Archive for August 30, 2011
Break time folks…time to check out this recipe for bacon wrapped eggs. Think about the possibilities, like adding some smoked salmon and/or capers; sausage, an assortment of herbs; unusual cheeses; tomatoes; beets; kippered herring.
I love this.
This would be what Ohio Republican Representative Steve Chabot did on August 22nd at one of his town hall meetings:
Ohio Republican Congressman Steve Chabot had police seize a citizen’s camera after he tried to record one of Rep. Chabot’s answers at a tax payer financed town hall meeting.
Congressman Chabot took his citizen camera ban to another level by having on duty Cincinnati police officers enforce this policy. At the end of the meeting, the police confiscated two video cameras. As you can see from the video above the police told citizens that the no filming policy was to protect the constituents, which makes absolutely zero sense.
Excuse me? Chabot demonstrated an utter lack of understanding of (1) the Constitution of the United States of America, and (2) the concept of a town hall meeting. Town hall meetings are supposed to be a place where there is a free exchange of ideas and opinions. A town hall meeting, held by a representative who is paid by the citizens of the United States and who works for the citizens in his district (i.e. he’s beholdent to them, not vice versa) cannot prohibit someone from filming him, on taxpayer financed property in a public forum.
Some of our elected representatives are beginning to think they’re little kings or dictators, not public employees who work for We the People.
Anyway, I hope little-dictator-Chabot is reading this opinion handed down last Friday by the First Circuit Court of Appeals because he’s in serious need of some educatin':
“The filming of government officials engaged in their duties in a public place, including police officers performing their responsibilities, fits comfortably within these principles [of protected First Amendment activity]. Gathering information about government officials in a form that can readily be disseminated to others serves a cardinal First Amendment interest in protecting and promoting the free discussion of governmental affairs.”
Citizens have a “constitutionally protected right to videotape police [and elected representatives] carrying out their duties in public”.
Why such a question had to go to the courts for resolution is beyond me because I thought it was clear but it’s good to know that what we learned in 3rd Grade has been reaffirmed: If you’re in a public place, filming public employees, film away.
The pie chart here shows that the top fifth of households in 2009 took home 50% of the nation’s income. The middle fifth received 15% and bottom fifth a mere 3%.
More info and infuriating charts here.