Common Sense Less Common

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Common Sense Less Common

Post by Alexander Nevsky on Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:10 pm

This is a case of free speech vs. Government speech.

The mural is plainly biased and pro union.

The government speech doctrine, in American Constitutional Law, deals with speech made by the government. The doctrine says that the government need not maintain viewpoint neutrality in its own speech. So Governor Baldacci had every right to waste $60,000plus of the American people’s tax dollars and place a pro union mural at the Department of Labor!

Here’s my what if’s?

What if Governor Lepage puts up a “Pro Life” mural at the Department of Health and Human Services, with the cost being paid for by the private sector? Would that not be justifiable under constitutional law?

Government speech cannot be more defined by those two words. Thankfully we have freedom of speech and government can, have, and hopefully will continue to use” freedom of speech” in their government speech.

Where any laws actually broken? Or is this administration simply doing what it has the right to do. All Maine Government is doing is protecting their version of government speech. If you voted and lost, well your version or interpretation of government speech lost as well.

How you “individuals” who lost and deal with it. Is a perfect example of Freedom of speech and it is respectable. However extremely laughable!

To focus on such a minute issue on the bases of a completely rhetorical issue is obviously purely politically motivated.

But what will you say and do when the next Governor of Maine takes down the “new” DHS mural? Or will your political beliefs justify its actions?

This is the clinker that persuaded me to write this:

“I'm guessing that for the people that take advantage of others to enhance their own personal wealth, the labor mural must have been hard to look at.”

Well that speaks volumes, I always get a kick of the “armchair academics“ and there such profound and thought out statements. Let’s look at American history and our philosophical economic structure. Where capitalists! Get it!

For heavens sake’s don’t stand on the backs of those who gave you the backbone from which you are fortunately able to even have the right to say such words and then nonchalantly spit on them. Our fore farther would have beaten you with a ruler for such talk and you would have been thankful!!

Here’s a refresher in capitalism “An economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit. I know that for profit thing is a tough thing to swallow and may be dirty words in your eyes, but it is what built this nation and made it a glorious one. Support or system and support our capitalistic view. A bleeding heart only dies, a beating heart only thrives. Long live freedom, long lives the United States of America!!

Or you can watch the shiny spoon and spill hypocrisy Very Happy

Last edited by Alexander Nevsky on Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:50 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : "what" "those" "u")
Alexander Nevsky

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Re: Common Sense Less Common

Post by T on Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:11 pm

I assume you are familiar with the October Revolution and its causes? The similarities between present day America and Russia in 1917 are scary.

If things don't change here for the worker, our capitalist economic and political system will suffer the same fate.


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Re: Common Sense Less Common

Post by 911Dispatcher on Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:51 pm

A wise and frugal government which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government. – Thomas Jefferson


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Re: Common Sense Less Common

Post by Admin on Tue May 03, 2011 10:44 pm

[quote="Alexander Nevsky"]This is a case of free speech vs. Government speech.

Let’s look at American history and our philosophical economic structure. Where capitalists! Get it!

Thanks for the refresher on capitalism and the offer on to look at American history and our philosophic economic structure. Let's do that.

We are capitalists of course and along with the great pride of capitalism comes many abuses and shameful past practices. Regarding the history of the industrial revolution:

Factory wages were low. Some employers kept them low deliberately. Many people agreed with the English writer Arthur Young, who wrote: "Everyone but an idiot knows that the lower classes must be kept poor, or they will never be industrious." Women and children worked as unskilled laborers and made only a small fraction of men's low wages. Children--many of them under 10 years of age--worked from 10 to 14 hours a day. Some were deformed by their work or crippled by unsafe machines. See Child labor.

Or this regarding child abuse during the industrial revolution:
With the coming of industrialization in Europe and the United States, the implied right of abuse was transferred to the factory, where orphaned or abandoned children as young as five worked sixteen hours a day. In many cases irons were riveted around their ankles to bind the children to the machines, while overseers with whips ensured productivity. In England the Factory Act of 1802 stopped this pauper-apprentice work system, but the law did not apply to children who had parents. Those youngsters worked in the mills for twelve hours a day at the mercy of often tyrannical supervisors.

Read more: Child Abuse—A History - Abuse During The Industrial Revolution - Children, Labor, Law, Mary, Court, and Federal
Your comment
An economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit. I know that for profit thing is a tough thing to swallow and may be dirty words in your eyes, but it is what built this nation and made it a glorious one.
implies that everything about capitalism is glorious but the reality is that it isn't always so glorious. Like most things in life, capitalism should be balanced with laws that protect workers and our environment. We can disagree about where the balance should be but the consequences of not finding the right balance are incredible severe. In fact, the Republican strategy of "less government regulations and intrusion may well allow abuses in our capitalistic society to throw our country and the entire world into an economic crisis.

Capitalism is controlled by private owners for profit. Even today, not everyone has much integrity or consideration for the people that help them create that profit. That certainly has often been the case historically. The bottom line is the bottom line. It must be tough for others to have the reflection of workers that have been abused sitting in front of them, staring back at them for all the world to see.

There are wonderful things brought to us by our capitalistic society but there have been some pretty severe abuses as well. Certainly there is enough wall space to pay homage to both sides of the story.

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Common Sense Prevails

Post by Alexander Nevsky on Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:24 pm

BANGOR, Maine — A federal judge on Friday ruled in favor of Gov. Paul LePage in a lawsuit concerning the governor’s controversial removal of a Department of Labor mural, saying LePage’s action amounted to “government speech.”

In a 90-page opinion, U.S. District Judge John A. Woodcock Jr. granted motions for summary judgment in favor of LePage and members of his administration. The judge also dismissed two counts of an amended complaint filed by the plaintiffs.

The decision essentially denied a trial of the lawsuit seeking to compel LePage to restore the mural to the walls of the Department of Labor building in Augusta.

“The prospect of [hauling] a sitting governor into federal court to be cross-examined under oath as to why he made a political decision may momentarily cheer the partisan,” Woodcock wrote. “But the long-term implications of federal court intervention in state politics are sobering.”

The judge said that because Maine owns the mural, it is free to do what it wants with the artwork.

“The record establishes that the idea for the commissioning of the mural began with the state of Maine, that Maine established its theme, that Maine commissioned its creation, that Maine chose the artist, that Maine paid for the mural, that Maine owns the mural, that Maine displays (or not) the mural on its own property, and that Maine even has the right to destroy it,” Woodcock wrote.

The judge said the state of Maine engaged in “government speech” when it commissioned and displayed the mural.

“It follows that Gov. LePage also engaged in government speech when he removed the mural,” Woodcock wrote. “The governor’s message — whether verbal or in the form of the expressive act of removal — is government speech.”

LePage’s decision to remove the mural, which contains 11 panels depicting the history of Maine’s labor movement, gained national attention, including a disapproving editorial in The New York Times and sendups by political comedians such as Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.

LePage initially stated that the mural displayed a one-sided view of Maine’s labor history, but said later during an interview with NBC’s Brian Williams that his objection stemmed from where the money used to pay for the mural was obtained.

“Regardless of Judge Woodcock’s opinion, while we may not have yet prevailed in the court of law, we already have prevailed in the court of public opinion,” the plaintiffs’ attorney, Jeffrey Neil Young, said in a statement. “Mainers recognize what the court has failed to appreciate, that the removal of the mural is nothing less than government censorship of artistic speech in violation of the First Amendment.”

Young added that the plaintiffs were still studying the opinion and would decide in the near future whether to appeal the ruling to the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston.

“We’ve always believed that this was a frivolous, politically motivated lawsuit,” said LePage spokeswoman Adrienne Bennett. She said it would be “stunning” if government officials were barred from making decisions about what artwork can hang in public buildings.

Bennett declined Friday to disclose the whereabouts of the mural, saying only that it is in storage and in a safe place.

That place, however, is not the Maine State Museum, deputy director Sheila McDonald said Friday.

“It is not here,” she said. “We don’t have it at the museum. I actually don’t know where it is, but it’s my understanding that it’s in a safe place.”

Bennett said Friday that no plans have been made with regard to displaying the piece in the near future.

“The [court] decision just came down today and we’ll be revisiting those questions in the coming days,” after the governor returns from his vacation in Jamaica, she said.

Brooksville artist Robert Shetterly, one of three Maine artists named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit, expressed disappointment at Woodcock’s ruling.

“I have found Judge Woodcock to be an astute and thoughtful person,” Shetterly said Friday in a telephone interview. “However, I think he’s wrong about this being a matter of government speech. His decision is basically timid. I think it’s a sad decision.”

Shetterly, who travels to classrooms throughout Maine and across the country to speak about his “Americans Who Tell The Truth” series of portraits, said the ruling wasn’t a total surprise to him since Woodcock earlier had expressed reluctance to intervene in the matter. Shetterly said Woodcock had earlier suggested the “best remedy was the ballot” instead of a court ruling.

“The whole doctrine of government speech is a fallacious one,” he said. “This is just honest history, pure and simple. No one can argue with the depiction of Maine’s labor history that’s in the mural.”

Maine Attorney General William J. Schneider applauded Woodcock’s decision.

“One of the cornerstones of American democracy is free expression — by individuals and the government,” Schneider said in a statement. “As citizens, we want our government officials to speak and express their views. Any effort by a small group to attempt to control government’s speech by bringing elected officials to trial should be viewed as a threat to our democratic principles. I am pleased that the court agreed that just as individuals are free to speak, so too is the government.”

Jason Savage, executive director of the West Enfield-based group Maine People Before Politics, also issued a statement supporting the ruling.

“Hopefully this closes yet another chapter in the history of those who would rather play politics than restore Maine’s promise,” said Savage. “From the beginning, Maine people could see that this lawsuit was not about right and wrong, it was about people who disagreed with the governor making a political statement.”
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Re: Common Sense Less Common

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