Free Speech is under attack in the River Valley

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Free Speech is under attack in the River Valley

Post by Admin on Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:04 am

Censorship Is The Handmaiden Of A Police State
by Jarret B. Wollstein

Censorship is the use of force to control what you can say, read, or see. Although occasionally private individuals and groups engage in censorship – for example by stealing "insensitive" newspapers (which has occurred on several US college campuses) or threatening to kill "indecent" or "blasphemous" artists, like The Satanic Verses author Salman Rushdie – the primary agent of censorship is government.

In Nazi Germany, the works of Jewish writers were seized and burned by storm troopers. Resisters were beaten and shot. Merely criticizing the government could mean being sent to a concentration camp. In the Soviet Union and Communist China, the government burned bibles and churches, as well as unapproved books and art.



Although no one is being beaten or shot for exercising their right to free speech in Rumford or Dixfield, the intent to censor what people may say is the same, especially if you are a public employee. The people that have control over these employees, the local selectmen, are sending a message that they better conform to whatever the selectman want. These selectmen think that the citizens of their towns don’t deserve to hear what the town employees think. We think that is absolutely wrong and it starts us down the slippery path of censorship, allowing only what GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS want the people to hear.

As a citizen of one of these fine towns, I want to hear what the people that ACTUALLY DO THESE JOBS have to say about what they need to keep us safe. Who will know better than the people that actually do these jobs?

We have a message for Rumford Selectman Mark Belanger and Dixfield Selectmen Bettina Martin, Raymond Carlton and Jim Desjardins. Stop treating the people of your respective towns like we shouldn’t have all the information necessary to make informed decisions. We deserve to know and have a right to know both sides of an issue, not just what you want us to know. We are competent to make informed decisions about what level of service we want in out towns.

Lastly, your attempts to censor your employees is the beginning of everything we have stood against as a nation since our humble beginnings. In fact, it’s one of the reasons we formed as a nation and wrote the First Amendment into our Constitution. The basic premise of your actions are exactly the same as what occured in Nazi Germany, to censor the free speech of those who think differently than you, or else...
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Re: Free Speech is under attack in the River Valley

Post by C on Thu Jul 03, 2008 2:35 pm

When we are voting on budgets it certainly needs to be told exactly how those cuts will effect us. Any information that effects how our tax dollars are being spent should be public knowledge. If a certain department cannot run efficiently or do their job properly because of decisions made by the selectmen we have the right to know about it. If the selectmen won't own up, that department should have the right to speak out rather than take the blame for a decision that was not theirs.
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