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SHOUTING OUT THE TRUTH | 2004-01-31

A Supreme Court justice once said, "Freedom of speech does not include the right to shout 'Fire!' in a crowded theater."

I must have heard that piece of hogwash a thousand times, and every time the person quoting it thought he was being Truly Wise.

But what if there IS a fire in a crowded theater? Am I supposed to walk quietly to the exit and let everybody else cook?

What scares me is that I am the only person who has ever brought that up.

In Britain, the question I just posed has been answered. Joseph Pierce was sentenced to a year in prison for "inciting racial hatred." The court admitted that everything Pierce said was factual, but it also declared (The Crown versus Joseph Pierce, 1986) that "The truth is no excuse."

So if there is a fire in a British theater and you see it, walk to the exit and keep your mouth shut.

America has not degenerated to that extent yet.

Another Truly Wise quote is, "Freedom means you have the right to do whatever you want to, so long as it doesn't hurt anyone else."

In other words, I can say anything I want to say, but only so long as not one person is offended by it.

A slave has that much freedom.

Please see March 17, 2001 - HARMLESS FREEDOM IS AN OXYMORON