What First Amendment?



First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

~~Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)

It does seem as if as each week goes by, Donald Trump gets crazier & crazier. What got to me recently was his threats to shut down critical news media which does not bode well for American democratic rights.

This latest attack on the mainstream media follows from a report by NBC in which Trump purportedly harangued his top Pentagon advisers for a big increase in U.S. nuclear weapons. This was the reason Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was so exasperated by this boy-King antics that he called him a “fucking moron”.

Trump has reacted angrily to NBC’s revelations & labeled it “fake news” as he normally does for any news source that criticizes him. He took it a step further this time by threatening to cancel NBC’s –and other outlets critical of his Presidency—broadcasting license. Do you see where this is going?

Of course, major media outlets were in an uproar over this. My question is: Why now?

The major American news outlets have been deceitful for quite some time now. Noam Chomsky’s “Manufacturing Consent”, Michael Parenti’s “Inventing Reality” & Project Censored’s annual release of its top censored news stories of the year are just a few sources where one can find a deeper understanding of the media’s power, influence & control over populations. Trump’s panty-twisting tirades against the media powerhouses & their response reeks of hypocrisy. I hear very little from him or the major news feeds about the increasing surveillance powers of federal intelligence agencies which have steadily encroached on our privacy since 911.

I’m dreaming, I know..

Alternative news outlets have been systematically blocked for years. Now we have highly influential US giants like Google, Twitter and Facebook, blocking news sources that are designated “fake” or “interfering in US politics” These gatekeepers of information are acting like information traffic cops directing people to news outlets deemed “acceptable” by the powers that be & attempting to stifle access to dissenting perspectives from other sources. This is an audacious attack on American democratic rights of free media and freedom of speech, as supposedly enshrined in the US Constitution’s First Amendment.

American democratic rights are on thin ice. But that was the case long before this idiot boy-King arrived on the scene. His fuckery is merely serving to illustrate how treacherously thin the ice has become upon which US democracy now stands.

If you care to know what highly respected alternative news sources to go to, check these out:

  • AlterNet. Syndicated writings from the alternative press.
  • Common Dreams. Breaking news and links to highlights from the day’s progressive press.
  • CounterPunch. A monthly magazine edited by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair.
  • Democracy Now!. The web version of the daily radio show.
  • Truthdig – Drilling Beneath The Headlines
  • Truthout – Independent News & Commentary
  • The Real News –  Video-news and documentary service
  • Free Speech TV. Towards more democratic television; site features downloadable independent video.
  • Eschaton. Popular blog is perhaps the best round-up of the progressive blogosphere, with much media criticism.
  • In These Times. A nonprofit political magazine featuring news and analysis that challenge the corporate media.
  • Labor Notes. News about the labor movement and perspectives from workers.
  • Left Business Observer. “Insta-punditry” on economics and politics by Doug Henwood.
  • Black Agenda Report News, Commentary & Analysis from the Black Left
  • Mother Jones. Non-profit political news organization with a focus on social justice and investigative reporting.
  • The Nation. America’s oldest weekly news magazine, featuring political news and commentary.
  • OneWorld Online. Global news with a focus on the developing world.
  • The Progressive. Political magazine with commentary and news advocating for peace and social justice.
  • Raw Story. Alternative news site that highlights stories that get underplayed by the corporate media. It also features some original reporting.
  • Sam Smith’s Progressive Review. “Washington’s Most Unofficial Source.”
  • Truthout. Independent progressive website with original reporting, analysis as well as articles from around the web.
  • Utne Reader. Quarterly magazine that reprints articles from alternative media.
  • Village Voice. Alternative newsweekly.
  • Media Matters – progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S media
  • ZNetZ Magazine‘s site for progressive news and organizing.



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