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John Rocker, 'Double Standard?' Robert Sheridan bobsheridan I think what may be happening is this. We put a lot social, economic, political, and legal pressure on what people are allowed to say in public. It conflicts with the constitutional freedom of speech, or, more accurately, seems to at times. So when someone actually has the guts, or idiocy, to exercise the right, we question his right.

The problem, politically, that the guaranty, the First Amendment, was meant to lay to rest, was being taken out and hanged for what you said. Once you start down that road, you are lost, because then you have to start drawing lines between acceptable views and criminal utterances.

The way Holmes, I think it was, resolved the problem for us was to say, yeah, shouting fire in the theater was bad news (I wuz at one of those multiplex movies last nite and a few thousand patrons had to leave because of a trash fire in one of them whose smoke told us it was no false alarm. Sobering.) but as to the rest of speech, anybody can say anything they want, and the "marketplace of ideas" will sort out what's acceptable from what's not.

Sounds like a winner to me, considering how hard it is to draw lines, and we want people to express new ideas.

Came across a quote, the other day, that I clipped, that's apropos:

"All truth goes through three stages. First it is revealed. Then it is violently opposed. Finally it is accepted as self-evident." - Schopenhauer


PS: "The Talented Mr. Ripley" wasn't worth coming back to see the second half, or even the first. Snow Falling on Cedars was sold out.

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