Thursday, September 9, 2010

Other: Mini Constitution Tutorial!

There seems to be some confusion over what the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights covers.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
(Emphasis is mine.)

Freedom of speech does not mean that
  • any news outlets are required to carry your message
  • any website is required to allow you to say it on their bandwidth
  • anyone is required to listen
  • anyone gives a shit
If, say, you post hate speech on your website and your web hosting provider takes it down, or your network cancels your show, they are not violating your first amendment rights. They’re just being sensible, because they're either run by decent people and/or they know it would be bad business to be seen condoning that point of view. If, say, I decide not to tell a co-worker that they have the butt-ugliest kids on the planet, I'm not violating my own first amendment rights. I'm just being sensible, because co-workers who hate you can make your life hell.

The flipside of your freedom of speech is our freedom of not having to listen to the bullshit that oozes past your lips.

Got it, intolerant “reverend?” Got it, “Dr” Laura?

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, but I can fucking read.

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