I was talking to a good friend of mine yesterday about “freedom of speech.” The issue we both addresed was whether or not that right “actually exists.” It was noted that when the Bill of Rights was established, there was no “digital world” to consider back then. There was no internet, and there has been no amendment to include it ever since. Are we free to say anything we want? Donald Sterling (who owned the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team) was recorded “without his consent nor approval” while he said some very disparaging things about Blacks. Even though he was recorded “unlawfully,” he still was brought under scrutiny and forced to give up his team for what he said. What he said was totally wrong, but did he receive “fair” treatment for what initially “should” have been a “private” conversation? Here in Pennsylvania, several high level officials are currently under investigation for receiving porn emails on government operated computers ( during government hours). Their resignations are now being sought. When you go searching through other people’s emails, isn’t that an “invasion of privacy?” Does anyone believe that through email you can say anything you want without it being subject to being monitored? What about phone calls? We already had an issue where it was discovered that phones were being tapped by government and private messages were being recorded. Once that was exposed President Obama said that they would ease up on some of the spying, but do you really believe this to be the case? There are people in Hong Kong right now expressing what they feel are their rights to a government that is “determined” to “suppress them.” Language is the most valuable asset of the human race. Through it we are able to communicate, operate and grow. In many parts of the world you cannot say anything detrimental about the ruler of your nation without fear of retribution. But what if the ruler is operating in an unethical manner? Should the people just accept it and say nothing? Expression can be our greatest means of advancing but it can also be our greatest root of destruction. “Freedom of speech” exists “only in concept” but “never in principle.” It is obvious that what you say “can” and most likely “will” be used against you. For instance, when you are friends with someone on a social media site, your friend could possibly be investigated, which also means that the “friends” of your “friend” could “also” be investigated (that would mean “you”). If you have some type of criminal background, where do you think they are going to go to find you? Facebook and Instagram are VERY viable targets to find those who are considered unlawful. I personally would “never” be so naive to think that my words won’t ever be monitored or investigated, and that “includes” my Daily Thought. I’m fine with that because I truly have nothing to hide. However, you might want to pay closer attention to your own online activities. Sometimes believing in the concept of privacy just might give you a very “false sense of security.” If you want to know your “real” rights, then you need to fully embrace your right to “be silent,” because it is “quite” possible that your downfall can be a result of your “own” undoing. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought today, and as always, I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Blues legend Bonnie Raitt and Brett Jolly in concert