Random ramblings of a mind damaged by years of disuse and abuse. Also a place to go to be bored to tears.
The Random Cartoon
Words to live by...
"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."
(The right to looseness has been officially given)
By the way... there's a crossword at the bottom of this page
Monday, July 4, 2011
We have the right, I say!
This is Independence Day here in the United States of America. Perhaps this is the best time to write about a subject I have learned recently is one of my great passions. That subject, of course, is Freedom of Speech. I capitalize it that way because I think it helps express its importance. And because, of all our rights, I cherish it most.
I have been discussing this elsewhere; in comments on another blog. Discussing it in depth, with passion, with people who do not live in the U.S. and have grown up with different perspectives on where rights come from, how they should be viewed, and how they should be exercised. These are interesting discussions.
Back in my druggie days, there was a saying about LSD. Explaining an LSD "trip" to someone who has not experienced it (or anything weirder than a drunken stupor) is like trying to explain an orgasm to a virgin. Which, when you think about it, is a false analogy since virgins can self induce an orgasm but the saying expresses the concept well enough. I have found that explaining our (meaning America's) concept of almost unlimited freedom of speech to those who have grown up with government imposed limitations on that right is quite similar to the LSD matter.
Mostly it seems to be a difference in how one views one's government. We distrust ours, don't we? Having successfully executed a revolution from an autocratic government, our founding fathers were wary of granting too much power to our new government. Granting too little did not work well either. So the Articles of Confederation were scrapped and a new constitution was written. In order to pass this new constitution, an affirmation of certain rights was promised (and provided) and became the first ten amendments to the new American Constitution.
We call these amendments the Bill of Rights. I suppose that many think of them as being granted by the government. But, if you know the history and you read them properly, you realize these 10 amendments did not grant anyone anything, they restrict the ability of the government to infringe on them. The rights were inherent, the government could not take them away or unreasonably restrict them.
This is, apparently, quite different than most (if not all) nations of the world.
I have discovered, from these discussions, that I am very passionate about Freedom of Speech. More so than about any other right, I think. maybe that's because I often say things which get me in trouble.