Courier Life’s

freedom of speech

I apologize, and this guy should, too

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To err is human, to forgive divine. Ain’t that the truth — last week I was more than human. I was downright flawed. So I hope you are all divine and accept my apologies. For those that read my column on-line, on our beloved, you might be a bit confused (the error was corrected right away). But for those that read the print version, you already know. I mistakenly credited Charlie’s return to “Two and Half Men” in the guise of Conchata Ferrell and not Kathy Bates. I further compounded the boo-boo and stepped in deep by stating that Ferrell as Charlie was dressed in baggy tan shorts instead of blue jeans. Mea culpa.

Now on to this week’s column.

On a recent trip into work there was a gentlemen who was happily wearing his earphones and singing at the top of his lungs. Is there a problem with that? Not at all— I say sing away. Heck, my boss is singing “Mandy” all day long.

However, what he was singing was very offensive to me (and not in a “Mandy” sort of way).

The refrain that rubbed my ears the wrong way was “the U.S.A. s-----.” Most of us on the trip were pretty tolerant the first time he uttered the sentiment, but then the refrain kept popping up, very loudly and very clearly.

There came a point where this guy was either going to have his lights punched out, or he was going to clear the ferry. It occurred to me that if this was happening in any other country, the end result would have had a far, far different outcome than just a few of us moving away.

This young man never stopped to think that the county he was berating was the same country that provided his rights to say what he was saying. We all know freedom isn’t free, but it was to this man and he was throwing it back in our faces. He was a very unappreciative individual that didn’t deserve the privilege of living here.

So if this young man is listening, I’d like to send him a message, “If you don’t like it here, you are more than free to leave. You can pick any country of your choosing, I’m sure no one would stop you, the government wouldn’t threaten your family members if you left, and your host country, wherever that might be, might even welcome you with open arms. I’m even more confident that wherever you wind up, you will not be able to sing what you want, go where you want, or even think what you want without retaliation.”

Not for Nuthin,™ you never know, maybe after a stint in one of their prisons, he might be a bit more appreciative of the rights this country provides, and understand that there is a time and a place to subject people to your views. Maybe then he’ll change his ungrateful tune.

Joanna DelBuono writes about national issues (and first-amendment rights) every Wednesday on E-mail her at

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Reader Feedback

barbara from florida says:
right on jo!!!!!
July 20, 2012, 7:15 am

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