I Vhant to Suck Your Speech! - River Cities' Reader Printed Edition Cover Art #1014 Ocotober 2023

A nexus of events culminated this summer in shocking reports, congressional hearing transcripts, and court rulings that have revealed just how far off the reservation the federal government really is relative to egregious, unlawful violations of hundreds of thousands of Americans' constitutionally protected First Amendment rights, especially Free Speech.

One could argue we’re in the business of critical infrastructure, and the most critical infrastructure is our cognitive infrastructure, so building that resilience to misinformation and disinformation, I think, is incredibly important.' – CISA Director Jen Easterly, November 10, 2021.”

The NY Times reports that police may view you as a domestic terrorist if you have an unusual number

“There are no dangerous thoughts; thinking itself is a dangerous activity.” – Hannah Arendt Get ready for the next phase of the government’s war on thought crimes: mental health round-ups and involuntary detentions.

River Cities Reader January 2023 Ed Newman Cartoon Jan 6 Republic Democracy Police State.png

This week is the second anniversary of the January 6, 2021. For nearly 1,000 American citizens are being harassed, arrested, and prosecuted (many of whom have not had their due process or day in court) for alleged crimes committed while exercising their First Amendment-protected rights to peacefully assemble, free speech, and petition for redress of grievances, there are no resolutions, no closure, and mostly no justice.

In Illinois, you could get a lighter sentence for killing a cop than recording one.

Section 14-4 of the Illinois criminal code reads: "The eavesdropping of an oral conversation ... between any law-enforcement officer ... while in the performance of his or her official duties ... is a Class 1 felony." Under Illinois law, a person is "eavesdropping" when he or she "knowingly and intentionally uses an eavesdropping device for the purpose of hearing or recording all or any part of any conversation" without the consent of all parties to the conversation.

A Class 1 felony is punishable by up to 15 years' imprisonment. My irreverent sense of the humor often gets me in trouble, but I just can't contain it here: You could get a lighter sentence for killing a cop than recording one. When Jonathan Posey was convicted of reckless homicide in the 2001 dragging death of Illinois State Police Master Sergeant Stanley Talbot in Rock Island, he only got a five-year sentence for that crime. Good for Mr. Posey, he wasn't videotaping.

(Editor's note: This package also includes the sidebars "The More You Make, The More They Take" and "The 'Contract' and 'Article 8 of the Articles of Freedom the Works of Continental Congress 2009' on the Income Tax.")

Your  Servant GovernmentWere our federal and state constitutions written to limit and control the actions of the people or limit and control the actions of the government? The Iowa Constitution reads: "All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for the protection, security, and benefit of the people, and they have the right, at all times, to alter or reform the same, whenever the public good may require it."

What denotes "public good" is no doubt the seed of discord between those who would see government take or borrow resources to provide for those that cannot provide for themselves and those who would see government ensure the protection of personal property so the people may provide for themselves and each other.