attempt of President Richard Nixon to prevent publication of the documents that traced the US involvement in Vietnam after 1945 through the late 1960s.

So let us all applaud the courage and determination of the brilliant journalists of the New York Times, who are now, in 2018, doing their job exposing the corruption and illegal activities of Donald Trump and his Presidency, alongside the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Wall Street Journal, along with other media sources, including cable news channels CNN and MSNBC, along with ABC, NBC, and CBS.

The truth shall set us free and protect American democracy and the Constitution!

The Urgent Democratic Platform For 2020: 30 Goals For The Next Decade

What MUST be part of the Democratic Party platform in 2020, no matter who is the Democratic Presidential nominee?

In no special order, it MUST include:

Medicare for all Americans of all ages
$15 minimum wage by 2022 everywhere in America and Paid Family Leave
Free public university and college tuition for the first two years or 60 credits of higher education
Wiping out of college debt which prevents many young people from marrying, having children, buying a home, having a future
Repeal of Citizens United, which has allowed corporations to be called people, and destroy political campaigns with large donations, and instead promote public financing of campaigns
Responsible Gun Control legislation
Protection of Women’s Rights, including abortion rights
Enforcement of gay and lesbian and transgender rights
A responsible immigration reform program, reversing the damage done by Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions, John Kelly, Kirstjen Nielsen, Stephen Miller and Thomas Homan
Revival of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties that have been curbed by Donald Trump
Protection of the Social Safety Net of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid
Labor Rights promoted, including prevention of “right to work” laws
Environmental regulations revived and strengthened
Consumer Rights revived and strengthened
Investment in infrastructure across America
Condemnation of violations of human rights in other nations, including Russia, China, Turkey, Egypt, the Philippines and elsewhere
Revival of NATO alliance and other alliances that have been weakened in the Trump Presidency
The end of protectionist tariffs, which undermine the American economy
Strengthening of relations with Cuba, and attempts to overcome strains and tensions with Iran, and revive the Iran Nuclear Deal
Promoting total separation of church and state, with religion not being promoted by government
Reenactment of responsible corporation and Wall Street reforms
Protection of Native American lands and properties
Criminal Justice Reforms for those not involved in violent Crimes
National restoration of Voting Rights to former convicts who have paid their debt to society
Decriminalizing Drug Use and Sales, so as to overcome the Opioid Crisis, and allow Medicinal Marijuana without penalty
Promoting funding for the Arts and Culture across America
Dealing with poverty and homelessness in America
Hurricane Relief for Puerto Rico and move toward statehood as the 51st state
Tax Reform to require a fair and equitable tax system for all, not just the wealthy
Reviving respect for Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press

Would all of these 30 “planks” be successfully accomplished in the term of the next Democratic President from 2021-2025? Most certainly, highly unlikely, but these must be the goals of the next Democratic administration, as we attempt to recover from the disaster and tragedy of the Donald Trump nightmare!

Freedom Of Speech And Racism, Antisemitism, Nativism, Misogyny: Public Rebuke Of Public Figures Required As Punishment, As With Roseanne!

The First Amendment protects freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

Anyone can say whatever they wish to say, and if they use social media, they can express their thoughts in print.

But that does not mean that the right to speak should protect racists, antisemites, nativists, and misogynists from public condemnation, or that it should protect public figures from public rebuke, including potential loss of their employment, and any other public punishment short of imprisonment.

The case of Roseanne Barr is such a case.

Roseanne Barr can certainly have her own thoughts and opinions, but that does not protect her from public denunciation, and actions to punish her, and take away her career.

For any public figure to express such biases as Roseanne Barr has done for many years is simply disgusting, and beyond the pale.

And it should be the same for every politician, whether local, state or national, to face repudiation and to be forced out of office as unAmerican.

And for a President to use his office to spew hate and disdain for so many groups of Americans should, just by itself, be justification for impeachment and removal from office.

Remember that impeachment has nothing to do with legalities, and any President, Vice President, Federal Court Judge or Justice, and any Cabinet officer can be brought up on impeachment charges on any grounds that a majority of the House agree are reasons for impeachment.

Donald Trump’s verbal behavior on Twitter and in the public square, as well as his actions, are a better case for impeachment than was faced by Andrew Johnson in 1868 and by Bill Clinton in 1998-1999.

And it seems clear more than ever that the case against Donald Trump for impeachment far surpasses even the impeachment route pursued against Richard Nixon in 1974 before he resigned in disgrace!

A Salute To The Two Best Newspapers In America: The New York Times And Washington Post, And Also Recognition Of The Los Angeles Times, CNN, And MSNBC For Their Work Exposing Donald Trump

Yesterday, the Pulitzer Prizes in Journalism and other areas were awarded, and again, the top two newspapers in America won ever more such awards.

The New York Times, beginning publication in 1851, has now won 125 Pulitzer Prizes, including three yesterday. It is the paper of record, the most important research sources for scholars in all fields, and has survived vicious attacks by critics through 167 years of publication.

The Washington Post, beginning publication in 1877, has become competitive in the past half century with the New York Times, and has won a total of 47 Pulitzer Prizes, including two yesterday. One must not forget how the Washington Post exposed the Watergate Scandal under Richard Nixon. They have now existed for 141 years of publication.

The Los Angeles Times, beginning publication in 1881, while not winning any Pulitzer Prizes yesterday, has won a total of 44 Pulitzer prizes in their history, and have been in existence for 137 years.

These three top print newspapers have borne the brunt of Donald Trump criticism, as they bore the brunt of attacks by Richard Nixon.

They have stood strong and proved the rightfulness of their coverage of domestic and foreign news coverage.

Thank goodness for their steadfastness, as they have insured the survival of a free press and democratic values, even in the face of strong and dangerous trends in government, that would wish to stifle their voices.

At the same time, we must also salute electronic media, including CNN (founded in 1980) and MSNBC (founded in 1996), for defying the lies and deceit of Donald Trump and his criminal gang, as they also play a major role in perpetuation of our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

One can be assured that they will long outlive the tyranny of Donald Trump, and will bring him to justice through their commitment to the truth!

Donald Trump And Libel Laws: Massive Number Of Lawsuits Could Be Lodged Against Him For His Constant Libeling Of Critics And Opponents

Yesterday, Donald Trump called for a massive overhaul of America’s libel laws, so that anyone who lies about someone else, says or publishes untruths, can be sued for libel and be forced to pay large financial damages.

This would be done to silence critics in their public statements, and news media, journalists, and authors from freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

Any person or entity, including this author and blogger, could be hauled into federal court, costing vast amounts of attorney expenses, to defend the truth and veracity of his or her statements or publications.

Is there anything more unconstitutional or more a violation of basic civil liberties and the Bill of Rights, than this utterance by an authoritarian, fascist oriented disgrace of a human being?

It would effectively silence any exposure, revelation, or accountability for an abusive government leader, the kind of treatment one finds in authoritarian nations, such as Russia, China, Turkey, Egypt, the Philippines, Iran, and other nations around the world, and historically in the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, and Fascist Italy.

It would destroy our democracy and rule of law, and promote intolerance and suppression of differing views of government as it affects the American population.

Ironically, though, Donald Trump could face thousands of law suits for all of his unsubstantiated attacks on his critics in the Republican Party during the 2016 election campaign, as well as while he has been in the White House, as well as Democrats, and all the news media and other critics who have correctly called him out for his abuse of power and his divisive, hateful rants in public rallies, in the White House and on Twitter.

Donald Trump has lied incessantly, an average of five times a day, over 2,000 lies since he announced his candidacy on June 16, 2015.

He should be sued under his own definition of libel for every one of these two thousand plus lies, and his defamation of individuals and institutions, and it would leave him impoverished after financial payments were imposed on him.

He is the last person who should bring up the issue of libel, and he could be, as a result, “hoist with his own petard”!

The Never Ending Nightmare Of Donald Trump, Who Has Disgraced, Undermined, Tarnished, Stained, And Harmed The Reputation Of The Presidency!

As we see the end of the first year of the Donald Trump Presidency, it is clear that it is a never ending nightmare visited on the American people.

Donald Trump has disgraced the office of the Presidency.

Donald Trump has undermined trust and faith in the law, the Constitution, and American democracy, and demonstrated lack of respect for freedom of the press.

Donald Trump has tarnished the reputation of America as the leader of the world.

Donald Trump has stained the concept of decency, dignity, and concern of the leader of the nation for those less fortunate, or facing historic discrimination.

Donald Trump has harmed the reputation of the Presidency as an office which promotes basic moral and ethical values.

Donald Trump has affected the relationships between men and women, boys and girls, in a deleterious manner, which will harm the nation long term.

Donald Trump has manufactured and promoted more lies than any American politician in American history, and undermines the ability of Americans to respect the office and the person who holds that position.

Donald Trump has damaged America long term in just one year, as with the long term effects of his lower court appointments, and his selection of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, who seems short term to be further to the right politically than Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, and maybe even the man he replaced, Justice Antonin Scalia.

Donald Trump has left a legacy of environmental damage that will not be easily reversed, and of harm to labor and consumers that will set back the dwindling middle class and the working class for decades.

Donald Trump has also given us the worst set of cabinet members ever, far worse already than Richard Nixon, Warren G. Harding, or Ulysses S. Grant.

Donald Trump has left already an indelible mark on America, and is on the way to the worst four year term in history, bar none, and with the danger of two wars being started, if he lasts into the end of the second year–against North Korea and Iran.

We should all hope that Donald Trump is forced out of office soon, although the prospect of President Mike Pence is a ghastly thought at this point.

What the Russians did has succeeded, destroying our presidential election, and giving us horrifying alternatives in Pence, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and Senate President Pro Tempore Orrin Hatch, when clearly, Hillary Clinton won an election that was stolen from her!

Donald Trump’s Full Scale Attack On The First Amendment, While Endorsing No Limit On The Second Amendment, A Danger To America

Donald Trump has mounted a full scale attack on the First Amendment freedom of speech and press, while endorsing no limit on the Second Amendment, despite the recent Las Vegas Massacre, and is therefore a danger to America.

If it were left up to Trump, many cable TV channels, such as CNN and MSNBC, would be denied licenses to operate, but thankfully, no such mechanism exists to suppress the First Amendment.

Also, Trump wishes to suppress freedom of speech for National Football League players to protest the treatment of African Americans and other minorities by police.

And he seems to think that everyone MUST stand for the flag and the National Anthem, while the Supreme Court has declared that the flag need not be obeyed, and in fact, can be burned in protest, something much more extreme than bending the knee for the flag.

The case on this is Texas V Johnson (1989), with Justice Antonin Scalia, certainly the most conservative Justice in a century, writing the majority opinion.

What Trump is doing was denounced by principled conservative Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska, who has been against Trump from before the election. He said yesterday that Trump is violating his oath of office by refusing to defend the Constitution, which includes the Bill of Rights, and that Trump had, therefore, committed an impeachable act.

Trump sounds more like Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, or other totalitarian dictators than the leader of a democracy, and he is a clear and present danger to all Americans, as a result.

The possibility of moving toward impeachment is starting to grow, as Sasse joins Senator Bob Corker in warning against the threat that Trump clearly presents the nation.

Trump seems to be unraveling, as reported by journalists who have contacts within the staff of Donald Trump, reminding us of the last days of Richard Nixon.

But if anything, Richard Nixon was far less dangerous than Donald Trump is, as Trump has been collaborating with Russia, while Nixon understood the threat presented by Russia.

Also, Nixon was not out to destroy all domestic reform of the previous hundred years, as Trump is in the process of doing, with ObamaCare, the environment, consumer legislation, and government regulation of business.

And Trump is also out to destroy the Iran Deal, go to war with North Korea, and destroy all areas of our foreign policy with other nations.

So the need for prompt action, before Trump must be wrestled for control of the nuclear codes, is real!

Trump’s Constant Attacks On Journalism Will Lead Some Crazy Trump Supporter To Perpetrate A Crime Against A Journalist!

The Founding Fathers understood the role of Journalism.

Abraham Lincoln understood the role of Journalism.

The same situation existed for Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and every other President before and since FDR, until now we have a President, Donald Trump, who wishes to curb the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of the press.

No President, and no public figure likes when he or she is criticized, attacked, exposed, for one’s shortcomings, and sometimes illegal acts.

But the right of the people to know the facts, the truth, and be aware of investigations of their public officials, is sacrosanct.

In a totalitarian dictatorship, the first thing that disappears is freedom of the press, and in many such nations historically, journalists become victims of crooked and corrupt leaders.

By Donald Trump attacking journalists as “bad” people, as un-American, as people who are lacking in patriotism, he is endangering all journalists and bloggers, as there are unstable people in society that hang on every word of a demagogue, such as Trump, and are ready to “mete out justice” against such “criminals”, meaning stalking and harming them, with the purpose of murdering them as their mission to help their “devoted” leader.

If any journalist in the Trump Administration time period is harmed, Donald Trump is responsible for it by his inciting of whackos who believe he is God’s gift to America, and he should be held accountable, as an accessory to the crime if such evil event occurs.

Let us hope and pray that we survive the Trump Era without more loss of life as at Charlottesville, Virginia!

Six Months Of Donald Trump: Neil Gorsuch, And Nothing Else Of Substance Other Than Executive Orders That Repeal Much Of 20th Century

It has been six months since Donald Trump took the oath of office, and what does he have to show for it?

Well, there is Supreme Court Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, approved by smallest margin since Clarence Thomas in 1991, and with changed rules, with the filibuster no longer applicable. Gorsuch would never have been approved if the filibuster still existed for Supreme Court nominees.

Other than that, nothing of substance, with the exception of a host of executive orders designed to destroy the Obama legacy and cut regulations dramatically in all areas of government, having a devastating effect on the progress made under Republican and Democratic Presidents going back to Theodore Roosevelt at the turn of the 20th century.

But no legislation has been passed, NONE!

Trump has been much better at dividing the nation, keeping his public opinion ratings under 40 percent, an all time low in the 70 plus years of Presidential ratings.

The promises have not been kept, as with the Mexico Wall, ending ObamaCare, Tax Reform, and Infrastructure Investment.

Trump has undermined environmental protections,

stripped labor protections,

made for high levels of stress for multiple millions on health care,

promoted high levels of corruption openly,

lied five times a day,

created a commission to investigate voter fraud that does not exist,

undermined respect for the law and the intelligence agencies and freedom of the press,

made wild and unsubstantiated accusations against Barack Obama,

created tension with our NATO allies,

been limited in his Muslim ban by the courts although winning a partial victory temporarily,

been far too friendly with Russia and Vladimir Putin,

failed to fill thousands of essential positions in the federal government and caused many bureaucrats to resign,

supported authoritarian dictatorships in many nations openly,

undermined our energy future by falsely claiming that coal has a long term future,

and promoted wealthy special interests on Wall Street despite his claims the would “clean the Swamp”.

His cabinet and other appointments are the absolute worst, most atrocious of any President, and the mean spirited, nasty nature of Trump and his cohorts has caused a loss of faith in the American future.

And all this and more, without, so far, any major international crisis, but with it lurking on the horizon, and the thought of how Trump will handle it when the crisis arises, is literally horrifying, and sure to cause loss of American lives!

Donald Trump: Most Accessible Presidential Candidate, Least Accessible President!

Donald Trump was just about the most accessible Presidential candidate, when he was running for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2015=2016, including phone interviews, and innumerable appearances on Cable Television.

But now, as President, he has only had one press conference in February, and has not been at all accessible in a direct fashion, to answer questions of journalists.

Instead, he attacks news media as “Fake Media”, and his Press spokesmen, Sean Spicer and Sarah Huckabee Sanders, have often refused to meet the media on television, and nave perpetrated lies and outrageous defenses of their boss in a way that has undermined their credibility.

So Donald Trump has become the most inaccessible President, and has declared the free press to be “the enemy”, reminding us of totalitarian dictatorships of the Left and the Right throughout the past century of world history!

Trump sounds and acts more like a Third World Dictator than the leader of the “Free World”, and seems to have no scruples at all in wreaking destruction of the cherished First Amendment!