Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Free Speech, rights and rights

It continually amazes me that so many people, often those in the media, in academia, definitely in government, and down the street, have so little idea of what the Bill of Rights is about, and what the difference is between a right and entitlement.

Sorry Joel, but I can't resist.

Today I heard some guy on the radio discussing whether a private company which fires a person because of comments posted on facebook has violated that person's 1st amendment right to free speech. I'd say that unless an employment contract which precluded such termination was in effect, then no, they violated nothing. We are assuming no libel or slander is involved.

Technically, I suppose it would be freedom of the press since we are dealing with the written word. But this scenario has nothing to do with the Bill of Rights.

A pe3rson is free to express himself, and others are free to fire him if the choose. People can quit their job over something the owner says or writes if they choose.

It matters not whether an employer is fair, it is his/her right to decline the person's services for whatever reason. Why do people stretch it to involve freedom of speech? or press?

The government cannot punish you for criticizing it, but people can refuse to do business with you, withhold friendship, etc. Being fired because you talked shop on facebook may be a poor reason, depending upon circumstances of the incident, but freedom of speech and press are not relevant to this kind case.

Talk show hosts are often limited in the scope of their reasoning abilities. The professor who called in was equally wrong in his assessment. Denying the employer's rights in the name of the 1st Amendment is a risky road to follow. Next thing you know the employee's right to quit will be in jeopardy.

By the reasoning I heard from these people, the government being forbidden to establish a state religion would apply to any group. so no religion could be established, and a religious school would be forbidden from exposing its students to that religion or any other.

The state cannot abridge speech or press, but your friends and employers can react to your expression. The state can't establish a religion, but you or the lady down the street can.

It seems clear enough to me. The confusion over it is nuts and will eventually lead to narrower rights and liberty, not more.

The Battle With Worthless Worry

The list of things of which we know very little, but think we should have a strong opinion, is lengthy. OJ, for example. I wasn't there and it was a circus. I still can't say I know what happened. Now someone has a book out claiming his deranged son did it. Why should I care or even give it a second thought?

Trayvon. I wasn't there and I do not know. What makes people take a view is the reaction to demagoguery and opportunism of those who jumped on the thing and made up stories, then tried to incite riots. I shouldn't worry about it. That one causes some worry because it has become a battle cry for openly racist aggression. Screw it, though. I'm in an area lacking in diversity, therefore lacking in the sort of violence common in my last locale, Memphis.

I get so inundated with information about things outside my own world that I forget what there is in my life worth doing. Obesity in children, and its resultant cries for regulation and people minding the business of strangers; hardly something I ought to waste any thought considering.

The only consideration, on the level of abstract principle, is that this is the downfall of the socialist philosophy. If we all share in the cost of healthcare and everything else, then that is used as the excuse to monitor the personal choices of others. That results in more rules and regs and restrictions on rights. It leads to being required to prove innocence without any indication of guilt having been established.

Those things are cumbersome when people like me can't shake thoughts of such remote manipulation and nonsense. None of that serves to help me live life with passion or even constructive direction. I'm not making a living by having opinions or thoughts about the ubiquitous debates regarding non issues.

I saw a report about a poll which asked if people thought Zimmerman shot the guy in self defense. A poll! They weren't quizzing witnesses, just random people. As if it is right that the uninformed public should have deeply held opinions regarding events which occurred somewhere else, involved strangers, of which they have very limited information. How can they possibly deem themselves eligible to make a reasonable call? Jerry Springer nation.

I remember when pandering talk shows first started that thing of someone giving two minutes worth of a complex issue then audience members would be called upon to give their idiotic assessment and advice. Better to be a voyeur into the insanity of others than to deal with your own sadness, anxiety or responsibilities.

Maybe that suicidal deer who ended up costing me over $500, and my insurance company over $3000, had the right idea. If you can't get it right, give up.

But, then, if you give up, how will you ever know if you could have made it over the obstacles and gained some traction? Maybe some little electrical anomaly in the brain would have nudged you into just enough action to put the construction process in motion.

Just something to get your mind off of The Great Pretense which has ruined anything regarding public information media and the authorities they promote. That covers so much ground; from war to public schools and universities, to helmet laws and, still hard to believe, obesity.

So much easier to look at the reports of events and governments, which could be pure fiction for all I know, than it is to control my own personal environment. The latter is something over which I do have a great deal of control. You'd think I'd exercise my authority and make it as good as it can be.

No doubt this has defined a mental disorder which carries a label. I don't think it is a brain tumor. Probably a form of perpetual grief which has lost its way, and forgotten its cause.

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Ballistic Mountain, CA, United States
Like spring on a summer's day


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