The Possible Future for the Freedom of Press and Free Speech

I wrote this post almost a week after the 2016 presidential election polls closed and saved it as a draft until publishing it today, as is.


As we prepare for the coming Trump administration taking office on January 20th, 2017, there is one thing I keeping coming back to pondering. When it comes down to it, it’s the first amendment.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. (Source: billofrightsinstitute.org)

Some time ago, general political discussions in college concluded the key to that amendment is that it does not grant you the right to free speech as much as it says that congress cannot pass any law prohibits it. There still lies some legal ambiguity that could allow them to shorten, or abridge, your ability to freely do so, essentially having the ability to take away some but not all of your freedom of speech.

I spent time in college with some very intellectual law students who loved to spout off about, after a few drinks, what they were learning and passionate about. These were conversations they were having in the classrooms and never had any real black and white resolutions to them because the government is supposed to be comprised of mechanisms that prevent these freedoms from ever being infringed.

But the way this new presidential office is looking, and there is still a ways to go before it’s put together, it makes me ponder a few possibilities that we could see in the future. These are my red book predictions for the near future.

podcasting gear
Podcasting Gear by DaveO on Flickr

At some point, the president will talk of or try to issue an order where anyone who insults the office of the presidency will be subject to a penalty of some type

To narrow that down, I would think this would be directed at the media at the start but have the fiery potential to expand towards anyone who says or distributes anything electronically. Any tweet, status update, video, or even this blog post could be considered for some sort of slander that is “not fair”.

A wealthy, successful businessman, who this new president certainly is, doesn’t seem like he would be one to care what anyone would say or write about him, but that’s not true. Do a simple Google search of “donald trump sues” and you will find a variety of lawsuits that range from defamation to a number of issues related to his numerous business matters.

From the Republican side of this race, the media was consistently attacked in the final months of the campaign for lying and rigging the election in terms of what was being fed through various outlets. Whether that was correct or wrong, the fact is that the results of the elections reinforce that notion because it was only the pundits who correctly predicted the final outcome while a majority of other outlets mostly said otherwise.

There could be an attempt to regulate non-traditional media to reduce “fake news” outlets

While I think it’s more important to be making people have a license to operate drones, the Trump administration will make an effort to regulate media outlets, more so not acknowledging a media outlet as a authentic or trustworthy unless you are registered and approved.

Who this will be done by remains to be seen. The FCC is there to mostly enforce the transmission methods and would probably be bypassed by the administration’s special council that they will setup and regulate.

Want to have a blog and not always be labeled as “fake”? Get yourself a license.

Want to have a podcast? You’ll need a license for that.

You’ll still be able to have or maintain whatever type of outlet that you want, but unless you have that seal of approval, your outlet will not count in the eyes of this administration.

Or, this could simply revert back to the era of the Nixon enemies list or McCarthyism era blacklists, where we’ll never really know who is or isn’t respected in the eyes of the administration.

Screenshot of a recording of The Crazy Canucks in progress

During the recording of episode #70 of The Crazy Canucks, I made a quick screenshot of what I see on my end of the conversation to sort of share what it takes to put our podcast together.

Recording The Crazy Canucks #70

What you see are three basic components: Mac OS X 10.5, Ubercaster, and Skype. Conference calling from computer to computer, recording local mics and remote mics on two separate tracks, and I like to keep the sound preferences open in the event that I need to check on something or make any changes.

What you are missing is the only other application in the overall process of editing, Levelator. Then we make the post on the site using WordPress, the RSS feed gets updated, and the podcast episode ends up in your ears, depending on how you listen to it.

I know I’ve posted about this before, but at this point in the overall history of TCC, the process of knowing what it takes to whip together an episode is getting easier to setup, record, edit, and publish. It never ceases to amaze me as to how much fun it is to talk hockey with this crew.

The Belkin TuneTalk Stereo and the 4G iPod nano

When Rebecca and I went to Kansas City this past summer, something happened with my mobile recording setup. By something, I mean the whole setup vanished. The 2G iPod nano, Belkin TuneTalk Stereo, windscreen, the nearly five year old pair of ear buds, and a sneaky lapel microphone that I never had a chance to try on the line input of the TuneTalk.

Gone. Poof. No trace, and I swear it made it all the way back to Vancouver with us. Probably one of my absolute favorite pieces of mobile recording gear that I have ever come across and the staple of both RadioZoom and The Crazy Canucks podcasts when things went mobile. It was heartbreaking to give up the search and declare all lost, if not stolen.

4G iPod nano As I mentioned previously, I was able to replace the iPod nano with the most recent release of the 4th generation model. That was a happy day to have that apart of my daily commutes again, and the backlog of podcasts is something I’m still listening through.

Rebecca went to work and contacted Belkin about our plight. The fact is that we have been very outspoken about their TuneTalk Stereo accessory for the iPod, and I still stand by everything I’ve said about it.

It is true that it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that many audiophiles would like to have. The only functionality that you have is to record in stereo or mono, but the recordings were done in 44.1Khz, uncompressed WAV files. In plain English, that’s really good, high quality audio. It’s perfect for mobile voice recording like interviews or on location for events, and I’ve mentioned this numerous times when people ask me about the gear I use or the various speaking engagements that I’ve been apart of, such as Northern Voice or Net Tuesday.

So we were very fortunate to have this package arrive in the mail about a month or so ago.

Belkin Goodies Arrived Today! - Photo by: Rebecca Bollwitt
Photo credit: miss604 on Flickr

Thanks to Belkin, we have a replaced the lost TuneTalk Stereo. Even better, it works with the 4G iPod nano.

I have yet to make many ventures with the device and really test it out, but preliminary tests have been impressive. You can hear some evidence of it in episode #68 of The Crazy Canucks. Listen for the organ at the beginning and the “secret track” at the end to get some samples of some live audio I captured at GM Place.

With hope, a new episode of RadioZoom will roll out soon. With this second chance to do some great recording, I have to really see what I can do with this sucker.

The Crazy Canucks on transit

Episode #66 was published tonight.

The Crazy Canucks
Photo credit: miss604 on Flickr

But these photos of the podcast crew on buses never ceases to kill me.

John & Rebecca Spotting...
Photo credit: jmv on Flickr

Riding the SkyTrain last weekend, the train stopped with my face directly outside the window at Granville Station. Nothing more embarrassing than having your face on a poster right next to your own.

My debut as a SkyTrain poster for the Vancouver Canucks

I am a Canuck
Photo credit: Rebecca Bollwitt on Flickr

I’ve also spotted the posters on the sides of buses, and there is a good chance that you will see the rest of The Crazy Canucks crew on them, if not on posters at SkyTrain stations as well. This one is located in Granville Station. Bring on the graffiti.

Lucky to replace what was lost

Yes, it’s true that I turned 30 almost a week ago now. Age is but a number, and I hardly feel old. Lord knows I hardly act my age, so it was actually pretty nice to get numerous gift cards to Futureshop.

Being that we have absolutely no idea what happened to the 2G iPod nano shortly after our trip to Kansas City, the timing is nice. I know it made it back to Vancouver, but there is a good chance that it was stolen. In it was not only the iPod nano, but so was the USB cable, ear buds, and the Belkin TuneTalk Stereo that was so vital to our mobile podcast recording adventures.

On our way home the other day, we stopped by Futureshop and cashed in on the following.

4G iPod nano

JBL Reference 210 ear buds

Not bad, and it’s nice to have an iPod again, not to mention some nice ear buds with really impressive quality. Still getting used to the UI of this generation of nano, but I’m really enjoying getting caught up on podcasts. All that remains is to replace that mobile recording element, and I’m banking that the built-in support for voice recording on this 4G means good things. That will be hopefully solved shortly.

The Crazy Canucks featured on official Vancouver Canucks website

It was a nice surprise earlier this week to see how the Canucks organization was going to use some of the promotional photographs that they took of The Crazy Canucks crew that I mentioned previously, but I’m not sure that we were expecting to be apart of the launch for the Canucks Fan Zone.

A place for all Canucks fans to gather and share their love for the team. That’s pretty cool, but I’m still wondering if the possibility remains of see my face on the side of a bus or on a SkyTrain poster. Scary still, my face on the jumbotron in GM Place.

Flickr video is thanks to Rebecca.

Less Than Jake at the Commodore Ballroom

This past Thursday night, Less Than Jake played the Commodore Ballroom on a double ticket with Reel Big Fish. It was like being taken back to 1998 all over again, but the show didn’t fail to deliver. RBF and LTJ can still rock it something fierce.

Less Than Jake @ The Commodore - Sep. 18, 2008

Even better, RadioZoom got an interview with Chris in the afternoon before the show, Rebecca being on the prowl with the recording gear. It’s a great interview explaining why they have gone the way of being an independent band on their own label as well as the type of witty banter that can only come from the front man for Less Than Jake.

The interview also gave us photo access for the show, so here are some of my favorite shots I took from the front of the stage.

Less Than Jake @ The Commodore - Sep. 18, 2008

Less Than Jake @ The Commodore - Sep. 18, 2008

Less Than Jake @ The Commodore - Sep. 18, 2008

Less Than Jake @ The Commodore - Sep. 18, 2008

Less Than Jake @ The Commodore - Sep. 18, 2008

Less Than Jake @ The Commodore - Sep. 18, 2008

Less Than Jake @ The Commodore - Sep. 18, 2008

It was a wicked show. Unfortunately I couldn’t take any shots of Reel Big Fish, but needless to say, they still put on a hell of a performance. I have forgotten how much fun ska/punk concerts are, mainly because of that damn corporate machine that says ska died about ten years ago. I think not.

You can see all of my photos from the night on the Flickr set.

The Crazy Canucks #63 – Good day and welcome to season three

That’s right. Early this week, we launched with the first episode of season three for The Crazy Canucks. Check it out!

We’re back. Season three of TCC kicks off with a quick gathering of the crew to has out what to expect for the coming season as well as some cool things going on with each of our various projects. We take a look back as who we’ve lost, the new faces (that we kinda think we know something about but don’t know half as much as we’d like), hash out the who does what for TV and radio play-by-play, and take assignments for new names of the team for show and tell later.

48:07 minutes
The Crazy Canucks

Gearing up for season three of The Crazy Canucks podcast

The Crazy Canucks Things really got busy on us this past week, but I can finally stop blaming work getting in the way and start pointing the finger at hockey. More importantly, we’ve been doing some neat stuff with The Crazy Canucks podcast in anticipation of the coming season.

First and foremost, the new design for TCC has been launched. This is the first step in bringing some new elements of social media to the podcast, and it is an official design by sixty4media.

If you’re on Twitter, then be sure to add @thecrazycanucks to your twitter stream and get all the latest updates as they are published on TCC.com, plus anything else we decide to through into the stream. Also, if you’re drinking the Facebook kool-aid, join the The Crazy Canucks Facebook group and stay in touch with our army of supporters on there.

And there’s more!

Photo by Miss604 on Flickr
Photo credit: miss604 on Flickr

The Canucks (yes, the organization) brought your favorite podcast crew in for a photo shoot at GM Place to get our faces and Canucks gear for some promotional stuff that will launch later this month. We can’t be sure how, where, or to what capacity these photos and video footage will be used, but it was exciting to come in and be apart of something like this, simply because we’re all fans.

Photo by Miss604 on Flickr
Photo credit: miss604 on Flickr

Special shout out to Richard Loat, who also was invited to this promotional gathering. He’s the man (in the middle of this picture above) who created the Vancouver Canucks Fan Facebook Application. Nearly 150,000 people are using that application on their Facebook profile. Not bad for a kid barely over the age of 19.

Photo by Miss604 on Flickr
Photo credit: miss604 on Flickr

So as we hang on to the last days of summer in Vancouver, there is some satisfaction that hockey is coming. It dulls the pain of cooler days, less sunlight, and rain, but I’m certainly beginning to get excited.

Alanah and Rebecca have their posts up about this day as well, and you should stay tuned for more stuff from The Crazy Canucks. It should be a good season.