FOIA – Protection for All

I work for a newspaper. A small town newspaper, but a newspaper nonetheless. This week we got a letter from a “Freedom of Information Officer” from one of the small towns in the area. It seems we are “making too many mistakes in reporting the minutes of their meetings.” But no one has ever, not once, called in to tell us that; not one complaint has ever come. We would gladly print a retraction if we are wrong about something. This baffles me. They want the right to preview our reports from now on before we print.

This is a government board. How much would they want retracted from the original report? And who the heck is a “Freedom of Information Officer?” The Freedom of Information Act is there to guarantee that citizens are allowed to see and hear what their government is doing. In another town, they threatened to do all their meetings in executive session, just because we brought a recorder. The recorder is to guarantee we get it right, not to do a “gotcha.”

Imagine if the Federal Government or the State government asked for the right to preview everything that gets printed about them. It would be gridlock!

Like most of what we see in politics these days, someone throws out a vague accusation against another, but never gives the details, and when asked to give one, they usually can’t think of anything. I suspect that may be what this is. Being a newspaper employee, I intend to have them put all those details, list every single error they think we have made, in writing, because if we did make a mistake, we need to correct it, right? This also validates our decision to record the meetings. It’s benefits both of us, media and government. It protects both of us.

More From Jefferson

“The constitutions of most of our states (and of the United States) assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed; that they are entitled to freedom of person, freedom of religion, freedom of property and freedom of the press.” –Thomas Jefferson

I like it…sounds like a place I’d like to live.

Freedom of Speech on Trial in Amsterdam

The so-called trial of Geert Wilders starts today in Amsterdam.  Here’s a statement from one of the prosecutors…

“It is irrelevant whether Wilder’s witnesses might prove Wilders’ observations to be correct. What’s relevant is that his observations are illegal.”

Everyone reading this needs to think about this…his observations are illegal?  What if they are true?  Obviously that doesn’t matter…to the prosecution, it is ILLEGAL for Mr. Wilders to make these observations.  Huh?  Our world indeed is upside down.

Mark Steyn observes:

“Behind this disgraceful prosecution lies a simple truth that the Dutch establishment cannot tell its people – that, unless something changes, their nation will become more and more Muslim and, very soon, slip past the point of no return. They understand the tensions between their ever more assertive Muslim population and an aging “native” working class, but they believe that the problem can be managed by placing “the European conversation” – the non-subterranean conversation – within ever narrower constraints, and criminalizing any opinions outside those bounds. Some of them are blinkered and stupid enough to think that they need to do this in order to save the tolerant multicultural society from “right wingers” like Wilders. In fact, all they are doing is hastening the rate at which their society will be delivered into the hands of the avowedly intolerant and unicultural. In its death throes, Eutopia has decided to smash the lights of liberty.”

More charges were added since December, the charges of Racism against Muslims and Morroccans.  There will be no added security during the trial, even as Mr. Wilders life is under threat.  The press was banned from pre-trial hearing on January 13.

A December 4, 2009 indictment was handed down after Muslims voiced objections to Wilders’ movie “Fitna”, which exposes bellicose Koranic verses, acts of Islamic violence and the in-progress Islamization of Europe. Wilders faces two years in prison if convicted and his life will still be at risk.

Please pray for Geert Wilders’ safety.  He is a courageous man who has been a voice crying out in the wilderness about the Islamic agenda.  He has been exercising free speech, a value we hold dear here in our country.  Parliamentarian Pim Fortuyn and film maker Theo van Gogh, outspoken Dutch opponents of Islamic doctrine and Islamization, were both murdered on public streets, in the day time, in plain view of passers-by.  A Muslim killed van Gogh and a pro-Muslim-immigrationist dispatched Fortuyn.

It’s a dangerous world we live in when you speak the truth about Islam.