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Can the government throw you in jail for offering advice on the Internet about what food people should buy at the grocery store?More information about this case is offered at The Institute for Justice. Interesting commentary on this case and our First Amendment right to freedom of speech without government interference is also offered by law.com. The Blaze also posted their take on the story here.
That is exactly the claim made by the North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition. In December 2011, diabetic blogger Steve Cooksey started a Dear Abby-style advice column on his popular blog (http://www.diabetes-warrior.net/) to answer reader questions. One month later, the State Board informed Steve that he could not give readers advice on diet, whether for free or for compensation, because doing so constituted the unlicensed, and thus criminal, practice of dietetics. The State Board also told Steve that his private emails and telephone calls with readers and friends were illegal, as was his paid life-coaching service. The State Board went through Steve's writings with a red pen, indicating what he may and may not say without a government-issued license.
But the First Amendment does not allow the government to ban people from sharing ordinary advice about diet, or scrub the Internet—from blogs to Facebook to Twitter—of speech the government does not like. North Carolina can no more force Steve to become a licensed dietitian than it could require Dear Abby to become a licensed psychologist.
That is why on May 30, 2012, Steve Cooksey joined the Institute for Justice in filing a major free speech lawsuit against the State Board in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, Charlotte Division. This lawsuit seeks to answer one of the most important unresolved questions in First Amendment law: When does the government's power to license occupations trump free speech?
This is hard to get people to do, much better, obviously, to build bridges and roads and healthcare clinics and schools. But my proposed, I actually have a serious proposal which is that we have to get a bunch of scientists to tell us that we're facing a threatened alien invasion, and in order to be prepared for that alien invasion we have to do things like build high-speed rail. And then, once we've recovered, we can say, 'Look, there were no aliens.'
But look, I mean, whatever it takes, because right now we need somebody to spend, and that somebody has to be the U.S. government.So a Nobel laureate economist makes a "serious proposal" that some unnamed group of presumedly-real scientists intentionlly lie to the American people about something as absurd as an alien invasion? And this for the purpose of stealing more of their money to funnel through the Federal government, and then redistribute, ostensibly via another fraud-packed "stimulus"? This scheme is deserving of all the ridicule informed citizens can heap upon Krugman and anyone who supports his dishonest lunacy.
(L to R) Democrat Senators Chuck Schumer, Mark Udall, Ron Wyden, and Chris Coons announcing their endorsement of the "It Gets Better Project," headed by anti-Christian bigotry and bullying by radical homosexual activist Dan Savage. Click photo to view larger.
[Jeffrey] Neely was subpoenaed as part of a House investigation into a 2010 conference... that sent 300 people to Las Vegas and racked up a tab of more than $850,000, including a $75,000 bike-building event and $130,000 to send 15 scouts to pick the event venue.
Neely, who makes $179,000 annually as the regional GSA regional commissioner in charge of Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, several other countries and territories, evoked his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent when questioned by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the committee. Neely is now on administrative leave and is still receiving his salary.
"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
A Bill of Rights is what the people are entitled to against every government, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference. ~Thomas JeffersonJefferson is making a subtle, but tremendously important point. Our rights outlined in the first ten amendments to the US Constitution are not there to protect citizens from bad people. According to Jefferson, they exist to protect us from the Federal government - the very entity now eroding these rights.
The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government – lest it come to dominate our lives and interests. ~Patrick Henry