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Winston

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I grew up a few miles north of a suburb of San Francisco called Berkley. They have this little college there, maybe you've heard of it. It was kind of a big deal in the 60's and 70's. Berkley was famous for this thing called the "Free Speech Movement". If that doesn't ring a bell with you, I'm not surprised. The whole concept has fallen out of favor. Horse and Buggy stuff, that is.

As a kid, I remember the protests. I remember the screaming, the anger, and the hatred. I also remember the college radio station playing Douglas Adams late at night, and laughing my kid arse off.
You get both. That's how it is.

That is, until now. Something nasty and soul sucking happened on the way to the 21st Century. An Orwellian butcher has mutilated the entire concept of Free Speech. It started small, with requests that certain "controversial" speakers be shunted to the fringes of academic and public discourse. Then, it was open animosity, often backed by the authority of the schools and local law enforcement. Now, it's physical attacks against folks that say "the wrong thing". Schools shrug, and cops turn a blind eye.

They had a saying back in the day: "I might not agree with your words, but I will defend your right to say them". Man, that died an inglorious death.

What happened? Don't you be so intellectually lazy and dishonest as to try to pin this on Donald Trump. He is WAY more of an effect than the cause.
There are a ton of folks that are tired of this whole thing being one-sided. Political discourse and power have never been evenly distributed, but the lop-sided nature of today's "intellectuals" and media is beyond repair. The "Fake News" boogeyman didn't appear out of nowhere. Certain speech is promoted, and other speech is suppressed. It's a recipe for (deep) state-sponsored societal manipulation.

The empty-headed over-emotional snowflakes can't compete in the arena of ideas, so they rig the game. They slather on the weak sauce by calling everything that upsets them as "hate speech".
Rhetorically vapid, all they have to do is Straw-Man their opponents into manufactured incredible silence.
So now, even defending those that I may not agree with makes me the "enemy" in their book. I will gladly take-up that mantle.

You see, ideas don't scare me. Neither do words. I don't feel the need to shut anyone up. Go ahead and wrap yourself up in morally smug "anti-fascist" justifications for censorship and violence. The target of your animosity is bad, that justifies your actions. The Jacobins, The Brown Shirts, we've seen this played out before.

I've always been a fan of letting Neo-Nazis speak. There's never more than a couple of dozen in-bred, trailer trash swastika waving idiots. And when they speak, their idiocy destroys any minute amount of credibility they had. It's actually kind of funny. If you are threatened by that clown car, you need a wider perspective.
But we shouldn't shut them up, even though what they say is reprehensible. To do so violates who we are as a people, and validates their hate for us.

The absurdity of applying the "fascist" label to anyone right-of-center doesn't give you the right to interfere with their First Amendment Right to Free Speech. Be an adult and debate their ideas.
A milkshake is not discourse. It's childish idiocy. And proves you're losing.

And the only thing more moronic than "hate speech are "hate crimes", where special legal protections are afforded based on the characteristics of the victim / perp.
At this point, I would probably plead "God help us". But it's obvious He's out on a coffee break right now. But when He gets back, He will be pissed.

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  1. MzSnowleopard's Avatar
    Powerful words. I wonder if God regrets giving us the gift of free will. Look what we've done with it!
    Updated August 4th, 2019 at 02:32 AM by MzSnowleopard
  2. escorial's Avatar
    what would your ten commandments be.....
  3. Winston's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by escorial
    what would your ten commandments be.....
    Thou Shall Not Be a D Bag.
    I'd repeat it ten times. Maybe it would finally stick.
  4. escorial's Avatar
    How free are you...
  5. Neetu's Avatar
    I don't know, Winston, that what we deem as the freedom to speak freely should be carelessly and wantonly used to whip up anger and hate. After all, speeches have been used to spread violence and powerful people have moved angry crowds (e.g. Hitler, known to most) to perform heinous acts. Words can be an extremely effective tool to have damaging impact on masses. To use such freedom with recklessness (on both sides of the aisle, or all sides of the aisle, for that matter) is abuse of freedom of speech, not responsible use of that freedom.
    And don't we teach our children when they are young to speak kindly, respectfully to others? If not, we should. Not just teach or preach but actually practice that simple wisdom that words do hurt, words inflict pain, words also heal.
  6. Stygian's Avatar
    I couldn't agree more. Free speech should be universal. Anybody should be able to say whatever they want. I may dislike every word, but I would be glad to defend someone's right to say it. If we start arbitrarily censoring people based off the moral compass if the most charismatic cult leader social influencers, we will end up with no meaningful discussions.

    A great example is the whole climate issue in Canada. Regardless of which side of the climate change debate you're on, 37 million people can not make any meaningful change to GLOBAL emissions. We could shut off our heating in winter, stop driving cars, and still not make a dent in CO2 global emissions. When I try to start this conversation, I get labeled as the reincarnation of Hitler for daring to challenge the hive mind lol
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