Monday, March 14, 2011
Sunday, March 13, 2011
This sign is in a "drinking zone" or "bar district" in downtown San Diego. Could the 75 bars within one square mile contribute more to alcohol abuse than giving nickels to homeless veterans? Maybe these charities can spend some more time picking up homeless people and taking them home instead of putting up signs.
Posted by Oren at 7:06 AM
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
According to recent rulings of the US Supreme Court, a sign reading "Thank God for dead soldiers" at a military funeral is protected speech, but a sign reading "Bong hits 4 Jesus" on private property is not. (read about each case here) (and here)
If you are unable to detect the slightest bit of hypocrisy at this point, return to the top of the previous sentence and meet me back here in few seconds. Repeat if necessary.
Isn't the aversion to this ridiculous double standard the reason why we protect all speech in the first place? Why did the court find that God's rights to hate fags are superior to Jesus's right to inhale? What could be the source of such obvious hypocrisy?
The first usual suspect would be religion, an endless goldmine for logically inconsistent thought. But both phrases contain some reference to religion, and religion was not the legal justification cited in the courts written opinion. The Military might be another source of the problem, they have been known to bend the rules from time to time. But the court ignored the dignity of the individual fallen soldiers to honor the integrity of the rights that they allegedly died to protect. If not by the power of God, and not by coercion from the military, then why no protection for "Bong hits 4 Jesus"?
The answer is the War on Drugs. The court ruled in 2007 that the word "bong" might encourage marijuana use. The great threat of marijuana was enough justification for an 18 year old man to be censored and disciplined by a government employee that happened to be near by during his display of words. As if one more display of the word "bong" is going to make marijuana into a billion dollar industry with tens of millions of Americans that use it regularly.
From random DUI roadblocks, to no-knock search warrants, to the DEA trespassing to attach GPS tracking devices on cars with no warrant at all, the war on drugs has been pissing away the fourth amendment rights of Americans for decades. We no longer have any expectation of privacy. Just ask the TSA.
Now the war on drugs is coming for your first amendment rights. Speech that mentions a device that might be used for something illegal is too dangerous for the eyes of the public, but armed paramilitary drug-troopers storming in to a house with guns drawn is safe for the public. The word bong is bad, but hundreds of billions of dollars to put non violent peolpe in prison is good. And lets not forget that due process and property rights have been subverted through the asset forfeiture racket. If the police claim you are dealing drugs, then the police can steal your property and the burden of proof is on you to show how you purchased your property. In the war on drugs, you are guilty until proven innocent.
Its a good thing we have the freedom to speak out against such injustices, and we are lucky to have American men and women brave enough to be killed in action while protecting that right. Thank god for dead soldiers.