Friday, December 13, 2013

When Soup Said Zero He Meant 1-0-0. Chuckle.

-my Ideologies Final...something about 'liberty, free speech, some other BS. HA!---

These two quotes DO appear at first glance to be contradictory; however, upon introspection, I shall take the stance that their ultimate point is an outgrowth of the same sort of thought. To say that democracy must be maintained in a ‘system where people are willing and able to limit themselves…,’etc., while reminding us that, despite the First Amendment protections of free speech, there are in fact limits and restrictions on speech is to remind us that we are a nation of laws, and that under these laws all citizens are equal. All citizens have rights, not just the ones flapping their gums.

To be free to speak ‘where-ever, whenever, or however we want’ would in fact put the liberty and freedoms of others at risk. I cannot go around pretending to be an airline pilot; I can go around pretending to have served as one in Iraq, though. The first example is one where with my speech I have the ability to outright harm someone, while the second shows only that I would be a liar to tell such a lie.

Too, imagine America with free speech but no laws against slander, or ‘fighting words.’ Imagine if I did pay my $20, sit down at the latest Disney flick, wait until the lights have dimmed and the crowd had quieted…and shouted, “HE’S GOT A GUN!’ Clearly, this cannot be and never should be protected speech.

On the other hand, it may seem awful that the Westboro Baptist Church (to use an infamous example) has the RIGHT to protest funerals of American soldiers…in my view, it would be worse that our Supreme Court should ever restrict this practice. After all, merely being offended it not something we have Constitutional protections from; unless someone should move from opinionated speech to outright hateful rhetoric backed by physical action intended to provoke confrontation, I expect Westboro to continue their agenda.

Bush the second was the President (regardless of your opinion re Florida 2000) post-9/11, and he was accepted as legitimate by the American people. We quite rightly got what we deserved when he consolidated and expanded (another apparent but not real contradiction) the military industrial complex following 9/11. Was he right to do so? I thought no then, I think no now.

The Patriot Act, on the other hand, has led to quite real intrusions on the perceived-if-not-quite-real right to privacy (see: NSA, Snowden); however, imagine the headlines if the President canceled a spy program that could have prevented (thought exercise here) all those nukes from going off over Miami, Boston and St. Louis. There is a trade-off between security and liberty that goes hand-in-hand with the right to protected speech and the right to not be lied about (in print or otherwise).

While a simple tendency to ‘tend toward insurrection against the established order’ is embarrassing, it is not treason; therefore, sedition is and should remain non-criminal. The Sedition Act of 1918 remains one of the greatest affronts by the American government to the liberty of its people. I have every right to think that the President is the Anti-Christ; this may make me an insane person, but it is my right in America to be so insane. Now, slander about public officials is actually a little harder to prove, but that is going off into the weeds a bit.

To conclude, the right of free speech goes hand in hand with the right to be religious or irreligious. I have the right to accept Jesus or to tell him to go to hell. America is wonderful like that, freedoms all around.

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