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EDITORIAL: There’s nothing cynical about the First Amendment. Express it.

It didn’t take cynics long to trip on the First Amendment. More than 500,000 people, including busloads from Loudoun County, marched in Washington in an historic, peaceful expression of American freedoms. Then came criticism from those who seem to have an issue with The First.

We had rather hoped for something better for these 45 words:

“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’s an elegant sentence, clear in its intention. No alternative facts. No political cynicism. No contempt for the right of the people to express any of the five freedoms:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. Muslims included.

Or abridging the freedom of speech, even when words may make some uncomfortable.

Or the press, especially when it practices accountability.

Or the right of the people to assemble, as 500,000 women did in Washington with a common mission of solidarity.

Or to petition the government for a redress of grievances, of which there many against the new administration.

We can still honor the 45 words. In the next 45 days, in the term of the 45th President of the United States, we can rededicate ourselves to the inalienable rights that our Founding Fathers held most sacred: the 45 words in the First Amendment.

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Express your rights

Send us 45 words expressing a right you hold dear. This is our version of the 45 for 45 Project created by a citizen. Because the First Amendment protects free expression, you can interpret those 45 words however you’d like. Participate solo, enlist your Facebook friends or make it a class project.

Email your expression to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with the number 45 in the subject line. We’ll feature some of our favorites on LoudounTimes.com and in the Times-Mirror.

Comments


Congrats, Secretary DeVos!


Equity, so let me get this straight.

1. DeVos provided contributions to senators as a political activist.

2. She never ran charters nor expected to be appointed to the cabinet.

3. She is independently wealthy so she has no need to take advantage of any for profit charters

The most ironic part is that the LCSB Chairman (Hornberger) worked for a boss who was running for profit charters and wanted to bring them into Loudoun. Hornberger never disclosed that as required by law. I don’t recall equity or lawman saying a single word about that even I was criticizing him for such action. I even was (completely unfounded) fined $7k by a biased/incompetent Loudoun judge for seeking a declaratory judgment. I had to go to federal court to get an honest legal outcome.


devos (comes up devious with auto-correct, how apropos) bought many senators votes - so with > $50k to match,  gofundme accounts raising monies to buy pa senator toomey’s vote- highest bidder wins & phone lines are jammed

just say no to pyramid scheming in public education; her answers to questions of senators were plagiarized.  good grief

modern-day robber barons


it’s all a game w/ them - 293 days, NO precedent -

“Ryan said: “There is a precedent” for not nominating someone to the U.S. Supreme Court “in the middle of a presidential election.’

It’s rare for a Supreme Court vacancy to occur during a presidential election year—the last time was in 1940, although there were also two election-year nominations in 1968.

But we could find NO instances in which a president faced with a Supreme Court vacancy during a presidential election year did not make a nomination. It occurred five times between 1912 and 1940, and each time the nominee was confirmed.

We rate Ryan’s statement FALSE.” politico


In DeVos, are you talking about the “proficiency vs growth” debate? Funny, because most of the LCSB claimed they had never heard of SGPs in 2015 even though their NCLB waivers required their use. And Kaine’s question was clearly a set-up question. All schools don’t need to accept all students (SpEd). If more funding follows such students (as more money follows older or sicker Americans in healthcare), those problems go away. But Kaine, whose own wife defrauded the US DoE on NCLB, wanted a soundbite. DeVos wouldn’t bite. Maybe you should admit she is smarter than you think, a la Trump.


guess you haven’t noticed, but all dems have not opposed every nominee, they’re considering each candidate on the merits and required paperwork.

puzder still hasn’t turned in anything and

“Betsy DeVos, for example, has shown that she’s flatly ignorant of an astounding amount of basic education policy.” kdrum


straightshooter/Equity, which of Obama cabinet officials did the Republicans block a vote on in 2009?  Name one.

Who has a conflict of interest among Trump’s nominees?  Betsy DeVos has no conflict of interest.  She believes in charters/privitization as apparently does Trump.  That’s his call.  She has given money to politicians but doesn’t stand to gain a thing.  She’s a billionaire for goodness sakes, she doesn’t need the money.

Tom Price is divesting his stocks.  He’s a doctor.  While Bill and Hillary used their offices to cash in and recover from “being broke in 2001” when they left office, most of these folks are rich and don’t need these headaches.  They are actually serving to help out whether you agree with their policies or not.

The refusal to attend the meetings is juvenile and completely inappropriate.  Dems swore not to approve any SCOTUS nominee in the last year of George Bush’s term.  Now they are shocked the same applies to them and are willing to end the filibuster over it.  Very sad to watch.

No problem them standing up against laws.  The 60-vote rule still applies so no major legislation outside the budget can pass.  What’s the problem then?


facts - 293 days of gop obstruction on nomination of merrick garland, 185 days longer than prior appointment in the last year of a presidency

“Republicans didn’t care for the vast majority of Obama’s nominees but they didn’t try to block them.” what?

obama nominees had all been extremely vetted first; tRump’s still not turning in required paperwork & lying about income, stocks, etc.


Virginia SBP, there is a big difference between “not caring” for a nominee/appointment (or not agreeing with them) and seeing signs that a nominee/appointment is going to violate the Constitution or be compromised by conflicts of interest. Democrats aren’t pushing back just because of politics or just because they want to be disagreeable, ornery, or pitch a fit because they didn’t get their way; there are serious concerns that should be addressed instead of brushed off.


Robert_Q_Smith, fair enough.  No group is monolithic and I fully accept that well-meaning folks believe this immigration order is unwise and ineffective. 

I cannot speak to the intentions of other commenters.  I know that many of us who generally backed the Trump movement did so because we were tired of being called names that we are not (racist, xenophobic, etc.), were tired of the corruption at all levels, and fed up with the establishment serving only their own interests while lying about the issues.  I am not quite prepared to change my view on any of that even though Trump may end up being more corrupt than anything that went before.  We shall have to see and then possibly throw him out too.

As to the media, I’m not sure I’m following.  I’m looking at a NYT editorial titled “Donald Trump’s Muslim Ban is Cowardly and Dangerous” from Jan 28, 2017.  The second paragraph begins by describing the ban as “bigoted, cowardly”.  If this NYT piece doesn’t represent the media’s distortions, then what does represent the news?  On Jan 30, 2017, the NYT again ran an editorial titled “Democrats Decry Muslim Ban”.  On Jan 28, the ACLU tweeted they had just won and blocked the “Trump Muslim ban”.  On a NY Daily News story updated Feb 1, the title reads “President Trump’s Muslim Ban Excludes…”.  A Rolling Stone article listed in the news section (but more likely an opinion piece) reads “Donald Trump’s Muslim Ban Makes Us All Less American” and then goes on to say this order is an act of evil.  Even the UK’s Mirror runs stories titled “Donald Trump’s Muslim Ban”.

Regarding approval of Trump, a Jan 31 Reuters poll found Americans support the immigration freeze by a 49-41 margin.  And while the Gallup poll shows Trump down, both the Rasmussen daily poll of likely voters shows Trump up (53-47) and the Politico/Morning Consult poll shows Trump up (49-41).  Given the election results, I’m not sure we can believe these polls though.

As you know, I don’t care if there is an R or D beside a name for me to call out corruption.  In fact, I’m filing a FOIA suit early next week against the Republican state senator from the 12th district because she had the gall to create a post on her FB feed about the Bill of Rights while deleting constituent feedback on various bills up for consideration.  Let’s just say she’s not the most ethical politician and she is likely completely ignoring FOIA requests because there are harsher penalties for what she has actually done.  Same goes for my disdain of CA Plowman.  In fact, the lawyers, judge and I in federal court were joking around about filing a civil rights action against Trump for his blocking users on Twitter.  If Trump did discriminate against a certain race or religion or try to ban speech, I would be right there calling it out and taking action (don’t think anybody claims I am afraid to file a lawsuit).

Here’s the bottom line on immigration, refugees, etc.  The US is not going to take 10M’s of refugees or 100M’s of immigrants even though those exist around the world.  If a few from one region are blocked/delayed, it simply allows others to come in.  May not be totally fair but the current system isn’t necessarily fair anyway.  And I would rather the US protect a minority religious group that stands to be completely wiped out (Yazidis in Iraq) than take the position of (what I believe are completely self-serving liberal politicians) folks claiming that giving preferences to minority religious groups is unconstitutional.  I don’t think it’s illegal at all just like giving preferences to women-owned businesses or minority admission policies aren’t illegal.

I understand your point and don’t classify all in the same group.  Both sides are not on their best behavior right now.  The end of the filibuster is truly tragic but not sure what can stop it.  Imagine if Trump had a Democratic-controlled Senate.  It seems the Democrats believe they vote on nominees based on ideology and that Trump should appoint progressive cabinet members and SCOTUS justices.  It could be much worse.  I am not so heartened with the news media but do admit the media has stopped using the “Muslim ban” term since being called out.  I hope all sides settle down and we can go back to regular policy disagreements.


oncerural4, are you joking?  It has been a long tradition that the President gets to pick his advisors and dept heads.  Only when you have someone with serious questions as to their ethics have those folks voluntarily withdrawn.

Here, the Democrats believe they should not only be able to vote against an individual for a Cabinet position without any real basis other than disagreeing with their ideology, the Dems believe they should be able to not show up to block a vote.  Are you kidding me? 

Even if the Dems controlled the Senate, they should have passed these nominations.  Most Republicans didn’t care for the vast majority of Obama’s nominees but they didn’t try to block them.  When Dems act like little kids (taking ball and going home), it is entirely appropriate to change the rules.  The Dems scorched Earth policy is going to leave any semblance of bipartisanship in shambles for years.


Brian -
“so much of the country supports Trump” - at the last national referendum, the populace voted more for another person than Mr. Trump. I think that counters your ‘most of the country supports’ statement - do you have different opinion polls to say otherwise? I know we are only, what, 11 days into his term, but I would agree, enough has happened to warrant a Gallup poll of satisfaction.

Regarding the term “Muslim Ban”, what I’ve been reading is that individuals and organized groups have been using that reference, and the press has been reporting THAT. I don’t take that as ‘the press’ saying that Mr. Trump created a “muslim ban”. And I think that is a lot more than semantics, it’s purposeful deception and obfuscation to characterize the reporting of information as the ‘creation’ of news. I can understand that a lot of people cannot separate the two, but that doesn’t make it universally true. And I’ll note, I fully admit that there are entities out there that DO create stories and pass them off as ‘news’, complete with slanted viewpoints.

Finally, can you please lay off the use of the term “the Left”? Does anyone use the term “the Right”? I think both are just insulting, judgemental, and simplistic. Those who bring a lot to a conversation come off as hacks IMO when they through in these pejorative terms, presumably to be cute or clever. You are neither when you box any/everyone who thinks different into the corner of ‘the enemy’ - just like jplegend does, which I called him on, and is what roused you into this. Given your track record w/ the LCPS/SB, I’d expect more of you than to align with jplegend and some of these others who simply exist to be mean and spiteful, rather than get to the heart of a matter or strive for improvements, transparency, truth-in-facts, etc.


to say there was WANTON destruction would be a skewed view by the same person who would then say that there were more people at inauguration this year than 8 yrs ago. I would think anyone on EITHER side of the partisan scale would be uncomfortable with some of the latest actions by this Pres, and the Congress breaking rules to have their way as they did today. We should all hold ALL of them accountable. It is scary to think that we may have a Congress that doesn’t have anyone to check itself. It has run amok. We need elected officials from both parties to keep each other in line. If any of you think ONE party should rule all, you need to take yourselves to another country and see how that feels.


Who told you there was pushing, shoving and fist fights?! I was at the March and saw only peaceful people standing together to celebrate our diversity and to stand up for our Muslim, Latino, disabled, female, and LGBT friends.  It was a protest that was all about love. Protesting is very American and as above points out, our 1st amendment.  This country is a country because of protests (the Boston tea party being a famous one).  Women were given the right to vote because of marching.  Segregation ended because of protesting.  If you call people unAmerican and whiners for protesting, you don’t know your American history. 

  It worries me that so many people in this post seem to be eating up this idea that most media is inaccurate and leftist propaganda.  That was a genius play by Trump and Brannon to turn you away from any voice but their own.  They took that strategy from Adolf Hitler, who’s first step was to discredit the media.  If you worry about media being so called propaganda, you should be reading the Washington Post AND Fox News and many other papers to find your own truth.  Just giving up reading anything other than Brietbart and Fox is extremely dangerous.


Robert_Q_Smith, why do you think jplegend wants to feel he is right?  He is simply explaining why so much of the country supports Trump as the Loudoun Left and the media becomes apoplectic.

The media reported Trump enacting a “Muslim ban” which is categorically false.  Yet, of the 16 countries with the largest Muslim populations, only citizens of 3 countries were listed in the ban and none of the top 6 Muslim nations.  The DoD and State have used a higher scrutiny for citizens of these countries for years.

This is 100% pure propaganda by the media and the left.  But if the Left keeps making a big deal about it.  It gets their supporters riled up and reinforces the view of the rest of the country that the Left is only interested about the interests of the elite and those outside the US.


While there are some parts of the Constitution that I feel were relevant in 1788, but certainly need clarification in our modern world, the 1st is one that does not age nor become stale. Aspects of it, such as the press, which has volleyed from opinion to fact and back again a few times due to the economics of ‘purchasing the news’, certainly are part of the equation.

jplegend - if you didn’t have this discontent, this competitive fire, this desire to defeat your fellow Americans who think differently than you, to be able to claim that “I am right!”, what you be, what would become of you? I think you should watch the movie “Megamind”, it would serve you well.  Spoiler alert - evil cannot exist without a counter good. So, which are you (haha)?


Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine the left and the Democrat party would spiral to the depths we’re seeing. I dared not fantasize they’d become so unhinged, into complete and utter madness. To see them now flailing, grasping for straws on things like these protests, etc, well, it has been an exhilarating ride. Most of us knew the anger and rage in their hearts…they’ve always been an unhappy group, miserable even when things go their way. But at this point they are in a special place, a place reserved for history’s wackiest fringe groups. I keep wondering how they can’t understand that it is this madness, their madness, that gave us President Trump. The Madonnas, the Ashley Judds, these are the leaders of their party now. None of them will repudiate the comments of these and the other trash mouth nitwits at their march. The 40 years in the wilderness just started.


It’s going to be fun to watch local journals cry and whine for the next four years.


It’s the president’s obligation to enforce existing laws.  We’ve had 8 years of a president that ignored them.  Build the wall.


sounds like some listen to alternative news facts or the b.s. conferences now coming from the people’s house. . .

“Six journalists . . . among the 230 people charged with rioting during the Inauguration Day events in downtown Washington. . . Legal observers and medical personnel were also among the large group that police surrounded before arresting them, said Keller, who was covering the protests for the web series Story of America and the team’s upcoming documentary film on the social-political division in the U.S. called Journey into the Divide in the U.S. He was returned his video camera after being released, but not the video.”

“I want to make it absolutely clear, as I did to the arresting officer, that I was there as a journalist and was simply observing the J20 protest,” he said in statement emailed to USA TODAY. “My hope is that the DA will drop these charges-for which they have no supporting evidence- against journalists and observers immediately.” msnider, usatoday

#DisruptJ20 protesters were likely still in jail on saturday

but just keep propagating lies because that’s what authoritarian regimes do so they can literally “kill” a messenger - see turkey or russia


If you think the same people who showed up on Friday didn’t show up on Saturday, I have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale.  Cheap!


From the WashPo article “D.C. police said they had made no march-related arrests, compared with more than 200 Friday when protesters created chaos in downtown Washington.”

From NBC News: “D.C. police said they had no reports of arrests as of 6 p.m. on Saturday, a stark contrast to Friday’s anti-Trump protest that saw 230 people arrested, the windows of businesses smashed and a limo torched. Witnesses said self-described anarchists were behind some of Friday’s violence. “


But I’m sure these are all “fake news” sites, and it’s that easy to discount and ignore the statements, because they differ from what you want to hear or believe.


of the comments I read about the march, not a single one of them questioned the right to speech. They simply pointed out the nasty, vulgar content and angry and bitter attitude of the speakers. I guess for the LTM, some speech is more equal than other.


Trumpies…take a break.

Your guy lost the popular vote and hasn’t done one thing to encourage anyone other than those who voted for him to give him the benefit of the doubt.

For years you bleated about “executive overreach” and now, hmmm… not so much.   

Partisan hypocrites are a thing and we know ‘em when we see ‘em.


I agree the First Amendment is a sacred right.

But isn’t it funny how LTM won’t even print a single word about the federal civil rights trials going on in federal district court over the censorship of speech by LCPS board members and the Loudoun Commonwealth Attorney?!

Whether the forum is the National Mall, a BOS public comment period, or the metaphysical forum on gov’t Facebook sites, speech is protected.  We just wish our press would report ALL instances of illegal censorship.


I spit out my coffee at “peaceful expression.” There was wanton destruction of property, pushing, shoving, and fistfights.  Furthermore, the march was replete with the most vulgar “expressions” of freedom.

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