Sunday, May 06, 2007

The 2007 Muzzle Awards

My oh my!!! So much going on and so much I want to write about. This old gal had best make time to do so because it's really good for her blood pressure to let off steam.

Our illustrious Ohio General DisAssembly was at it again! It has earned the
Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression's "coveted" 2007 Muzzle awards. The Center has been doling these out since 1992 to "those who in the past year forgot or disregarded Mr. Jefferson’s admonition that freedom of speech ‘cannot be limited without being lost.’" These are awarded on Jefferson's birthday, April 13th and the Center confessed that this year's recipients were selected from an "alarmingly large" group of worthy nominees. That means that "winning" a Muzzle took hard work. We Ohioans are, if nothing else, industrious so I'm not surprised that the General Assembly garnered one of the 14 spots in such august company as the Bush administration, the NCAA, 3 high schools, 3 school systems, a couple politicians and this one really frosts me as funny: the Maine Board of Liquor Control -- because someone there didn't approve of the names of 3 brands of beer.

Past winners of the Muzzle Awards include the Baseball Hall of Fame, NASCAR (?), the Smithsonian, Sports Illustrated, Congress and both the Republican and Democratic National Committees (two each). Before the conservative types jump in and accuse the Center of being partisan, please note that the Clinton Administration, CBS News & TV (another multiple recipient), cabinet members of various administrations and hecklers at an Anne Coulter speech have all received Muzzles. The Center doesn't care what anyone espouses; they simply support their right to freedom of speech -- a refreshing viewpoint these days.

So, gentle bloggers, what did the General Assembly do to make the list? They passed the Ohio Patriot Act in April of 2006. The Center took issue with the following questionnaire the Act required of all who applied for a job with the State of Ohio:

* Are you a member of an organization on the U.S. Department of State Terrorist Exclusion List?

* Have you used any position of prominence you have within any country to persuade others to support an organization on the list?

* Have you knowingly solicited funds or other things of value for an organization on the list?

* Have you solicited any individual for membership in an organization on the list?

* Have you committed an act that you know or reasonably should have known affords material support or resources to an organization on the list.

* Have you hired or compensated a person you knew to be a member of an organization on the list or a person you knew to be engaged in planning, assisting or carrying out an act of terrorism?

What bothers me about this questionnaire is that it's plain damn stupid. Who in their right mind would answer 'yes' to ANY of these questions if he/she wanted to get hired by the State of Ohio? Do these bozos really believe a terrorist or revolutionary of any stripe would be honest filling out this form? My next question is do they give you a copy of the list they keep mentioning? For all I know, my AARP card might make me suspect and keep me from getting hired. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know -- it does . . . sigh.

Kay Dennison Copyright 2007


  1. sounds like ol' Joe McCarthy is alive and well.....

    They should be reminded of another of my favorite quotes: the man that gives up his liberty for his security is neither safe nor free

  2. Brought to you by the same gene pool that decided to legislate away computer and internet varmints like viruses, spam, spyware, etc. The fools in DC still don't understand that almost all of it comes from offshore. The last time I checked, some coke-head teen sitting in the middle of Budapest or Calcutta or Buenos Aires, or any city in the US, don't exactly cringe at the threat of the US Congress coming down on them... Heh...

  3. Great quote, Bev!

    Well said, Winston, as always!!!!

    The older I get the less I understand the mindset in this country. There are things that simply can't be legislated.


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