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Soledad
04-02-2003, 10:18 PM
I SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO SAY THE FOLLOWING THINGS ABOUT AMERICA

From: The Onion

As Americans, we have a right to question our government and its actions. However, while there is a time to criticize, there is also a time to follow in complacent silence. And that time is now.

It's one thing to question our leaders in the days leading up to a war. But it is another thing entirely to do it during a war. Once the blood of young men starts to spill, it is our duty as citizens not to challenge those responsible for spilling that blood. We must remove the boxing gloves and put on the kid gloves. That is why, in this moment of crisis, I should not be allowed to say the following things about America:

Why do we purport to be fighting in the name of liberating the Iraqi people when we have no interest in violations of human rights—as evidenced by our habit of looking the other way when they occur in China, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Syria, Burma, Libya, and countless other countries? Why, of all the brutal regimes that regularly violate human rights, do we only intervene militarily in Iraq? Because the violation of human rights is not our true interest here. We just say it is as a convenient means of manipulating world opinion and making our cause seem more just.

That is exactly the sort of thing I should not say right now.

This also is not the time to ask whether diplomacy was ever given a chance. Or why, for the last 10 years, Iraq has been our sworn archenemy, when during the 15 years preceding it we traded freely in armaments and military aircraft with the evil and despotic Saddam Hussein. This is the kind of question that, while utterly valid, should not be posed right now.

And I certainly will not point out our rapid loss of interest in the establishment of democracy in Afghanistan once our fighting in that country was over. We sure got out of that place in a hurry once it became clear that the problems were too complex to solve with cruise missiles.

That sort of remark will simply have to wait until our boys are safely back home.

Here's another question I won't ask right now: Could this entire situation have been avoided in the early 1990s had then-U.S. ambassador to Iraq April Glaspie not been given sub rosa instructions by the Bush Administration to soft-pedal a cruel dictator? Such a question would be tantamount to sedition while our country engages in bloody conflict. Just think how hurtful that would be to our military morale. I know I couldn't fight a war knowing that was the talk back home.

Is this, then, the appropriate time for me to ask if Operation Iraqi Freedom is an elaborate double-blind, sleight-of-hand misdirection ploy to con us out of inconvenient civil rights through Patriot Acts I and II? Should I wonder whether this war is an elaborate means of distracting the country while its economy bucks and lurches toward the brink of a full-blown depression? No and no.

True patriots know that a price of freedom is periodic submission to the will of our leaders—especially when the liberties granted us by the Constitution are at stake. What good is our right to free speech if our soldiers are too demoralized to defend that right, thanks to disparaging remarks made about their commander-in-chief by the Dixie Chicks?

When the Founding Fathers authored the Constitution that sets forth our nation's guiding principles, they made certain to guarantee us individual rights and freedoms. How dare we selfishly lay claim to those liberties at the very moment when our nation is in crisis, when it needs us to be our most selfless? We shame the memory of Thomas Jefferson by daring to mention Bush's outright lies about satellite photos that supposedly prove Iraq is developing nuclear weapons.

At this difficult time, President Bush needs my support. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld needs my support. General Tommy Franks needs my support. It is not my function as a citizen in a participatory democracy to question our leaders. And to exercise my constitutional right—nay, duty—to do so would be un-American.

Paul
04-02-2003, 11:01 PM
   I'm glad free speech is alive and well.

      Paul

Soledad
04-02-2003, 11:01 PM
Is it? Last I heard its pulse was faint due to the noise of Americans demanding that we fall into line...:rolleyes:

Paul
04-02-2003, 11:04 PM
   It would not be alive and well if you could not hear those demands.

      Paul

Soledad
04-02-2003, 11:05 PM
I suppose. But it has been taking a few batterings lately. Especially when people get told their un-American and should move to France when they make similar demands. :rolleyes:

Paul
04-02-2003, 11:42 PM
   I don't think that's a battering. That's freedom of speech.

      Paul

Soledad
04-02-2003, 11:46 PM
I disagree. It's intimidation. There's a fine line. And like so many others have been quick to repeat, there is responsibility with freedom.

Paul
04-03-2003, 12:05 AM
   I don't see any fine line in "...people get told their un-American and should move to France."

      Paul

Soledad
04-03-2003, 12:12 AM
Calling for people to move the country because of their opinion? Sure, it's legal...but is it right?

Was McCarthyism just an expression of freedom of speech? I hope not...

Paul
04-03-2003, 12:42 AM
   I maintain free speech is alive and well. It's a totally different question whether a particular comment at a particular time is right.

   I think it's right for people to be far more considerate and polite than they usually are, myself included. However, I don't think there should be a law requiring it.

      Paul

Soledad
04-03-2003, 02:31 AM
Naturally there shouldn't be a law enforcing politeness. That's ludicrous. Although, I did hear of a recent case in Michigan where a man was charged for swearing in front of women. Some old law or something.

However, there is a difference between being impolite and using your power and influence to economically ruin someone because of their statements. That it is wrong and should be pointed out.

joycenalex
04-03-2003, 08:05 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Soledad
[B]Naturally there shouldn't be a law enforcing politeness. That's ludicrous. Although, I did hear of a recent case in Michigan where a man was charged for swearing in front of women. Some old law or something.

ahh soledad... there was quite a bit more to the above mentioned case then just swearing in front of a woman in michigan. it's my understanding that the man fell out of a canoe, and began loudly cursing. when he was asked by the woman to stop swearing so loudly he bacame personally abusive and threatening in his speech. he was asked again to stop by an off duty police officer, and he continued. he was arrested at that point. and in true american fashion persued his case throught the courts. it was not a politeness issue, it was the threatening speech that was the issue.

RICHARD
04-03-2003, 12:33 PM
Originally posted by joycenalex
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Soledad
[B]Naturally there shouldn't be a law enforcing politeness. That's ludicrous. Although, I did hear of a recent case in Michigan where a man was charged for swearing in front of women. Some old law or something.

ahh soledad... there was quite a bit more to the above mentioned case then just swearing in front of a woman in michigan. it's my understanding that the man fell out of a canoe, and began loudly cursing. when he was asked by the woman to stop swearing so loudly he bacame personally abusive and threatening in his speech. he was asked again to stop by an off duty police officer, and he continued. he was arrested at that point. and in true american fashion persued his case throught the courts. it was not a politeness issue, it was the threatening speech that was the issue.


JNA,

the facts don't count in that case;)

ramanth
04-03-2003, 01:41 PM
Originally posted by joycenalex

Originally posted by Soledad
[B]Naturally there shouldn't be a law enforcing politeness. That's ludicrous. Although, I did hear of a recent case in Michigan where a man was charged for swearing in front of women. Some old law or something.

ahh soledad... there was quite a bit more to the above mentioned case then just swearing in front of a woman in michigan. it's my understanding that the man fell out of a canoe, and began loudly cursing. when he was asked by the woman to stop swearing so loudly he bacame personally abusive and threatening in his speech. he was asked again to stop by an off duty police officer, and he continued. he was arrested at that point. and in true american fashion persued his case throught the courts. it was not a politeness issue, it was the threatening speech that was the issue.

And it wasn't just a woman, there were children with her. The woman asked him to stop swearing because of the children and he continued to cuss, only at her this time instead of the state of his earlier predicament (ie, falling out of the canoe)

joycenalex
04-03-2003, 08:09 PM
soledad, i've been thinking about would constitute free speech in a representative democracy or more technically a republic. free speech is speech that the government cannot censor. i can and have said that john ashcroft is a menace to civil liberties in this union. i can and have said i respected the first president bush, he at least served his country in the army airforce, while the current president learned to fly jets in the air guard during the vietnam war instead of serving in the regular military. i can and have said gov. taft is a spineless jellyfish that wouldn't recognize a good idea if it sat on his foot. there will be no brown shirts kicking in my doors, to haul me away to a secret trial for saying those things, the internal revenue service will not audit my taxes for the last 25 years because i've said those things, no one from the local criminal justice system will visit my boss and 'suggest' a job chance( oops change, sorry) cause i've said those things. there will be many others who will criticize me for my statements, and i don't give a fig what they say, and i don't really care if they call me names, they get that right of free speech too.being 'legal' and being 'right' are not always the same thing. i am honestly intrested in what you define free speech as,as this conversation has given me much to think about.