Home / You Have Freedom of Speech in America – As Long as You Don’t Use It

You Have Freedom of Speech in America – As Long as You Don’t Use It

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One of the most interesting paradoxes of the Soviet Union under Josef Stalin was their 1936 constitution promised the Russian people even more rights than the U.S. Constitution does Americans. The only dilemma for the average Soviet citizen was that they were expected to be "responsible" about how their freedoms were exercised. The Communist Party itself determined what constituted "responsibility".

It is little different in the United States today under the GOP PolitBush.

While right wing extremists can make the most outrageous claims imaginable about their opponents, the reverse is not also true. Limbaugh can "enrage liberals" while those opposed to Bush "invading [Muslim] countries, killing their leaders and converting them to Christianity", Ann Coulter can declare to be "traitors" with impunity.

These right wing radicals can also espouse domestic terrorism, as with Coulter in specific wishing Tim McVeigh had targeted the New York Times rather than the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City — a desire echoed in John Bolton's assertion the UN could still function "without the top ten floors". The UN is a very favorite target of the supporters of the Bush Terror War for Oil, with Bill O'Reilly complaining that Katrina should have flooded the UN instead of New Orleans.

And Limbaugh has the nerve to assert that the Democrats are haters?

It isn't just radical Republican professional media assets who do this. Let's try taking a look at this clown. Described as "good Christian" by one of his defenders, he wrote a post back in 2003 about terrorists killing Democratic senators in order to eliminate the opposition to George W. Bush's choices for the Supreme Court.

One has to wonder if the GOP tea kettles aren't calling the pot black, such as when Coulter asserts that liberalism and terrorism are different stages of the same disease. Such projection would be an indicative sign that one might instead make that connection between terrorism and right wing radicals.

It is still going on.

I was alerted to this piece by email concerning Time Warner executives cancelling Showtime At The Apollo because they didn't like the jokes comic Paul Mooney, the host of the episode, was telling about Bush and his family.

You can read the jokes at the linked page.

Mooney had this to say about the incident:

"[E]ver since 9/11, we lost all our rights. [The Bush Administration are] practicing on the minorities, but when they get good at it they"re going to do it to the white folks."

According to the linked post, Mooney was subbing for regular Showtime hostess Whoopi Goldberg, who went through a similar experience after relating Bush the leader with a slang connotation at a Kerry-Edwards fundraiser. Due to Republican outrage — something never equalled if the perpetrator is a radical right winger like Coulter or Limbaugh — Goldberg lost her gig as Slim-Fast's advertising celebrity representative.

When Goldberg heard about the cancellation, she reportedly called Mooney and said, "Welcome to the club."

The moral to this sordid tale, hardly to be noticed with the Foley Affair dominating the media's attention, is when it comes to vocal extremism and calls for violent suppression of free speech rights, It's Okay If You're A Republican.

For the rest of us, especially if we oppose the agenda of the Bush wing of the Republican Party, it's "Rights? You got no rights! You don't need no stinkin' rights!"

I'm done with what I have to say on this topic. Agree or not, you now have the right to have your say.

Use it — while you still can.

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About pessimist

  • Truth

    There is no free speech in America.

  • Aaron

    Scout, you missed Kosovo also which was as bad as WMD Iraq supporting a terrorist group the CIA had called a year earlier the ‘largest and best armed terrorist organization in teh world’, which we armed by the way.

    Say what you will about Bush (and Ill probably agree with most of it) but under Clinton we allowed for tens of thousands of muhajeddins free reign in the balkans. We allowed Bin Laden free access to Bosnia and Kosovo. We allowed landing strips for Iranian arms. We allowed through our actions the creation of 2 muslim terror camps (by the same two ethnic groups which in WW2 formed the SS troops Skallenberg and Handzar which you can se e in old archives been visited by the grand mufti of Jerusalem as well as SS officers) which through the years have been tied in with 911 (with a dozen resting in Gitmo), with the madrid bombing (the morrocan captured was in transit from Bosnia) as well as the last three al quaeda leaders in S.Arabia having been bosnian holy war veterans. The last one (they dont have long shelf life) arrived with his bosnian passport and wife.

    Like I said, I agree with most of what is reasonably said about Bush. We all know what afghanistan and Iraq are all about. (Sudan is a little harder since China has invested HEAVILY in the oil industry there. Hence the slow beating of the drums through the media.)
    We know who controls this country, we’ve known since Eisenhower told us half a century ago. (which should be in the top 3 of every top 10 TV moments list)

    Yet we still act as if there is some differences between both parties.
    I still have good friends who try to convince me that Al Gore who was right dab in the middle of their negotiations with INTERPOL wanted albanian drug dealers in 1999 is the Dalai Lama?
    That the man 2nd in charge for the 2-3 billion Plan Colombia is an environmentalist?
    I guess the three straight month of DU filled bombing in Kosovo as well as in Bosnia makes him grandmother earth?

    Thats what great PR does for you. You can protect our oil interests in Columbia and still have the balls to call our the republicans for doing the same thing. Hell, we have our news agencies asking Gen. Wesley Clark to tell us about terrorism and drug trades and the guy was knee deep with the KLA drug lords who control 3/4 of europes heroin trade. Only thing that tops that is the last democratic convention when albanian terrorists came to give thanks to the party who allowed the creation of a wild west frontier zone.
    Good PR makes all this crap go away because the media will only back if it serves their purpose.

    So crap to your hearts content on Bush but dont sell us your crap about the democrats being better.
    They play the same game with the same power brokers. That’s HOW democracy is made in western democracies.

    Hell, we have openly overthrow 4 governments in the eastern bloc (we missed twice with Belarussia) with our CIA psy-ops working with ‘freedom’ movements in the past decade as well as worked indirectly in dozens of others, why should we be surprised that we are doing in our own country something we perfect on others?

    Who would tell us?

  • Nancy

    BTW – wotth’hell are so many BCers doing awake at this time of night? I thought I was the only one who couldn’t sleep….

  • Nancy

    Hey, I have trouble expressing my feelings ’cause I’m shy, you know that.;)

  • Clavos

    Yeah, Nancy. When did that happen? Did I miss something??

  • “I loathe BushCo & the Bush-Cheney-Rove cabal so much”

    You DO?

  • Nancy

    Donnie, I’m also an Independent (formerly GOP) who’s been voting Dem recently only because I loathe BushCo & the Bush-Cheney-Rove cabal so much as being utterly antithetical to everything the traditional GOP stands for. Surely there are none so bitter & angry as those who feel their party has been debased, perverted, and stolen by a pack of liars & power-mad, bloody-minded, cowardly maniacs totally lacking in honor, ethics, or any administrative ability whatsoever. Those erstwhile GOPers like myself hate Bush are more than any Dem ever did or could.

  • In outer space you have freedom of speech, though no one can hear you whine.

  • Forgive me if I snicker a bit here, but this article is proof that free speech is alive and well in America.

    Even if we disagree, Realist, I want to thank you for your many articles to Blogcritics. They always bring out those who like to debate and that’s a good thing — on many levels.

  • is this third grade? just because someone says something doesn’t make them right…just because someone doesn’t say something doesn’t make them oppressed…

    speak up if you have something to say, remembering that freedom of speech does not necessarily come without consequence…is that the issue? that we don’t have freedom of speech without consequence? grow up…

    someone is very likely to disagree with what you say in the course of your using your freedom of speech…so what?

    ann can open her mouth and float hot air balloons all day…bushco can label me unpatriotic all the way through my husband’s next deployment…so what?

    nothing will change my affiliation and beliefs but me, my perceptions, my understandings and my experiences…

    the “blah, blah, blah” of those who would save every last terrorist on the backs of whales or who differ from terrorists only in the subtlety of their actions mean nothing in the long haul…

    let the spineless sheep follow who they may…they follow the path of demise…the rest of us, eventually, won’t have to deal with them…

    the united states military is the only organized structure in the world that provides for the instantaneous shift of authority from one rank to the next lower rank in the event that the highest ranking person is no longer available…

    while the united states government has such a structure, bush has done everything in his power to sign it away to the point that it no longer, for all intent and purposes, exists…in this, what happens if he or someone in that line of power is killed or dies or resigns or does something so horrific that even the sheep can’t stand it?

    thousands of sheep, who followed bush because of any one of his power cronies, will get lost…with each resignation, death, and horrific act, thousands more sheep get lost until there are no more sheep…and what do wolves do when there are no more sheep? they turn on each other…

    can’t wait for that show…

  • Clavos

    Well, Realist, your article’s still there for anyone to read, so I guess you’re either a Republican or the “censorship” is not as pervasive as you allege.

    In some places I’ve lived (which really did have repression and censorship), not only would your article have been removed by now, you would have been “disappeared” as well.

  • scout

    hey pess, for a second, when I read the comments, I thought THE Rove might actually wrote something. I was getting ready to do some heavy thinking…but stopped when I went to his web site.

    Damn, it’s not the Rove!

    Still, this place is looking better and better.

    later and have a good weekend. And thanks for writing; you get me thinking about stuff that I almost forget.

  • scout

    Pess, your point must be viewed with several layers of understanding. Please let me expound; well, perhaps not expound, since I don’t know anyone here. I’ll just point out a couple notions.

    First, the Republicans, and us Dems, just love our politics. We use politics to shape our perception. Ike illegally killed off thousands of German POW’s, because of politics. Johnson killed off several US Navy personnel because of politics, (USS Liberty). Don’t forget Johnson’s Gulf of Tonkin crap and his Vietnam disaster; Clinton’s Bosnia; Carter’s E. Timor; Reagan’s Grenada, Panama, Iran/Contra, Nicaragua, ad nauseam; big Bush’s involvement with JFK killing, his first Gulf pillage; little Bush’s, well you get the point.

    Now, there is no way little Bush would have been able to do the Afghan and Iraq and soon Iran pillage unless he was able to orchestrate 9/11.

    The WTC 1, 2, and 7 went down with demolition. This was the modern Haymarket affair.

    It’s not rocket science to figure out why the power elite do what they do. All we have to follow is the money trail. What else is new?

    So, talk bad about the power elite? They’ll just pull out the patriot card. If you get enough people to believe your lies, you get away with murder, and the murder of hundreds of thousands and people just turn a blind eye.

    Any you just wanted to talk about someone hurting your feelings? Really.

  • Donnie Marler

    From everyone! Someday, my fingers will keep up with my head.

  • Donnie Marler

    Well said, Lee. I miss traditional principles of, at least feigned, civility in political discourse.
    Certainly, there’s a great deal of room for improvement fror everyone involved in our political spectrums these days.

  • Donnie: Fact–Bush issues signing statements almost weekly declaring he will not follow the letter and intent of the laws if he chooses not to. What could be plainer than that? BTW, you assume we’re all left of center, or Democrats. I’m an independent, who greatly admires the TRADITIONAL conservative principles(unlike Bush & the neocons who have violated every single conservative ideal multiple times), and have worked in the campaigns of Republican senator John Warner.

  • Donnie Marler

    Is there no place for reasonable debate anymore? I’d be very much interested in reading a considered viewpoint from the left that does not contain the words dictator, fascist, BushCo, war for global oil, or any other buzzwords of inanity, but instead relies on factual statements to make their point!

    I’m not trying to pick at you, folks. I just find it hard to give serious weight to your argument when you’re ranting and raving about dictatorships being declared in America before the next election.

    I’m usually a fairly conservative person and I wouldn’t accept that any more than you would. Neither would anyone else I know.

    I certainly don’t find myself in lockstep with the Bush administration on many issues. That doesn’t mean I consider him the Anti-Christ. I believe the Democrats are hurting their chances for the swing voters with such hyperbole.

  • Bush has ALREADY openly declared himself a de facto dictator in dozens of instances by his “signing statements”, declaring the laws Congress has passed mean only what HE–and no one else–says they mean, and he isn’t bound by any provisions he doesn’t like. So, are any of our constitutional rights secure? Don’t bet the farm they are.

  • Nancy

    When businesses normally wouldn’t give a rat’s ass what their rep says when not actively representing them, and dismiss that rep solely because BushCo sends word that they’re to be added to the Enemies List, a la Joseph McCarthy, then repression of free speech IS being committed by BushCo against the individual/rep, as well as blackmail against the business. I have no doubt that BushCo’s order came in the format of “you drop so-&-so or we’ll set the IRS on you”; Bush has done it before with other businesses which have been critical. This is also known as Abuse of Power, in case you’re interested, Dave. It’s the kind of fascist shit Hitler used to pull, and Stalin, and Lenin, and Franco, and every other stinking and hell-bound dictator who ever lived. And now the president of the US in indulging. The last one who did this was Nixon. Dubya has several times declared his wish that his position were that of dictator instead of president. This is the behavior commensurate with what I’d expect from someone who plans to suspend the elections & declare himself president for life due to some contrived “wartime” emergency of his own making.

    In any event, it most certainly is blacklisting, and it most certainly is repression, and it most certainly is blackmail & McCarthyism, and everybody knows it except BushCo’s suckup apologists.

  • So let me get this straight, in defense of a mythical version of freedom of speech you want to take away the right of businesses to determine how people they hire represent them to the public?

    Well, that seems like a headlong leap into oppression.


  • Please learn what Freedom of Speech is. Hint: It has to do with government action, not the action of private people who are tired of pontificating blowhards who play make-believe professionally and decide that makes them the most capable people on the planet to discuss politics.