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You Have The Right To Remain Stupid

August 14, 2012

Let’s talk about Freedom of Speech.

I am a fan of it myself.

You know, like, the right to say anything we want, anytime we want? Yea, that kind.

However, let me tell you a little story about a lesson I learned about freedom of speech.

Ok, let me start by saying that I am a pretty educated person….or at least my Master’s Degree tells me I am. However, educated is not synonymous with “never does stupid things.” ….the point is that I KNOW better…but sometimes my internal filter goes on break right about the time I need it to stop the words that just went through my head from coming out my mouth.

Exhibit A:

Several years ago, I was working with the U.S. Marshals service, which, as most are, is housed in a federal building…..that also houses the federals court…which meant that I had to enter the building everyday through metal detectors….and endure the frisking by the court security officers. Every. Day.

And, to make things even more annoying, cell phones were prohibited in federal buildings.

Except for those of us working in the Marshals office…we were allowed to have them. Yes, I know, I was cool like that.

BUT, since I WAS a measly little intern, the Court Security Officers, who manned the metal detectors at the entrance, acted like they had never seen me before. EVERY. DAY.

So, every day, they confiscated my phone and every day I had to go all the way to the top floor to get a U.S. Marshal to go down and get my phone. Did I mention this happened every day?? So, finally, in a dramatic display of “what kind of morons are you?”, one of the Marshals in no uncertain terms told the guards at the gate to memorize my face and to not take my phone again. I felt vindicated.

Well…a couple of weeks later, I walk in and OF COURSE, not a familiar face in sight. OF COURSE. There were new court security officers…and they didn’t know me….and they took my phone, OF COURSE.

And when I tried to talk to them, one of them “shushed” me with her hand up to my face. There were THREE court security officers… and…ALL THREE officers were in a huddle inspecting my phone like I had just brought in a baby alien…. and trying to decide, I guess, where to go from there.

Now, before I tell you this next part, remember a couple of things. (1) I am REALLY not stupid. (2) I have a malfunctioning internal filter and (3) I was REALLY young.

So….Out of frustration, I may or may not have said something in the ballpark of “I hope you guys put as much effort into inspecting vans that pull up to the curb right outside the front door , that could be loaded with explosives, as you are my cell phone” …

Oh. My. God. That sounded so much funnier and less threatening in my head.

Not only had I attempted to bring a forbidden cell phone in the building, but I further confirmed their suspicions of my terrorist activities by talking about a make believe van with a bomb outside.

Not my finest hour. I get it.

And as everything moved in slow motion around me, I braced myself because I was certain I was about to be tackled by the 3 ninjas staring me down, and I’m pretty sure at least two of them had their hands on their weapons, preparing to unholster…

But, LUCKILY for me, one of the Marshals was coming in the door and heard stupidity that escaped my lips and preceded to flash his badge and rescue me from the situation that my big mouth and bad judgment had gotten me in…

And then, as he ushered me into the stairwell, (apparently terrorists don’t get to take the elevator), I got the worst butt chewing I ever had in my life…all the way up four flights of stairs…and a mini sermon on the freedom of speech and we can’t say just anything we want, anytime we want…

And I KNEW that…but, it didn’t stop me from almost committing suicide by cop.

Of course, he was right. Of course what I did was stupid and was NOT covered under free speech… just for the record, I never claimed it was… I totally get that are some justifiable limits to free speech….

And even though I agree that there should be SOME limits on speech…I also think those limits should be RARE.

I think people should PRETTY MUCH be able to say anything they want.

I DO NOT think we should ban “hate speech”… I don’t care who you are. If you hate whites, blacks, men, women, gays, thieves, pedophiles, Justin Beiber, cats, dogs, veterans, redheads, children, Democrats, Republicans, Christians, Muslims, etc. etc etc… then you have the right to SAY IT….

I didn’t say it was SMART or that you SHOULD say it…. But that’s the genius of America.

Think about it. How else do you know someone is a total moron? How do you know if you want to be friends with someone? How do you judge someone’s character? Most times, it’s by the words they choose to use. I mean, it’s the only REAL way to filter out the idiots.

And yes, this includes the Westboro Baptist Church. I despise their message, but they have a right to say it….

“But, what they do is disrespectful and abusive”.

Yes, it is…. But people disrespect and abuse our servicemen all the time and we don’t take their rights. President Obama has deliberately made their lives more dangerous and difficult in Afghanistan, and that’s way more harmful to them than some group of Al Gore loving nobodies in Westboro using God’s name to further their own craziness… isn’t it? ISN’T IT?

And of course, when someone in society does something we don’t agree with, our knee-jerk reaction is to pass a law…and rob them of their rights….or at least that’s the knee-jerk reaction of many politicians… Democrats AND Republicans.

Just like what happened recently when Republicans hopped on board to outlaw protesting at military funerals…. Republicans are SOOOO stupid sometimes….

They played right into the liberals’ hands… Liberals know…I mean they KNOW that messing with our first amendment (or second for that matter) rights is a no-no for Conservatives and most Republicans… So use they use the veterans. Cause everyone KNOWS Republicans are the protectors of veterans. When Democrats were spitting in their face and siding with the enemy in the 70’s, it was the Republicans who welcomed them home and took care of them…so, yea, even the Libs KNOW what party the Patriots belong to….

So, they use the veterans because they KNOW Republicans can’t resist a nice showing of patriotism by banning someone from criticizing those veterans….

And the irony is that MANY in congress and MANY top Democrats have disparaged our troops many times…. calling them baby killers, EVEN FUNDING OUR ENEMIES AND SIDING WITH THEM. I didn’t see even ONE REPUBLICAN in congress exposing that…

But…. they go after a simpleton little “church” cause they can and no one will buck against them without appearing as though they are siding with the loonies from Westboro.

And I’ll be accused of that for even posting this…and having the opinion that freedom of speech belongs to everyone.

But, whatever.

The folks at Westboro are despicable…disgusting excuses for humans… but since morons don’t generally wear t-shirts warning us that they’re morons (unless they‘re wearing an Obama 2012 t-shirt), all we really have to go on is their word….or words…literally…

My mama used to say that if you give someone enough rope, they’ll hang themselves. Well, if you give them enough words, they’ll hang themselves with those too.

And I hear you. I hear you right now as you shake your head and say “but, protesting a military funeral is an abuse of free speech”

And maybe it is. BUT….a really smart person once said the remedy for the abuse of free speech is not to curtail the speech, but it’s MORE free speech…

Like when hundreds and thousands of people line the streets during military funerals singing God Bless America LOUDLY and holding huge flags and signs so they can block and drown out the Westboro protestors so much that the grieving family doesn’t even have a clue there’s even a protest.

Bad speech or abusive speech actually brings out the best in us. Like when I see a car with an Obama bumper sticker and I don’t ram it as hard as I can in the rear….It’s a victory for us good guys, really, because they are forcing me to engage in a massive amount of self control…

And remember Chick-Fil-A? Yea….. The lies and abuse of free speech hurled at them by calling them haters, bigots, etc,  to try to damage their reputation and put them out of business was stopped dead in it’s tracks by what?? Not a law saying you can’t lie about a company…Just a MASSIVE amount of people showing their power by using their freedom and freedom of speech in a positive way.

See? It works. I told you. “We don’t need no stinkin’ laws” to take care of bad free speech. We just need good guys to use THEIR freedom of speech…

And besides, this law is the epitomy of the slipper slope. What’s next? You can’t quote the Bible because it’s disrespectful of homosexuals and adulterers? You can’t criticize Democrats because it’s not right to pick on the mentally challenged??

Just remember, you could be next….

First, they came for the Westboro Church members and since I wasn’t one and thought they were crazy, I didn’t speak out….

 

 

Image

Patriot Guard riders blocking the protestors from family of a deceased military hero.

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One Comment
  1. Sue Duke permalink

    Could not have said it better!! Thank you. Mississippi born & bred and PROUD of it.

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