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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Mpls Council Member and Mayor Call for Regulating Free Speech

Loosetrife comments on the Samuel's and Rybak's remarks on free speech during last week's Minneapolis City Council meeting:

"Samuels in particular emerged as an unapologetic opponent of unsupervised free speech . Rybak made clear his desire to censor cable access television. If Republicans had spewed this bilge, Democrats would come unglued, crying out against the assault on civil liberties."

Read more, including a transcript of Samuel's attack on free speech at the Minneapolis Upside Down blog.

I also made a short You Tube movie of Samuel's and Rybak's attack on free speech.

This should concern anyone who values free speech on the internet and cable television.

Here is a great quote on free speech from Justice William O. Douglas:

"Free speech is not to be regulated like diseased cattle and impure butter. The audience that hissed yesterday may applaud today, even for the same performance."

More quotes about free speech from the great jurist:

"Fear of ideas makes us impotent and ineffective."

"Thus if the First Amendment means anything in this field, it must allow protests even against the moral code that the standard of the day sets for the community. In other words, literature should not be suppressed merely because it offends the moral code of the censor."

"The great and invigorating influences in American life have been the unorthodox: the people who challenge an existing institution of way of life, or say and do things that make people think."

"The way to combat noxious ideas is with other ideas. The way to combat falsehoods is with truth."

"It is our attitude toward free thought and free expression that will determine our fate. There must be no limit on the range of temperate discussion, no limits on thought. No subject must be taboo. No censor must preside at our assemblies."

"Restriction on free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us."

Those last two quotes are from this talk Justice Douglas gave in 1951.