Ostomy Memories of Free Speech


FREEDOM OF SPEECH, that sacred 1st Amendment right that sits upon a marble pedestal, polished into a brilliant sheen by the courts, has taken on a less honorable meaning these days.  Freedom of speech is all-inclusive, like a cruise to the Bahamas.  It includes freedom to lie, to dissemble, to exaggerate, to spew disinformation with not one whit of effort to verify validity.  Freedom of speech is, to its essential core, freedom to make stuff up and dress it in the latest, most expensive fashions.  Freedom of speech in today’s hyper-unethical world hands out expensive dinner tickets to the maladaptive and the malicious, the malevolent and the malfeasant.  What they do with this freedom doesn’t seem to matter, for we will, according to historical myth, defend to the death their right to cheat and lie and swindle, to the lasting minimization of some other things to which we thought we had a right, such as the right to honesty, truth, and a truly democratic government.  Freedom of speech is money in unheard of, excessive amounts, contributed to the coffers of the candidates preferred by those rich enough to talk in the currency of affluence.  What FREE SPEECH has become, in its present state of despoliation, is a rotting canker on the surface of our cultural and political life, where anything goes and, hey, if you repeat it enough times, it sits upon a marble pedestal of its own.   


Goodness. Good morning Henry How is your cat doing?

Reply to SallyK

My cat continues to take loud advantage of her freedom of speech.  Thanks for asking.

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I'll get back with a reply, I gotta look up about half of your post to see what some of those words mean. I guess I should clarify, your original post Henry, not Sally's reply.


Hello HenryM.
I do not disagree with the sentiments expressed in your morning’s post. However, most of my own contemplations on such subjects are confined to composing rhymes and depositing them into the literary filing cabinets we call books. This strategy tends to avoid direct confrontation with those who also believe that they somehow have the right to ‘bully’ other people by way of their own ‘freedom’ of speech (and their weaponising of wealth).
I have always had my own definition of ‘freedom’, which goes along the lines of: ‘Freedom’ is; being Self-Organised’. Therefore the extent that anyone is ‘free’ is the extent to which they are Self-Organised; The extent that they are organised by others is the extent to which they are enslaved.  
In our modern societies, it seems that the ones who appear most ‘free’ are the same ones who are likely to be abusers of one sort or another.
That is, until one factors in a sense of morals and values, which include ‘fairness’, compassion, and a true commitment to community. Then, the concept of ‘greed ‘and dishonesty, and all the other undesirable traits you mention are more likely to be perceived as abhorrent, and worthy of criminalisation rather than reward and praise.

Enough of my rant. I will now take the opportunity to resurrect one of my many verses on the subject matter.
Best wishes



Through hundreds of years,
how far have we come?
With blood, sweat and tears
what have we done?

Those greedy who grab
are partially blind
for what’s to be had 
through hearts and in minds.

Don’t think of a war
that’s lost or is won.
This struggle’s much more
than for glory or fun.

The struggle goes on
through night and through day.
Revived by each wrong
that we meet on the way.

                                                            B. WITHERS 1989 
                                                   (p50 in: 'Catharsis' 1992) 


Stories of Living Life to the Fullest from Ostomy Advocates I Hollister

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes of the US supreme court in a famous ruling said: " The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man falsely shouting fire in a crowded theatre and causing a panic..." Actually, there have been cases where someone did call out "Fire" in a theatre causing a stampede that resulted in terrible casualties.

Reply to bowsprit

Ah, but was his claim of fire false, and was he held to account for what he did?  And, using a contemporary U.S. analogy, is sending a pack of upset, brain-washed, disgruntled supporters who one knows to be armed to the U.S. Capitol to "stop the steal" equally worthy of condemnation and prosecution?  

Reply to AlexT

The malevolent and the malfeasant needs definition. The former means wishing to do evil to someone which I am tempted to do sometimes to certain folks in certain hospitals and clinics who goof up big time.

Reply to bowsprit

Hi Bowsprit that happened here in my town, not in a theatre but in a ballroom during a christmas party for the children of striking miners, its known as the Italian hall disaster of 1913 when the miners were on strike from the copper mines. As the story goes a person open the side door that opened in to the second floor ballroom and hollered fire causing a stampede of children and adults to rush down the stairs and be crushed at the door that opened inward.


Free Speech isn't an issue. If someone wants to get up on a soapbox and babble on about whatever, so be it. The problem is the people listening believing all the gibberish.


One of your better posts, Henry, and I couldn't agree more!


Reply to HenryM

Well, at least you don't have every cat in the neighbourhood hanging out in your yard, and they all seem to be in heat right now. I was awakened by a couple of them this morning around five a.m., wailing and mewling, sounding like babies that need their diapers changed. This has been going on for weeks! I guess they all love our yard, because we have the more trees and bushes than anyone else, providing lots of places to hide. I guess the raccoons must have moved out.


Reply to HenryM

You have the right to assume it was known by the speaker they were armed. You have the right to assume they were a brainwashed group. It does not make it true. But, you have the freedom of speech to guarantee your right to say that. Just as someone has the right to say go to the Capital and peacefully protest what they think is a travesty.

That freedom of speech can be abused. As members of Congress and the media so blatantly proved from 2016 on. They continually told us they had proof of Russian collusion that never materialized.

Reply to Killshot_24523

What I've got a right to do is make judgments based upon EVIDENCE, not wishful thinking.  The J6 Committee produced under oath evidence Trump was told that they were armed.  He asked that the metal detectors be removed anyway.  There is EVIDENCE of brainwashing based upon the mass delusional reaction to an otherwise totally debunked lie.  There is EVIDENCE that it is a lie, and no evidence of it being true.  That's why approx 60 court cases in both state and federal courts were lost, since the lawyers didn't learn in law school how to turn fantasy into fact.  By referring to people at the Jan 6 event being there to "peacefully protest" tells everyone that you didn't see the film.  Ignoring the obvious, that's the "travesty."

Reply to HenryM

The January 6 committee was a very biased committee allowing no cross examination of witness. So of course everything said must be true, but it is not evidence because said so. Are there recordings, emails or other documentation?

He asked that National Guard be deployed for the event. It was denied by the Capital Police and Pelosi. His request was to remove metal detectors at his rally, not the Capital.

There is absolutely no evidence of brainwashing. I could say there is evidence of brainwashing in all that believed Trump was guilty and not Clinton of Russian Collusion. But that's just opinion.

I didn't say they were peaceful. I said he told them to be. Twisting things does not change them.


Talk about a digression from the topic at hand, but then, maybe that's what is needed right about now!I should clarify, I know it's only the female cats in my neighbourhood that are in heat, the males being ready to mate any time, any where, but what bugs me is that there are so many obviously unneutered and unspayed cats roaming the neighbourhood. Most of these cats have collars and tags, so they belong to someone!Even when I was a kid, and cats traditionally weren't kept indoors, we had our male cat neutered, and people were encouraged to do that.


p.s. They were at it again last night. I'm getting out the earplugs for tonight.

Reply to delgrl525

We have so many stray cats here!

Hey Killshot, after reading all you wrote I see we have something in common. A stoma. Period. Mike
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