The spirit of the First Amendment

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We have much in common with our friends in England and the rest of Western Europe. But we also have many differences, large and small. Culture, cuisine, language, accents, dress. You name it. Vive la difference!

But the biggest, and best, difference between us is a little old 45-word paragraph we added to our Constitution called the First Amendment.

It prevents the government from squelching our speech, among other things. But the spirit of the First Amendment has also gotten into our DNA and made Americans very defensive about any attempts by anybody to shut us up.

That's why what happened to Dutch politician Geert Wilders in Britain would never happen here.

British officials determined that Wilders' anti-Islamic ideas were a threat to "community security." So on Thursday they detained him at Heathrow Airport like an international criminal and told him to go home.

Europe has, in essence, criminalized the "wrong" sort of thought.

Yep. George Orwell sure saw that coming.

British officials say they "opposes extremism in all its forms." Yet, they've had an embarrassingly spotty record of opposing Islamic extremism, having tolerated the most vile Islamic extremist clerics for years.

Wilders has an anti-Islamic film called Fitna , which at least one reviewer writes is "too sad, mad and bad (offensive as it is) to warrant censorship." So, ironically, the political correctness crowd is giving the film more attention than it apparently deserves.

In the process, England is showing the world what it thinks of free speech. Not very much at all, it seems.

We don't endorse Wilders or his views or his reportedly wretched film. But we sure endorse his right to speak his mind.

It's an increasingly rare commodity on the world market these days.

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christian134
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christian134 02/16/09 - 07:09 am
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Well if England does not

Well if England does not consider our version of Free Speech important then we must also be prepared in the coming days to enjoy or endure the same repressed freedom of speech...If the so-called Fair Doctrine is reinstated Pres. O's restructuring of Government will take a huge hand in what can be said and not said over the airways...All this since Rush as well as others speak out against this new regime...Things are about to change...Unfortunately they are changing for the worse not the better...The ride began with a few bumps now proceeding to potholes...What comes next on the "change" horizon would have to be huge sinkholes

justus4
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justus4 02/16/09 - 07:38 am
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Hey, not so fast with the
Unpublished

Hey, not so fast with the glowing rhetoric of the First Amendment. Muhammad Ali spoke out against the Vietnam War, said the war was wrong and went to jail. Lost his title, and of course any endorsements and probably lost millions because "they" didn't like what he said. Dr. King was treated the same and ultimately gave his life for what this article says, "attempts by anybody to shut us up." And the all-white media hated both men (review some newspaper headlines from the sixties) and attempted to make these Defenders of Freedom somehow unpatriotic. Well "they" failed, but to casually think Americans are so great because of free speech. A quick history lesson will show that we got here from the blood and sweat of great men, especially those African-Americans that died for their belief in country.

christian134
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christian134 02/16/09 - 07:47 am
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His name was Cassius Clay,now

His name was Cassius Clay,now aka Muhammad Ali, great fighter, great personality, but wrong when he spoke out against the Viet-Nam war...Those men and women fought and died for this country just to be spit on and treated worse than the enemy they were sent to fight...justus4 not just your black Americans died but countless races died as one for our Nation...Get it right before you mouth off against this nation's fighting men and women...They have no color just red, white, and blue...

Realist1
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Realist1 02/16/09 - 08:01 am
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I don't mean to start an

I don't mean to start an argument here, but Mr. Ali did not go to jail for speaking his mind. If I remember correctly, it was for refusing to enter the draft. Everyone was required to do so at the time and his refusal was what got him into trouble, not his speech. Just keeping it real here.

christian134
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christian134 02/16/09 - 08:06 am
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No argument here

No argument here Realist...You are right...

disssman
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disssman 02/16/09 - 08:14 am
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Realist, that was about the

Realist, that was about the time that "W" and "C" were ensuring their non-participation with the V.N. war. One for his his sign-up with the ANG, so he wouldn't have to report for duty, and the other adopting kids to be non qualified.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 02/16/09 - 08:19 am
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There is a recent example of

There is a recent example of almost the same thing happening here in America. When a conservative was appointed to run PBS, an Islamic crew was commissioned to make a factual documentary about the affect of radical Islam on the world community of Muslim. The radical left within the PBS organization went wild!! Second and third tier employees caused "accidents" and various delays while the lobbyists fought hard and loud to regain the PBS leadership. Bush capitulated when it was made clear not much would work right as long as a leftest wasn't in the leadership position. The documentary was shelved hours before it's planned broadcast. Any offense to radical Islam was averted.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 02/16/09 - 08:22 am
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America has it's own problem

America has it's own problem with the 1st amendment. It's the "Fairness Doctrine" or the "Hush Rush" bill. This bill is designed to level the playing field against the right because the left message can't get any financial support from anywhere but the far left politicians. It represents the worst kind of anti-Americanism. Kind of what O, in general, stands for. We have 4 more years of these kinds of assault America.

Realist1
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Realist1 02/16/09 - 08:23 am
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You get no argument from me

You get no argument from me Mr. dissman. I was merely stating facts. National Guard service is perfectly legal and requires that you are registerd with the draft. Many did and still do. That does not mean you will not serve in a combat situation. Consider the many Reserves and National Guard members in Iraq today.

CH
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CH 02/16/09 - 08:33 am
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Gee Justus, I see your

Gee Justus, I see your selective memory is at work again. Ali went to jail because he refused to be drafted, something that none of us can do either. If my brother had told the draft board to stick it, he would have gone to jail also. If you are such a "Defender of freedom," then you should be against the so called "Fairness Doctrine," which seeks to legislate what radio stations put into their daily programming. Or is freedom of speech just something liberals should have?

_SisterAbdullahX_
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_SisterAbdullahX_ 02/16/09 - 09:06 am
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I'm sure justus will assert

I'm sure justus will assert that Ali was jailed for being black.

_SisterAbdullahX_
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_SisterAbdullahX_ 02/16/09 - 09:24 am
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Forgive me....I was

Forgive me....I was wrong....but you support the assertion that his first amendment rights remained intact.

christian134
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christian134 02/16/09 - 09:24 am
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Hey Hey Retired Army who are

Hey Hey Retired Army who are you calling petty?...Surely not your good buddy, our very own little justus4 now are you?

southernguy08
499
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southernguy08 02/16/09 - 09:48 am
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RetiredArmy, the key word in
Unpublished

RetiredArmy, the key word in your post is "eventually." Idiot little people.

karmakills123
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karmakills123 02/16/09 - 09:49 am
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Once again justass has let

Once again justass has let mockingbird mouth, overload his hummingbird azz! ...

intheknow
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intheknow 02/16/09 - 11:35 am
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How was Ali " wrong when he

How was Ali " wrong when he spoke out against the Vietnam War"? He had the right of his conviction and if that is the way he felt, then more power to him. Three of my Brothers served in Vietnam and one was a P.O.W. IMHO if they did not have a problem with Ali, who am I to judge?

_SisterAbdullahX_
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_SisterAbdullahX_ 02/16/09 - 11:47 am
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His right to speak out was

His right to speak out was right. His refusal to do his duty as an American was wrong.

jack
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jack 02/16/09 - 12:15 pm
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Justus4, your stupidy is

Justus4, your stupidy is amazing. Mohammed Ali not only spoke out against the Vietnam war, he refused to be drafted, thus was sentenced to 5 years in jail. He managed to BS his way out of serving even one day of the sentence. If you are gong to post, how about trying to stick to facts (if you know any).

jack
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jack 02/16/09 - 12:19 pm
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Dissman, I have no sypathy

Dissman, I have no sypathy for criticism of Cheney avoiding the draft, but I do take exception to denigrating service by ANYONE (and they are thousands that serve/served honorably), even Bush. BTW, how did your boy BimbObama avoid the draft or why not volunteered to fight terrorism in Afghanistan?

intheknow
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intheknow 02/16/09 - 12:22 pm
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The same way Bush Daughters,

The same way Bush Daughters, Nieces or Nephews did.

_SisterAbdullahX_
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_SisterAbdullahX_ 02/16/09 - 12:27 pm
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Intheknow...there has been no

Intheknow...there has been no draft during the life of Bush's daughters or nephew (nor are females required to register). Try a different way to bash Bush.

jack
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jack 02/16/09 - 12:29 pm
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intheknow, you obviously

intheknow, you obviously don't know that females are not required to register for the draft. BTW, which nephews did not serve? BTW when did you serve?

jack
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jack 02/16/09 - 12:30 pm
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convertedsoutherner
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convertedsoutherner 02/16/09 - 02:19 pm
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They can't come up with

They can't come up with anything positive about barry hussein so they continue to bash the Bush administration and family. Sounding a little desperate there.

convertedsoutherner
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convertedsoutherner 02/16/09 - 02:55 pm
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We still have freedom of

We still have freedom of choice (at least for now) and you're welcome to call him what you like.

southernguy08
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southernguy08 02/16/09 - 03:34 pm
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RETIRED ARMY, you're accusing
Unpublished

RETIRED ARMY, you're accusing others of name calling? Excuse me for a bit, I have to laugh! You and your ilk have called Bush every name from stupid to alien creature. I guess name calling is just for liberals to use against conservatives.

convertedsoutherner
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convertedsoutherner 02/16/09 - 03:56 pm
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Just remember their new

Just remember their new mantra is "Do as I say - Not as I do"!

southernguy08
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southernguy08 02/16/09 - 04:06 pm
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Good one, Converted. Owe you
Unpublished

Good one, Converted. Owe you a beer!

intheknow
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intheknow 02/16/09 - 04:14 pm
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Why must they wait on a

Why must they wait on a draft. I did it out a sense of duty. I did not require a draft to do so. I never once mentioned anything about a draft.

mable8
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mable8 02/16/09 - 04:14 pm
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AC, if the big O and his

AC, if the big O and his cohorts (Pelosi and company) get their way, you can believe there will be incidents such as experienced by Geert Wilders. And the big O has already put a muzzle on his cabinet members, even instructing them on WHO they can talk to! Why do you think the "fairness act" is being re-addressed by the democrat congressmen? They have already closed the doors on any republican who has something to say (as in the "stimulous package" hearings). Yes, Freedom of Speech IS important, but not to our present congressional electives that have the house and senate majority. People need to take notice of this--or they will wake up and find they cannot have their personal opinions spoken and will undoubtedly find themselves in jail.

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