Enough With the Free-Speech Thing Already

Hating to pay even meager additional attention to the Magilla from Wasilla that is Sarah (sigh) Palin, it has now become impossible not to comment on her latest, and perhaps most egregious misapplication of the notion of “freedom” since she burst upon us fully formed as the elderly McCain’s doomed VP choice.

We won’t spend a minute talking about the Tragedy in Tucson, since we can add nothing to the discussion not already said.

But we will talk about the notion of what “freedom of speech” really means, and why Palin and everyone who has ever invoked “free speech” when stung by criticism, has it all backwards. As a case in point, the bespectacled Palin, in a wanna-be-Presidential moment, took to the viral-video-sphere with a Tucson-inspired diatribe about how people who criticize her are somehow invading her right as a citizen to speak out.

Gag me, as was once upon a time asserted quite effectively, with a spoon.

Here is the news:

The constitutional notion of freedom of speech posits that the government can make no law preventing free expression of ideas.

And that’s it.

If people don’t like what you say, if people criticize you, if your words make them angry and not want to vote for you, if they call you names and find you tacky–too bad. In no way does “freedom of speech” ever, ever mean “freedom from criticism by other citizens”. When your words are criticized, that is a function of OTHER PEOPLE exercizing their right to free speech. No amount of opprobrium from others who disagree with you can ever amount to an abrogation of your free speech rights.

“Freedom of Speech” means only this: that the government can make no law restricting it.

Get used to it, Ms. Palin, and stop being a crybaby.

Ophiuchus? No Way.

They have taken away my Zodiac sign. I was a proudly skeptical Sagittarius and even though I don’t believe in that stuff I believed in my Zodiac sign as part of who I was because, well, it was my Zodiac sign.

But because of an unfortunate accident of birth, my dates no longer fall under the archer’s sway.

So now, what. . .a name that sounds like the bile that accompanies a bad head cold? Or a klutzy kind of elephant?

Please, Zolar, tell me you’re not really doing this. The stars, at least, are supposed to be well nigh immutable, no? Are you telling me we’ve changed so much in the past ten thousand years that you have to add not only a new sign, but really stupidly-named sign? Was there really no other way?

Couldn’t you have maybe shifted the dates around a little, or at least come up with a kick-butt name for the new sign, like “iPadLightSabre”–you know, something really attractive to the weenies who give two shakes of a mare’s tail about any of this?

I am saying here and now I am sticking to my old sign, and I don’t even care what the stars say any more, so there!

Sagittarius is my past, and I say: Sagittarius now, and Sagittarius forever!

Why Do They Come?

No particular additional proof was needed for me to accept and understand that so-called “UFOs” are based on some kind of actual phenomena. But having read Leslie Kean’s recent book “UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go On Record”, I feel like the notion of debate as to the reality of the phenomena is not particularly relevant.

No more relevant, really, is the question about who they are, where they are from, etc. etc. There is little to be gained from this inquiry. Perhaps they operate from a base in the Pacific Ocean and have always done so. Perhaps they are from Alpha Centauri. Does it matter?

There are two questions, it seems, that do matter.

The first is, what can we learn from them? From an aeronautical perspective, obviously quite a bit. From a time-space-continuum (aka physics) perspective, equally much. Science, and all humanity therefore, is the poorer for a failure to spend more time on such study.

The second and more intriguing, in my opinion, is, why do they come?

Had “they” wanted to take over our planet, it would seem they could have. Or, perhaps not. We are a formidable race with sharp teeth, and perhaps this was of particular note to early extraterrestrial observers. One assumes therefore that takeover/enslavement is probably not on the alien agenda.

Had they wanted to communicate openly with us, one assumes they might have done as much; again, perhaps we have managed to scare them away from direct communication. They seem to hover, to observe, and then to depart without much physical impact.

The abiding mystery, then, would be–why bother with us? Having apparently not changed their overall approach to us over the many years they’ve been noticed by us, they must have a reason to keep up their observations; and it isn’t because we pose some kind of interstellar threat. Nor do I believe they have some kind of benevolent message for us, as it is most likely quite obvious to the student of humanity that we are immune, as a race, to advice good or ill.

Allow me to suggest they are here on this living speck of blue we call Earth for one overarching reason: we are both unique enough and perhaps even marvelous enough to merit the attention of those who might go anywhere in the intergalactic region.

Perhaps they wonder at our carbon-based physiognomy; or our quite obvious fecundity; our apparent sensitivity to our surroundings; perhaps they marvel not so much at humanity but the variety of earthly life-forms; the riotous beauty of our planet’s many facets. Maybe they are intent on our abundant water-resources. Or perhaps, overall, they are fascinated with the human creature’s intelligence, adaptability, relentlessness and relative mastery of our environment. And perhaps they are comfortable with studying us from their atmospheric perch, letting us go about our business; learning what they can from us–perhaps even deploying some of these lessons in their own foreign worlds, wherever they might be.

The facts are clear: these are actual phenomena; they appear to be intelligent. Therefore, my position is they are collecting data. Perhaps they are both pleased enough and smart enough to simply observe without interfering.

Let’s keep up the show.