Pushing Back Free Speech

I recently blogged about the ONDCP blog Pushing Back. To recap; PB is a fed blog that allows reader to “Send Comments.” As of this date they are no reader comments posted on the blog.
I have sent two comments so far and received no response (they are probably in my FBI file)

This experience has given me Con Law flashbacks. My question is; If the government creates a blog and allows for any public input, does it have to then accept all public input?

The case law states that the government can present self serving viewpoints publicly without allowing dissenting views. There is no equal time or fairness doctrine for the Federal Government. However, if the government opens a public forum it can not censor viewpoints.

It seems that Pushing Back has a seperate community site and that site has the ability to register new users. The site also allows readers to post and add pictures. Is that not a public forum?

There is no link to the Pushing Back community site on pushingback.com. I only found it by accident through Site Meter. Someone at ONDCP linked to my blog directly from this site-http://pushingback.com/login.aspx?ReturnUrl=/Msgs/default.aspx?MessageID=29

I would love to register to post and comment on pushingback.com. However, new user registration has been suspended.

Are my first amendment rights being violated? If any first amendment gurus or Con Law students can answer this I would greatly appreciate it.

Federal Government drug warriors have always feared free speech. When drug war propaganda was uploaded onto YouTube comments were quickly disabled after an overwhelming negative reception. Censorship and a fear of debate are not the hallmarks of democracy. Only tyrants fear open dialogue on important issues. Prohibition should be debated. If the federal government wants to waste my tax dollars on propoganda they should be required to acknowledge dissenting views.

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8 responses to “Pushing Back Free Speech”

  1. <img src="http://www.blogger.c says:

    Hi, Robert- I suggest contacting the drug czar’s office directly to ask if comments are published anywhere, and whether anyone has access to the community sites. I’d be interested in knowing the answer. When you are addressing public forums, the threshold question is the type of public forum involved, if any, and the extent to which communications are being blacked out based on viewpoint versus the category of the communication. A good case to review is ACLU v. Mineta ___ F.Supp. 2d ___ (D.D.C.) (http://www.drugpolicy.org/docUploads/Istook_Summary_Judgment_Opinion.pdf ), which also dealt with getting out pro drug legalization/decriminalization messages. Take care. Jon

  2. <img src="http://www.blogge says:

    I sent the following message using the “contact us” link.I would like to register and post on PB.com. I’ve noticed that new user registration is down.How can I be added as a member/user of this website?What policies do you have regarding potential members of PB.com?Also, what happens to the comments I send?

  3. <img src="http://www.blogge says:

    Update- Here is the Auto Reply I got-Dear Sir or Madam:The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) has received youremail and it is currently being processed. A Specialist may reply toyou, depending on the nature of your message.Sincerely,Office of National Drug Control PolicyI hope by specialist they do not mean SWAT team.

  4. <img src="http://www.blogger.c says:

    The answer is quite simple. “Pushing Back” doesn’t allow for users to “post” comments at all. You simply have the option of selecting “send comments” to provide their office your views on the news and propaganda that they post. It isn’t a public forum. It’s an informational web log for a government office. And, just as you may write their office an actual letter expressing your views… you can also simply send your ideas to them via the online form.Should different arms of your government be forced to publish EVERY letter written do them by EVERY concerned party pertaining to EVERY notion?Come now… If records are kept of correspondence between their office and the general public then all would probably be freely available with a Freedom of Information request. However, it’s simply not rational to make a public office allow easy access to every comment they’ve ever received.You mention that you don’t wish your tax dollars at work to publish information for which you aren’t allowed to comment. Well, just imagine how many more dollars of your tax contribution would be used for personnel to moderate a completely open “comments” section of each post.You’re misunderstanding the nature of this particular web log and its “send comments” function, completely.

  5. <img src="http://www.blogge says:

    The first paragraph on the ‘About’ page of the Pushing Back site states, “This “blog” will also allow citizens who are working hard everyday at the community level share their experiences with others across the world.”I know there could be several ways to interrupt that, but it definitely gives one the impression the site was/is to be of some type of discussion forum.

  6. <img src="http://www.blogge says:

    I have sent a message about how I would help prevent illegal drug use in my community- by making drugs legal and regulated.I should meet the criteria for posting. Still no response from ONDCP. Although I have gotten a visitor from a mysterious eop.govwww.eop.gov does not exist as a website. I wonderw hat eop stands for and who is readin IWTS?

  7. <img src="http://www.blogge says:

    Turn it upside down. eop = doa. No further explanation required, I hope.

  8. <img src="http://www.blogge says:

    What you saying is Federal Government drug warriors have always feared free speech. But I don’t see drug paddlers getting feared, instead smartly developing the network. Because I am hearing about drug paddlers, drug traffic getting busted. But still people some how manage to get hands on drugs and they are not worried about Passing a drug test, since detox drinks and capsules which are available in market.

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