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Mary L. G. Theroux

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Free Speech Is Hard. Its Alternative Is Worse.

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It’s hard to hear ideologues spouting ideas you know are fully wrong, even harder when you know that the implementation of such ideas would hurt people, including you. Hardest is listening to a message full of hate, vitriol, and name-calling, especially when it’s directed against you personally.

It’s therefore natural to declare that there is no place in a civil society for such ideas, and shut them out for our own and others’ protection.

Yet America’s Founders, having just concluded a contentious, violent, and most uncivil revolutionary war, marked by high feelings and powerful propaganda on both sides, recognized the power of their superior ideas in building support for their cause, and concluded that suppression of free association and free speech poses an existential danger for a free society. They thus enshrined protection of both in the First Amendment that was a necessary condition of the ratification of a Constitution conferring powers in government—therein also ranking an armed citizenry as the second-best defense against tyranny.
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CoronaCrisis and Leviathan: Big Brother Comes to Your Town (and iPhone)

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Rep. Bobby Rush of Illinois is proposing the Orwellian (and improperly capitalized) COVID-19 Testing, Reaching, And Contacting Everyone (TRACE) Act, offering states and locales $100 billion with which to become total police states.

The bill would provide funds for localities to contact trace, test, and quarantine infected individuals, and while its sponsor claims testing and quarantining would be on a “voluntary” basis, given how states and localities are already accessing and using technology in the name of the CoronaCrisis, more funding would provide them even more tools that would make Big Brother green with envy:

'Armies' of Contract Tracers

States across the country are building “armies” (their term) of contract tracers: Gov. Newsom says California will “start” with 20,000 and may build to 100,000; Washington, West Virginia, Iowa, North Dakota and Rhode Island are using the National Guard for their contract tracing “armies;” while former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg committed $10.5 million to create an “army” of Tracers for New York, in coordination with New Jersey and Connecticut.
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