Inspection- When Should Free Speech Actually Be Free?

The recent comments by Neo Cons regarding certain a right to what they refer to as “free speech” combined with the brown shirts who destroy all sense of conversation over health care have me pondering… what exactly is “free speech?” I was listening to POTUS; a Sirius stream, where they play back Obama speeches, town hall meetings: anything related to issues driven by the presidency.

Recently they have been offering town meetings hosted by senators regarding health care where the deathers and the anti-health care proponents show up. Each and every one I’ve heard consists of anyone; including the politician, being shouted down to the point that maybe they speak for a minute or two at best. One specific meeting the senator decided to let them mention their concerns first since he obviously wasn’t going to be allowed to speak much more than a minute before pandemonium damn near ripped out all more sane eardrums in the room.

Odd. The “concerned citizens” spoke about as long as they wanted. After a few brief cheers one smarmy south end of a moose going north said, “Well, at least let me speak as long as all the stupid Liberals like the Senator.”

Is this “free speech?”

Normally I would quickly respond, “Yes,” no matter how repulsive I find such brownshirt tactics: even when they seem obviously orchestrated. But then I go back another recent story: Henry Gates. I must ask… exactly why does yelling down everyone in public who dares to disagree or say something you don’t like qualify as “free speech…” but telling a cop on your own property who: through no fault of his own, is in the wrong place at the wrong time to go F himself: or worse… … qualifies as an arrestable offense?

Obviously, if we are to limit speech at all, then what we say in our own homes to whomever should be far more protected than what we say or do in public. Unless the professor made a threat or admitted to a crime: all of which it’s pretty damn obvious he didn’t do since Officer Crowley surely would have brought that up during that controversy if it had happened… the professor has more of a right: if we must choose.

Seems to me we only have free speech in this country; the kind that creates a disturbance, if it’s considered the politically correct kind of free speech: especially by the extreme Right.

This “ain’t” no way to run a free country.

But it is a way to assure that said country is hijacked by the loudest, most obnoxious, extremists.

Do I sniff a a little whiff of sulfur: a return Hitler’s brownshirts marching forth from Hell?


Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 30 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.

Copyright 2009
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
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