Happy April Fool's Day. This is not a joke though. On March 27, 2009 an elected official in his official capacity - that is through a regular communication with his constituents - violated the First Amendment Rights of a private citizen with whom he disagrees politically. More importantly - that citizen called Doogan on the carpet for treating his constituents so rudely and he/she used Doogan's own words. No paraphrasing, no embellishment, the blogger just used Doogan's own stinking words.
I try to keep this blog about non-political topics, but when First Amendment Rights are violated - I get incensed. No. I get ANGRY! As an American citizen, I cherish my Rights. I thank the men and women in uniform who are willing to risk their lives to protect my freedoms. And I mean this. As much as I completely disagree with his point of view (completely and vicerally) - I will defend to the end Rush Limbaugh's right to spew his filth over the airwaves.
So today's post is about my favorite blog, blogger, and blogging community: The Mudflats, written by AK Muckraker and supported by thousands of anonymoose, pj clad, coffee drinking (or your beverage of choice) Mud Puppies all over the globe (just look at the Flats' webmap on his/her sidebar). AK Muckraker, commonly abbreviated to AKM, is a psuedonym. Writing under a psuedonym is protected by the Constitution. See Supreme Court, 1995, McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission, which says (in part):
Protections for anonymous speech are vital to democratic discourse. Allowing dissenters to shield their identities frees them to express critical, minority views . . . Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority. It thus exemplifies the purpose of the Bill of Rights, and of the first amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation.I love the Constitution, and I have at least 4 copies in my house - yes I am a poli sci geek. I have read (and own copies of) the well-known Common Sense (written anonymously by Thomas Paine) and his lesser known Rights of Man, The Crisis, and The Age of Reason. The Federalist Papers (written anonymously, under the psuedonym Publius, by John Jay, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton) were crucial to turning public opinion in New York State where ratification of the Constitution was questionable. Anonymous speech is vital to a healthy democracy.
The scariest thing to me about this outing is that it was done by an elected official in the capacity for which he was elected to serve. And then, the previously anonymous commentator at the local newspaper (The Anchorage Daily News columnist known locally as The Alaska Ear) condones this forcible outing. And in reporting the news, the news paper continues the forcible outing by posting the name of the anonymoose blogger. Holy Canoli! What The Fusillli?? To make an analogy, we have the bully of the middle school who has decided he doesn't like how the geek (who always breaks the curve because he/she actually studies and knows all the facts and does his/her homework) has made him look bad USING HIS OWN WORDS. So he's decided to make an object lesson out of the geek. Thankfully our geek has some real intestinal fortitude and didn't back down. Nay, our geek came back stronger than ever!
That's all I'm going to say right now, because I start fuming and then I have to start counting to 100. For those of you who are as upset as I am - karma is a good thing. This is what urban dictionary has to say about Doogan.