TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Bill of Rights Day Dinner 12/15

Re: Bill of Rights Day Dinner 12/15

Lisa Hancock (
5 Dec 2004 09:47:56 -0800

Joseph <> wrote:

> Are we celebrating its demise as well? That seems to be the direction
> we're going with the present administration in the White House.

It is important to remember that our civil rights are all _relative_
and must be balanced against each other. No right is unlimited. For
example, your right of free speech must be balanced against my freedom
from harassment and private property (the old "yelling fire in a
crowded theatre" argument).

We look back 50 years ago and often are horrified at things
that went on in those days -- things that almost everyone at the
time approved of. Who knows what they'll say about our generation
50 years from now?

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Lisa, perhaps you are getting the
topic of civil *RIGHTS* confused with civil *LIBERTIES*. They are
two different things. Do you know the difference between 'civil
liberties' and 'civil rights'? And yes, things were pretty horrid
for a lot of people fifty years ago in the USA. Regards the 'shouting
fire in a crowded theatre' argument, the more contemporary version
of that would be calling 911 to report a false fire alarm; a very
distasteful thing to do which is NOT covered by any discussion of
'free speech'. And it is beyond the scope of this Digest to spend
*very much* time on Bush's politics (as tempted as I have been on
occassion) but perhaps you and other readers will explain the
difference between 'civil liberties' and 'civil rights'.

In the meantime, don't forget that December 15 is 'Bill of Rights
Day' here in the USA. Celebrate it as you wish, I guess; either its
longevity if you are an optimist or its demise if you are as
concerned as many folks about the last election, and in any event
tell what you have planned in your community. PAT]

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