DRAFT: Free Speech is not Always Pretty

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I want to start off with a joke.  Not my joke, of course.  Ron White's joke, he is much funnier than I:


Ron White talking about Osama Bin Laden


At the end he says "comedy's not always pretty."  Keep in mind this monologue included licking buttcrack, grape jelly and a convict named thunder dick.  Why did I bring this up?  Well, Ryan wrote an article entitled "Why the Founders of America would have supported banning Stone-Eater, Jeff Michka, James Travil, and Opher Goodwin from WB."  He thinks Autumn should ban those individuals from WB.


 This article shocked me.  Why on earth would an author here want to ban anyone?  This is Autumn's site, she makes the rules for us to follow.  For the most part she let's us have at it.  She requires that everyone comment on other people's work and reminds us to do so.  There are some other things but that's about it.  I appreciate this, I belong to forums that regularly suspend and even ban people for using language or saying racist things.  I generally disagree with this because I am a true free speech advocate.  I also understand that those forums are not mine, that they have rules for a reason and it's not my place to judge.  


Most of you know where my interests lie.  I go out into the internet to  whack on Holocaust deniers and their related ilk.  I explained why in another article so I won't go into that now.  You would think I want deniers suppressed but that is not the case.  Why?  There are a couple of reasons:


1) Suppressing something often makes it attractive.  I see no reason to make someone a martyr.  On related note I disagree with "memory laws" that make Holocaust denial or other related types of denial illegal for the reason I just gave.


2) Even when someone is wrong they sometimes have something valuable to say or contribute.  I read some denial books early on that gave me access to documents I didn't know.


This brings us back to WB.  Everyone is here for different reasons.  I originally came here because Autumn invited a denier I knew.  I came in response to that but I stayed because it gives me a place to write about whatever is on my mind.  I generally write about history but I also write about politics or personal things.  I enjoy reading the articles here even if I disagree with much I read.  Whether or not I  agree is never the point.  The point is it helps me see how others view the world we all live in.


This brings us back around Ryan.  Unfortunately Ryan believes that only certain types of articles and comments should be allowed.  I completely disagree because we all need to see how others view the world.  We all learn things from each other even if it's not always pretty.  That's OK, free speech isn't always pretty but that's exactly the point.  We need all of it.  The extreme is not having the ability to speak our minds.  When that happens we know society itself is being suppressed.


I told Ryan that I disagree with pretty much everything he says but I oppose any effort to suppress him.  He obviously feels different.  The problem is that dangerous sword cuts both ways.  You suppress my speech it's very likely someone will suppress yours.  


We all police our articles differently.  I am much more free-wheeling than others, I don't mind when people go off topic and I always let comments stand.  I have a very strict "no delete" policy.  My only rule is never insult my family.  Period.  My wife and children have nothing to do with you, nor do my mother  or my siblings.  I let personal attacks on me stand.  The only person I ever deleted was John G. and only because he persisted in his attacks.  That's it.  Others are more strict than I am.  That's fine though I am less likely to comment on a serial delet


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