Flag Update

I also (a while ago, actually) talked to student legal assistance regarding my flag, and they basically said I had no legal recourse. I’m not at all surprised, but this is just another instance of a much larger problem. The problem is that while the government is prohibited from infringing upon our rights, no one else (where ‘one’ is defined as ‘legally constituted entity;’ i.e. corporations) is so prohibited. While it’s technically illegal for the police to tell you what you can and can’t say (which they get around using a variety of pretexts, from permit issues, to tresspassing on public land, to the much more Orwellian “failure to obey a police officer”) it’s perfectly OK for someone else who has considerably more power over your daily activities to do so. So, while the government may not want me to advocate anarchy (though many states have so-called “Criminal Anarchy” statutes, which make it a crime to advocate the abolition of government or even teach the political philosophy behind anarchism), they can’t do anything about it, so in this case my landlord can do it instead. The end result is the same: I can’t express my political opinions from my place of residence.

I think the most well-publicised case of this kind of thing is Danny Glover being fired as MCI’s spokesperson after saying that U.S. foreign policy is at least partly responsible for 9/11 (after all, we trained Osama to terrorize the Russians in Afghanistan), Bush is a racist (I remember seeing some mayoral conference on CNN where Bush rubbed a balding black mayor’s head—I seriously doubt he would do the same thing to a white politician [e.g. Cheney]), and how the U.S. should end the embargo on Cuba. Incidentally, MCI/Worldcom got a no-bid contract to build the Iraqi wireless/cellphone infrastructure.

I’m reminded of what RMS was saying about controls on information in the USSR existing to keep the state secure, vs. controls on information in the U.S. to keep profits secure. Of course, the only thing more destructive to the concept of profits than socialization is expropriation

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