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NDAA: Worst Thing Since the Alien and Sedition Acts -- In the Best Possible Sense

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The National Defense Authorization Act is the most unpatriotic, freedom-slashing, anti-American piece of legislation since the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798. Of course the, AASA worked out pretty well.

When the US government was young and fearful for well-propertied life, Congress passed and President John Adams signed a group of laws designed to protect the baby nation from the anarchy of the French Revolution or, as it was then known, Occupy the Champs Elysees.

The AASA made it illegal to, among other things, publish "false, scandalous, and malicious writing" or put another way, anything worth reading. It's also the only kind of news that makes money.

The acts were hugely controversial at the time. Adams' own vice president, Thomas "Where da black women at" Jefferson denounced the Sedition Act and joined James Madison to co-author the Kentucky and Virginia Resolves, which declared the AASA unconstitutional. Had I been around back then, and not held captive on somebody's plantation, I'd have thrown completely in with Jefferson. I'd have been in the streets screaming, "The Federalists have their wigs on too tight!" and, "These guys have inhaled too much face powder." I'd have been absolutely sure that once given the power to jail its critics, no government would EVER give it up.

I would, of course, have been wrong. In 1802, just four years after its passage, President Thomas Jefferson oversaw the repeal of the Sedition Act, making it once again legal in the United States to spread "false, scandalous, and malicious writing," aka, everything we read.