Where do we draw the line between free speech and not-so-free, in fact, rather expensive speech? The determining factors become muddled pretty quick. For example; free speech can get quite expensive, say, when one attempts to purchase point-of-view on national legislation, an elected official or plain old commerical time on national television. Expensive speech, on the other hand, although costing very little initially - like spewing your angry, prejudicial, hateful reactions-turned-explitives the second they come to mind - can wind up costing a bundle, including a 10-year jail term and 750,000 in fines, especially if those prejudices are aimed at the infallible policies of the U.S. government. Take a recent headline from Democracy Now
Christian Peace Group Charged Over Gitmo Vigil Obviously enough, concerned citizens can take things too seriously and step over that line.
Another case in point, although the results are slightly different. Saturday, in Orlando, a motley crew of concerned citizens gathered to protest what their spokesman called
"crime in Orlando", urging
"White People" to "Unite." About 300 law enforcement officers, including K-9 units and officers on horses, patrolled Saturday's rally, at no small cost one can imagine. What was all the fuss about? These hardy fellows were after all members of the benign sounding National Socialist Party. Why did they need so many police to protect them from the disturbed crowds who gathered to yell and throw things at them? We soon read that 17 arrests were made
...including 14 members of out-of-town groups such as the Skinheads Against Racial Prejudices and the Southeastern Anarchist Network. Not one of those arrested were National Socialists.
All faced charges including disorderly conduct, battery on a law enforcement officer and wearing a mask. Wearing a mask? I guess those folks over at Mardi Gras are in for a surprise.
Why is it that people want so desperately for other people to say the same thing, to think the same thing, to be a member of a simliar organization? Why are people driven to act is such outrageous ways, incited merely by words and images? Are they not the brainwashed idols of a cruel and implacable Fetish?
"Yes, indeed, I was a slave, but if I too become vicious I cease to be a slave, despite my shackled feet and my mute mouth."
Albert Camus - The Renegade
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