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Good article, Michael, but you have added a clause to the 1st Amendment that isn't there: "...unless that speech offends someone." The right to freedom of expression guaranteed under the 1st Amendment is especially designed to protect speech that offends. Otherwise, the government could deem any criticism of it or its or policies "offensive" and have it banned. Otherwise, pressure groups could effectively ban words and expressions they don't approve of. The last thing these extremists want is...gasp!... an open debate! The framers of the Constitution understood that the remedy for offensive free speech is- more free speech! Offensive or not, free speech is (or was?) free.
In response to:

Fred Phelps: Satan's Servant

Riff Wrote: Mar 26, 2014 4:39 PM
Most town hall readers? That comment smacks of prejudice to me- you certainly don't know most town hall readers, never mind what they think. In place of facts you are inserting your own bigoted opinions. Never, ever have I heard anyone say that homosexuals are going to burn in hell because of who they love. If they burn in hell, it is because they rejected God. It has nothing to do with who they love or don't love.
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The Privileged People

Riff Wrote: Feb 13, 2014 2:39 PM
I thought we already had one of those- wasn't it the equal protection clause in the 8th amendment? All citizens are to be treated the same, is what it says essentially. If they ignore that law, as they evidently do, then why would they respect it if it was rewritten another way?
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Dependency, Not Poverty

Riff Wrote: Feb 13, 2014 8:10 AM
Haha! For just a second there, I thought you were referring to Barack H. Obama!
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Dependency, Not Poverty

Riff Wrote: Feb 13, 2014 8:09 AM
Which "whites" are you referring to? All of them? Me? Neither I nor anyone I know has any interest in destroying the black family. Your arrogant, bigoted attitude toward people you don't even know is telling.
Actually, Mom, they DID hire it plowed. They pay taxes- millions and millions of dollars- to the city to have their streets plowed. Notwithstanding the fact that it costs no more to plow the street in front of a rich person's home than any one else's, they pay at rates far in excess of the actual cost to do the job. But that still wasn't good enough for a greedy city government. They took the taxpayer's money and gave nothing in return. That's theft. The city should be sued for breach of contract and those who made this hateful choice made personally responsible. How about sending the mayor over to 5th ave. with a shovel in his hand?
This new "discovery" of theirs is something I learned in high school physics more than 30 years ago- we learned that polishing two surfaces in contact reduces friction, up to a point. Any further smoothing would cause the surface area in contact to increase, thereby increasing the friction between them. Think of all the new discoveries we could have if these guys just turned off the computers and cracked a few old textbooks!
In response to:

We May Have a PTSD Vaccine Soon

Riff Wrote: Dec 15, 2013 6:18 PM
Hmmm.... speaking of hate...
I flew out of Minneapolis- St. Paul airport two weeks ago. In the security area was a cop in full battle dress- combat boots, bullet proof vest and M4 carbine slung across his front. It was shocking! This isn't America anymore. Perhaps the availability of surplus military items is facilitating the militarization of the police, but it's been a steadily growing issue for many years now. Our cops are like little boys playing army, equipped with race cars and machine guns. Who is the enemy they are preparing to fight?
I want some of whatever you are smoking!!
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