I hadn’t heard much from Melinda Pillsbury-Foster recently (aside from ) until I ran into (what I assume is) her latest column today. Even if it’s recycled material, it is well worth the read. Here’s a sneak peak to pique your interest:
As Americans confront the grasping machinations of George W. Bush in regards to their rights we must recall why the Constitution would not have been ratified without each of those Amendments, but most especially the First Amendment.
Words, the truth, are the first defense against oppression.
The Founders thought they had taken care of the issue of free speech as a tool for self defense. They remembered the case tried in New York forty years before that had proven the need for free speech.
The Case of John Peter Zenger had been tried in 1735 and its example had demonstrated to the Founders, who were certainly aware of it and its import, the nasty tendencies of government to use its power to stifle dissent and the truth.
The Penn Case, tried in London in 1670, had refused to convict for a crime because English juries had the right to consider the law as well as the case at hand, the basis for jury nullification.
I won’t give away the ending, but will state that is was very pleasant considering our history as opposed to dealing with contemporary issues. As with taxes, we put up with more basic violations of our civil rights today than we fought our revolution over some 230 years ago. Perhaps it’s time to bring back those Sons of Liberty.