"The censor believes that he can hold back the mighty traffic of life with a tin whistle and a raised right hand. For after all, it is life with which he quarrels."
by:
Heywood Broun
(1888-1939) American journalist, founded the American Newspaper Guild
Source:
in The Fifty Year Decline of Hollywood (E. Goodman) 1961
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Reader comments about this quote:
Censorship comes in many forms.When Nixon ramped up the so-called "War on Drugs" in 1970, we began to see one of the worst forms of censorship. Americans bought into it, and the results have been disastrous. At a cost of over 70 billion a year, this "war" has made drugs cheaper and more available to children, corrupted law enforcement, made thugs rich, filled our jails to overflowing, increased crime in our streets, and people still and always will use drugs. And of course, the horrible asset forfeiture laws passed by Congress because of this "war". We learned nothing from the mistake of alcohol prohibition in 1920 and are repeating the same mistake with drugs. LEAP.cc
 -- jim k, Austin,Tx     
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    I'm with you Jim K.. I've never tried drugs and don't advocate them, but we might as well make them legal because folks are going to use them. There should be no free healthcare for those that OD.
     -- cal, lewisville, tx     
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    What planet are you on - they are exactly who needs free healthcare. Perhaps if we stop this ridiculous spending on corporate welfare we could afford social programs that actually save lives instead of killing people.
     -- Anonymous     
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    To Anonymous. With a statement like that, no wonder you do not sign your name. If drugs are legalized you could never be sure your pilot could fly his plane or your doctor was not under the influence when he opened your body for heart surgery! Drugs should never be legal. Drug addicts think they are not hurting anyone but themselves, but it affects society as a whole and costs every tax payer dearly. You can bet those addicts that overdose are not gainfully employed with excellent health care to pay for their expensive ER visit. The quote referenced in the "Fifty Year Decline of Hollywood" can also be applied to the censoring of movies. If the makers of movies would discipline themselves America would be much better off. The filth and violence that Hollywood continues to foist on the public is disgusting. The public slowly becomes inured to the content and then Hollywood ramps up a little more. Over time, no matter what is on the screen, the public is desensitized to this type of so called entertainment. It spills over into real life and there we have it. The degrading of America, one bad influence at a time. And they have the gall to call it "art."
     -- Carol, Georgia     
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    Censorship and prohibition are essentially the same thing and this quote explains them both well. Carol, if you advocate personal responsibility, then you cannot be for prohibition any more than censorship -- but it seems you ARE for censorship and prohibition and your argument is essentially demonstrating the point of the quote. Your quarrel is with life. While you have a choice to go to the movies or not, you would have none of it for anyone if you could. Funny how illegal substances are 'drugs' but dangerous and toxic substances are 'medicines.' What we are talking about is MONOPOLY -- to monopolize the press and monopolize medicine has been the statist's goal for aeons. I am appalled that kids are punished for smoking while others are forced to take amphetamines (speed) to attend school. There is censorship because the truth is a threat to a monopoly, there is prohibition because it threatens the monopoly of pharmeceuticals. Now even vitamins are called 'drugs', and an apple company cannot say that apples are good for your health because only 'drugs' are good for your health and apples would have to be approved as a drug before any health claim can be made. I think Carol has drank the wrong kool-aid...
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Archer had it right, censorship and prohibition are essentially the same thing. A Waffler quote from the other day concerning individual liberty fits here. "Since I would not be a slave neither would I want to be a master." (Lincoln) I personally have neither drank or tasted alcohol my entire life, nor have I done any drugs but, since I have the choice to do or not do so, I cannot censor others that do not believe as I do. It's funny (not haha) that the last few months I've been noticing many of the Supreme Court decisions that back original intent of the Constitution are becoming unavailable on line. hmmm, and its only getting worse.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Censoring in our country for the purpose of protecting our children from the unmoderated use of vices. Dancing, drinking, smoking and gambling and so on. Lets list some more, fornication, unnatural affection, prostitution. In our beginning as a nation the ungodly behavior we left behind in the old world, we with liberty to teach moderation of behavior to our children based upon the word of God KJB my forfathers held so dear and taught as rule of thought and behavior is taught today.Stating the obvious will not fix the problem but to draw attention to that that needs to be reined in is a good step. Let your moderation be known to all men.KJB. Says my apostle Paul who preaches liberty and freedom through the gospel of Christ to all those that will believe in salvation by grace through faith. He is the thirteenth apostle who preaches rebelion, which is the meaning of the number thirteen. Upon which my forfathers new so well and took a stand upon our Declaration of Independance. Having a readyness of mind to recieve said truth, and the responsibility of liberty, and not to use it for fulfilling the lust of the flesh. Moral responsibility and restrant of vises while being set at liberty. The degrading and regression of our society due to the lack of moral guidance of polititions, judges, lawers through the sway of greed and speacial entrest makes me sick. Our separation in the beginning of The United States of America was to insure an oportunity of exsperiment with the liberty of devine rights to grow in decent good behavior to one another not promoting excess of vises and ungodly behavior. We battle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers against spiritual wickedness in high places. Get the picture! Censorship to protect my children from ungodly behavior is good. Manipulation by a monopilizing power base wether medical, or otherwise is backed by the courts and adminisrations through the corupt members of said institutions. Tar and feather them all, that are in our country. Bleeding hearts and unstabile emotional leaders must be rooted out. The toolbox and the medicine cabnet have always been around in the garden, the tv has not. Manipulating the youth and weekminded in this country for sake of greediness of gain has gone on long enough. Just say no means just that. Take control of your life and family while they are young. don't leave there education in the hands of the enemy. Let your moderation be made known. The movie industry unchecked has brought about some of the worst behavior in youth and adults ever. Idolitry. Get the picture?
     -- Ron, Salem     
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    Anonymous...what is "free" health care? Who pays for "free" health care? Nothing is free silly person...
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    Ron, excellent points but you mix censorship with the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God and justice. By way of example: pornography is a degradation to all people but is especially heinous when it concerns children. It is not just censorship to keep pornography from children, it is moral, right, and lawful. It is a most immoral and extreme violation of law as a most vile crime to expose children thereto. I don't know a painful enough execution of justice to extol upon those that criminally abuse children.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Tin whistles and raised right hands are really all that supports any law. Without the consent of the governed all it takes is a collective realization of the people that an unwanted law is unenforceable, and it will cease to exist. Tin whistles and hands will be trampled under foot and no one can stop it. To Carol, how do you know now that your pilot or doctor are not under the influence of drugs? Pilots can be seen sitting in airport bars and doctors have access to any number of powerful mind altering drugs. The thing is, a drunk pilot or a stoned doctor is still a rarity. Responsible people will be responsible; the irresponsible will continue to be irresponsible.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
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    Archer and Mike, I can always count on you to bring sense and sensibility to the blog (you know who I am). As for Carol and Carlton, enough said...
     -- Anonymous     
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    Thanks, Anonymous, but could you not be anonymous? Who are you?
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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