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Bucho Examines Free Speech On The Writers Voice

by

David Rothman

I do not want to mislead you, so at the beginning, before I go on, I must tell you I am a dog. Correct, a four legged creature that barks. Manís best friend. I am a white mutt, the offspring of a German Shepard mother and of a who-knows-what father.

As I lie here on the floor, flat on my belly with my legs spread out, I look like a furry rug, a dead animal with nothing to say. Well, if it was not for my good friend, Dave, you would never know I have a lot to say. Dave can read my mind, and he agreed to write this narrative, which I brain-waved to him. (More about brain waves shortly.)

During the last few weeks, Dave has spent a lot of time on the internet, visiting the Writers Voice website, where he discussed freedom of speech with Eshan, Clive, Paul, Marlicia and Uzma, Harry and Dave got so wound up in the topic on the Global Reasoning and Free For All forums that he could not stop thinking about it, and when I saw how absorbed he had become, I too wanted to get involved.

You probably think that a dog would not have understood what those bright, intelligent people at the Voice talked about. Well donít underestimate the ability of a dog. Just because I canít talk, read or write doesnít mean Iím stupid. I have a brain, donít I?

Dave and I communicate with each other telepathically, our minds connect like two computers through a wireless connection. Well, not exactly, but thatís as close as I can come to telling you how we talk to each other. Brain waves are not the same as radio waves, and it is beyond my power (and Daveís) to explain precisely how Daveís and my thoughts travel between our minds. When Iím in the room connected to Dave and he is on his computer, hooked to the internet, he brain waves me everything he reads and writes.

You might wonder what is contained in the brain waves that go back and forth between Dave and me. Not words. I donít understand words. All I can say is we tap into each otherís minds and understand each other perfectly. Weíre sort of like two people on the same wavelength who understand each other perfectly without speaking. Dave told me he and his wife sometimes understand each other like that.

Oh, by the way, I think you should meet Dave. After all, he is writing this ó I should say wrote this ó and I cannot actually check what he writes. You see, I do not understand what he writes, I understand only what he tells me by way of those waves, and for all we know he could be telling you a pack of lies, not what I am telling him to write. Donít worry, Dave is an honest guy and would never lie . . . would you Dave?

Absolutely not. Hello, Iím writing this little piece for my faithful friend Bucho. Bucho observed me more closely than usual while I was glued to my computer, discussing the Freedom of Speech issue on the Writers Voice last week. As he lay near me in my den while I engaged in the conversations on the Writers Voice, he tapped into my mind. Because he became so interested and wanted to participate in the discussion, I agreed to tell the group what was on his mind. Bucho doesnít see things the same way I do and sometimes I donít understand exactly what he means, but to the best of my ability I am writing what he wants to say, and freó

Thanks, Dave. Freedom of speech is a very complicated issue, as I can tell from the discussion between Ehsan, Clive, Paul, Marlicia, Uzma, Harry and you. Since we dogs do not communicate with words or symbols I do not completely understand the examples provided by each of you. For example, it is impossible for me to understand how words can stir up feelings in people.

However, it seems that you all agree about some things: free speech is important if people are to find truth and understanding (two more concepts that I am trying to understand); people must be allowed to exchange ideas freely in discussing politics, art, and other topics; there should be restrictions when children are involved. You also agree there are times when individuals should watch what they say so they do not offend other people or cause a crowd to panic.

From what I can see, the only place you have a lot of disagreement between you is when free speech as it relates to religion is discussed. Some say religion and God should not even be questioned or discussed. Others argue that you have to be extra careful with what you say when religion is involved. Still others think the only way for people to understand each other is to discuss religion freely because religion touches everybody in society even if they do not believe in it.. Religion is another concept I do not understand, since we dogs do not have faith or religion, or believe in God.

I will not take sides on the issue of free speech, since you all made such good points. I do suggest that you continue in the area where you disagree: freedom of speech as it relates to religion. I do enjoy lying here on the floor while Dave brain waves your discussions to me.

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