Freedom Of Thought vs Freedom Of Speech

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December, 2006 and January, 2007 have already presented two instances where, on separate occasions, persons said some things and openly expressed opinions which met with the disapproval of others in authority over them.

1. In one instance, a college basketball coach, openly complained about his team having to play 4 "conference" games in just 7 days. Because the team was invited to play in the NCAA playoffs, last year, his remarks were publicized in the local newspaper. On the front pages of both the "News" and "Sports" sections. Conference officials cited him with violating one or more of the rules of the conference contract, to which he agreed and signed, prior to his employment.

The coach was brought in "on the carpet" to explain, beg forgiveness, promise to never express his thoughts so freely, in public, again and to "atone". His punishment: Sit out one game (which the team lost) and remain silent when, in his exercise of his right to "free speech", he might actually put his own thoughts into words.

2. In the other instance, an 8th grade middle school student, wore a T-shirt to school and distributed pamphlets to express his opposition to the legalized practice of infant abortion. This was, also, to remind everyone that abortion has been legal in the U.S., since January 22, 1973, when the U.S. Supreme Court, in the case of "Roe v Wade", "struck down" all state and federal laws seeking to either prohibit or restrict the practice. Interestingly, the U.S. Constitution does not specify the "Right To An Abortion" among any of it's many rights which it confers upon all Americans. Somehow, the "Right To Privacy" was cited as part of the court's reasoning.

The student was ordered to remove the shirt and, then, was sent home when he refused to do so. After a brief legal skirmish, the school "backed down" and, thereby, agreed to restore the student's right to exercise his freedom of speech. So you see...If you are going to be at all confrontational, in public, it will help if you are "all lawyered up", in advance.

What is also interesting:

Today, Sunday, January 21, 2007, the day before the 34th anniversary of Roe v Wade, a group of "suburbanite" adults gathered at a public intersection to protest the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq as part of the ongoing War-On-Terror. One of the demonstrators held up a sign with the number 4,089 printed on it. This was to signify the number of American servicemen and servicewomen who had lost their live as the result of the hostilities since the U.S. invaded Iraq. A more accurate number would be 3,089. Of course, the number of Iraqi lives lost number in the 10's of thousands. A worthy protest for the right reasons.

On Saturday, January 20, 2007, former 1st Lady and U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) announced her candidacy for the Office of U.S. President. The election to be held in November, 2008. Her soundbite: "I'm in. And I'm in to win." Words which could have fallen from the mouth of her husband, on multiple occasions, in the past.

These events have captured most of the media's attention. Leaving little time to cover the 33rd annual protest in front of the U.S. Supreme Court Building, by pro-/right-to-life groups, to commemorate the 34th anniversay of Roe v Wade.

U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is in favor of the continued and unretricted availability of and access to legalized abortions. Though she likes to equivicate when discussing the issue. She has, now and finally, decided to openly oppose further U.S. military involvement in Iraq. In fact, she has called for the full withdrawal of these troops at once. Though the current U.S. President, George W. Bush (# 43) will remain in office another 24 months and, seemingly, has no intention of withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq. Ironically, President Bush recognizes the Right-To-Life, for human beings, and seeks to restrict the practice of legalized abortion.

Discussion:

In the U.S., on a average daily basis, roughly 3,425 legal abortions are performed. This number, also, represents a daily loss of American life. Approximately, 1,250,000 a year. This number has been as high as 1,500,00 a year.

In 1973, the U.S. CDC (Centers For Disease Control) reported, 250,000 illegal abortions took place in 1972. The number of legal abortions reported for 1973 were, approximately, the same number.

The total American death toll, in Iraq, for the past 3 years is still less than the daily death toll of Americans who lose their lives to legal abortion.

The number of Americans and others, who lost their lives as the result or the terrorist attack on New York City's World Trade Center, on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, is still a lower number than the daily death toll attributable to the practice of legal abortion in the U.S.

For those of my generation, for whom the Vietnam War loomed large, the loss of American life in Vietnam, during a war which lasted, nearly, 12 years is still less than the loss of American life due to legalized abortion during any consecutive 21 day period. And this deals only with the loss of life of the aborted infants and does not deal with what the wretched aftermath has been for many of their mothers.

My point: If the anti-Iraq War protests would also focus themselve on the practice of legal abortion, many more American lives could be saved, as a result. All human death, consciously caused by other human beings, is wrong. When applying a sense of proportion, however, which is the more destructive of human lives and life? War or abortion?

Believe it or not! My submission on the related topics of: Freedom Of Speech vs Freedom Of Thought is related all of the aforementioned. But you can decide.

Submitted: January 22, 2007

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Submitted: January 22, 2007

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The experience of SUNY-Albany basketball coach Will Brown offers us all a perspective on someone to exercise their right of "free-speech" as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

In the exercise of one's right to "free speech", negative consequences may ensue for the speaker who dares to exercise that "right".

Coach Will Brown has a much stronger right to "free thought".  It just doesn't enjoy any constitutional protections.

What, exactly, does this mean?

While the U.S. Constitution offers every American "freedom of speech", it does not extend any protections to "freedom of thought".  Strictly interpreted, this means: "United States citizens are free to say whatever they please so long as they keep their thoughts to themselves.".  To do otherwise may be seen as an abuse of this important "freedom" as it is articulated in the U.S. Bill of Rights.

This is, also, the message of the "Albany, N.Y. Thought-Cops", an affiliate of the national "civil rights" organization better known as the "Jack Acid Society" (ala POGO, the now defunct comic strip of political satire, written by famed newspaper cartoonist, the late Walt Kelly.)

Is it so bad to have to "sit out" just one game?

Coach Will Brown needs to realize:  Corporate, managerial and political incompetence exists everywhere in American society today.  He and the SUNY-Albany Basketball program are just one of the more recent victims of it.  Once someone should invoke the "Peter Principle" and rise to their "level of incompetence", the sky's the limit when it comes to future promotions and the ability to display ever increasing ineptness in the destructively wrongful exercise of authority over the rest of us.  Serving to explain why the SUNY-Albany Basketball team was scheduled to play 4 games in 7 days, with little chance for rest.

Some may lay the blame on corruption, nepotism, cronyism, stupidity, greed and/or sadism.  Or some combination of 2 or more of these things.  And they would be correct in so thinking.  But, again, we must all remind ourselves:  The U.S. Constitution does not protect "freedom of thought".

Serving to explain why the U.S. can no longer; win a war, secure its borders, effectively respond to natural disasters and terrorist threats, ensure the solvency of it's worker's Social Security System, protect its manufacturing base or provide its work force with a livable minimum wage.  Republican and Democrats share equally in the blame.  They just take turns in making things worsen and in different ways.

 

Copyright (C) 2007 Edward J. Bradley

Albany, New York

 


© Copyright 2018 EdwardJBradleySr. All rights reserved.

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