Monday, March 17, 2008

You Can't Say That!

I've been listening recently to a lot of people saying a lot of things. And while here in the blogosphere anything that can be said will be said (no matter how stupid (Ron Paulistas)), our public discourse is riddled with ways we are censored or silenced.

First, let's talk about government censorship. From McCain-Feingold to the FCC, there are too many things that limit our ability to say things by law. I've already bitched about the default candidate's rape of political speech, so let's have our way with the FCC. This is an organization that is charged with deciding what can't be said on the airwaves. They have control over broadcast radio and television, including licensing powers and the ability to levy fines. From millions for one TIVO'd second of Janet Jackson's tit to radio shows being dropped or changed, the idea of a government agency deciding what can and can't be put on is antithetical to the First Amendment, although I will freely admit that the founding fathers weren't thinking about wardrobe malfunctions. And I would be remiss if I didn't reference myself or George Carlin, or myself again, in this paragraph.

Then comes the more insidious assault on the first amendment: things you "can't" say. You can't talk about the effect of Obama's race on his candidacy without being called a racist. You can't say anything about Hillary without being sexist. Anything you say about anyone who is different than you has an ism attached to it. And any time someone says something questionable, it's time to throw them overboard.

I don't include true hate speech in this, as there is a difference. No one needs people who continue to spew hate. For clarification, the hate mongers have the right to vomit out their shit.

And if you're wondering the difference, Geraldine Ferraro is a victim of overreaction for her admittedly tactless comment. Jeremiah Wright and John Hagee are examples of verbal vomit.

Finally, there's another category of speech attacks: the Ron Paulistas. This is a bunch of militant morons who huddle in their parents' basements, drinking their brand of Kool-Aid and unleashing esoteric cut-and-paste attacks on any website that questions the sanity or motives of their idol, the Martian among failed candidates, Ron Paul. I'd paste an example, but my page would be filled with their invectives and wacky misinterpretation of the Constitution (trust my, I have my pocket Constitution from the Heritage Foundation right here) and would thereby be rendered wholly unreadable.

So unless it is a clearly vile thing someone is saying, respect their right to say it, challenge it with logical facts, and quit being a whiny little bitch.


Mike's America said...

I'm dealing with this in a similar vein on the local level. My resident's association Board is attempting to push a plan for a massive 29% increase in fees down the throats of residents. They are spending thousands of our dollars in mailings, presentations and meetings trying to convince us this idiotic scheme is a good idea. And they have blocked every avenue of equal time or access to residents that any opposing voices might wish to use.

They even shut down a message board that the community runs on some flimsy excuse.

Any opposition voiced at meetings is shouted down and said to be "divisive."

If this wasn't such a Republican area I'd say these people were all Democrats... or Stalinists!

Patrick M said...

I'd suggest shouting back, but then you'd be just as bad as them. I'd suggest raising some funds, and do a lot of mailing. They can tear down signs. Even better, organize a march and sell the local papers on covering the story. There's my 2 cents for your problems, although you have probably figgered this out already.

Republicans can be Stalinists too. That's why I'm a conservative first and a Republican by default.

But that reminds me of something I forgot: Shouting down people. Moonbat libs in particular have taken to interrupting people by shouting stupid shit (9/11 conspiracy, war criminal Bush) until they're either removed or force the speaker off. Hell, they're even doing it to fellow liberals.

Free speech is about talking your opponents down, not drowning them out.

Toad734 said...

The founding fathers also never envisioned "arms" which could fire 1000 armor piercing rounds per minute yet we still have people who take the 2nd Amendment to a literal level. Or, that slaves would be counted as real people for that matter.

Anyway, I think you can talk about Obamas race just like all the other Presidents before him which would have never found themselves in their positions if they hadn't been white. I happen to agree with Ferraro on that to a degree. It of course isn't the only reason he's a viable candidate becaue other black candidates have come and gone yet were never taken serious. Maybe someone on the Clinton campaign shouldn't have said what she said because let's be honest, Clinton wouldn't be doing so well with the female vote if she weren't a woman.

Although I disagree with government censorship I disagree with private censorship (clear channel) just as much. Of course the list of things you can't say on TV are ridiculous. Ferraro's comments weren't censored from TV so I guess I'm asking, whats your point?

Patrick M said...

What does the second amendment have to do with what I'm talking about?

But since I might have been unclear, here's the short version:

1. Limiting speech is bad.

2. Shouting people down to limit their speech is bad.

3. Holding people accountable for their speech is fine.

Trying to confuse the issue by bringing up things that aren't the point of this post is just annoying. (part of point 3)

Hope that makes it clear.