Friday, May 04, 2007

Just crossed my mind: I thought you people didn't support censorship?

In the last month we've seen some revealing trends: progressive bloggers coming out against hip hop, progressive bloggers coming out against gun rights, progressive bloggers now wanting to vote Cockburn off the island because he wrote something aginst global warming.

Ted Rall wrote a really good piece about the free speech component of this, which I'll quote:

"Behold the Gospel of the Economic Censors! The First Amendment remains in full force for them--at full pay--but scaled back for those they don't like. Snoop Dogg and his fellow gangsta rappers should be free to peddle their smut on CD-Rs on Harlem sidewalks, they say--but not to have it distributed and sold in stores. You know, where most people buy music.

Economic censorship perverts the axiom that the answer to bad free speech is more free speech into something simultaneously frightening and idiotic. The answer to bad free speech, say Mssrs. Brock and Herbert, is to deny its speakers a public forum."

So...when it suits you censorship is ok. It seems that siding with Alberto Gonzales is ok too: witness a recent Huffington Post Article entitled "NRA Says Terror Suspects Should Be Able To Buy Guns"

The most salient point is this: ""As many of our friends in law enforcement have rightly pointed out, the word 'suspect' has no legal meaning, particularly when it comes to denying constitutional liberties," Cox wrote."

I have to ask: is the Huffington Post fucking crazy? Seriously. They don't see that denying the right of people that the Bush administration and Alberto Gonzales have deemed to be Terroist Suspects, meaning that they haven't been charged with any crime but are only in that vague category of people under surveillance and investigation by the government, is an enourmous slippery slope?

If they deny people who haven't been charged with a crime the right to buy a gun what's to stop them from denying them other rights? Seriously? What about the no fly list? That's the same principle: people haven't been charged with anything, are put on this list that's extremely hard to get off of, and are prohibited by the government from flying on planes.

There has been article after article written on the no-fly list, but when it comes to a no-buy list Huffington Post says "Super! I trust the Bush administration!".

Makes me sick.

The reasoning is also similar to the argument that it's ok to spy on people's communications just in case they may be doing something wrong.

There's a reason that I locate myself on the libertarian end of the socialist spectrum and it's, well, basically, that I take rights seriously, no matter if the expression of them or even the thing itself is unpopular. Obviously much of the progressive blogosphere doesn't agree.

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