Debate and Discussion

Liberals ... Hypocritical when it comes to free speech?
Comicracy at 4:52PM, April 25, 2008
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Just a few points, arent true liberals supposed to be protectors of free speech, then why do we see so many liberals shouting down speakers in public forums when they give opposing viewpoints… for example the leader of the minutemen got shouted down when giving a speech at columbia university… this is just an example of the mindset of some of the extreme liberals of today. So really liberals are for free speech unless you disagree with them, once you disagree with them they shout you down and insult you personally. The nazis had a special group of individuals who would do the same thing in the 1930's they were known as the brown shirts. A lot of todays liberals would fit right in.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:44AM
SpANG at 5:04PM, April 25, 2008
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But it's okay for YOU to shout at and insult people personally, because you are a conservative?

Look, you make moronic, NON-FACTUAL, HISTORICALLY INACCURATE, un-educated posts. I'm no Einstein, but geez. You copy/paste conservative talking points like you just came from a Rush Limbaugh forum.

So, hey man. Talk all the stupid you want. It's not like anyone is listening to you. At least not here. Hell, you're even embarrassing the conservatives. ;)
“To a rational mind, nothing is inexplicable. Only unexplained.”
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:53PM
Kohdok at 5:54PM, April 25, 2008
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We didn't try to talk you down, we came up with counterpoints and confronted your arguement in an intelligent manner. The only reason we've gotten a little abrasive is because you have yet to stop being abrasive with us. But, the instant we mention something that might somewhat go against what you believe, no matter how much evidence we give you, we automatically become Nazi's.

This is why I don't like talking to the willingly ignorant. They never listen.

As for free speech, Our GOP president has made it so that you can't see him speak unless you sign a loyalty oath or else you are relegated to a “free speech zone” somewhere far away from the actual speechplace.

So who's suppressing free-speech, again?
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:20PM
bobhhh at 9:13PM, April 25, 2008
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Comicracy
Just a few points, arent true liberals supposed to be protectors of free speech, then why do we see so many liberals shouting down speakers in public forums when they give opposing viewpoints… for example the leader of the minutemen got shouted down when giving a speech at columbia university… this is just an example of the mindset of some of the extreme liberals of today. So really liberals are for free speech unless you disagree with them, once you disagree with them they shout you down and insult you personally. The nazis had a special group of individuals who would do the same thing in the 1930's they were known as the brown shirts. A lot of todays liberals would fit right in.

Sure you blame all liberals for a small crowd of shouters and I'll blame all conservatives for the jeering idiots at abortion clinics…deal?
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:30AM
bravo1102 at 9:49PM, April 25, 2008
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There are enthusiastic extremists on both sides of anything. For every Brown shirt you had a militant Red. They scream everyone else down because they're too bloody ignorant and afraid that if the opposition speaks they'll be shown up for the extremist moron they are.

Ever hear of the Jacobites in the French Revolution?
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bobhhh at 10:04PM, April 25, 2008
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bravo1102
There are enthusiastic extremists on both sides of anything. For every Brown shirt you had a militant Red. They scream everyone else down because they're too bloody ignorant and afraid that if the opposition speaks they'll be shown up for the extremist moron they are.

Word.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:30AM
Comicracy at 1:09AM, April 26, 2008
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Non Factual and historically inaccurate posts, and Im a moron, you have proven my point exactly. Im not saying its ok for either side, Im just saying a quintessential liberal is open to all opinions and doesnt call somone childish names when they disagree or stage a shout out, or smash a pie in someones face etc… Anything I have stated on here as far as I know is a fact, I may be slightly off on a few details but if I am wrong I admit it and I dont have any problem being corrected.
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Comicracy at 1:12AM, April 26, 2008
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Oh and Clinton wouldnt let vietnamn vets near his speeches so whats the difference.
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Hawk at 8:39AM, April 26, 2008
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There is plenty of room on this forum for people who think differently. In fact, sometimes I think we need more, if for no other reason that to have a proper counterpoint in our discussions. Unfortunately, there's a longstanding trend where if somebody thinks different from you, they're considered “stupid” or “ignorant”. The plain fact of the matter is that they just have different philosophies and you may not understand them until you crawl into their head and realize how it works.

You can say they're wrong, you can say you're right, but you can't say they're stupid for thinking differently than you do. As a matter of default, liberals aren't any more “correct” than conservatives, or vice versa. It's all about who outnumbers who, anymore. Now, you back up your opinions with proper facts and evidence, then you can be correct about specific issues.

Comicracy, I think that's what you need. Topics about Left, Right, Democrats, and Republicans just don't fly very well here. But when an actual issue is discussed, your opinion is entirely valid, if backed by solid reasoning or evidence.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:46PM
bobhhh at 2:55PM, April 26, 2008
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Comicracy
Non Factual and historically inaccurate posts, and Im a moron, you have proven my point exactly. Im not saying its ok for either side, Im just saying a quintessential liberal is open to all opinions and doesnt call somone childish names when they disagree or stage a shout out, or smash a pie in someones face etc… Anything I have stated on here as far as I know is a fact, I may be slightly off on a few details but if I am wrong I admit it and I dont have any problem being corrected.

I was just kidding but since you insist on pushing your point, I am a liberal and none of my friends or i would ever shout down a speaker because we love free speech. Are there some yahoos in our political wing? Sure. But you can't blame that wholesale on Liberal Ideology. Just like you can't blame all conservatives for the nuts who show up at the funeral of gay people and hoot the mourners with slogans like God Hates Fags, or the insensitive morons who hold up pictures of aborted foetuses to scare and harrass frightened teenage girls who are going through the most horrible experience of their life. Let's just face the fact that both of our ideologies contains its share of nuts and not imply there's a deeper significance.

And just what are you implying anyway?

You seem to be pointing out the irony of liberals saying they are supposed to ferverantly revere free speech and then thwart it when they don't like the message. Is this supposed to mean that since conservatives aren't such vocal champions of free speech, it's not so reprehensible when they thwart it because it's less ironic?

Pretty thin ice your skating on pal.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:30AM
bravo1102 at 7:13PM, April 26, 2008
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bobhhh
You seem to be pointing out the irony of liberals saying they are supposed to ferverantly revere free speech and then thwart it when they don't like the message. Is this supposed to mean that since conservatives aren't such vocal champions of free speech, it's not so reprehensible when they thwart it because it's less ironic?


Both liberals and conservatives proudly proclaim their support of free speech. Conservatives often wrap themselves up in the Bill of Rights and talk about how the liberals will label any one who speaks freely about certain subjects an -ist (sex-ist, race-ist, etc)

Conversely liberals will claim that conservatives do not allow different voices to be heard or that they ignore them.

So it cuts both ways.

When political thought gets extreme enough on the left and the right it circles back in on itself and the results are the same. (Stalin and Hitler)
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dueeast at 9:40PM, April 26, 2008
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Ironically, the discussion is taking place and I agree with Hawk, that's what's important. I am a social and political conservative but I am embarrassed of what the Republican party has become and whom they've put forward as their representative for the presidential election. I became disillusioned with President Bush like many conservatives, for many reasons. This places me in an interesting position here, politically.

While I don't particularly like the way Comicrazy is presenting himself, I do defend his free speech right to do just that. It's no secret that most posters on the forum tend to lean left politically, and sometimes that does make discussions very difficult. That's why I don't post more often. I don't mind a good discussion/debate but I'm not spoiling for any fights.

Regardless, we do have a very good group of people here in our community. That's why I'm proud to be a part of it. I know I can have a PQ with just about any of you, and I'd probably enjoy a cup of coffee in person, too. We're artists and we all have quirks. Some are political, some are personal, some are chemical (and I don't mean illegal drugs). We're all human and we can have a conversation…if we want to. B)
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Comicracy at 11:19PM, April 26, 2008
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Ok, I admit I do go to extremes when I compare liberals with Nazi's, of course I know it is a ridiculous notion to compare the two especially when the term liberal can cover such a broad group of people. I will try to be more pin-pointed when I make statements for now on that way I dont tick off everyone, just a few people.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:44AM
jmt at 7:05PM, May 4, 2008
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I have been trying to stay out of this, but I think I have something level headed to say.

For anyone interested in the subject I strongly recommend “Liberal Fascism, The Secret History of The Left From Mussolini to The Politics of Meaning” by Jonah Goldberg

Anyone after reading that book, with any intellectual honesty will re-evaluate his or her liberal bias. And might even shake up your world view a little.
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StaceyMontgomery at 9:49PM, May 4, 2008
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You know you're out of ideas when you use a term like “liberal fascist.” Fascism was a product of the right's excesses, just as Communism was a product of the left's. The goal here of course is to make it so that “anyone who doesn't agree with me is both a communist AND a fascist!” which is just kind of desperate - a sign that you think you are losing an argument, actually.

Generally, when someone tells you that one side is all good, and the other side is all evil, you can safely assume they are acting like a fool and you can ignore them.

When people have a real argument to make, they make it. When they do not, they just complain that the “other side” is made up of bad people. Of course, some people really think that way.

Rather like the original poster of this thread - who complained that “liberals shut down free speech” - but the only example given was that liberals “insult you personally.”

I think calling people “brownshirts” and “fascists” is covered under “personal insults” - don't you?

It is written that you should look to the beam in your own eyes.



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bravo1102 at 6:14AM, May 5, 2008
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Political leanings (left, right) circle back on each other.

I think that's the point. When you get too far it circles back. After all Stalin (left wing) did a lot of things that Hitler and Mussolini (right wing) felt necessary to do. Hitler and Mussolini practiced socialism which is a liberal idea.

So to an historian or political scientist it does make sense. Some of the greatest left-wingers were among the most repressive facists (The Jacobites in the French Revolution? Where the term left and right wing comes from? They were the ones who started the Terror and repressed free expression?)

You're talking semantics as opposed to historial precedent. Semantics becomes an excuse for politcal expedience and is so much hot air. Deeds speak louder than words.
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bobhhh at 9:43AM, May 5, 2008
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bravo1102
Political leanings (left, right) circle back on each other.

I think that's the point. When you get too far it circles back. After all Stalin (left wing) did a lot of things that Hitler and Mussolini (right wing) felt necessary to do. Hitler and Mussolini practiced socialism which is a liberal idea.

So to an historian or political scientist it does make sense. Some of the greatest left-wingers were among the most repressive facists (The Jacobites in the French Revolution? Where the term left and right wing comes from? They were the ones who started the Terror and repressed free expression?)

You're talking semantics as opposed to historial precedent. Semantics becomes an excuse for politcal expedience and is so much hot air. Deeds speak louder than words.

Acronyms aside, Hitler was not a socialist, he was a brutal imperialist dictator bent on world domination and ethnic purity.

Genocide is not a socialist imperative.

Even Stalin was not a true Socialist, he was a gangster in Socialist clothing.

People throw around these terms without respecting the gravity of their meaning.

Let's be reasonable. If you are going to make a point that liberals can be hypocritical, then stick to it. Don't muddy your argument by trying to inflame passions with invocations of Fascism.

Stupid shouting hippies never herded people on to trains for the gas chambers, they just smoked a few too many joints.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:30AM
bravo1102 at 11:26AM, May 5, 2008
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Genocide was a social imperative. Sorry.

Stalin was a socialist and his programs were pointed at socialist ends. To say he was a gangster is to ignore why he was doing what he did as opposed to how he did it. Nationialization of agriculture and industry is socialist. The horrors of the famines and the brutalization of the Five-year-plans and cultural displacement were the means to socialist ends. The peasants were already living in purely communistic communities, but the Soviet government's collectivization was socialist.

The impletation of Socialism often leads to repression. An extremely repressive society is often considered fascist. Socialists can wrap themselves up in the flag and put on para-military uniforms just as well as right-wingers. (Again Jacobites and the Terror, they had a cool song and the uniform of the Paris National Guard and the tricolor. They also nationialized industry and society and were anti-communist (those on the left of them who were also beheaded)
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StaceyMontgomery at 12:26PM, May 5, 2008
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I'm with you for a lot of what you said - Stalin was not just a gangster, he was a communist gangster, and the communist doctrine of class warfare is a bad thing that leads to terrible evil - just as the fascist doctrine of racist nationalism does.

but earlier you said:

bravo1102
Hitler and Mussolini practiced socialism which is a liberal idea.

And I think that's too easy. Hitler practiced fascism: Total centralization of power under a dictator that included very tight controls over every aspect of culture and the economy.

You see, Communism and Fascism both tend to lead to total authoritarianism - and so it all ends up looking the same, whether it's flavored with the left or the right.

The left likes class warfare, the right loves race warfare. The left is ready to fight injustice - the right is ready to fight crime. The left loves the nannystate, the right loves the daddystate.

I often get called a leftist because I fear the nannystate slightly less than I fear the daddystate - but that's natural for a queer person - the right hates me more than the left hates me. But no matter how you slice it, the nannystate and the daddystate are both terrible ideas, government brought to crazy extremes.

It's always easier to think that the “other” is bad and you are good, and so we get people on the right who really think that the left always leads to communism - just as the people on the left think that the right always leads to fascism. But the real fear here is authoritarianism - and the right and the left are both tempted to go there, for their own reasons.

The truth is, people are just using other people's excesses to justify their own. Sometimes, you just have to stand up FOR what you believe, as opposed to standing AGAINST the things that you dislike.

Because you get more done that way.
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dueeast at 1:27PM, May 5, 2008
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Absolutely, Stacey. I agree with that entirely. B)

StaceyMontgomery
Sometimes, you just have to stand up FOR what you believe, as opposed to standing AGAINST the things that you dislike.

Because you get more done that way.
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bobhhh at 3:07PM, May 5, 2008
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First of all Joe was not a real Communist. Stalin was never disposed to give up his centralized power structure. Soviet “Communism” was a classic con job. Even the name of the country was an admission of this: the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

But I still think the fact that Stalin was a Gangster goes far more towards his character than being a socialist.

True socialists believe in people's needs over gorvernment's agenda. Did he use socialsm as a justification to attain and hold power, yes but he could have folllowed the model of Europe and ran his socialist experiment less ruthlessly and abridged feedoms we take for granted less systemically.

To equate socialism with what Stalin practiced is to equate responsible family hunters with psychotic ak47 wielding snipers. It is an insult to the real Socialist governmets out there.
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bobhhh at 3:10PM, May 5, 2008
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bravo1102
Genocide was a social imperative. Sorry.

I can't tell what you mean by this. It could be sincere or a sarcastic snide remark.
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bobhhh at 3:17PM, May 5, 2008
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bravo1102
To say he was a gangster is to ignore why he was doing what he did as opposed to how he did it. Nationialization of agriculture and industry is socialist. The horrors of the famines and the brutalization of the Five-year-plans and cultural displacement were the means to socialist ends. The peasants were already living in purely communistic communities, but the Soviet government's collectivization was socialist.

It would have been if he returned this wealth to his people instead of amassing it amongst his gangster buddies. You have to understand about the black market and the ruling class in Russia. They did a masterful job characterizing themselves as servants of the people, all the comrade jazz, but it was clear who you kept secrets from and who lived lives of privelige and wielded unchecked power. To say Stalin perpetrated all that with a tear in his eye because his true motivation was the needs of the people is going just a little too far to prove your point.

If it looks like a hoodlum and quacks like a hoodlum, then I would hesitate to call it a socialist, even if it's wearing a name tag to that effect.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:30AM
Comicracy at 11:00PM, May 5, 2008
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I see this topic has grown since I first posted. What my point is that liberals are supposed to be more of the type who express free speach and acceptance of all points of view, at least thats how they where back in the day… a famous liberal quote is “ I may hate what you have to say but I will defend it to the grave for you to say it” or something along those lines. Not all but many of todays liberals have taken on a different tone, which I believe is “I hate what you have to say and I am going to label you as a racist, sexist, homophobe, xenophobe and try to destroy your career and personal life in doing so.” That to be is being a facist towards free speech.
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bobhhh at 11:36PM, May 5, 2008
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Comicracy
I see this topic has grown since I first posted. What my point is that liberals are supposed to be more of the type who express free speach and acceptance of all points of view, at least thats how they where back in the day… a famous liberal quote is “ may hate what you have to say but I will defend it to the grave for you to say it” or something along those lines. Not all but many of todays liberals have taken on a different tone, which I believe is “I hate what you have to say and I am going to label you as a racist, sexist, homophobe, xenophobe and try to destroy your career and personal life in doing so.” That to be is being a facist towards free speech.

I would quibble with “not all but many”. I think only a vocal few are the loud hypocrites you speak of.

I think most of the liberals I know would agree with the phrase you reference, in bold above. You are also free to judge people and label them a racist, sexist, homophobe or a xenophobe, but that isn't censorship, that's just more free speech in action. I may not invite you round for a barbecue, but I will defend your right to embarrass yourself publicly, without recrmination to the death.

Free speech is for everyone or it is meaningless. Anyone who doesn't think so is not really a liberal.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:30AM
bravo1102 at 5:41AM, May 6, 2008
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bobhhh
bravo1102
Genocide was a social imperative. Sorry.

I can't tell what you mean by this. It could be sincere or a sarcastic snide remark.

Something I hate about the internet. It's an admission of my being in error. :) (I'm thick-headed, irreverent and stubborn)

Just like I keep typing Jacobite for Jacobin I've been reading a lot about Scotland lately.

As for Stalin, the black market and semi-organized crime goes back in Russian culture a long time (try Alexander I) IT was always necessary to buy and sell under the table to avoid the Tsarist tax-collector. Clothes would be changed and all wealth sent out of the village just before the government people came to the village. It didn't change until the village was destroyed by industrialization, the military state and then collectivization.

I really don't recall any socialist governments where the leadership gives up their goods for the “good of the people” That is against human nature. Even a purely communist culture like Cambodia still had the leaders amassing wealth. Socialism as you envision it is the abstract taught in poli-sci and doesn't represent socialism in practice, which does include the Soviet Union under Stalin. Like many historians, I don't agree with Poli Sci types as I look at the the government in practice and define it that way as opposed to the abstract textbook definition. That nametag is important to how I approach a culture as it represents their view of themselves.

Stalin was headed towards a socialist ideal. Russian culture set him up as a figure similar to a tsar as the cult of personality is central to the Russian thought process.

But we're off topic, but I really appreciated this opportunity. :)
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bravo1102 at 5:44AM, May 6, 2008
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bobhhh
Free speech is for everyone or it is meaningless. Anyone who doesn't think so is not really a liberal.

Perfectly put. They are trying to stifle dissent, which is not liberal. Labeling someone with whom you disagree is one of them errors in logic and debate, even if it is fun. !lol
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StaceyMontgomery at 5:46AM, May 6, 2008
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Comicracy, It is certainly true that there are liberals who do act the way you describe - but in the age of Bill OReilly and Rush Limbaugh and Ann “traitors” Coulter and the “you are either with us or against us” President it seems almost totally dishonest for you to single out liberals and not mention conservatives for the same sin. Especially since you yourself happily engage in the sort of personal attacks and name-calling you seem to despise in others.

Also, calling people “fascist” in this context is a terrible misuse of the word. Personally, I find it insulting to the millions who have suffered and died under Fascism, and those who have sacrificed to fight it.

Even worse, your posts imply that conservatives do not care about free speech, which perhaps tells more about your feelings on the topic than of conservatives in general.

The good news is that despite your rather empty complaints, you are actually quite free to speak your mind. The bad news is that you have not yet found anything to say.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
plas at 12:20PM, May 7, 2008
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I think its really difficult to define free speech, especially in the politically correct world we live in. The question is where does one draw the line? Its obviously okay for one to state their opinions, but what about when their opinions are horribly offensive and unfounded. I hate using this argument (godwin's law…) but Hitler and the Nazi's exercised free speech when they distributed hate propoganda, and I don't think there is a single person who would say that was a good thing… Its a very difficult question, and it seems sometimes like it has to be either everything or nothing. Either you can say whatever you want, or you can't say anything offensive. If you go the route where anything offensive is not allowed, tho, then you have to consider everyones sensibilities and draw concrete lines somewhere. I have no idea where I would draw the line, though I have to say I'm leaning towards just allowing everything, because the alternative would be far too difficult to manage.

Oh and the quote was “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it.” -Voltaire

and another choice one from Noam Chompsky, just cause he's awesome: “If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all.”

And Comicracy, as for your belief that your freedom of speech has been stifled, well I don't think it really has. Its not as if you've been banned from posting or people have gone about editing your posts, people are just debating your arguments, which is as much a part of free speech as stating things in the first place. If we get rid of debate, then we start entering very dangerous territory.
I has no picture :(
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bravo1102 at 1:59PM, May 7, 2008
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plas
but Hitler and the Nazi's exercised free speech when they distributed hate propoganda, and I don't think there is a single person who would say that was a good thing…

Two words: brown shirts (Sturm Abteilung or SA) When Nazism started under the Weimar republic (before 1933) if the Nazis were distributing their propaganda and you tried to disagree, the SA would shout you down and beat you up.

After the Nazis took power by 1936 they had set up a wonderful place for you to go if you disagreed. Daachu. But most saw no reason to disagree as the Nazis promised opportunity, security and plenty. With their extreme nationialism (Germany was a brand new nation but with a very strong ethnic identity) and re-arming they cured the economy. And they gave people a scapegoat to blame for everything that was wrong.

The German people as a whole only really began to grumble after 1944 when defeat began to stare them in the face. Even day and night bombing didn't break them, only increased their support of Hitler (US Bombing survey)

Extreme members of any group have a tendency to shout down or shut up their opponents. An extremist is usually convinced beyond all logical argument that they are possessed of the only correct opinion. Therefore no debate is necessary or to be tolerated. The philosphes (like Voltaire) often learned that the hard way. (Irony about Voltaire, one of his strongest supporters was an absolutist dictatorial fascist (though the term hadn't been coined yet) Frederick of Prussia)

Then a bunch of guys in Philadelphia set up a government that epitomised the ideals of the philosphes and the Enlightenment and they were wise enough to set up a system where that government could be changed and adjusted. The first adjustments were the Bill of Rights.

In the USA the government cannot shout you down or shut you up. Whether you keep quiet is up to you (unless you're inciting to riot) The permits required for meetings and speeches are to provide safety and order for the people expressing themselves (Nazis in Skokie?)
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:32AM

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