"The people shall not be deprived or abridged of their right to speak,
or to publish their sentiments; and the freedom of the press,
as one of the great bulwarks of liberty, shall be inviolable."
James Madison
(1751-1836), Father of the Constitution for the USA, 4th US President
First draft of what became the First Amendment, 8 June 1789
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Reader comments about this quote:
What a magical moment that must have been.I wish I were there.The seeds of a nation's Constitution in the first few strokes of a pen.Awesome.
 -- CAP     
  • 4
     -- Dick Trice, Fort Worth      
    Contrast this with the Bi-partisan Campaign Finance Reform Act authored by John McCain (R) and Russ Feingold (D), passed by Congress and signed into law in 2004 by President G.W. Bush, which prevents "special interest groups" - meaning everyone but the media - from running political advertising for the last 60 days of a campaign. How's THAT for "inviolable" ?
     -- Bill the Libertarian, Sarasota, FL     
  • 2
    I like this quote. ;)
     -- Eric, towson!!!!!!     
  • 1
    The patrons of the occupying statist theocracy infesting this land would/do have a disagreement with this concept or aspect of freedom.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Many years ago, as a young architect, I asked the question: What is the fundamental criterion of professionalism? The answer? Judgment! Which I interpreted as the ability to determine right action. Professionals are called upon to make decisions which effect the lives of people. Thus the rationale for licensing is to place the responsibility upon those who profess for the life,health and safety of the general public. Although the laws which bind us are primary and apply to all involved in any pursuit which involves the public, judgment for interpretation and application of the principles behind those laws is the first responsibility of a professional.
    The germane point as to free speech comes into that judgment required of each person to determine (interpret) the truth of that which is said by another. That "truth" may not always be comforting; but its application and relevance remains for the individual to determine. Caveat Emptor applies. As I have a legal, ethical and moral responsibility to put the welfare of the general public before my personal opinion is expressed; so the right of free speech brings with it the obligation of considered utterance. As an old Chinese proverb goes: "Please be sure brain is engaged before putting mouth in gear."
     -- John Shuttleworth, New York City     
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    The American Ideal, rooted not in ideology but in Virtue informed Understanding.

    As the ennobling influence of Virtue wanes, oppression waxes.

    The frailty of the tissue of illusion belief systems of sanctimonious ideological posturers renders them ultimately intolerant of all freedom of expression, other than their own.
     -- Patrick Henry, Red Hill     
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    "Hate speech" being the exception to the rule. No one has a right to offend another. That's why we have a government, to punish the 'offenders.' What else is a government for? ;-)
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 1
    No one should expect to spend a lifetime of mingling with others and expect a right not to be offended. It would require censorship, a ministry of truth, or a wizard of misinformation...heheheh...that will never happen in a nation with a 1ST Amendment like the USA, right?

    I do love it ...

     -- Abby     
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