The Zenger Society: A Forum For Free Speech
I would like this forum to be open to anybody with an interest in freedom of expression regardless of the topic. Its that simple and anybody is free to join and say whatever they like, within certain clearly defined boundaries. While this thread originally grew out of a series of political discussions, eventually their scope was enlarged to encompass much more than that. As this is a public forum, the creator has the right to establish certain guidelines which are predicated on common sense and civility. I reserve that right and since my views have been alternately censored and attacked on other forums, it seemed reasonable to take this step.
I have named it "The Zenger Society" since the matter of free expression in the United States begins with the imprisonment and trial of John Peter Zenger back in 1734.
John Peter Zenger (October 26, 1697 – July 28, 1746) was a German printer and journalist in New York City. Zenger printed The New York Weekly Journal. He was accused of libel in 1734 by William Cosby, the royal governor of New York, but the jury acquitted Zenger, who became a symbol for freedom of the press. His case was handled by Andrew Hamilton who gave one of the most eloquent and impassioned speeches in defense of free expression ever in a court of law.
I am posting the rules and regulations here but by now, most intelligent and responsible adults who use the Internet know how to conduct themselves so I will not belabor the point by restating the obvious.
Here is a brief summation of the rules by which I trust people who post here will observe and respect. I won't ban anybody unless they refuse to abide by these rules and if only they have made a civil discourse impossible. If its trouble you're looking for, look elsewhere because I want no part of it--or the people who come here intending to cause it.
1. No racist, sexist, homophobic or ethnic slurs and any post which contains any of
these things will be immediately deleted, no questions asked.
2. No bullying, spamming, or threats of any sort, physical or verbal, will be tolerated
and will be deleted immediately.
3. No commercial speech; that is, you can't use this space to sell anything like
goods, services or merchandise of any kind.There are plenty of other outlets for
that sort of thing. Just don't do it here.
4. I have no problem with the use of obscenities because I use them myself and like
it or not, its a natural part of adult conversation and sometimes in the heat of the
moment people will speak explicitly but anything that transcends that with threats
or overt verbal abuse will be deleted. This website was not designed with
children in mind and if you do have children then the responsibility for monitoring
what they see and read is yours, not mine. If they read any of this and feel
upset over its contents then you should be the one to handle it--not me. They're
your kids, not mine and you should monitor how they use the Internet. Once you
had them that responsibility became yours. Remember that before you complain
to me. I am not responsible for what your kids read on the Internet: you are. If you
dislike that responsibility, then maybe you should have thought twice before
having kids in the first place.
5. You are free to post articles, regardless of the length; all I ask is that you cite its source and the publication where it first appeared. I ask this in the name of accuracy and nothing more. The article can be openly partisan; just identify its source and the author.
So that's it. If you're willing to abide by these rules, that's fine; if you have an objection, you're free to start your own thread--provided you're willing to monitor it yourself. I always tried to abide by the rules that other people laid down when I posted on their threads but I grew tired of having to monitor my posts for fear of running afoul of their views and prejudices. Now, I get to call the shots, right or wrong, so if you post here, just obey the rules. I am a tolerant person and I have no axe to grind other than the promotion of free and open expression. I am strongly opposed to censorship and I taught high school English and American Government and my specialty was the First Amendment and the law surrounding it. So while I am not an expert, I usually know what I'm talking about when it comes to free speech and the law. I had the benefit of legal counsel when I was still teaching and I learned much about the law from friends who were lawyers and I profited by their advice. Now, I can put that knowledge to good use. Of course, I'm not an oracle nor do I claim to be infallible so if I make a mistake I am always glad to admit it and hopefully, profit from the experience.
The credo of this thread is this: "Speech might be free but its never free of consequences."
So...that's it, in a nutshell. Anybody who wants to post---go right ahead! I look forward to reading your views, regardless of the topic although, preferably, it should have some connection to the topic of free speech, which is pretty broad and diverse.
Okay, sermon's concluded: who's going to be the first to post?
KeithJ: yes an insult to Rosa ,, but have you noticed Trump always swings wildly on his opinions and ignores the experts and even the top Doc he appointed he threatened to fire when the Doc told the plain truth then recanted some of his educated opinion after Trump gave him the old evil eye over it ,,
I guess Trump is an expert ,,,well in his own narcissistic mind , ,,,if they don't sniff his shorts he plays the The TV apprentice thing "Your fired"
KeithJ: In short , I've never seen a un qualified one for the office as Trump ,,,in the primaries of back then was a better more mentally stable and qualified candidate from Ohio ,,,republican John Kasick .
Thanks for being the first to post, Gram, Beaver & Keith. I couldn't be happier to know that you felt this place was worthy of your views. Now let's see if any Trump supporters post here, which would provide some ideological balance. That would be true validation of its worthiness and it doesn't matter to me how much they praise Trump and his policies; I just want to be certain that all views are represented fairly and without bias.
For those who are interested in John Peter Zenger, I have reprinted below info on his life and career along with Hamilton's defense of him.
The Zenger family immigrated to New York in 1710 as part of a large group of German Palatines, and Nicolaus Zenger was one of those who died before settlement.
On 28 May 1719, Zenger married Mary White in the First Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia.
On 24 August 1722, widower Zenger married Anna Catharina Maul in the Collegiate Church, Manhattan.
After a brief partnership with Bradford in 1725, Zenger set up as a commercial printer on Smith Street in Manhattan.
On November 17, 1734, on Cosby's orders, the sheriff arrested Zenger.
Zenger died in New York on July 28, 1746, with his wife continuing his printing business.
More on Wikipedia
Defense of John Peter Zenger
August 4, 1735
May it please Your Honor, I agree with Mr. Attorney that government is a sacred thing, but I differ widely from him when he would insinuate that the just complaints of a number of men who suffer under a bad administration is libeling that administration. Had I believed that to be law, I should not have given the Court the trouble of hearing anything that I could say in this cause.
I own that when I read the information I had not the art to find out, without the help of Mr. Attorney's innuendos, that the Governor was the person meant in every period of that newspaper. I was inclined to believe that they were written by some who, from an extraordinary zeal for liberty, had misconstrued the conduct of some persons in authority into crimes; and that Mr. Attorney, out of his too great zeal for power, had exhibited this information to correct the indiscretion of my client, and at the same time to show his superiors the great concern he had lest they should be treated with any undue freedom.
But from what Mr. Attorney has just now said, to wit, that this prosecution was directed by the Governor and the Council, and from the extraordinary appearance of people of all conditions, which I observe in Court upon this occasion, I have reason to think that those in the administration have by this prosecution something more in view, and that the people believe they have a good deal more at stake, than I apprehended. Therefore, as it is become my duty to be both plain and particular in this cause, I beg leave to bespeak the patience of the Court.
I was in hopes as that terrible Court where those dreadful judgments were given, and that law established, which Mr. Attorney has produced for authorities to support this cause, was long ago laid aside as the most dangerous Court to the liberties of the people of England that ever was known in that kingdom — that Mr. Attorney, knowing this, would not have attempted to set up a star chamber here, nor to make their judgments a precedent to us. For it is well known that what would have been judged treason in those days for a man to speak, has since not only been practiced as lawful, but the contrary doctrine has been held to be law.
In Brewster's case for printing that subjects might defend their rights and liberties by arms in case the king should go about to destroy them, he was told by the Chief justice that it was a great mercy he was not proceeded against for his life; for to say the king could be resisted by arms in any case whatsoever was express treason. And yet we see since that time, that Doctor Sacheverell was sentenced in the highest court in Great Britain for saying that such a resistance was not lawful. Besides, as times have made very great changes in the laws of England, so in my opinion there is good reason that [other] places should do so too.
Is it not surprising to see a subject, upon receiving a commission from the king to be a governor of a Colony in America, immediately imagining himself to be vested with all the prerogatives belonging to the sacred person of his princes? And, which is yet more astonishing, to see that a people can be so wild as to allow of and acknowledge those prerogatives and exemptions, even to their own destruction? Is it so hard a matter to distinguish between the majesty of our sovereign and the power of a governor of The Plantations?' Is not this making very free with our prince, to apply that regard, obedience, and allegiance to a subject, which is due only to our sovereign.
And yet in all the cases which Mr. Attorney has cited to show the duty and obedience we owe to the supreme magistrate, it is the king that is there meant and understood, although Mr. Attorney is pleased to urge them as authorities to prove the heinousness of Mr. Zenger's offense against the Governor of New York. The several Plantations are compared to so many large corporations, and perhaps not improperly. Can anyone give an instance that the head of a corporation ever put in a claim to the sacred rights of majesty? Let us not, while we are pretending to pay a great regard to our prince and his peace, make bold to transfer that allegiance to a subject which we owe to our king only.
What strange doctrine is it to press everything for law here which is so in England? I believe we should not think it a favor, at present at least, to establish this practice. In England so great a regard and reverence is had to the judges that if any man strikes another in Westminster Hall while the judges are sitting, he shall lose his right hand and forfeit his land and goods for so doing. Although the judges here claim all the powers and authorities within this government that a Court of King's Bench has in England, yet I believe Mr. Attorney will scarcely say that such a punishment could be legally inflicted on a man for committing such an offense in the presence of the judges sitting in any court within the Province of New York. The reason is obvious. A quarrel or riot in New York can not possibly be attended with those dangerous consequences that it might in Westminster Hall; nor, I hope, will it be alleged that any misbehavior to a governor in The Plantations will, or ought to be, judged of or punished as a like undutifulness would be to our sovereign.
From all of which, I hope Mr. Attorney will not think it proper to apply his law cases, to support the cause of his governor, which have only been judged where the king's safety or honor was concerned.
It will not be denied that a freeholder in the Province of New York has as good a right to the sole and separate use of his lands as a freeholder in England, who has a right to bring an action of trespass against his neighbor for suffering his horse or cow to come and feed upon his land or eat his corn, whether enclosed or not. Yet I believe it would be looked upon as a strange attempt for one man here to bring an action against another whose cattle and horses feed upon his grounds that are not enclosed, or indeed for eating and treading down his corn, if that were not enclosed.
Numberless are the instances of this kind that might be given to show that what is good law at one time and in one place is not so at another time and in another place. So that I think the law seems to expect that in these parts of the world men should take care, by a good fence, to preserve their property from the injury of unruly beasts. And perhaps there may be a good reason why men should take the same care to make an honest and upright conduct a fence and security against the injury of unruly tongues.
Source: The Patriot Post
The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots American Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!
The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.
Copyright © 2020 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.
See? Even though the publication describes itself as "rock-solid conservative," I posted it anyway. After all, all they did was reprint Andrew Hamilton's defense of Zenger, which could be found in any number of places. That's the real point anyway--to display documents relevant to the growth of democratic principles and liberty in this country for those who have an interest in such things.
Besides, the word "Conservative," in its proper use is entirely acceptable and an integral part of our political history. I respect TRUE Conservatives and there is a world of difference between William F. Buckley and Glenn Beck, just to make an illustrative point.
Thanks for the response, Gram. This is pretty disturbing stuff and I am also concerned that he is now urging people--some armed with automatic weapons---to resist social distancing and to "liberate" the states of Minnesota (your state), Michigan and Virginia. Alex Jones, a genuine nut case and purveyor of wacko conspiracy theories is in the vanguard of this ridiculous movement. Its frightening because they have the power to only exacerbate the situation and, consequently, cause even more deaths.
Mike Pence, when interviewed by MSNBC's Chuck Todd, confirmed the notion which struck some people as being irresponsible and a genuine hazard.
What do you think?
KeithJ: Pence just butt kisses just like he done with Mitch Daniels when Pence was Lt gov under Daniels ,,where I had come from "I know so" oh not to forget he and Daniels have stock interest in Ely Lilly's drug company in which they both done millions of "Insider trading" and got caught but no jail but poor ol Martha Stewart went behind bars for 50k of the same deed ,,
But not to worry Pence will pray for us all from his fake pulpit fasad of he once talked to God mentality meanwhile maybe he will profit from his Drug Co. stocks if they develop the cure / therapy for Covid 19 .
Trump as you all know is just playing his "me it's all about me " crap just like "The Apprentice"
TV show ,,,funny how trump says one thing does another or could give a crap UNTIL it turns into what it is ,,,and even lies when asked what he clearly said on recorded video long ago
only to deny he said or done when asked ,,,with many other ignored things of himself it amazes me how some still sniff his shorts and say he smells good .
KeithJ: yes tinks ive known of them for years and they are also connected to IN , Wi, militia groups .
Gram....I don't know what is happening here, in South Carolina, a decidedly red state but by now, nothing involving Trump and his band of idiots would surprise me. Still, like you pointed out, they care only about glorifying this maniac and the rest of the world---and its health and safety--can go to hell.
I rarely if ever speak to any of my neighbors about these matters but in the absence of any verifiable facts---a rarity these days when "junk science" prevails---anything could be possible. My wife and I plan to stay put right where we are until the pandemic subsides or Trump is kicked out of office and we can return to sanity and common decency in our public lives.
I would advise all of you to do exactly the same. Minnesota is where Mary, my wife, was born and raised and she is outraged by these events and is so angry, that she refuses to speak to me at all about the subject. Her reaction when confronted with this sort of thing is not exactly denial--but very close to it. She won't watch TV when Trump is on and the only time I ever hear her swear passionately is when his name is mentioned. She hates him like poison and I can't really say I blame her either.
Vae victus, as the Romans used to say ("Woe to the vanquished!" and unfortunately, that applies to all of us.
Gram, if the deniers have their way, you are doing to see many more die, God forbid.
KeithJ: That's ridiculous comparing it to Anne Frank ,,total opposite outcome by the way of the idea ,,,must be an illiterate presumption , what hat did they pull that out of .