Notes, 5-1-21

Roger Waters comments HERE on a British judge’s decision on Jan. 4 blocking the journalist Julian Assange’s extradition to the United States. Waters is best known as a founder and member of the band Pink Floyd. (Thanks to a Facebook friend for sending it out.)

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Carole Owens asks on this past Thursday’s Berkshire Eagle op-ed page: “If America is essentially an idea, and the idea made manifest is mere words on paper, for example the Constitution, how then could anyone overthrow that government?”

She answers: “Steal the words; corrupt and contort their meaning.” As an example, Owens cites an aim of the Communist Party organ Pravda (a Russian word for truth) in the Soviet Union: “to shape a narrative, however untrue, that bolstered the government.”

She quotes U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, as saying, in March, “What our government depends on is the First Amendment, not necessarily journalism. Journalism is fine as long as they’re actually adhering to the First Amendment.”

The Eagle columnist says Jordan’s assertion is “the exact opposite” of the First Amendment’s message, and quotes it in full: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

”Our Founding Fathers were not laying down the law to control or direct the press,” she writes. “They were not asking the press to adhere to the law. Our Founding Fathers were laying down the law to control government. The First Amendment demands the government adhere to the law.”

Eagle subscribers can read the whole column, headlined in the newsprint version, “Power lies in words and truth,” HERE.

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