As I have always done before, in preparation for one of my worldwide expedition adventure, I clean out and go through many of my accumulated personal documents in the event of some unforeseen disaster.
I always leave instruction with #1 son to disallow the rummaging through of personal effects leaving some things, “For his eyes only”. I have two sons and since he’s #1, that task naturally falls on his shoulders.
While I examined that which would be shredded, and I highly recommend shredding rather that upsetting the EPA by blowing smoke up the chimney. What caught my eye was an oral communication document (1st Amendment Free Speech Application)
Communication Guidelines for Commissioners and Community members during Human Relations Commission Meeting.
“While we understand that you may be attending to express your opinions about an agenda item or an issue of concern to you, we ask that you refrain from clapping, shouting, booing, hissing, or other such BEHAVIOR that disturbs, disrupts, or impedes the orderly conduct of the meeting.
While we honor free speech we ask that you not use abusive language (i.e.; no profanities, obscenities, or threats.)”
I thought to myself before placing it in the shredder, that’s a bunch of “Bull Shit”…got to save that one.
The problems right off the bat is that the Palo Alto Human Relations Commission is trying to control Free Speech plain and simple. I mean what the fuck! And if you can’t see that, then something is gravely wrong with your thinking process in that we all live in a free democratic society that protects our First Amendment rights. Let’s see if you or anyone else can deal with this decision….SOB’s
U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Schneider v. State, 308 U.S. 308 147 (1939)
“[I]t is a prized American privilege to speak one’s mind, although not always perfect good taste on all public institutions.” …..even the expression of “legislative preferences beliefs” [oral communications] cannot transform minor matters of public inconvenience or annoyance into substantive evils of sufficient weight to warrant the curtailment of liberty of expression.”…..
Who can argue with that? Well the Mayor and and everybody else in between. BTW, Palo Alto Mayor Greg Scharff is an attorney educated and sworn to protect our constitution and yet he chastises the audience and speakers all the time to refrain from clapping I mean, all the time! What give’s with that?
And we have yet another attorney, Molly Stump tasked with defending city employees, its mayor and city council from unwanted litigation has remained silent and has refuses to debate the rationale and logic behind its long held position of not allowing citizens to criticize our government officials unfettered and without bias, including clapping.
That’s “Bull Shit”. In our opinion Molly, Greg and the other two attorneys are making a mockery out of our constitution.
Our constitution forms the bedrock of all state and city municipality ordinances. Let’s get real. The constitution trumps any city of Palo Alto ordinances, in regards to Free Speech and if disputed, should be made the subject of debate and remedy. Another guarantee afforded to all citizens, foreign and domestic when discriminated against.
We simply do not understand why city council, its mayor and its staff of attorneys are fearful of any debate.
The First Amendment was designed for the purpose of debate. Accordingly, in the following opinion, former Supreme Court Justice Brandies identifies fearful individuals unwilling to debate as “cowards.”
“Those who won our independence by revolution were not cowards. They did not fear political change. They did not exalt order at the cost of liberty. To courageous, self-reliant men, with confidence in the power of free and fearless reasoning applied through the process of popular government, no danger flowing from speech can be deemed clear and present, unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is so imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion”.
Time and time again, members of the community who have come before city council to redress their grievances have been met with intimidation and stiff opposition and often rebuked when criticizing their elected politicians or the police.
My observations have been that if these same individuals were to come before city council with praises and clapping and singing, they are always embraced without distinction.
Those who come before city council with critical comments and speech are always made to feel that it’s only First Amendment happy talkers or speech that need apply.
Never in the history of the city of Palo Alto has the First Amendment been placed on the agenda. Maybe the time has come for all “cowards” to come forward and put to bed the city council’s reasons, within the confines of our Constitution, why we as citizens cannot criticize our public officials including clapping without being made to feel that our speech is on ice or bullied.
History and documented on-going patterns of First Amendment abuses by the city council of Palo Alto and the Palo Alto Police Department.
- Case # c-2011-07 Complaint of Discourtesy, Improper application of the law and unprofessional conduct.
- Case #c-2008-001 Complaint of Violation Free Speech Rights.
- Case #c-2008-004 Complaint of Denial of Free Speech Rights.
- Approval of Revisions to Regulations of the City of Palo Alto Regarding
It’s time to put a stop to this rubbish!