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Jacob G. Hornberger

The First Amendment Does Not Give Us Freedom of Speech

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A special insert in Sunday’s New York Times reflects that it’s not just people in countries run by totalitarian regimes that are indoctrinated by the state. It also happens in representative democracies like the United States, especially owing to the government’s educational system.

The insert, which consisted of a variety of articles on different subjects, was oriented toward children. One article was entitled “What’s the Deal with North Korea?” and summarized the decades-long dispute between North Korea and the United States.

The article tells children that Americans are far freer than South Koreans are. It points out, for example, that North Koreans go to jail for criticizing their ruler, Kim Jong-un, while Americans are free to criticize their political leaders.

Here is where U.S. indoctrination come into play. The author of the piece, Elise Craig, writes:
The First Amendment gives Americans the right to be critical of elected leaders without punishment.
That statement is engrained in every single American from the time he enters the first grade and, unfortunately, produces a mindset that continues through adulthood.
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The British Empire in Yemen

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Over the holidays, I began watching a Netflix/BBC series entitled The Last Postwhich revolves around a contingent of British troops in the early 1960s stationed in Aden, a port city in Yemen, the Arabian country today that Saudi Arabia and the United States are bombing to smithereens.

The British troops were there as a remnant of the British Empire, which once controlled foreign lands all across the globe but which, mostly as a result of World War II, had been pretty much dismantled. The British troops in Aden were able to have their families living with them. One of their favorite pastimes was enjoying the amenities of a beautiful seaside resort in Aden.

But not all was hunky dory. Periodically British patrols were being ambushed and killed by Yemeni terrorists. The terrorists also kidnapped the 8-year-old son of a British officer and threatened to kill him if the British refused to release a Yemeni terrorist who had been arrested for killing British troops.

One British soldier innocently asked another, “Why do they want to kill us?” He really didn’t know. The soldier to whom he addressed the question responded, “I just don’t know.”
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What Good Are Domestic Military Bases?

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In an excellent 2016 article in the Los Angeles Times entitled “For U.S. Foreign Policy, It’s Time to Look Again at the Founding Fathers’ Great Rule’” (which I highly recommend reading), Texas A&M Professor Elizabeth Cobbs wrote:
In 2013, for the first time since the Pew organization began polling Americans on the question five decades earlier, the majority (52%) said the United States should “mind its own business” and allow other countries to get along on their own. Today, Pew finds, the number has risen to 57%.
That is an incredible statistic. After the debacles in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria, it seems that Americans are finally questioning the interventionist paradigm that has held our country in its grip since the Spanish-American War in 1898. They are questioning the notion that the U.S. government should serve as the world’s policeman, intervener, interloper, aggressor, assassin, kidnapper, and regime-changer.

The United States was founded as a non-interventionist, limited-government republic, one whose government did not “go abroad in search of monsters to destroy,” as John Quincy Adams put it in his Fourth of July address to Congress in 1821.
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