Posted by: gdevi | November 30, 2014

Free Speech Fiasco

Interesting case and ruling on free speech and online threats. I will be following this with great interest. You know, every so often I see or listen to these songs and other social media crap filled with threats of murder, dismemberment and intent to hurt and to commit violence–and I am really astonished why they are allowed to pollute the airwaves and the ether, all in the name of free speech. Years ago, when I was in India, I listened to this song by Elvis Presley called “Baby let us play house,” I think it was called. It had these lines in it — “I would rather see you dead than be with another man” — or something like that. It is all supposed to be love or something. I was so repulsed by it that I have never been able to listen to another Elvis Presley song. I come from a family of lawyers, and if I had not become an English teacher, I would have been a constitutional lawyer, and the legal rulings that most fascinate me belong to the discourse of this free speech crap. I would have dedicated my professional career to working out the relationship of ugly threats to language and law.  A few months ago, a 50 something man who swam with 3-11 year old kids in the San Antonio Sea World pool and took underwater photographs of the children’s breast and buttock areas was released from criminal charges filed by a parent by the Texas court system by using free speech and the right of the man to be aroused through said photos as long as he did not assault the children. Really? The right to be aroused by taking pictures of 3 year old kids in the water? Really? Very interesting, isn’t it?

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