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The Acrimony of Political Discourse and the Death of Fair Play in the Open Forum
The First Amendment Ain't Gahts no Jurisdiction, Here!
Yeah, the Constitution applies on the street, and we as a people can peacefully assemble as we damned well freakin' please, whether certain law enforcement personnel try to infringe upon that with arrogant bravado and childishly inept shouts of "please disperse immediately".
Why? Are we on your front lawn? Did some (litterbug) inadvertently drop a cigarette but onto a post office lawn? Are we blocking traffic? Disturbing the peace? Conducting ourselves in a disorderly fashion (and when the hell did "disorderly" EVER become a freakin' crime, eh? - ever seen how an MAOI works in the bodies chemistry and system? Pretty g-damned disorderly! Sometimes a little chaos gets the job done.
Well, I'm getting slightly off track. The Constitution as it applies on the street, in the flesh, and out where we're breathing air, hearing ours and others voices, and looking each other in the eye, has no bearing on how these same sacred amendments are willfully rendered impotent by some power-tripping website hosts/owners who think they know better how to create a lively, engaged and informed dialogue.
Would it were true! No. Apparently the "t.o.u. "s of online fora are as fickle, irresponsible, temperamental, stupid, and as illogically undependable, but very debendably illogical as the whim of he/she/they who so maniacally weild the power of the say, the weapons of the censor, and the cowardly inconsistent application of the ban.
If we are going to evolve to the point that "net" debate can reflect the intelligence, passion, and ability to reason, learn, empathize, problem-solve, LISTEN and work together, we are going to have to tell the "owners" of the cloud to grow some cajones, find the courage of their conviction, and let the internet be what it was ultimately meant to be - an unobstructed and unlimited means, mode and mega-connected free flowing of ideas and passions.
Until then, it remains the province of ex Dungeons and Dragons hermits, a few inexplicably well-connected idiosyncrats who still have beloved, hand-assembled Apple I's in their attics, basements, or....or desks? - and the thousands of folks charged with the artificial responsibility of regulating behavior and free speech when all it consists of is the "free assembly" we have, I am loathe to believe but regret to suppose, not the same rights to enjoy and engage digitally as our in the flesh "walking their talk" brethren" who have every right to tell a corrupt cop to go to hell.
He can arrest ya. But he can't ban ya. Then you, he and we are allowed to access the due process that protects all of our rights (or subjected to same due process just as vulnerable to the aformentioned biases, faults, and plain-vanilla screw-ups and corruption!). But then, I suppose, that process, and its WAAAY imperfect practitioners are the subject for another hub! Uh-yeah: this author has taken that expositional and convoluted dive quite a few times - so, you know, if you just HAPPEN by one or ten s'uch hubs of mine, I wouldn't exactly *MIND*. :)