We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Non-Negotiable Amendments

The fact that Bill Ayers was a Weather Underground member 30 years ago does not affect his right to express any view whatsoever. The Opinion Journal got it very wrong this time by coming out behind those who would prefer he just go away. True, his book and his expressed views are inappropriate and tasteless and bound to get a lot of people angy. That is not the issue.

The First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States does not make exceptions for taste, timing or disagreeableness of content. So I think the Mary Ellen Keating from Barnes and Noble was spot on when she said:

Granted, we live in troubled times. The reprehensible acts of the terrorists were designed to promote fear, divisiveness, even hatred among fellow Americans. We cannot let them win. Removing Mr. Ayers’ book from our shelves or canceling a previously scheduled appearance is out of the question. To do so would be to give in to our fears, and ultimately to validate the position of our enemies.

If Mr. Ayers seems to be promoting blowing up buildings as a means of change, then we are free to stand outside with signs and express dissent. We are free to not buy his book. Those who feel so inclined are free to complain to Barnes and Noble (as some have done) and to take their business elsewhere if they so chose.

But from where I sit, Mary Ellen has a better understanding of what a free country is about than do the complainers. As I have said before, “A flag you can not burn is not worth fighting for”.

That is the difference between us and ‘them’.

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