Welcome to National Freedom of Speech Week, October 20-26, 2008!
First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
While the First Amendment offers quite a few freedoms – religion, speech, press, right to assemble, etc. – it’s only proper to examine the right of free speech.
You, dear reader, are currently taking part in this amazing information database – the internet. There are billions of websites available and so much more information and disinformation available via this incredible resource. The freedom of speech allows you, me, and us to access things, legal things, unavailable to previous generations. Court documents, court orders, case histories, etc.
Education also allows us to take advantage of this freedom. Sure YouTube has a LOT of visitors looking at the pictures, but so do blogs. Just this week I saw the increase in the number of “hits” to this blog simply due to a celebrity boost (Hey Stephen Colbert - should I say “the Springfield bump?” You know, like the Colbert Bump?) You may think that this is due to the photos of Rick Springfield, but how did people find out about these photos – they read about it – through an RSS feed, an email, etc. BECAUSE OF THE FREEDOM OF SPEECH IN THESE UNITED STATES.
So, next time you are about to gripe about someone’s opinion piece, the news or even a blog (hopefully not this one), consider how lucky you are to have that choice! You can choose to read, listen or change websites.
And I can choose to write.
How lucky are we!