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    May 27, 2015, 06:33PM
    I too was taught to challenge conventional wisdom. I was just taught to be prepared for the likely blowback. My point on gay bashing was that even the appearance of homosexuality and speech in favor of homosexual rights would often be suppressed through violence and/or automatic dismissal of expressed views. (e.g. Harvey Milk) And although I think non-discrimination is a key component of the colloquial use of the First amendment I'm more than willing to drop the private club example. My main point is that in my experience, regardless of lip service, the ideals of the first amendment are no more, or less, adhered to than any other time in U.S. history as I hope my examples demonstrate. As for Noah, if he showed an ounce of the courtesy and thoughtful consideration that you do in these discussions, I would find it easier not to be dragged down to his antagonistic level.
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    May 27, 2015, 05:19PM
    The Red Sox are a confounding team. I thought that they would have the best offense in the league, or in all of baseball, but it's been terrible, almost worse than the pitching. I blame luck. Cherington hasn't been excellent recently, but give him some wiggle room, he did win 2013, after all.
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    May 26, 2015, 07:20PM
    Well, I was raised by teachers and parents to believe that different points needed to be heard, with none of them being suppressed. Did people live up to this ideal? Often yes, too often no. But it was the ideal, and I hate to see how it has lost ground. As to your catalog, you seem to have decided that tolerance of speech is the same as tolerance of everything. Awful as it is to beat up someone for being gay, or to deny them membership in a club because of their race, these are not free speech issues. Given that we disagree on such a fundamental definition, we're not going to get too far. I'll say for the record that I enjoy your posts (except the ones directed at Noah) and appreciate your often cogent prose. But we are proceeding from different premises and heading rapidly away from each other, so this exchange is probably useful to neither of us.
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    May 26, 2015, 06:36PM
    Shouldn't that actually be "Solly, Cholry"?
  • Go to comment.
    May 26, 2015, 03:38PM
    Solly, Cholly!
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    May 26, 2015, 02:36PM
    Really Russ? Thanks for tricking me into reading more of this TNR shit than I would have otherwise. Just because you were tricked into puke bait, doesn't mean you have to share with others. Now I need to go rinse and spit.
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    May 25, 2015, 09:35PM
    Our having different recollections I can agree with C.T. I recall the principal of free speech always being linked to the government and the first amendment. I also remember being taught by my parents, teachers, experience, and many other sources that challenging the status quo or conventional wisdom would usually be met with resistance on a social level not too mention on a governmental level. In fact, I have yet to experience any society that does not mock, deride or suppress those who are "different" from the norm. I remember Don't Ask Don't Tell, and that was a government program. I remember when being a member of communist party would prevent one from getting certain government and non-government jobs. I remember a time when the minority votes have been suppressed. I remember when gay bashing was common terminology for literally beating a suspected homosexual. I remember clubs that would prohibit minorities or women from joining. What I don't remember is a time when people truly believed that ". It was the premier example of a principle the rest of us meant to live by as best we could"
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    May 25, 2015, 07:07PM
    But I didn't dismiss those, like you, who use the term only in its strict sense. I suggest that the declining use of the term in its looser sense suggests that people aren't as enthusiastic about the principle of free speech as they used to be. Now as to whether my personal impression of popular usage cuts any ice with you, all I can say is you may take my recollections or leave them. I remember many times when people would say "First Amendment" and mean free speech. The first time I ever heard anyone insist on the strict usage was in 2004. If your recollections are different, so be it. I hope you can live with this difference in memory.
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    May 25, 2015, 05:59PM
    As for your dismissal of those, like me, who adhere to a more "strict usage" Just because you believe that "everyone knew the term's technically correct meaning but still went ahead and said “First Amendment” when what they meant was free speech." doesn't make it true or accurate and is therefore a weak pillar for an argument.
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    May 25, 2015, 05:49PM
    No preconceptions here. Just asking for a time or place where we lived by this principle. Your statement of " Now we don't" suggests you think we did at some point in history. I don't remember such a time in my lifetime or the history of the USA.
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    May 25, 2015, 03:52PM
    Tex, I don't think my words got past your preconceptions. I certainly don't claim that speech rights have never been violated in the US. No belief in utopia here, whether past, present or future.
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    May 25, 2015, 03:51PM
    For over half of this country's history women did not have the right to vote which is a fundamental right of free speech. At other times, they were unable to attain higher degrees, and hold certain work positions. And keep in mind that C.T. isn't discussing the "strict usage" of the term. By his definition children are rarely taken seriously or given the same speech rights by society that adults are afforded. And for most of U.S. history, women were treated more like children then adults. If you are wondering about the actual first amendment, where are women allowed to walk topless in public? Other than a few specialized beaches and maybe a town or two, they would be arrested for public indecency regardless of the reason or protest the women were not fully clad