Happy Friday and welcome to the 6th in the Dog’s First Amendment Friday series. This series is following the syllabus for the class called The First Amendment and taught at Yale Law School by Professor Jack M. Balkin. As with the Friday Constitutional series this is a layman’s look at the Law, specifically the Supreme Court opinions which have shaped the boundaries of our 1st Amendment Protections. This week we don’t actually have a Supreme Court case, as the High Court refused to take up the appeal on this one. It is still part of Professor Balkin’s syllabus and as we look at the details you will see why it is an important First Amendment case. If you are interested in the previous installments of this series you can find them below:
May 26 2009
Welcome to the 11th in the Dog’s letter writing campaign for torture accountability. This the basic premise of this campaign is the Dog writes a letter which the user can then use as a jumping off point for their own letter or cut and paste to send under their own name. In previous weeks we have written to the President, AG Holder, the Supreme Court Justices, Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid.
May 22 2009
Happy Friday and welcome to the 5th in the Dog’s First Amendment Friday series. This series is following the syllabus for the class called The First Amendment and taught at Yale Law School by Professor Jack M. Balkin. As with the Friday Constitutional series this is a layman’s look at the Law, specifically the Supreme Court opinions which have shaped the boundaries of our 1st Amendment Protections. This week we will look at two cases which deal with the Press’s right to report and comment on cases still before the Courts.
The cases were decided together in an opinion titled Bridges V California. If you are interested in the previous installments of this series you can find them at the links below:
May 18 2009
Good Morning and welcome to the tenth in the Dogs letter writing campaign series. Every Monday ( Well except for last week. Sorry the Dog was in training and could not post) the Dog writes a letter trying to move accountability for the Bush era State Sponsored Torture program forward. These letters can be cut and pasted or used as the jumping off point for the readers own letter. The goal is to remind decision makers on a weekly basis there are citizens who will not let this issue be lost, who will insist on the rule of law being followed.
May 07 2009
So annoying when the mundane things of living life get in the way or sidetrack, derail, blindside or just plain wipe you out. Sigh. I’m decidedly uninspired for writing an Action Diary this week, but there are a few things that are rattling around that I’d like to toss out there.
Start with this for background music. Chick Corea and Return to Forever – Spain (Light as a Feather)
We all need some down time once in a while, take time to re-group, re-charge, maybe re-think. Then come back swingin.
Action Items below…
May 04 2009
Welcome to the 9th in the Dog’s letter writing campaign series. This series is dedicated to taking action (even if it is a small action) every week on the issue of torture. Here is how it works, each week the Dog writes a letter highlighting some aspect of the torture issue and making the point this requires investigation. The Dog sends these letters to the President, the Supreme Court, AG Holder, Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Reid and Rep. John Conyers, the Chair of the House Judiciary Committee. Your part, if you chose to act is pretty easy. Simply cut and paste the letter and send it under your own name.
May 01 2009
Happy Friday and welcome to the 4th in the Dog’s First Amendment Friday series. This series is following the syllabus for the class called The First Amendment and taught at Yale Law School by Professor Jack M. Balkin. As with the Friday Constitutional series this is a layman’s look at the Law, specifically the Supreme Court opinions which have shaped the boundaries of our 1st Amendment Protections. So far we have been working through cases that have had to do with seditious speech. If you are interested in the previous installments in this series you can find them at the following links:
Apr 30 2009
crosspublished at the orange! 10am, ET
And the beat goes on.
After an extremely intense Torture News, (link to emptywheel’s Document Dump Timeline) week prior to this, these past few days have quieted down a bit. However, the noise makers continue to try to justify torture and we find ourselves sometimes in debates. I hope to take this week’s Action Diary to stress how important it is that we continue having conversations and yelling louder about the realities of the crimes that have been carried out in our names. And, if we must argue, can we please try to keep it civil, amongst ourselves, in the “progressive” sphere…? Please?
Like most of the others, I was a seeker, a mover, a malcontent, and at times a stupid hell-raiser. I was never idle long enough to do much thinking, but I felt somehow that my instincts were right. I shared a vagrant optimism that some of us were making real progress, that we had taken an honest road, and that the best of us would inevitably make it over the top. At the same time, I shared a dark suspicion that the life we were leading was a lost cause, that we were all actors, kidding ourselves along on a senseless odyssey. It was the tension between these two poles – a restless idealism on one hand and a sense of impending doom on the other – that kept me going.
~HST, The Rum Diary
Apr 27 2009
This is the eighth in Dog’s letter writing campaign. For those joining us in the middle the basic idea is that each week the Dog creates a letter which you, the home audience can cut and paste and send to the following list of officials:
Majority Leader Reid
Justices of the Supreme Court
Of course you can send it to your Senators and Representative as well, but the point is to get a steady drum beat of letters to these folks in the hopes that they will read some of them and take action on the issue of the Bush administrations State Sponsored Torture program.
This week’s letter is going to be addressed to AG Holder, with copies to all of the others.
Apr 24 2009
Happy Friday and welcome to the 3rd in the First Amendment Friday series. This is a series looking at the Supreme Court decisions which have given shape to our First Amendment protections. In this phase of the series we are looking at the way that seditious speech has been defined. If you missed the first two installments of this series, you can find them at the links below:
Cross Posted at Square State
Apr 23 2009
What a week, eh?! OLC Memo’s released last Thursday, a weekend of TV spots with Rahm, Axelrod, then finally, from the horse’s mouth, Barack Obama on Monday says, “we are not ruling out prosecutions”. (yay). Then we close the week on Tuesday/Wednesday, with the release of the Full Report from the SASC, the Levin Report. Open the floodgates.
I’ve created this place, this series, to be something of a landing zone for us, any of us in the progressive community who feel the grief, who wish to contribute in some way to this growing call for justice, and/or who want to stay tuned in to any ACTION activities that emerge around this cause. I will publish every week, on Thursday mornings.
Loaded with linky goodness this week, follow me… and more coming!
Apr 17 2009
Happy Friday and welcome to the 2nd in the Dog’s series on the Supreme Court Cases defining the boundaries of our 1st Amendment protections under the Constitution. Each week this series will look at one or two Supreme Court decisions. We will look at the facts of the case, the Majority Opinion and the Dissent Opinion. The Dog is not a lawyer so this is strictly a layman’s point of view, but the Dog believes there is value in looking at these things even if one is not a trained professional. If you find the Dog’s analysis to be wrong or you simply disagree, correct him in the comment. This is a learning exercise and the Dog wants to learn too! If you are interested in last weeks installment you can find it here: