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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Another Free Speech Eulogy- The Sunday Collage

All aboard the crazy train for the weekly sojourn. I tried on so many titles for this- I have since edited and simplified the title. I am gonna have to cut back on the Xanax.

(Disclaimer* I have used the "N" word in this piece, please make sure you have taken your blood pressure medication before continuing.)

Dollar stores, predatory loan shops, and tattoo parlors. That is the new economy of Boise.
There are hundreds of these things all over town. That and a healthy supply of vacant commercial property everywhere makes it pretty difficult to buy into the premise that the economy has recovered. This is a political meme. The pretend recovery. We're going to piss down your back and tell you it's raining. We always need more rain. So I giggled the first time I saw this.

The optimist says, "the glass is half full." The pessimist says, "the glass is half empty." The realist says, "Hey, my glass has piss in it!"

I am the third guy. I have always been that way. I don't think there is any better description of me.

So I want to talk about another political meme today. I think you'll like it- but first a slight meander.

I have this job hauling freight which I like for the following reasons. There is no boss riding in the truck and telling me where to turn. People are genuinely happy to see me because rather than arresting them- I usually arrive with a huge TV or treadmill or some equally enormous muscle tearing piece of freight. The work is so simple that I do not not go home and wonder whether I did the right thing or not. I do not have pictures of carnage in my mind.The people I work with, including the bosses, are very good people. I am grateful for all of that and the fact that I can simply take a week off whenever I please. Like next week.

But the best part about this job is that it gives me plenty of time to think, to drive around and look at tattoo and loan shops, dollar stores, and vacant property while thinking on how one class of people think they are entitled to free speech while denying someone else the very same right. So the story I'm about to relate to you is about free speech and why it is so critically important to protect it.

I have a friend in Boise who I once worked with years ago- when we were kid cops. I always liked Rich. The salient point here is that Rich is black. Very often, Rich posts things on his Facebook page that have something to do with being black. Sometimes but certainly not always, the nature of those black remarks pokes fun at white folks or broad strokes them a little ignorant. Now I'm not sure whether that's good or bad but the part that I am positive and adamant about- is that Rich has every right to free speech and to convey his truth and perspective.

And here's where it gets a little crazy. Earlier this week, Rich started posting the rantings of BLM scofflaw Cliven Bundy and painting him as a racist. Rich even went so far as to state he wanted to thin out his friends list a little bit, so he invited people to agree with Bundy in order that he might identify and delete them or whatever the hell they call it on Facebook. The comments that followed Rich's anti- Bundy remarks were what you might expect. A lot of folks calling Bundy an idiot and heaping some hate on, almost universally and unanimously, in the fashion we have all become accustomed to.

It is a key point to bear in mind that what you say and who you are- are not always the same thing. It is a lot more humane to attack errant speech specifically and then perhaps- surgically remove it- rather than curing it by killing the patient. 

Now I've listened to Bundy's remarks and what he is trying to say is no more inflammatory than most of the shit I've been listening to from whites and blacks my whole life. I actually agree with much of what Bundy is trying to convey- I just hate that he used race to try and convey his points. Because the real issue doesn't have a damn thing to do with racism. What Bundy can't get his arms around is that we have a real oligarchy in the United States wherein the rich and banking elite have joined forces with the government to enslave all of us. That he used old racist stereotyping and metaphor to try and make his points was of course- the wrong conduit. That gave everybody with an axe to grind- the opportunity to label Bundy based on his speech.

The left leaning envirocons and self avowed non racist class claimed moral high ground by calling Cliven a racist. The Bundy supporters tried to explain Bundy's remarks and tried to keep folks focused on our government's overreach- over the jeers of the leftists. Unfortunately the leftists, with so much ammunition, were able to label the Bundy supporters as wrong thinking neanderthals who see the glass as half empty with Cliven Bundy as their mascot. Like Rich's friends- the left claimed victory. They have long ago broken those racist chains that still bind dimwits like Cliven Bundy.

This thinking was quite evident all over the web this week. Once you've been labeled a racist- there is no going back. There is no rehab, no second chance. You are an idiot forever. Nothing you will ever say will be given any credibility. Live a life of good deeds but screw one sheep and you will not be known as Bob the good guy. You will be known as Bob the sheep f#$%^*.

Nothing can kill free speech quicker than chastising, ridiculing, and labeling somebody for the speech that they select. That is the damage that peer pressure brings to bear on free speech. If you don't protect the free speech process- one day- you'll wake up and it will be gone.

Which brings me to an encounter I had at a gas pump in Shakopee, Mn., just outside Minneapolis in the summer of 2007. The day after the bridge collapsed. I noticed a Mexican guy, a former illegal alien it turns out, staring at my motorcycle. A conversation suddenly broke out and during that conversation this former illegal alien told me that the south in general and particularly New Orleans- where I was going- was full of niggers. Now I wish that I could tell you that upon hearing that term, I suffered a debilitating stroke but that did not happen. I remember looking at him at that very moment and thinking that was an incredibly odd thing for an illegal alien to say. Had I gotten hung up on his use of the "n" word I might have missed the point he was making. He was making a point about pity parties, claiming victim status, and missing out on the American dream. Fortunately I did not have a nervous breakdown when I heard something objectionable. Therefore, I heard the message. This is precisely what happened to Cliven Bundy this week. His message, his free speech, and in essence his credibility- all died when he selected blacks and slavery as his metaphor.

The leftists wanted to kill Cliven all along. But Cliven committed suicide instead. That stuff happens.

You see I know that the reason free speech is number ONE in the Bill of Rights is because a group of radicals using free speech are what gave us our freedom. I also realize that at some point in the future, a bunch of radicals using free speech are going to give us back our freedom. The salient point being- don't get so focused on being right or wrong that you forget what's important and drink half a glass of piss by mistake.

I'll see ya in Butte next week.