FREE SPEECH EXTENDS ONLY AS FAR AS THE GOVERNMENT ALLOWS IT
By Dave Harrison
To hear the United States government tell it, her citizens bask in the glory of the protections afforded by the various Amendments to the Constitution. One such protection is that of the right to free speech. The First Amendment proclaims:
"Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech..."
However, in the government’s interpretation of the First Amendment, you are free to speak your mind only within narrow prescribed limits. In fact, the government’s interpretation of the First Amendment drastically restricts "the freedom of speech." For example, your right to speak out against the government. Do so, and you will quickly learn a lesson as to the fallacy of your right to free speech.
The government of today would imprison her own founding fathers for speaking openly of sedition and overthrow. Ironic, when one recalls that the United States was formed to rebel against England's excessive taxation on colonial goods. Speak loudly today, as our founding fathers did, of the government’s oppressive taxation practices and you will find yourself permanently on the Internal Revenue Service's list of citizens to be audited; you will be persecuted. Worse yet, simply speak as to the teachings of our third President and you will go straight to prison. Thomas Jefferson spoke passionately of the need for regular rebellion against the government, because "... experience hath shown, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operation, perverted it into tyranny." In a letter to Colonel William S. Smith, son-in-law of John Adams, circa 1787, Jefferson stated:
"God forbid we should ever be twenty-years without such a rebellion.... What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that the people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure."
Placing your life in the hands of the First Amendment, to speak as ardently as Jefferson, is to take a paper shield to a knife fight. To assure docile obedience of her citizens the government has put into place laws restricting your freedom of speech. Title 18, Section 2385 (Advocating overthrow of Government), is just one of the statutes enacted to oppress your freedom of speech.
"Whoever knowingly or willfully advocates, abets, advises, or teaches the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States or the government of any State, Territory, District or Possession thereof, or the government of any political subdivision therein, by force or violence, or by the assassination of any officer of any such government; or
Whoever, with intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of any such government, prints, publishes, edits, issues, circulates, sells, distributes, or publicly displays any written or printed matter advocating, advising, or teaching the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying any government in the United States by force or violence, or attempts to do so; or
Whoever organizes or helps or attempts to organize any society, group, or assembly of persons who teach, advocate, or encourage the overthrow or destruction of any such government by force or violence; or becomes or is a member of, or affiliates with, any such society, group, or assembly of persons, knowing the purposes thereof--
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both..."
See, 18 U.S.C. � 2385. The government of today has long surpassed the levels of taxation, injustice, oppression and tyranny of ye olde England. Similarly, today as then, should you exhibit the spirit of resistance, and warn the government of your desire to take up arms to refresh the tree of liberty with the blood of patriots and tyrants; do so and you will find yourself defending your right to freedom of speech from a prison cell.
Exercise your First Amendment rights freely and you will not be free at all.