NOTE: My statements are not necessarily my opinions. I often post point-counterpoint essays in which I strongly take one side of an issue and later counter that with antithetical views. This intellectual exercise helps me see the merit in opposing opinions and augments my creativity.

Blasting the enemies of free speech: Sheriff Dupnik, astronaut Kelly, and the usual liberal suspects

  • Cases that illustrate how insane people operate by rules so bizarre that suppressing free speech is futile: the man who killed the boss he liked, and the Peanut Butter Killer.
  • An interesting tidbit of U.S. history which shows that heated political rhetoric is nothing new: How a Vice President killed one of our Founding Fathers.
  • Why free speech should be encouraged, not suppressed.

Aboard the International Space Station, astronaut Scott Kelly, brother-in-law of Rep. Gabrielle “Gabby” Giffords, said, “These days we're constantly reminded of the unspeakable acts of violence and damage we can inflict upon one another, not just with our actions, but also with our irresponsible words.”

TRANSLATION: He, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, and others are doing their pea-brain best to squelch free speech.

Kelly is in outer space, in more ways than one. He conveniently forgets that he can pretend to do useful work in space because the ones who paid for his trip are people willing to work and pay taxes because they think that the First Amendment right to free speech hasn't yet been repealed. Furthermore, if he truly thinks that restricting speech will control crazies like Jared Loughner, perhaps this out-of-his-league astronaut might suggest banning Judaism, since evidence suggests that some of the hatred Loughner felt for Giffords stemmed from the fact that she was Jewish and he was anti-Semitic.

“Each space shuttle flight releases about 230 tons of hydrochloric acid in its exhaust.” (source)

However, now that NASA's primary mission has shifted from exploring space to politically correctness and making Arabs feel good about their ancient contributions to science, Kelly can show us that he is anything but a rocket scientist without fear of losing his job or generous pension that allows a local retired astronaut I know to sit around, twiddle his thumbs decade after decade, and live high on the hog, thanks to his single flight into space that did far more to fuel his ego than to do anything useful for us.

What on God's green earth could plausibly explain NASA's selectivity in turning on the microphone so one of their rocket jocks could lecture us about free speech?

Nobody from NASA preached to us about toning down the rhetoric during the 2008 presidential campaign when nutty liberals hung Sarah Palin in effigy and even crazier ones spoke of raping her before killing her. NASA astronauts didn't utter a peep when Army Major Nidal Hasan went on a shooting rampage at Fort Hood that killed 13 people and injured many more. Liberals have become apoplectic since then when anyone suggests any link between Hasan's Muslim beliefs and the massacre.

Similarly, libs want us to dismiss the obvious link between 9-11 and wacky Muslim ideas. In their book, there is no connection between Muslim hate speech and violent actions following them, but if a conservative speaks of targeting political opponents (a common phrase for the right and the left), it's a green light to get on one's high horse from outer space and pontificate about “irresponsible words” in an underhanded attempt to cower conservatives into silence even though Gabby's shooter was no conservative.

Now that Kelly has appointed himself on a mission to reveal what makes nuts go postal, perhaps this highly unqualified and unprofessional spokesperson could explain why it is wrong for people to complain about a government gone wild but it is fine for his ultimate boss, President Obama, to engage in inflammatory rhetoric, such as by talking about kicking ass, bringing a gun to a knife fight, telling his supporters to argue with people and get in their faces, punching back twice as hard, defining citizens who disagree with him as “enemies,” and angering Midwest voters by saying, “They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

Yes, us country bumpkins in the Midwest stew in our outhouses while sipping moonshine 'cause we can't understand that the only proper way to run this country is by screwing the people who actually work for a living while the bankers who run the Federal Reserve System make the Mafia look like petty thieves. Thinking that citizens are wrong to scream about the way government is shafting them makes as much sense as blaming people for screaming after their toes are smashed with a hammer. Want the screaming to stop? Stop the mistreatment; don't try to suppress the reaction to it.

Obama is the ultimate rabble-rouser who has done more to divide this country than any President in history, yet the bootlicking Kelly probably gets a thrill up his leg when he hears his demagogue boss spew malignant vitriol.

Or since Kelly has so much time on his hands, perhaps he can justify why the Obama administration did the right thing by brushing off the assault of Kenneth Gladney, who was attacked by SEIU members who called him a “son of a nigger,” slapped him, and then punched him in the face, knocking him down, while another “attacked him from behind,” jerking him to the ground at least once.

In Kelly's PC playbook, it is apparently OK that Obama's political allies could ask Gladney “What kind of nigger are you?” before punching him.

Given that Gladney was called a “nigger” during the attack, federal officials could have charged the SEIU miscreants with a hate crime. Furthermore, Gladney was not a random victim of violence; he was singled out and beaten for a purpose: to intimidate him, and others with a similar viewpoint. Therefore, those monstrous thugs violated his right to free speech. Consequently, federal prosecutors should have filed charges, but it now appears that they think “equal protection of the law” applies only to liberals. This suggests to me that the government is part of a criminal conspiracy to limit the right of free speech for anyone who isn't a leftist.

And guess who is more than happy to help them? Scott Kelly, who seems hell-bent on further tarnishing NASA's reputation.

How NASA helped bankrupt the U.S.

After spending $7 trillion on the space program, what do we have to show for it? Forget the NASA propaganda, and try to think of anything that's even remotely worth $7 trillion. Ball point pens that write upside down? Tang?

The primary success of NASA was playing a big role in spending money we don't have to create debt we cannot repay, thus making our nation more likely to sustain a catastrophic economic meltdown that by 2025 will force us to choose between spending on the military or giving people the Social Security, Medicare, and other benefits they paid for.

In trying to justify the space program, a radio talk show host mentioned inventions that were offshoots of it, including Zip-Lock bags and cordless phones. Ridiculous! To begin with, those are hardly major inventions; I've invented more impressive things, and I didn't need $7 trillion to develop them. Second, we did not need to go into space to invent those things. Third, the technology behind cordless phones is old, predating the space program. Essentially, it involves coupling a two-way radio with a telephone. Big deal. Fourth, all of the supposedly amazing technologies for the space program were created here, on good ol' Earth. The space program may have been an inspiration for those products, but if there was a need for them, they would have been created anyway by private industry at zero cost to taxpayers.

Cell phones may seem to be a useful byproduct of space exploration, but we don't need zillion-dollar satellites for people to connect wirelessly to others. In fact, we don't even need cell phone companies. Want to have some fun tonight? Put your feet up and try to think of the one obvious way people could have cell-phone-like devices that enable them to communicate just as they now do, but with two major exceptions: better connections in more places, and much lower monthly bills, with an easy way to erase all charges and actually earn money by participating in this network.

I don't doubt that space exploration has fueled scientific discovery, but the question is, “At what cost?” People who cheerlead for the space program are fond of pointing out that certain experiments are feasible only in outer space. The media pundits who interview them never ask the obvious question, which is whether or not that research provides benefits that exceed what a comparable expenditure might reap with Earth-based experiments.

The cost multiplier for doing an experiment in space as opposed to on the ground is likely several thousands of times more expensive. Given that money does not grow on trees, there is a limited amount of money for scientific research. Considering how costly space experiments are, performing a study in space effectively cancels thousands of experiments on Earth. Consequently, it is simplistic to merely point out the lessons learned from space experimentation. Sure, we've learned things, but what haven't we learned because we did not have the money to fund all research?

Furthermore, the benefits of space exploration have tapered off. In the early days of the space program, there were clearly definable advances. Now we're just treading water and rehashing what we've already done many times. The Space Shuttle goes up. The Space Shuttle comes down. Our lives go on, unchanged. The big news from NASA is nothing about science or technology, but a too big for his britches astronaut suggesting that good sheeple should not complain as government works overtime to put nooses around our necks, imposing unconstitutional laws and revoking our liberties. If Mr. Kelly thinks good citizens are ones who shut up and let government do what it wants, he would be right at home in Nazi Germany.

The available evidence suggests that Loughner, the mass-murdering lunatic, was more sympathetic to left-wing ideology, as evidenced by his affinity for Mein Kampf and The Communist Manifesto—hardly Tea Party stuff—along with One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, set in an insane asylum. How fitting.

A friend described Jared as “very liberal.” While the left rushes to blame the right and the right blames the left, no political ideology can plausibly explain what makes a man like Loughner tick.

A high school friend, Zach Osler, said that Loughner “did not watch TV. He disliked the news. He didn't listen to political radio. He didn't take sides. He wasn't on the left. He wasn't on the right.”

Loughner harbored a grudge against Rep. Giffords since 2007 when he asked her, “How do you know words mean anything?” or “What is government if words have no meaning?” and she responded in Spanish—which seems to be an inscrutable response for a question posed in English, however bizarre it may have been. Liberals hoping to pin Jared's anger on the Tea Party or Sarah Palin should realize that the Tea Party didn't exist in 2007, and virtually no one outside of Alaska knew or cared about Palin at that time. A friend, Bryce Tierney, said Loughner thought Giffords was a “fake” unwilling to answer questions. He was sometimes critical of her legislative efforts and opined that she was “stupid and unintelligent.”

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks violent extremists and rarely misses an opportunity to slam conservatives, Loughner's postings describe no coherent political ideology, such as this gem: “The government is implying mind control and brainwash on the people by controlling grammar,” or this one: “My favorite activity is conscience dreaming: the greatest inspiration in my political business information.”

Say what?

He once proudly announced to a friend, “I'm pretty sure I've come to the conclusion that words mean nothing.

His words, perhaps.

Loughner increasingly lived in an alternate reality in which “He figured out he could fly,” according to a friend who said that Jared explained, “I'm so into it because I can create things and fly. I'm everything I'm not in this world.” He also said, “I'm a sleepwalker—who turns off the alarm clock.

That nails it—the smoking gun linking him to Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Sarah Palin!

Speculating on what motivated Loughner, Tierney responded, “He fucks things up to fuck shit up, there's no rhyme or reason, he wants to watch the world burn. He probably wanted to take everyone out of their monotonous lives.”

Loughner also posted a video on YouTube in which he claimed that the college he attended was illegal according to the U.S. Constitution.

Ahem.

A college classmate, Lydian Ali, said Loughner would frequently laugh out loud in class. She said, “It almost seemed like he was on his own planet.”

Clearly, Loughner went off the deep end into a deep abyss of insanity. It isn't fair to blame the right or the left for his deranged thought, which is purely a product of mental illness. Anyone who wishes to play the blame game should forget about politics and focus on those in his past who knew or should have known he was a ticking time bomb, such as Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, who used his 15 minutes of fame to show us the rocks in his head and to allege that Arizona was the bigotry and hatred capital of the world. His sheriff's department reportedly had contact with Jared on multiple occasions prompted by calls from several people who thought he was mentally unstable and potentially violent.

After Loughner allegedly made death threats to college staff, radio personalities, and local bloggers, his deputies reportedly assured the concerned citizens that this obviously unstable nutcase was being well managed by the mental health system. This is even more insane than the sheriff not getting treatment for a diabetic who was obviously poorly controlled, just because he'd previously seen a doctor and perhaps received good care at that time. Sheesh! The condition of patients can obviously change both physically and mentally, and no one needs a decade of training and MD after his name to know that.

What police should do in such a case isn't to cross their fingers and hope that the madman won't go postal. Instead, they should bring the kook into an ER for a new evaluation by a doctor, who is legally empowered to order that someone who is a danger to himself or others be taken off the streets (committed) for a more extensive psychiatric evaluation and treatment.

This is routine. I've committed many people, including some I thought posed a risk to certain big shots, so I know that when Dupnik didn't do it, he was unconscionably negligent—assuming the preliminary reports about his inaction are true. I would be even harsher in my criticism of this buffoon who uses bluster to camouflage the fact that he didn't do enough to make his deputies do what common sense should have told any person with at least a room-temperature IQ was the right thing to do.

Gee whiz, this isn't rocket science! Doctors evaluate and treat mental illness, not just physical illness. Dupnik the dumbbell didn't get that through his thick skull in time, so Gabby and others paid the ultimate price for the stupidity of the cantankerous sheriff who appears to have incipient dementia.

Dupnik dropped the ball, but is either too dumb to realize it, or deliberately trying to shift the blame.

Speaking of Sheriff Dupnik, Bill O'Reilly said (1-14-2011):

"Dupnik went out and said, 'The rhetoric is so hot in this county,' because of illegal aliens [and] healthcare, that he is not surprised this happened. Well, dammit, Sheriff, if you're not surprised and you know the rhetoric is hot, why didn't you have your guys there? [...] He says to the nation the rhetoric is hot down here. OK, that's his thesis, that's what he says, and he doesn't put one deputy down there? He's an idiot!"

Dupnik, Kelly, and others tacitly suggest that profound ideological differences and the words stemming from them can catalyze violence. No. What catalyzes violence is mental illness, not differences of opinion. It was once socially acceptable to settle arguments with violence, but times have changed, thank goodness. I have a sister-in-law who is extremely liberal, yet we can joke about our political differences without animosity or rancor.

I'm as fond of Obama as most people are of rattlesnake bites, and I've written extensively about him, with rarely anything good to say, but if a wing broke off Air Force One and he parachuted into my back yard, would I take advantage of his lack of Secret Service protection and assault him? No! I'd put a Band-Aid on any boo-boos he had and offer him a cup of coffee as I explained my ideas for reinvigorating our economy, including a golden opportunity I wrote about years ago that would transform our nation, rocketing it well into the 21st century, and doing just as much for the physical world as the Internet did for the information world. I'd show him proof that the rags-to-riches American Dream is still possible, how he could create a government that almost everyone loved, how to make people eager to pay taxes, and how to slash welfare while making welfare recipients much better off. Then I'd explain how I went from a dunce to a doctor who graduated in the top 1% of my class in medical school, and how almost everyone could boost their brainpower using my methods. With higher IQs and substantially better creativity, we could leave China and our other competitors in the dust.

After that, I would explain how American businesses are doing much less than they could to help kickstart our recovery, illustrating this by recounting a discussion I had with a pigheaded CEO who thought 20th century technology was all he needed to compete in the 21st century. Then I'd tell the President about my current project, now nearing completion: a robotic chef that will enable people to prepare meals by using a touch screen on the device as well as any computer or phone with an Internet connection. As he was digesting that info, I would explain the myriad benefits that device will offer besides the obvious one. The robotic chef will save time and energy, improve health, and save so much money that they will more than pay for themselves, so who wouldn't want to own one? If I told him its other benefits, light bulbs would surely go on in his head as he realized how this fundamental transformation would facilitate others that would put smiles on the faces of Americans and more money in their pockets.

Want to get rich? Contact me and invest in my ideas instead of the stock market that will stagnate for years with gains that never surpass the diminishing value of the dollar.

Words are not what made Loughner snap, nor were guns the trigger. Why do some people rush to blame guns after a tragedy like this but wouldn't think of blaming automobiles after a drunk driver plows into kids on a sidewalk?

Liberals ignore the fact that government routinely uses the threat of violence, fines, or imprisonment to make citizens give them what they demand, which is a much larger share of your paycheck than you likely realize, along with subservience to unconstitutional laws and regulations that please tyrannical bureaucrats. The number of people murdered by criminals in the past century is trivial compared with the number murdered by governments claiming to be working for a better world, so if we go on a witch hunt for evil, let's assess the problem accurately. Anyone who is appalled by violence should be more upset by what governments have done to people than the comparatively rare instances in which a government official is attacked.

Our gravest threats come from our politicians, not from our enemies. The federal government has become a malignant cancer. Ultimately, they will do more harm to Americans and America's future than everyone convicted of treason in U.S. history along with Nazi Germany and Japan in World War II, the USSR during the Cold War, and the Islamic terrorists who don't have a prayer of realizing their wacky dreams of making us live on our knees, doing what they command—or else. However, the federal government is doing just that, implementing controls that once would have been unimaginable, and ones that would have made our Founding Fathers fight to the death to remove.

Without invoking pixie dust and magical thinking that Walt Disney would be proud of, not one economist in the world can plausibly explain how we can pay off our national debt or, by 2025, even the interest on it while we also pay a staggeringly greater sum for unfunded liabilities that won't be paid unless God whispers into the ear of Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and tells him a whole lot more than how to cheat the government by using Turbo Tax and fishy excuses that would not be believed by anyone except senile Senators who are undoubtedly doing the bidding of the Federal Reserve fat cats who want one of their own in a position of power to keep funneling money to them so they can live like kings at our expense.

By 2025, every dollar of federal revenue will be spent paying interest on the national debt and entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare. This means that there will be NO money left to pay for defense, highways, air traffic control, education, job training, agriculture, science, energy, community development, international relations, world hunger, the environment, federal law enforcement/courts/prisons, and the many other functions of the federal government, which range from essential to ludicrous and a flagrant waste of money. If other countries are still dumb enough to lend us money, they will demand increasingly high interest rates, which will only compound our problem. Alternatively, if we pay for national defense, many millions of elderly and disabled people will suffer and die from poverty that now seems unimaginable.

Our national debt and unfunded liabilities are so massive that the collapse of the United States is virtually inevitable. Main Street Americans are now waking up to the realization that our glory days are over, and as more realize that destroying our country—something our enemies could never do—could be done by a small group of vipers working within the system and massively leeching off it as they have done . . . well, we're mad as hell and using our free speech to protest this abomination.

Without a miracle, the United States will economically collapse to the point where people finally realize that following commands from Washington is as nutty as slitting one's own throat, so we will, en masse, ignore the federal government, which will implode as Obama or one of his successors wails about there no longer being anyone to wait on him hand and foot and bring him $500 per pound Kobe beef imported from Japan paid for by taxpayers who spent years eating hamburger and worse.

While we might welcome a chance to get the leeches off our backs and out of our wallets, most prudent people realize that a collapse of the federal government will create a power vacuum that may be filled with angels, but more likely thugs who make the current ones seem like nice guys. It is too simplistic to say our federal government is bad even though much of what it does is straying ever further from the Constitution. Instead, it is an odd amalgamation of good people doing good things and bad people robbing us blind, but their greed might pale in comparison with the next government.

Therefore, though I loathe the many bad elements in Washington, I don't hope this government succeeds in committing suicide, which now seems to be its goal by spending money like there is no tomorrow and other reckless actions that will likely be the kiss of death for the good ol' USA. I use the only weapon available to me—free speech—to fight this destruction of the United States. My words are sometimes heated but always patriotic, unless you have a better idea of how to halt our slide from economic superpower to banana republic, as Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) predicted.

I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and you disagree with this administration, somehow you're not patriotic, and we should stand up and say, 'We are Americans and we have a right to debate and disagree with any administration!'
— Hillary Clinton

“We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it.”
— Edward R. Murrow, American journalist (1908-1965)

Political dissent is as American as apple pie, and efforts to suppress it are nothing new. The Alien and Sedition Acts were four bills passed in 1798 designed to prevent seditious attacks from weakening the government, but political opponents at that time and later historians regarded them as an unconstitutional way to stifle criticism of the administration. This legislation became a major issue in the elections of 1798 and 1800. Thomas Jefferson, then Vice President, denounced the Sedition Act, correctly stating that it violated the First Amendment right of free speech. The intense animosity surrounding this political strife culminated in the fatal duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr.

Aaron Burr served as an officer in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, and later became a successful lawyer and politician who was a New York State Attorney General, U.S. Senator, and Vice President.

Alexander Hamilton was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, an aide-de-camp to General George Washington during the Revolutionary War, an economist, political philosopher, author of most of the Federalist Papers, founder of the Bank of New York, and Secretary of the Treasury.

Think about it! Vice President Aaron Burr shot and killed one of our Founding Fathers! The combatants in that duel weren't fringe lunatics like Loughner who conducted bizarre Satanic rituals with skulls in his back yard; these were the crème de la crème of the United States who were filled with incandescent rage that could be extinguished only by gunpowder and spilling blood after their words became too heated. Hence, anyone who thinks that vitriolic rhetoric is something new and attributable to critics of our government is sadly mistaken. We've had inflammatory political statements reverberating from sea to shining sea since our country was founded, so anyone who thinks free speech explains the tragedy in Tucson is dead wrong.

Let me elucidate this for anyone who seeks to prohibit any speech that may affect the behavior of an obviously crazy person when he isn't busy fretting about whether words mean things, or whether his college is “illegal according to the U.S. Constitution”: As a doctor who treated plenty of mentally ill patients, I know they don't need inflammatory words to set them off. They operate by their own set of rules in which ordinary words can spark them into action for reasons that make sense only to them.

Example: One of my patients—I'll call him Steve—killed his boss after his employer asked him to bring him a book. Steve figured a foot-long knife was better, so he instead brought that and jabbed it into his boss, who slumped to the floor dead. I asked Steve if he hated him or if they had prior feuds, but he said no, adding that he liked him and appreciated the fact that he gave him a job when no one else would, because of his mental history. So try figuring that one out, dear liberals who think that banning contentious political speech will keep the next Gabby safe from the legions of Steves who roam free.

Even more bizarre example: As part of my training in psychiatry during medical school, I and the other students visited the State Center for Forensic Psychiatry, where they detain people who are judged to be criminally insane. As part of the tour, the staff gave two case presentations. I forgot one case, but the other story was vividly impressed in my memory, and I'll never forget it. How could I?

Before his case was presented, Jack was introduced to the medical students. As he walked toward the front of the classroom, I noticed that his pants were falling down, and half of his derrière was protruding. No underwear, and it didn't seem to bother him. One of my friends whispered, “I think they've found the missing link.” That may have been a tad overstated, but it's a good bet that Jack will never be asked to appear on the cover of GQ magazine.

Unfortunately, his looks were his strong point. Years prior, Jack had been at home with his mother, with whom he lived. For lunch one day, he made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Just after he finished making the sandwich, a man came to the door, asking directions. As he spoke with the visitor, Jack's Mom walked into the kitchen and took a bite from the PB&J sandwich. This enraged Jack, and he began stabbing his mother in the neck with the knife he'd used to make the sandwich.

As blood spewed from her neck, some of it soaked the sandwich, which was now resting on the counter. After his Mom dropped to the floor, dead, Jack picked up the blood-curdled sandwich and began eating it as he walked toward the door. He resumed giving directions to the now-horrified visitor as if nothing unusual had happened, but the visitor beat a pell-mell retreat to call the police.

Somehow, I bet that Jack's jury had little difficulty buying his insanity defense.

More examples:

  • John Hinckley, Jr., who attempted to assassinate President Reagan to impress actress Jodie Foster.
  • Mark David Chapman, who killed John Lennon and then read his copy of The Catcher in the Rye until police arrived.
  • Jim Jones, leader of the Peoples Temple, who committed suicide after assassinating U.S. Congressman Leo Ryan and members of his delegation.

Common denominator? Nuts, nuts, and nuts, not heated political speech.

Let's face it: Logically thinking of what influences you or me is often insufficient to explain the behavior of someone like Loughner who is more than an order of fries short of a Happy Meal, who thinks he's doing us a favor by taking us out of our “monotonous lives.”

All that's left is for someone to blame George Bush.

Anyone?

Here we go again . . .

Every shooting reported in the national news is inevitably followed by calls for more gun laws, issued by unrealistic people who think our mountain of current firearm laws isn't enough, but one more just might do the trick. Absurd. Anyone who is willing to commit the ultimate crime—murder—surely will not be deterred by the fear of breaking another law pertaining to the illegal acquisition or use of a firearm.

Representative Peter King (R-NY) announced that he will introduce legislation to “ban the carrying of any firearm within 1000 feet of 'high-profile government officials.'”

If a loon wanted to shoot such an official, what is the chance he wouldn't care about laws against murder but he would care about this law?

Oh, zero.

The only sure result of this law would be to guarantee that no nearby law-abiding citizens might be armed and able to stop the shooter before he killed more people. I would be one of the last people on Earth to join the Obama fan club, but if I had an opportunity to shoot someone who was trying to assassinate him, you bet I'd do it. I'd protect Obama because I don't want maniacs with bullets deciding the outcome of elections.

Mr. King needs to drink more coffee and wake up before he proposes legislation that ensures an effect antithetical to the one he had in mind. With Congressmen proposing daffy ideas such as this one, is it any wonder why so many people think they are imbeciles?

Want to know why our country is faltering? Our politicians often don't consider the ramifications of their legislation, as any prudent person would do. Congressmen and Presidents can pass legislation they didn't read, ignore their constituents, make one dumb decision after another, ignore the Constitution, and still get paid—and still collect overly generous retirement benefits.

Another Congressman has an even worse idea: limit free speech. Rep. Robert Brady (D-PA) wants to “make it a federal crime to use language or symbols that could be perceived as threatening or inciting violence against a federal official or member of Congress.

Mr. Brady must have a learning disability that prevents him from comprehending simple, unequivocal words, such as this excerpt from the United States Constitution:

“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.”

“Congress shall make no law” means that Congress shall make NO law—not one law, not even if it is itsy-bitsy. No means none, zip, zero, nada.

I have a better idea: Let's make it a federal crime to propose a law obviously intended to violate one of our constitutional rights. The cobwebs in Brady's skull haven't yet caught a fly with enough brainpower to tell him that “could be perceived as threatening or inciting violence against a federal official or member of Congress” is so impossibly vague and subject to individual interpretation that it would serve as an ideal tool permitting the party in power to go on witch hunts against their opponents, making them afraid to say anything, lest it be misinterpreted. If a husband and wife who dearly love one another can misinterpret things, surely political enemies could do the same—especially when they want to twist words. Much of modern politics is nothing but twisting words!

The English language is so full of words with multiple meanings and nuances that dissecting their meaning is often impossible without putting them into context by an impartial judge, which a Big Brother Word Policeman surely would not be. If Brady got his wish, even the title of this article (“Blasting the enemies of free speech”) could be enough to get me in hot water even though it is obvious that I am just verbally blasting them.

As I demonstrated above, caring enough about your country to engage in heated political discourse can be far more patriotic than the silence emanating from the zombies who sit on the sidelines and fritter their time away while politicians dream up new ways to plunder our paychecks and limit our liberties.

“Civil disobedience is not our problem . . . Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves, and all the while the grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem.”
Howard Zinn

Related topics

What is the prognosis for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords?

PC police thwarting a remedy for rape

The views expressed on this page may or may not reflect my current opinions, nor do they necessarily represent my past ones. After reading a slice of what I wrote in my various websites and books, you may conclude that I am a liberal Democrat or a conservative Republican. Wrong; there is a better alternative. Just as the primary benefit from debate classes results when students present and defend opinions contrary to their own, I use a similar strategy as a creative writing tool to expand my brainpower—and yours. Mystified? Stay tuned for an explanation. PS: The wheels in your head are already turning a bit faster, aren't they?

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Reference: Imagining dialogue can boost critical thinking: Excerpt: “Examining an issue as a debate or dialogue between two sides helps people apply deeper, more sophisticated reasoning …”

Comments (4)

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Comment #103 by Carolyn Glennon, R.N.
January 17 2011 10:45:30 AM

Hello Dr. Pezzi! I read your comments on Jon Voight's thread RE: Sheriff Dupnik. I couldn't agree with you more. I am an R.N. who has worked in all areas of acute care. Why didn't SOMEONE put a 5150 [involuntary psychiatric] hold on this character? There certainly was sufficient opportunity!

I also went to your link and read your article. YOU, Sir, need to run for office! Not only are you the voice of reason but a big breath of sanity in a seemingly upside down world. We need more people with your integrity to speak up, speak out so the world can hear you. I hope you will add me as a Facebook friend and fellow patriot!

Comment #102 by Nancy
January 12 2011 07:05:45 PM

Outstanding!

I'm reading your blog for the first time today . . . consider me a devoted subscriber from now on. Thank you for your facts, reason, and logic. It is a shame that media talking heads largely cannot approach your level of thinking. Kudos!

Comment #101 by Anonymous
Contact the commenter via MySpamSponge: iyq Contact this person via MySpamSponge
January 12 2011 03:30:12 AM

Well Written and Right-on!

Interestingly, the cellphone was invented in Israel.

Comment #100 by Jim Barrus
January 12 2011 12:03:26 AM

Repost?

This is quite an article and brings forth some things I didn't know. Thank you. May I post it on my wall? Thanks.

Editor's note: Yes, please post it.

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