For-profit institutional media has weaponized the First Amendment against the very Citizens it was enacted to protect. Colorado House Bill 19-1110 regarding “media literacy in our schools” is yet another power play by the newspaper lobby to double-down on their monopoly privileges without qualification over all other media segments in order to influence, gaslight, overtake, and manipulate the Citizens.
Proof of US Constitutionality of Colorado State laws
Surprised that none of the lawmakers in support of Colorado House Bill 19-1110 responded to any of the Constitutional and other concerns outlined in testimonies opposing the bill before passing it Friday (May 3, 2019), I called Legislative Legal Services where I was told that the only way to get Constitutional and other Federal law questions about State bills answered is from a Federal Judge. I asked why they couldn’t just tell me the Constitutional bases for the bill; his answer was, “well, they don’t have to tell the citizens.”
Huh? The Constitution is an agreement between the government and the people. Why don’t they have to publish and/or prove the Constitutional bases for a law to the Citizens?
I then called the Federal Court in Denver and asked to speak to a Federal Judge. The very nice, and patiently good humored lady who answered the call explained that “it doesn’t work that way.” Apparently, the only way to get a Federal Judge’s answer is to ask for a ruling, which requires a lawsuit.
Yes, that’s right. If a citizen wants to question the Constitutionality of a State law, we have to file a lawsuit in Federal Court. I’m still trying to get my head around that one. Shouldn’t every bill pass Constitutional muster before being passed? And why not just publish the Constitutional bases along with the bill, which would educate the citizenry (in this case me and others questioning the bill’s Constitutionality) and save phone calls, emails, general aggravation, and, in some cases, a lawsuit? Surely we have a right to know and question without having to go to Federal Court. But no.
US Code 18, Section 241: Conspiracy against rights
Often, citizens, busy with our own lives (hence trusting that our elected reps aren’t selling off our Constitutional rights behind our backs), get ignored long enough and hit so many brick walls, we just give up, which I wonder sometimes is the goal — wear us out, wear us down till we give up and go away.
Threatened (with every newspaper in the state) and ultimately vanquished from the last time I dared to challenge a Colorado law that grants monopoly power to newspapers in the state without qualification, I admit to feeling a pit in my stomach at the very thought of calling out the newspaper lobby again. However, that last time was over a state-mandated tax on magazines (but not on newspapers) that I questioned; the newspapers’ threat targeted specifically at me personally (for daring to challenge their tax exemption); the threat in writing, no less, so confident that I would fold without protest.
HB19-1110, on the other hand, is targeting our public school teachers and children — all of them. Again, this bill is just more weaponizing of the First Amendment by for-profit pay-to-play institutional media against the very Citizens it was created to protect, giving those old bullies direct access to the minds of our children, and maintaining their power and hands in the State’s — the People’s — pockets. Yes, I’ve learned a lot in four decades in media.
Conspiracy against rights is a Federal crime with sentencing up to 10 years in prison.
Fortunately for the newspaper owner who threatened me back in 2013, I think the statute of limitations on US Code 18, Section 241 is six years (but I won’t know for sure until I get into the Pro Se clinic, explained later in this post), I’m assuming. Unfortunately, I only learned about this law recently while researching laws for an upcoming podcast program. As all the pieces fall into place, little mysteries getting solved, I’m basically stunned. The law reads:
If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise of enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same; … They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both;…
If I’d known about this law (and another called “competitive tort”) prior to February 2019, assuming that’s the statute of limitations, I don’t know if I would’ve sued him or not. Back then until only the past six or seven months or so, I was just as he intended, too scared, too gaslighted, too distraught, too confused, too triggered into my own head, too weak, too defeated, and too disgusted with the local leadership who compromised their own integrity and oath to the Constitution in order to placate his narcissism for their own advantages, to so much as attempt to defend myself anymore. What was the use? And if he did it to me, who else has he and his buddies threatened and gaslighted that we’ll never know about? Besides, its just one piece in the bigger case. Again, I’m still reeling from this new awareness. Who knows? Clearly, I have a lot of homework to do.
And the Colorado House and Senate Democrats put these guys in charge of media literacy curriculum for our children? Chilling.
I’m glad our little subscription-based magazine is history now; yet I’m proud of the work we did and the tenacity and talent of everyone who contributed and supported it; but I have no interest in going back there. For a lot of reasons, starting with newspaper owners and their state-sanctioned privileges, entitlements, groupies, and bully threats.
The industry of fair and balanced that I thought I grew up in is an industry of fear and manipulation that has weaponized the First Amendment against the very Citizens it was created to protect.
Citizen (social) media and nonprofit media are the future of media; the very media HB19-1110 with its old newspaper lobby’s control-freak hands all over it, intends to combat, to influence, to tame, because it assumes our students and teachers are incapable of critical thinking skills without their ever-present unqualified white male Lord of the press Manor filtering the messages. (For profit institutional media ownership is 92% white, 79% male. Ironic that the same Democrat House that passed a diversity curriculum bill followed it up by passing a First Amendment for-profit white male overlord bill HB19-1110 to, I guess, keep that diversity monitored and in check.)
Cronyism over law is nearly impossible to win against; I learned that the hard way; just as we’re seeing play out in Washington; its hard to watch.
Lead with the power of your example; not the example of your power.
Rule of law? Or law of rulers?
Pursuing answers to how and why HB19-1110 passed without consideration or Constitutional basis is good an issue as any to test whether the law and citizen rights — or elitists and their agendas (and barrels of ink) — are for real or not.
I’ve registered for the District Court’s Pro Se Clinic offered through the Colorado State Bar Association, which offers tools and information for Citizens who want to file a suit in Federal Court on our own, without an attorney. I had no idea that resource is available for citizens! Very cool! While going through the Pro Se clinic, I’ll also apply for pro bono services, but because my suit is basically calling out the newspaper lobby as co-conspirator with the State, I doubt any attorneys will want to help me. But, I want to stay on process and see this through; I have to know if its real; that our nation is really about the rule of law and not the law of rulers.
The rule of law is all we have to protect us from, as well as to celebrate, cultural bias. I have to give the process a chance. Otherwise, what can we count on?
Colorado HB19-1110 appears to violate five (5) Federal laws according to my research so far, with proof and evidence in my draft. This is my starting point anyway. Because I’ve not been able to get an answer on any of them, I can’t help but feel encouraged to keep asking up the food chain until I do get a legal answer. Then, if HB19-1110 passes all these tests per Federal Judge, then so be it and I will have learned the true meaning of our rights under those laws and can live my life accordingly.
- US Constitution, First Amendment: Citizen rights to free speech, Citizen rights to freedom of religious expression, Citizen rights to free speech comes before — not after — free press, and right to redress of grievances
- Sherman Anti-Trust Act: Granting monopoly privileges without qualification
- US Code 18, Section 241: Conspiracy against rights
- US Constitution, 14th Amendment: Equal protection under the law
- Supremacy Clause: US Constitution citizen rights over State law
I hear so many people espouse rule of law in moments of self-righteousness, yet ignore the law or diminish the rights of others when it suits their bias or group-think agendas; it creates a gaslighting brainwash effect on the citizenry that is, surprisingly, measurable, and disturbing in its ease. Without consistency, its hard to know who to believe and when. But that too is part of the gaslighters’ game.
There was considerable opposition to HB19-1110, but passed on the final vote.
I spoke with a range of stakeholders from Democrat school teachers and legislative assistants to Republican lawmakers and legislative attorneys, all of whom were engaging, informative, and thoughtful in their perspectives, which is why I was so surprised to have our questions and concerns so summarily dismissed without response or consideration by the Democrat Senate and House majorities.
Opposing HB19-1110 would’ve been a sensible, I believe, bipartisan declaration when it comes to Citizen’s First Amendment rights, but a Democrat majority passed on through without answering any opposition concerns — leaving some of us feeling invisible to the bill sponsors, which was discouraging as a voter and tax-payer.
Its hard to watch State and community leaders compromise their oaths to the Constitution, to the People, as they play into the narcissist special interest groups like the newspaper lobby.
Gaslighting is powerful; can really screw with your head. And the gaslighters draw in a lot of unwitting co-conspirators. I wish I’d been stronger to resist being such a target, but I wasn’t; and that’s on me, no one else. Proof of my own weakness. Just as others who buy into gaslighters have to own their own complicity.
I’m anxious, yet hopeful about pursuing this case if that’s what it takes to get my questions answered; to know once and for all what are and are not Citizen rights under the law as well as to learn how said Citizens can defend those rights when impinged upon. And to learn the process when we do object or have serious questions. Whether the newspaper owner and his little buddies like or approve of someone for their little club of elitists shouldn’t matter a hill of beans when it comes to Citizen rights. Especially those rights granted under the First Amendment of the US Constitution. Again, rule of law? Or law of rulers?
I never imagined in a bazillion years I’d have to file suit against the State in Federal Court just to get a few little answers to a few little questions about our rights under the law, the ultimate law we have, the last stop on the Citizen ride. But that’s what it is. So many mysteries and unanswered questions about to get resolved and put to rest. Aaahhh.
And yes of course I’ll post updates as I move through the process. A citizen adventure indeed!