“Prince Harry may be many things. But a constitutional expert he clearly is not. In a recent podcast interview (undergone as part of his ongoing effort to avoid the limelight) he opined on the First Amendment to the US Constitution. By his own admission he understands nothing about the US Constitution, but he did feel free to declare the Amendment in question to be both “bonkers¨ and “baffling”.
Of course one can see where Prince Harry is coming from. He and his spouse appear to find free speech – which is what the first amendment protects – to be a problem. It allows the press to write things about them that they have not permitted the press to write. But all rich people must suffer this irritation. It is one of the reasons why the first amendment is so important and why Britain could do with having a similar founding principle.
For the amendment protects the speech of all American citizens. This means that the range of permitted speech in America is as a result wider than it is in the UK. It is true that this allows some whackos and nuts on the fringes of politics and the wider culture to say things that they would not be allowed to say in most European societies, which is what critics tend to focus on. But more important is the fact that it also permits the mainstream to have out issues which our own society has permitted to be closed down.
For instance, because of the presence of the first amendment it is not possible to imagine a situation in which America adopted any such thing as that amazing modern British idiocy, the “non-crime hate incident”. This is the discovery of the British police that they can happily notch up “non-crimes” as merrily as they do what we used to call “crimes” and regard this as all being part of a good day’s work. The existence of the first amendment means that America has not fallen down the rabbit-hole of policing feelings or claims of upset. It has not fallen in the legal morass of pretending that words are violence.
To Prince Harry’s north, in Canada, citizens can be subjected to inquisition at so-called Human Rights Tribunals if they say something that offends current religious or gender dogmas. Here in Britain someone may have their name marked by the police so that future employers keep away from them as a prospective employee. All for no reason other than the expression of an unpopular (or on occasion distinctly popular) opinion. America’s first amendment, by contrast, protects people’s right to have their ideas out in the widest and noisiest contestation possible.” Douglas Murray
Comment: Iceland hosts my blog, but the 1st Amendment protects me here in what was once the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Old Dominion. At least it has thus far.
Harry Windsor is an offensive buffoon. Whatever it is that keeps him at the side of his self-obsessed wife can’t be as good as the price he pays in the loss of country and family that he has suffered.
For god’s sake Harry, go back to England and make your peace with one and all. You will never be at home and comfortable in the US, not even in California. pl
It appears Harry is selling his family down the river as a capitalist. His earnings are rising through the roof. A mega-million deal with Netflix, speaking fees, serving on boards of companies as well as other media deals. Who knows he may quite enjoy the Hollywood celebrity life from his $14 million abode in Montecito, California. All he has to do is dish on his family to hang out with Oprah & Clooney.
As far as the first amendment is concerned here at home, we’re working our way towards Britain with hate speech laws and now cancellation by Big Tech that can even lead to becoming unemployable in the woke pogroms.
Apple recently fired Antonio Garcia Martinez for something he wrote in his book Chaos Monkeys, even though they knew about his book prior to hiring him. The wokesters ran Antonio out of his job. No first amendment for him.
Compare Apple today promoting woke conformism under homosexual Tim Cook vs under Steve Jobs with their Think Different marketing campaign celebrating the rebels and misfits.
The sad part is that San Francisco was the city of rebels and free thinkers now it is the epicenter of woke conformism and enforcement of that conformism on everyone like true totalitarians.
“When I am weak I ask you to respect my freedom, as that is in accordance with your principles. When I am strong I take away your freedom, as that is in accordance with mine.”
Beware anyone asking for “equality.” Nobody actually wants equality per se – they just want it as a stepping stone to preferential treatment.
“San Francisco was the city of ….”
The gay bath houses that gave the world the Aids crisis, which made Fauci’s reputation. The political power behind those so aligned is essentially unchecked. How has it worked out for our culture in the intervening decades?
That you felt the need (no doubt justified) to move your blog to Iceland is an indication of the dire state of free speech in America today. The sad truth is that 1A has been rendered largely irrelevant in huge areas of modern interpersonal communication as a result of a single, outdated and very poorly thought out piece of legislation; section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
Trump was unsuccessful in his attempt to get Congress to address section 230 and ultimately a victim of it when his accounts were removed by both FB and Twitter. My own account was culled in the 3rd or 4th round of Twitter purges – all of which was safely immune from 1A challenges thanks to s230. For those unfamiliar with s230, the critical part reads as follows: “No provider or user of a interactive computer service shall be held liable on account of–
any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider.. ..considers.. ..otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected” (link).
This is section 230’s “Good Samaritan” clause, which IMO should have been named the “Big Brother” clause, as it effectively guarantees social media companies the right to censor and remove anything they like. Given that such privately owned platforms now account for the vast majority of all interpersonal communication, 1A effectively no longer applies to a huge swathe of the ‘speech’ most of us make every day.
Under what constitutional power did Congress authorize Big Tech the ability to deny citizens their constitutional right to free speech? A Congress really interested in the spirit and practical impact of the First Amendment would not allow this travesty to continue. James Madison would be turning in his grave. \end soapbox
Trump touched the deadly third rail when he threatened Section 230. Trump touched the third rail when he decreased the size of the government workforce by at least 250,000.
After reading Josh Hawley’s excellent primer book “The Tyranny of Big Tech” I finally understood why BigTech and the Big Government Unions were in bed together – different issues, but same unifying goal: get rid of Trump.
BTW: Talking about anti-trust legislation used to bust up current monopolies, I suggest we start with the biggest and most dangerous monopoly of them all: mandatory government K-12 education, and the iron grip of the teachers unions.
A monarchy in 2021 is bonkers, Harry. Not good old free speech. Don’t let the door hit you in the arse on the way back merry olde England.
Do you find it odd some of the more “enlightened” European countries still retain a monarchy? Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands. Maintaining core history and traditions has some value – anchors a society and gives it a rallying common denominator.
Ivy League degrees in the past have provided this ersatz regal patina in the US, even though we disavowed monarchy or royal titles within our borders.
However, would Barry Soetoro have ever been elected POTUS had he graduated from Ball State Teachers College. Will an Ivy League sheepskin now propel David Hogg into the White House in our near future?
I do believe America has a love-hate affair with class envy…….still.
Sorry, Mr Merlotti. No deal. I’ve just looked it up and Harry’s wife comes from Los Angeles. So they’re as much yours as ours. Keep ’em. We’ve got enough spares over here to gurantee the succession and anyway, you’ve got more space.
SWMBO has just pointed out that since you’ve got Free Speech our errant Prince is free to tell you shouldn’t have it. I’ll get back to you on that one …
This reminds me of the Irish Peace Process.
“In Downing street, the Irish and English Prime Ministers meet to discuss the future of Northern Ireland.”
Blair [UK PM]: Well we don’t want the place !
Ahern [Irish PM] “And neither do we….”
Harry was free to hurl lies about his own Royal Family. Harry was free to re-publish lies about President Trump. Now he is complaining about “free speech” in America?
What is that sold saying Harry, if you can’t stand the heat stay out of the kitchen. If you even know what a kitchen is. Or maybe this one has more resonance – what goes around, comes around.
Stay out of the limelight and intentionally making it all about you, and your own life might be more peaceful. PS: we are tired of paying for your endless calls to the county sheriff’s office reporting stalkers and paparazzi on your new property.
Off on a tangent:
I recently heard a sensitive “diagnosis” of Harry’s psyche: He lost his mother at a young and tender age, in notorious circumstances, and at the same time the identity of his father was questioned.
Men, and women, may add years and even mega-dollars, but sometimes hurts from very early on in life leave large wounds.
This is not to excuse Harry’s attack on 1st Amendment, just to offer another perspective.
By the way, I’m not so sure the 1st Amendment is sacrosanct in all corners and forms of expression in the USA. There are high-ranking institutions and persons that monitor and punish certain forms of expression, even those that involve the exercise of critical thinking, facts and evidence.
Animal possession, with the darling Meghan as trigger. It may be a wonderful, bliss filled union or tragedy with her as femme fatale. Either way he’s still a pompous prick.
This is a British citizen who thought dressing up as a Nazi was good fun, and not when he was a riotous teenager but as a genuine adult.
I think he never understood that the drunk and disorderly Prince Hal is just a literary fiction from Shakespeare and previous writers, not a realistic model for his own life. But then he didn’t really seem to have learned the lessons from his mother’s life and death – if he wants to live a long and happy life, he shouldn’t try to handle the media in a better and more skillful way than Diana did, rather he should avoid their scrutiny as much as possible and keep them at arm’s length.
It is good that the British Empire was thrown overboard in 1776. Thank you Harry for reminding everyone.
Yes, the title says it all – God bless and protect our most precious 1st Amendment. As for the Royal Jerk, I wish he and his D-list actress wife would go back to the UK, but I don’t think they’re accepting returns on this transaction.
Too bloody right we are not.
Scotland Yard i.e. the taxpayer was paying for his security here, now he pays for himself. This is a very useful potential precedent. Not a lot in the great scheme of things but a start.
He had a role as a spare heir to the throne but that went when William had children. He is now surplus to requirements, just another member of the UK’s Tier One class, the aristocracy, most of whom are happy to get on with their lives out of sight. Except that he, along with many others in the past, now has an ambitious and no doubt expensive wife to support, so has to turn into a money grabber at every opportunity after he pissed against the family money tree.
Perfect as an officer Apache pilot, obeying orders with no one under his command. Out of his depth in civvy street in England, let alone among the wolves and hangers on in Hollywood. Little to no sympathy for him in the UK.
Protecting the truth about the AZ audit from First Amendment protected lies and duplicity:
Yes, critical files were deleted; yes they were recovered using forensic tools but undetermined if they are usable. No, the deletion claim was not “walked back”. Such is the state of the our First Amendment protections today.
PJMedia tracks this ongoing issue most of the media wants to ignore or distort, and offers some of the best reporting I have found:
As the right of Free Speech is assaulted on college campuses against those who disagree with leftist views, a major U.S. University has made a ‘hard left’ turn in it’s already left leanings:
Ivy League School Gives Birth to the ‘Columbia Communism Club’