Strange Brouhaha

Monday, January 31, 2005

where do I start?

It's not so much that high schoolers think the First Amendment goes too far and that the government should have the right to censor our newspapers. It's the reason WHY they think that. Which is: they literally don't know any better. Schools have neither the time nor the money to teach First Amendment issues and, more importantly, to put them into practice in well-funded school journalism programs.

Why don't schools have the money to offer strong civics classes and journalism programs?

Because of the relentless thirty-year assault on civil society, aka tax cuts, perpetrated by a certain political party which shall remain nameless, but which profits from ignorance, apathy, and a population willing to have its news censored by Big Brother. So much easier to start wars under false pretenses that way, and more important, to get the sexy rush of being a country's master instead of its servant. ("Call up the Times, Ari! Tell them they have to kill that torture story RIGHT NOW. National security. Then tell our docile and subservient population that we did that so they can quiver with delight at our power. Then, uh...leave me alone.")

Some time ago, there was a story in the New York Times Magazine called "The Incalculable Costs of the Tax-Cut Crusade." This is part of those costs--high school students to whom the First Amendment is alien and who have so little understanding of what it means to be American that they think the government should have the right to censor our news.

I'll tell you one thing. The Repubs might pretend to hate the commies, but they're sure doing all they can to create Stalin's dream population.


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