Shut Up! Where Do You Think You Are, America?

By | January 18, 2021 | 0 Comments

Some time ago I knew a Soviet-Jewish physician. He had given anesthesia to members of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, but finally got permission to emigrate. He was having a cup of coffee at the hospital cafeteria with an older Jewish doctor from New York. They were conversing in Yiddish, the former language of Eastern European Jews.

Suddenly the Russian stopped in mid-sentence, looked around worriedly, and whispered, “It’s alright?” My friend asked, “What’s alright?” He replied, “To speak Yiddish.”

He was in the USA, on his way to citizenship. He was a professor at the medical school. But in his mind, he was still in the totalitarian Soviet Union. He still felt he had to be careful of what he said, how he said it, and who might be listening.

My friend assured him he was now in a free country and could speak freely. Back then, he was right. But if that conversation occurred today, would be still be right? Could the man speak freely? I doubt it.

We can post what we want only if Twitter, Facebook and the other censors approve. That’s why I am posting this here rather than on social media. How can we know if what we want to say will run afoul of vague, subjective rules? We can’t. So if there is any question, we shut up. That’s the power of vague, subjective rules. They force the peasants – us – to regulate ourselves even more strictly than they could regulate us.

• The news reports record cold temperatures and record snowfalls in Japan and India. Can I mention these reports, or would I by implication be deemed a climate-change denier and be banned?

• Kamala Harris is threatened (probably unseriously) with impeachment because she helped accused Antifa and BLM rioters bail themselves out of jail. Can I mention this story, or would I by implication be deemed an opponent of Antifa or BLM and be banned?

The Los Angeles Times prints editorials, opinion pieces, and letters to the editor that are literally 100% against Trump, pro-impeachment, and viciously opposed to anyone who voted for Trump or even speaks up for him. Is this because 1) the editors are ideologues who cannot stand differing ideas, or 2) they might want to print an occasional differing opinion but are afraid to do so? In effect, what’s the difference?

So no, doctor. It’s no longer alright to speak freely here. Use the habits you learned growing up in a totalitarian nation. They will stand you in good stead in today’s America. Perhaps you should have saved yourself the trouble and just stayed home, rather an being cuckolded by false promises of freedom. I’m so sorry for your loss, and ours.

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