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August 09, 2005 Commentary
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                                                                          August 09, 2005

                                          1798 Revisited

 

Perhaps you can call me naive, but when I was in grade school we defined free speech as pretty much being able to say whatever you chose to say without committing slander or libel vs. yelling out the word "fire" in a crowed movie theater. 

In today's PC climate it's a wonder anyone can say anything at all, but I digress. 

The point that I am trying to make is simply this; inciting people to riot, kill, maim, terrorize and basically cause destruction against there fellow citizens in a cause of bringing down those same citizens elected government is, in my mind, an act of sedition. It should not matter as the where-about these inflammatory words are issued, nor should it matter as to who has spoken them in the first place, whether from a pulpit, (amazing how the left has no problem with church-state issues when these words are spoken in a mosque), or from a street corner. The preaching of the violent overthrow of society should not be viewed lightly, but should be scrutinized for what it is, that being hatred. This includes all extremist groups from both side of the political aisle.

Perhaps it might be wise to look at the historical context of the alien and sedition acts of 1798, and see wherein the advantages and pitfalls were in the acts themselves. I do believe that the sedition act was passed but the alien act was not, however upon reading the act (http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/statutes/alien.htm) "respecting alien enemies" one finds that section one seems to fit today’s current world climate. 

It appears that Prime Minister Tony Blair has decided to issue his own version of the aforementioned acts, yet the question remains as to how far would the US be willing to go in a similar manner.