Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Message Worth Repeating

If You Don't Like It, Don't Look At It or Think About It

Certain readers apparently have had "problems" with a few articles I've recently written and published here. Whether you don't agree with me politically or spiritually or whateverly, I have a right to express my thoughts, opinions and beliefs!

Freedom of speech is the freedom to speak freely without censorship. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution.

Just as I have the right to speak, YOU have the freedom not to listen to me (or in the case of this blog, you may choose NOT to read what I have written!)

To clarify, I offer you this snippet of an article on humanistlife.org.uk:
"What is interesting about freedom of speech is that it is defended as being an important right of the person doing the speaking, writing or drawing (although Mill thought that free expression would eventually benefit society, this was arguably an added bonus and definitely came second to the idea of the right of the individual to be free). Is there another side to free speech? Can it be defended not only as a right of the speaker, but perhaps as a right of the listener also? If I have a right to say and write what I like, does it make sense to say I also have a right to hear and read what others say?"
"We're living in a time when the freedoms we take for granted—the freedom of speech, the freedom to protest and dissent—are truly in danger." ~ Barbara Kopple


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Because, like the fine publication Tablet, whom I borrowed this concept from, I too am committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing I'm able to provide, all free of charge. I take pride in my loyal readership, and I'm thrilled that you choose to engage with me in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse).

I'm asking people who'd like to post comments on my blog to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping me bring you the provocative and/or entertaining articles that brought you here in the first place.

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I hope this new largely symbolic measure will help create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all! Those of you who choose to contribute, thanks for your support.


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