Saturday, April 19, 2008

Bill of Rights - 1st Amendent

Bill of Rights
Amendment I
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.

It seems as if Congressman Vito Fossella (R-NY) is not aware of the 1st Amendment of the Bill of Rights, and has nothing better to do than to critique a comedy show. Congressman Vito Fossella (R-NY) along with some other elected officials, who should be doing the People's business, have now become television critics. Mr. Fossella and other elected elected officials made public a letter sent to HBO President, Ms. Sue Naegle. There are many problems with this letter besides the fact that these elected officials should be tending to the business of governance which they were elected and are paid to do.

The first paragraph of this letter opens with, "We are writing to express our outrage with commentator Bill Maher’s offensive anti-Catholic rant on this past Friday’s “Real Time” program on HBO. Mr. Maher crossed the line of decency by insulting the Pope, mocking the Catholic religion and Catholics and diminishing the importance of the Catholic faith. In a word, Mr. Maher’s commentary was vulgar." Maybe the Congressman and his cohorts are easily offended by humor, but they must be aware that free speech is protected by the Bill of Rights, after all it is the First Amendment to the Constitution. Another obvious problem with this letter from these elected officials is that HBO, the Network that airs the Bill Maher Show is a subscription based Network, which means that each person has the right to buy it or not buy it.

Again, as is most always the case, the Republican operatives are latching on to an issue that has no bearing on their elected positions. They claim that "in a word Mr. Maher's commentary was vulgar" , but what is really vulgar is Elected Officials failing to protect the Constitution of the United States while still accepting the salary of their elected position. It is vulgar that Mr. Fosella does not stand up and question the motives and actions that led to the United States of America invading a Sovereign Country that did not threaten the United States. It is vulgar that American Soldiers continue to die for nothing in a foreign land. It is vulgar that US citizens are being maimed and disabled in a war without a reason. It is vulgar that a United States City, New Orleans, was ravaged by a storm and the Federal Government failed to respond to the Citizens that were inhabiting that City. It is vulgar that these Citizens still do not have Federal Assistance in rebuilding a major American City. It is vulgar that United States Citizens do not have access to health care. It is vulgar that there is hunger in America while the treasure of our land is squandered on a useless occupation. It is vulgar that the economy of the United States is collapsing under the policies of this Administration that Mr. Fossela supports.

Mr. Fosella and the other elected officials that feel the need to be comedy critics should stop watching television and tend to the business of the People. Later on in this letter sent to the HBO President by these elected officials they state, "At this time when people of all faiths want to hear a message of peace and of healing, Mr. Maher attempted to cast a dark cloud over the Pope’s visit." That is very presumptive of Mr. Fosella to assume that all faiths want to hear the message of the Pope. If the message of the Pope is really a message of peace and healing, then it would be expected that The Pope would be forcefully speaking out against the policies of this Administration and the elected officials that support them. Policies that have caused the death of thousands of innocent children in Iraq and the death and destruction that goes along with a foreign occupation of an indigenous people. It would be expected that the Pope would speak out against the policies put forth by this Administration and supported by Mr. Fossella and his Republican cronies. Policies that will not enable people to heal and have peace. The message of Jesus Christ, whose emissary The Pope is supposed to be, talks of caring for the least of us, feeding the hungry, sheltering the poor, caring for each other, there is not a mention in the message of Jesus Christ about watching HBO.

Mr. Fossella and co-signers would do well to resign from their public offices if the business of the People is not their priority. It seems that they would rather be television critics that elected officials, the people of their districts should make this possible for them in the next election.

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