99 bottles of beer. Take one down pass it around... 98 bottles of beer on the wall. Who doesn't remember singing that song on a long car ride with the family? Most of us never got past 90 as by that time we were usually to hoarse to sing another note. (That was probably the goal our parents had in mind in teaching us that song so they could have some peace and quiet in the car)
I have a new take on that song we should probably be teaching our kids and here it goes...
99 freedoms of speech we all have.
99 freedoms of speech
Take one down, trample it down...
98 freedoms of speech we all have
Okay, so it doesn't roll off the tongue like original ... but you get the point.
Last year we witnessed the IRS going after conservative groups applying for tax-exempt-free status as a 501c3 to limit their free speech (and enhance others they do like). The leaders of these groups were targeted by our government by the FBI, ATF, HSA, and even by OSHA. They were also harassed by requests from the IRS for things like: lists of the their members (address, phone# and even SS#), 90-page questionnaires detailing their thoughts on the Constitution and the role of government in peoples lives. Many saw their businesses dry up because their customers were often harassed as well by the same organizations. Now we have learned that rather than stop this abuse, the IRS has instead decided to make it all perfectly legal by "clarifying its rules" and making it the requirement (saying that the reason for the earlier abuse was that the rules weren't clear enough before). And even though the President said he was "angered" by the events that led up to the investigation (heard it on the news) and promised the American people that those who instigated them would be held responsible, no one... repeat no one.. has been fired for their actions. Instead the person at the center of the crime was allowed to plead the 5th (they cherish that personal right a lot) and take early retirement.
Now we have learned that the FCC wants to get into the same game by doing a "study" of media outlets by placing government officials in TV newsrooms across the nation to see how decisions are made as to what information is brought to the American public and why. From this study, the FCC maintains, they will be able to better serve the "national interest" by incentivize-ing media outlets.
Hmmm....What could go wrong here?
Will Fox News be the first to be studied? Not sure. Given that Fox News lives on cable and not on the airwaves (so FCC does not license them) it would not be likely unless they use some other controlling tactic such as the IRS, FBI or HSA to do their dirty work. But Fox also has many TV news stations dotted across the country that do live on the air-waves so they might see an FCC agents shadow darkening their doorway in the near future. Listening in on their editorial and programming decisions while at the same time taking notes and providing important "feedback" to them as to what their FCC bosses consider important and newsworthy.
Like a 100 foot wall separating two countries, the best way to remove that wall is not all at once with a tank or a missile, but instead 1 layer of brick every year. In doing so, each generation will think the wall has always been 100ft, 99ft, 98ft,...10ft,9ft,8ft,7ft tall until nothing is left to stop the invading hordes from taking over.
We are witnessing the bricks disappearing now at an alarming rate and we better wake up and tell them to put them back before its too late. I believe to allow ANY government agent in the media will set a dangerous precedent for future generations as they will undoubtedly be told that "This has been a long held tradition in our news agencies etc... and we are just adding to that tradition by ...."
Question left for us now is... how far are we into the song "99 Freedoms of Speech" and are there enough left to make a difference.