Celebrate Free Speech While it Lasts!

Some riveting television from Rick Santelli – go here.

You know what makes it riveting?

The man is speaking truth from his heart, and the people around him are spontaneously responding. There is nothing scripted, nothing hedged and over-considered, no punch pulled. This is not an “acceptable narrative” being promulgated by a member of the no-longer-free press. This is not a drone, dutifully mouthing-and-approving today’s talking points from the Leadership. This is fire from the ground, aimed upwards.

It is uncontrolled speech. It is free.

In our politically correct age, where everyone is afraid of giving offense, being misconstrued-and -then-sued, or simply fearful of falling out-of-step with the trendoids, we almost never hear or read anything that is uncontrolled.

But “free speech” cannot be controlled or it is not “free” at all. And we in America have for too long engaged in self-censorship in favor of “niceness.”

Sometimes, you have to lose control and let the words fly, and if you cannot do that, you are not free.

Coincidentally, today we read a scientific study on how losing one’s control can have a liberating effect. On a variety of issues, we are ultra-controlled in our speech, but the study is especially interesting with regards to Attorney General Holder’s remarks yesterday that our nation is cowardly on race. I read his remarks and thought, “well, if we’re cowardly on race, why is that? Is it because for the last 30-40 years the issue has been an unstable bomb ready to blow up in anyone’s face, no matter how well-intentioned they may be? And whose fault is that?”

I tried to write about race last year, and – naturally – was immediately called a racist for it:

It has been exceedingly difficult to discuss race in this nation for about 30 years, because anytime anyone – white or black – has tried to make a serious point, the word “racist!” is immediately flung out; lasting and damaging labels are instantly attached to people, and so everyone just shuts down. People guard their words and swallow provocative debating points – even if their aim is to generate a real, open and honest forum of ideas – because no one wants to be called a racist. This happened to Bill Clinton and to Bill Cosby; it happened to Rush Limbaugh and Geraldine Ferraro, and driving today I heard the word spat out at Sean Hannity. It happened to me, actually, last week, when I was called a “racist” on another blog for writing this

“Black” America is forced to live a psychic duality, but in a way, “white” America is, too. We are supposed to – apparently – somehow split our brains, into never even noticing that there are racial differences between us, unless we’re working in praise of those differences. So, there are no differences between us…but we celebrate the differences…but their are none, and if you think there are, you’re a racist. Now celebrate!

Watching Rick Santelli on CNBC proved the point of that study: he threw out the controls and said what he really thought – and it was liberating for the moment, and certainly great tv.

Now, we’ll have to see if he has a job tomorrow, or if he will be silenced. Will he be “suspended” as David Schuster was, from MSNBC for wondering if Hillary Clinton was “pimping Chelsea” to voters during the primary? Will he be made to apologize and grovel, as Chris Matthews was, when he suggested that Hillary Clinton’s post-White House career has been helped by her husband’s infidelity?

Hey, we’re watching police pull over drivers for sticking stupid (but not yet illegal) signs on their cars.

America has already lost her free press, but that was a free-surrender on the part of the press; the government did not shut the press down – it simply married them, hired them and subsumed them.

That sounds exaggerated? Here, try this little exercise: Google putin warns don’t go socialist and see what it brings up. Blogs covering it – blogs covering this – but not US news agencies. Hit the “News” button on that search and see what you get. You get bupkis.

Okay, show of hands, how many of you were surprised that this story saw the light of day: Dobson students question Obama’s plan

Think of all the stories you have known about but not seen covered by the Mainstream Press, from the robust economy that defined most of Bush’s presidency but was constantly called “recession” to our successes in Iraq to the recent protests of the stimulus bill? If a story does not serve the “established narrative,” it either does not get mentioned, or is quickly buried. The press has betrayed the public trust.

The press is not free, but for a little while we can still live without them. Until the internet and talk radio are regulated into dreary sameness, charged with “hate speech”, and rendered politically impotent, they are our best vehicles for free speech with some reach.

If we lose our freedom to speak out – to opine loudly, to mock, to question, even to demandthen we have lost everything.

And the truth is, we have already – thanks to political correctness and self-censorship – fallen into the mindset that our speech should be controlled, measured and unfree.

And that is why Rick Santelli’s rant today was riveting, and fascinating, and incredibly necessary.

Speak up. This is still America – in this nation, for now, you are free to do so. The more you shut yourself up, the more easily others will shut you up, down the road.

And if you have not yet rented this movie, hurry up and do it. Hurry up and retrain yourself to the mindset that you are free, and that you are free to speak your mind.

Do it quickly. We just watched our president and his congress “hurry through” a piece of very dubious legislation, because if they’d waited too long, we would have stopped it. Hurry up and take back your freedom of speech, before that gets “stopped.”

And enjoy Instapundit’s beautiful bit of snark, too.

Federalist No. 61: “Laws so voluminous that they cannot be read”…
Yes of course, the left conducts “witch hunts”. Both sides do, but the left pretends to be better than that.
White House Propaganda being well-propagated
“Fascist? You keep using that word”
Mr President: “have the guts to be an optimist”; yeah, unless you actually like relentlessly talking down your own country.
White House Missing Documents
The Savior-based Housing plan
“Bush’s Administration was more open and more honest”
IBD Warns of Socialist Tsunami
Getting politics involved was Bernanke and Paulson’s biggest mistake

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • http://superherohistorians.com Jason Pie

    That kooky Mayan calendar date of December 21, 2012 isn’t looking that kooky afterall.

  • Gayle Miller

    It is much easier to bleat about “that’s not fair” (like we were ever promised that life would be fair) than to engage in substantive and mature discussion of differences. And to Jason Pie – you’re right – I have occasionally wondered if the Mayans were right.

    Then again, I’m no chicken little type yelling that the sky is falling. However, the moral and ethical fabric of this nation is in grave danger and all of us must, at the very least, retain our own personal values in the face of the totally unacceptable behavior of the Leftloons.

  • http://superherohistorians.com Jason Pie

    Matthew Kelly talks about this in the Rhythm of Life, that our civilization has hit all the marks to decline within 100 years: political destruction of the family unit, sex everywhere etc. There are 5 or 6 of them. We’ve hit them all. Everything really does come down to morality. When government tries to legislate morality, it only ends up limiting those of us who are already moral (for the most part) and including unintended consequences. I don’t murder because I’m afraid of the law, I don’t murder because it’s wrong. Murderers do it regardless of the law. That is an extreme example. Gun control is a better example. We now see the unintended consequences of freaking out on lead poisoning: no kid’s books before 1985. The mortgage meltdown is because of unintended consequences, so is Social Security disaster, health care disaster and on and on. I think it was Hamilton who didn’t like the Bill of Rights because he figured government would just decide to infringe any right not spelled out in that document. Smart people, those Founders.

  • http://mutnodjmetsmusings.blogspot.com/ Mutnodjmet

    Michelle Malkin has some great pics that are related, taken from anti-Obama policy rallies. Betcha won’t be seeing them in the elite media either!

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  • stephanie

    Interesting Santelli rant. I guess I feel like I’m already paying for the bad decisions of a number of people, whether or not the government bails anyone out. I want to help my neighbor not get foreclosed on, not because I care about them, per se, but if their house is forclosed and goes at firesale prices, then my house loses value. So, to me the plan bails me out too, in that it softens the blow for those of us who are collateral damage. And frankly, isn’t that what those of us who are responsible are these days, since we can’t sell our house for what we paid for it, and we can’t borrow any other money cause the banks aren’t loaning? I’m interested in anything that might soften the blow on the whole of society- and yes- that does interfere with the free market.

    [Stephanie, I don't mind some aspects - I think if people can renegotiate lower interest rates (without ruinous fees as we have here in NY) to get their payments down, that should be made easy for them. Problem is we're seeing reports that even with lower interest rates an enormous percentage of these folks STILL will not be able to make their mortgage payments, because they should not have been given the mortgages in the first place. Supporting that does not necessarily help anyone else's home values in that case, it just places a huge burden on the whole society and that is not really just, is it, not when most of society have worked hard to do it right. As to home values going down, I know that's a touchy subject for many, but the truth is my house should never have been worth the insane amount of money it was worth a year ago. If the home values go down, more young people will be able to afford houses, down the road. There is a falseness to keeping folks who can't afford homes in them, just as there is a falseness in keeping businesses open that have run themselves poorly. For a while I was against allowing those companies to go under, but I begin to see that a chapter 11 and reorganization may well be preferable to a "bailout" that teaches them nothing and puts so much control into government hands. It's not like the government runs the damn DMV very well, and here, we're giving them control over EVERYTHING. - admin]

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  • TheHobo

    “…Hey, we’re watching police pull over drivers for sticking stupid (but not yet illegal) signs on their cars.”

    AND being visited by the Secret Service. That is the scary part. This person will forever have a tag in a database somewhere. You cannot speak your mind in this country anymore and it is those who cry the loudest about the horrid fascist conservatives that are the ones instituting the real limits on freedom.

    Is it time for the torches and pitchforks yet?

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  • Gayle Miller

    If you want to vote on whether or not you feel a strong dislike of this pork-laden “stimulus” bill, you can go to: http://www.cnbc.com/id/29283701 and vote. So far it’s running 93% AGAINST the “porkulous” bill!

  • tim maguire

    Anchoress, you are quite right in your response to Stephanie. By historical standards, most houses are still over valued, so we’re not “collateral damage” we’re just giving back the false high that we got during the bubble, returning to where we should have been all along.

    There is an additional danger you did not touch on–when we remove some of the pain of bad choices, we remove some of the incentive to make good choices. As that trader shouted out in the video, “don’t pay your mortgage, it’s a moral hazard!” What he’s saying is that if the government bails out those people who took short cuts and didn’t plan for the future (no matter how it is actually paid for), we will inevitably see more people taking short cuts and not planning for the future. What was irrational becomes rational and vice versa.

    Which may be exactly what Obama has in mind–make us all dependant on government bailouts. Like Castro’s original plan after the revolution–raise everyone’s taxes and then use their own money to buy their land (until Che talked him out of it–for Che, taking the land at gunpoint was just as important as taking the land. It sends the right message about who’s in charge).

  • stephanie


    2 brief points:
    As for free speech..given that I’ve seen the Santelli rant played on every major news channel at this point, I don’t think it’s going to be supressed- not today. So apparently this free speech will survive, for now at least.

    On the housing bailout- at least in the coverage I read, you can only qualify IF you will be able to make the mortgage by extending the loan term and/or by getting a lower interest rate. Everything I’ve read states that this will not save those people who are too far gone, and in fact that is by design. I believe it works by giving the banks incentives- and they get more incentives if the new loan is viable. I don’t think we’re planning on trying to save loans that are really bad. You can’t be more than 10% underwater, too- so if your house retained less than 90% of it’s value, I don’t think you qualify.
    When all is said and done, I think there are some fairly good qualifiers in place.

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  • Kathleen

    Santelli’s speech was riveting because it was unscripted and from the heart. But what also struck me was the response of the talking heads behind the desk. They tried to make light of it and distant themselves asap from any authentic talk. I’m surprised they didnt cut the feed.

  • tim maguire

    Jennifer, if those are the restrictions, then why is 80 billion (or 250 billion, depending) being set aside for the program? The program you describe shouldn’t take a dime of taxpayer money.

    Either the government is using its power and our money to undermine contract law, or it isn’t (not for nothing, but contract law is one of the pillars of a successful economy. Without it, we are just another kleptocracy.)

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  • http://tomsfo1.blogspot.com/ TomSFO

    A great post. So often you seem to find the words I try so hard to find in my head and seem unable to express.

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