Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

We, the Riffraff

Virginia, First Amendment, free speech,

Suppose I disagree with you — say, on whether I have the right to bear arms. I favor, you oppose. (We’re just supposing here.)

In the heat of online argument, I call you a scoundrel or other unkind things. I am intemperate but avoid libel or threats. Should I be jailed? (Remember, we’re just supposing here. Don’t call the constables!)

You and I would say “No.” But we can’t take our freedom of intemperate speech for granted, or our freedom of any speech at all that ruffles the feathers of rulers like those currently ruling the roost in Virginia.

Our forefathers understood the danger of abusing power to squelch dissent. Hence the First Amendment’s sweeping protection of even obnoxious peaceful speech.

Yet right after launching a massive assault on our Second Amendment rights, Virginia legislators are now launching a massive assault on our First Amendment rights. House Bill 1627 would make a Class 1 felony of “Harassment by computer”: “threats and harassment,” “indecent language,” “any suggestion of an obscene nature” when directed against the governor or other Virginia potentates in state government. Possible penalties include jail time.

Who will decide when rhetoric is mean and vulgar, blunt and honest, or some jumble of all the above? Or when the bill’s ambiguous catchall provisions, if enacted, are being violated? 

Why, the only* people it’s meant to protect: those in government . . . who don’t like it when the people get angry and loud. 

This legislation does not defend you and me. The opposite of the First Amendment, it’s designed to keep us plebs — the riffraff — silent.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

* The special protection pointedly covers only “the following officials or employees of the Commonwealth: the Governor, Governor-elect, Lieutenant Governor, Lieutenant Governor-elect, Attorney General, or Attorney General-elect, a member or employee of the General Assembly, a justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia, or a judge of the Court of Appeals of Virginia.”

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Virginia, First Amendment, free speech,

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By: Redactor


  1. John F Brennan says:

    “I am the government, your only allowed god, and I will have no others before me or chastising me, including you, the people “
    Washington is spinning in his grave!  

  2. 2WarAbnVet says:

    Beware Virginians! You’re paying taxes to support a government that is working to destroy your liberties.

  3. Rick Rund says:

    First they came for your guns, then for your speech. But everyone, the other side, said all this angst regarding having our rights taken away was poppycock. We were being paranoid.This governance would fit right in with cal bezerkley and other institutes of lower learning…

  4. Dave says:

    OH MAH LORD!!! Who in the HELL do these ignoramuses, (ignorami??), (Ignoramus squared??), utter effing fools??), (but I digress…), think they are? The arrogance is STUNNING!

  5. Lynn says:

    Our “governor” doesn’t think he is a white supremacist…he wants to be god…. Well, you idiots voted for him…are you happy now? We tried to earn you!

  6. Larry Majerczyk says:

    potentate: NOUN
    a monarch or ruler, especially an autocratic one.
    Just what do Democrats think they are??

  7. Chris says:

    Its incredible how many who feels the constitution should be above anything else dont know the first thing about the fordt amendment. If reading is too difficult, may I suggest an audiobook? Nah, who Im I kidding

  8. This is just one bill proposed in Virginia that Virginians should fear. I will be discussing some of them on the Liberty Lighthouse podcast Friday night.

  9. Linda says:

    They are acting like a bunch of children screaming for “safe spaces” where no one can offend them. Firstly, being “offended” does absolutely NOTHING. It’s a personal emotional response, like laughter or crying. It has no impact on the events of the world. Second, if they want a safe space, go back to Berkeley.

  10. Jessica says:

    Move out of VA and leave them there! Let them have the state to themselves. Can’t govern a population that doesn’t exist!

  11. Tracey says:

    Umm…HB 1627 covers the priorities of child welfare agencies. Have you bumped your head or are you just trying to stir up shit?

  12. Rob says:

    Read the d*mn bill, it’s not a class I felony. Also, this has been on the books for years. The only thing this bill does is permit them to move the trial venue to Richmond for political figures.

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