FTAA Redux

There's a story in the paper this morning about the various groups that are planning to sue the Miami police over civil rights violations during the FTAA.

I'd like to refresh everyone's memories, if I might, about what a true violation of civil rights by military or civilian forces looks like.

Kent State victim, 1971

or maybe


That, my friends, is silencing dissent.

When you take to the streets to protest, you must understand the covenant that you are undertaking. Yes, it is your right to go in the streets, but it is the right of the government to keep you from rioting. In Kent State, the National Guard fired live rounds. In Miami, there was bruising from rubber bullets.

According to the protesters themselves, they were wearing black masks. You cannot wear a mask in a mob protest rally and expect there to be no repercussions. Think for a minute, son. If the police were in riot gear (which they were), masked and anonymous (which they were) would you feel safe, or like this was a confrontation doomed to end badly? Well, those guys behind the shields felt exactly the same about you. Masked, anonymous, and clearly up to mischief.

While I'm on the subject of rights, I'd like to revisit the Constitution of the United States. I've been reading it, and reading it, and I have yet to find the right to not be offended. In fact, as best as I can tell, that whole first amendment thing is pretty much the right TO BE offended. As in, I don't like what you say, I don't like what you stand for, but under the laws of this country, you can say and think pretty damn near anything you want, and it is everyone else's obligation to ignore you or agree as they see fit.

This is how that works, for those of you new to the whole concept: I say, for example that I think George W. Bush has the intellect of a shoe. You are free to agree, or to disagree. If you agree, you keep reading my blog. If you disagree, you send me e-mail calling me names. Or if you are the FBI, you open my dissident folder and start keeping track of all the times I say Dubya is a self-serving moron. Either way, though, I have the right to my opinion.

You do not have the right to silence my opinion because it offends you. I'm offended by plenty of stuff, as readers of my blog are well aware. Occasionally, I let the offender know that I am offended. But usually, I just bitch about it here, to my own amusement, and presumably, yours.

That's the bottom line of the first amendment, you see: Everyone has the right to their opinion, and the right to express that opinion. Nobody has the right to prevent you from expressing your opinion.

In theory, at any rate. I can ban your comments, because this is my private, personal press, and I don't have to let you blither if I don't want to. The Miami Herald can choose not to print some lunatic's single-brain-celled screed about making English the exclusive and mandatory language for all visitors to this community. Not because they wish to silence a dissenting opinion (that multi culturalism is bad), but because such letters are usually written in crayon and with no sense of grammar or literary elan. You can find me such a bleeding heart liberal pinko retard that you develop a tic every time you read me, and so choose not to read this blog, or even block it from your personal computer.

The one thing an individual in this republic cannot do, is prevent another individual's voice from being heard. Otherwise, believe me, I would prevent Rush Limbaugh from ever being heard on the radio again. It is not my job, nor my right, to silence him.

The only way offensive viewpoints can be made to disappear is to not listen to them. If everyone would quit buying Madonna's albums, eventually she would have to stop making them. Look at how well that worked in the case of her remake of "Swept Away." It stunk. Nobody went to the movies to see it. It never even made it to video. Now she's having a hard time getting roles.

Censorship doesn't work. Ignoring what offends you works better.
Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/08 at 01:29 PM in What the Fuck is Wrong With You People Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/08 at 01:29 PM in Yellow Dog Politics

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