Insomnia Log

This is what keeps me awake at night???

Who needs sleep? (well you’re never gonna get it)
Who needs sleep? (tell me what’s that for)
Who needs sleep? (be happy with what you’re getting,
There’s a guy who’s been awake since the second world war)

-- words and music by Steven Page & Ed Robertson

Location: Boulder, Colorado, United States

Everything you need to know about me can be found in my posts

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Free Speech Means Just That

A couple of recent incidents in Boulder illustrate just how fragile free speech guarantees are.

Seth Brigham, local activist, was first interrupted and then arrested when it appeared he was about to criticize a couple of council members during the public participation portion of a city council meeting. Fortunately, the charges were dropped, and council apologized. But there are still some on council who think the actions against Seth were legitimate. Council needs to immediately change the rules so that complaining about a particular council member during public participation is not against public policy.

Second, the local Catholic school told the lesbian parents of two students that they would not be allowed to re-enroll the children because of their homosexual relationship. Many in the community have taken the church to task for this decision.

Some have accused the complainers of being "intolerant". (Never mind that these people are themselves being intolerant of the complainers.) Since when has the right to free speech been limited to things that don't hurt someone's feelings?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm surprised there haven't been any comments on this. The First Amendment is one of the best tools we have for exposing hypocrisy as your example shows. There are, of course, many others.

How many times have speakers at CU been shouted down by people who view their disruption as an exercise of their own speech rights while remaining oblivious to the fact that they have essentially censored the speaker?

How many people are okay with racist rants, but want laws against burning the flag?

It's also funny to me how many people are under the mistaken believe that exercising speech should carry no penalty of any kind. The freedoms recognized by the First Amendment only protect the speaker from government sanction. An employer who doesn't like what you say can still fire you, a spouse who doesn't like what you say can still divorce you, a dog who disagrees with your speech may run away, and fans who disagree with your speech may stop buying your albums.


Tue Jun 29, 10:23:00 AM  

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