Tuesday, June 29, 2010

We have free speech, but is speech free?

You don't have to be a billionaire to run for governor here in California. You're free to assemble support from various interest groups, or to just travel around the state in an old VW vans, soliciting votes. It's up to you.

Just as you don't have to be wealthy to defend yourself in court against criminal charges. You could sell your house and liquidate your other assets, if you have them, leaving your family without anything, or, if you're poor, avail yourself of a public defender.

Likewise, if a car dealer sells you a car that turns out to have been in a flood and cleaned up cosmetically, you can sue the dealer. It's a free country.

Just not a cheap one.

Right now, in our area, a giant out-of-state corporation is trying to get permission to pay over part of San Francisco Bay's marshlands to create a city of 30,000 people. I think it's a terrible idea. They think it's great. An initiative was put on the ballot of the city with jurisdiction to stop them, and it was defeated--by the application of over a million dollars in false and misleading advertising, a subverted city council, and Chamber of Commerce types calling for the city to defend itself--against the efforts of a handful of envronmentalists to defeat the giant corporation.

Hence the illustration.

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