First Things First…



Comic is by XKCD:

Header image:

The End (so far)


  1. That definition matches a number of freedom of speech statutes in Western Europe where the concept is also often misunderstood. Interestingly, it’s always the same group of people who seem to have a problem comprehending it. I’m suspicious regarding their self-serving interpretations. What they generally propose is a unilateral form of freedom of speech where they can denigrate anyone or any group but no one has the right to response or criticism.

    The difference here is that the concept is more narrowly read by the courts- meaning freedom of speech isn’t treated as a free for all where citizens are free to marginalize other citizens. A couple of years ago when an Imam in Spain was preaching that men should beat their wives he was prosecuted and convicted for inciting criminal behaviour.


  2. I was just “debating” this very issue with a colleague. Go figure, living in the south we still have those who believe the Confederacy was “cheated”. Anyways, I had to point out… Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences. I sometimes wonder just how far we’ve actually come as a society when issues like this arise.


  3. I write stuff about Oz that you can ‘get’; but you write stuff about the US of A that I can’t. Does this mean I’m an ignorant yob ? Shit, I hope not !!!


    1. Well, I don’t know the first thing about Australia’s constitutionally guaranteed rights. Or if you even have a constitution? I know HM is still on your money… that’s rather anti-democratic right off the bat, eh?

      Anyhoo, my post was about the confusion that exists among the ignorant yobs in America with regard to our guaranteed freedom of speech. The First Amendment to the Constitution grants me the freedom to say anything I like, in public, without interference or retribution from any government (federal, state, local).

      The Supreme Court has upheld this right for more than two centuries, almost without limit. (The famous exception-to-the-rule is that I cannot falsely yell “Fire!” in a crowded theatre; public safety outweighs my individual right to say stupid things.)

      But the ‘spell’ only works against government interference. It does not protect me from any other consequences of my speaking freely. I may be mocked or assaulted or fired or… lose my professional basketball team.

      Maybe I should do a blog that deciphers America for the rest of the world? And you can do the Oz decoder!


      1. What a wonderful idea !!! And no, we don’t have a Constitution. At this stage, I simply can’t imagine any group’s being able to come up with one ! So the First isn’t worth the paper it’s written on …?


        1. On the contrary – it’s worth everything! Government can’t shut you up. That’s all you need protecting from. After that, what you say floats out into ‘the marketplace of ideas’ to sink or swim.


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