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How Much Free Speech Can We Afford As People Die from Covid-19?

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Free speech = reason = progress
Free speech = reason = progress
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As the Delta variant spreads, even more people will get infected, enter the hospital, and die. This may put even more pressure on writers, journalists, editors, and publishers to keep articles within what they deem to be acceptable limits. Honest people, serious people who are not playing political games to advance a short-term political goal, may be shut out of the discussion because their research and views raise questions about or contradict the conventional wisdom put forward by mainstream experts.

My simple insight, expressed in the above paragraph, has led me to raise this question: How much free speech can publishers allow as people die? I think editors and publishers who block certain writers or articles after careful review are brave to this extent. The editorial decision-makers may know that less people will read their publications, which can result in less money coming in. In short, there are editors and publishers who are willing to pay the price of their convictions. I give props to them because it is so hard these days to find people who demonstrate courage. In our aggressively capitalistic culture, it is equally rare to find people who will pay a financial price to stand by their convictions.

Having given these props, I want to circle back to my strong support for free speech and free press. This is a complex matter because legal scholars assert that the Constitution protects us from governmental suppression, not the suppression that occurs in private enterprise as practiced by editors and publishers.

Still, I think our understanding of free speech and free press has changed over time. Many Americans want to see strong, varied articles of reporting and opinion, even articles and opinions that upset the powerful or the experts, even articles that fly in the face of what may be true, to the best of our ability to establish truth as we confront an ongoing pandemic.

The fact that my article, "Fierce Debate Continues Over Issues Related to Covid-19," got more than 100 comments tells me there is a thirst out there for serious, honest people, not political players, to have their say. Therefore, I wonder if there is a way for editors and publishers to make space for these thought outcasts.

Something from the past may provide an answer. When I was young, 60 Minutes used to run a popular segment called Point/Counterpoint. Would a free exchange of ideas from more than one perspective work in an age when people are dying around the world from Covid-19? Could serious publications print conflicting views, right next to each other? In short, could publishers dare to let readers decide between the conflicting reporting and opinions? Or is the threat from the pandemic so profound that we must limit comment, even from sincere people who think rigorously?

Ultimately, I don't envy the decisions editors and publishers must make. They must live with their calls as their neighbors get sick, enter the hospital, and die. Now, more than ever, editorial decision-making carries great risk because the Delta variant is such a potent enemy of the people. And it can't be easy to determine who is a credible source for news and opinion from the community of writers and critics who have become thought outcasts.

They are outcasts because death is a final result. They are also outcasts because many of us have decided to believe the mainstream experts who share their evidence with us. Their evidence says that they are right, that vaccination is the way to escape the death that grips the world now.

I don't know if I have enough insight to sort through the sincere disagreement that exists between the establishment and the outcasts as people die. I'm not sure if it is easy to tell the difference between objectors of conscience and political opportunists. And I don't know if people in editorial positions always have the wisdom to decide how much credence, if any, to give to people who voice dissent when life and death stare us in the face.

 

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Steve Schneider lives in Hollywood, Fl. He thinks registering and voting should be easy and convenient for everyone. He started a Substack newsletter, What's Going On, on Christmas Day, 2020.

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3 people are discussing this page, with 14 comments  Post Comment


David Watts

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Steve, take a step back. Why from the start have Bill Gates, Anthony Fauci and the others, wanted to Jab an experimental injection into every human being on the planet for a flu-like virus with well over a 99% recovery rate? We know those people don't give a damn about other people. In this country, when was the last time any president or the other politicians in Washington, done one damn thing of any real significance to help the people of this country who they work for? (Do not say Obama Care.) On top of that, Bill Gates and many other Elites have talked about what this planet needs to happen is to reduce the world's population very significantly -- I have many quotes from many of the elite about the need to get rid of many people. With all that in mind, I ask you again, why do you think they want to jab an experimental injection into just about every human being on the planet? Do you really think they really want to do it to protect people from a flu-like virus with an extremely high recovery rate? Or, do they have something else in mind? Only one answer makes any sense at all -- They have an agenda and they are in the final stages of cementing their Agenda into place. And because they are working an agenda, the only reasonable explanation for the arrival of covid is that it was planned ahead of time, i.e., the virus was created in a biolab. And it therefore follows, the deadly variant(s) have also being created in biolabs. They haven't just been waiting around to get lucky.

All the dots connect, starting from a very long time ago. But to make it easy, starting with 9/11 and the beginning of the end game, this is the path they have been taking us down:

All According to Plan: 9/11, TSA, Patriot Act, Plandemic, Contact Tracing, Lockdowns, Quarantines, Vaccines, Electronic Digital IDs, 5G, Cashless Society, Agenda 21, New World Order/One World Government and Total Control!

As to your article, How much Free Speech can we afford as people die from covid-19? The only free speech that is killing anyone are the "free-speech" lies of the official narrative.

Steve, I say it is an open and shut case. They aren't looking to jab everyone on the planet with an experimental injection just because they care about people, they want to jab everyone on the planet with their experimental injection and the plandemic gave them the excuse to do just that -- JAB EVERY SINGLE PERSON EXCEPT THEMSELVES AND A FEW OTHERS, ON THE WHOLE DAMN PLANET! Now that ought to take care of all those worthless, "Useless Eaters!"

(A couple of more things. Covid-19 is nothing more than the flu. However, I believe it will be "variants" that will wreak havoc everywhere and now that they have the people conditioned to do what "they"/"authority" tells them to do, it should be as easy as apple pie.)

Submitted on Thursday, Jul 22, 2021 at 2:41:03 AM

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Nels Wight

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Reply to David Watts:   New Content

a fair, honest and needed statement, my friend, i'm wonderfully grateful to you.

Submitted on Thursday, Jul 22, 2021 at 7:17:46 AM

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Nels Wight

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Reply to Nels Wight:   New Content

steve seems not to realize that this so-called injection is not a vaccine, but purely a killing

instrument to remove us useless feeders from the planet - genocidal murder!

Submitted on Thursday, Jul 22, 2021 at 7:23:18 AM

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Steve Schneider

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Hello Nels,

It is always possible that I am wrong to trust the mainstream experts, and media. I will correct the record, though, assuming I learn a different reality. Of course, I can only do that if I am alive. So, Lord help me, I've already gotten my two stabs of the Pfizer vaccine. I pray that I am not part of any depopulation plan!

Submitted on Thursday, Jul 22, 2021 at 9:30:24 AM

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Steve Schneider

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Reply to David Watts:   New Content

David,

I've read that the Pfizer vaccine may get final approval soon. What argument will you make against the vaccine when that happens?

Also, numbers -- 99% recover -- can be used to distort reality. Here is the reality as I understand it: More than 600,000 Americans have died from Covid-19.

Now, David, I know several people who live in my condo community who refuse to get vaccinated. That is their right, although I don't think they have the right to potentially pass along the virus to others. The consensus of those who won't get vaccinated is that this is some kind of hoax. One person even told me that docs are lying about how many people die from Covid-19 because the government pays them more money if they report deaths from Covid-19, instead of, say, heart disease.

Significantly, I live in a community that is mainly comprised of senior citizens. I'm 63, a doc who lives here is a cancer survivor. He investigated the Pfizer vaccine, and took the shots. So did his daughter, who is also a doc. I trust these local medical professionals. I also trust the consensus shared with the public by health, medical and scientific experts.

Do we know the long-term consequences of taking the vaccine? Of course not. However, we know that death decreases as more Americans get vaccinated. So, what it boils down to for me is this: I'd rather live now and potentially die later if the people who oppose the vaccines are right.

And that's a big if -- whether the anti-vax crowd is right. Right now, I believe they are wrong, no matter how honest and sincere the comment posters at OpEd News may be.

Even so, the point of this article is, "How Much Free Speech Can We Afford as People Die from Covid-19?" I wrote this piece because more than 130 posts have run at my companion article, "Fierce Debate Continues Over Issues Related to Covid-19." This is a great example of free speech, I think. Sincere, thoughtful, honest OpEd News readers tell their story. People who disagree with them offer their opinion.

I survived this free exchange of ideas. I am still glad that I got the Pfizer vaccine, although I encourage honest critics to keep challenging mainstream thought. The problem for me is this: How do editors and publishers sought out those who are honest and sincere from political players with a political agenda? I also think responsible editors and publishers must decide how much space to give to people who offer documentation and serious thought when they explain their opposition to the Covid-19 vaccines. Limits are reasonable because people are dying, and conventional expert consensus says the vaccines save lives.

Heck, even the right-wing, libertarian governor of my state, Florida, pleaded with Sunshine State residents to get vaccinated. He made his plea two days ago as figures show more than 50% of eligible Floridians remain unvaccinated as the potent Delta variant makes the rounds. In other words, Ron DeSantis stated in public that he agrees with Dr. Anthony Fauci! Vaccines save lives, DeSantis and Fauci say.

Submitted on Friday, Jul 23, 2021 at 7:44:00 AM

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Steve Schneider

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David,

I understand if vaccine critics raise questions about the review process for experimental vaccines, or even the review process for final approval of vaccines. The systems are complex. Therefore, there is always room for improvement, I'm sure.

But you have reached the promised land of conspiracy theories with your post, which ties it all together dating back to 9/11. I see what you are saying: a powerful force wants to control us and kill us.

Your post even ends with a convenient dodge. You say that "Covid-19 is nothing more than the flu. However, I believe it will be 'variants' that will wreak havoc everywhere and now that they have the people conditioned to do what 'they'/'authority' tells them to do, it should be as easy as apple pie."

I may never eat apple pie again after reading your concluding paragraph for fear that evil authority figures are getting a piece of the pie, so to speak.

Sweet dreams, David, whether you put ice cream on your pie, or not. Keep dreaming.

Submitted on Friday, Jul 23, 2021 at 12:11:24 PM

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Steve Schneider

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My journey started when I wrote a few articles about what a vaccine critic has called, Democrats and Republicans, Trump and DeSantis. I wrote narrowly about the political actions of politicians because I thought some pols were playing games that led to death.

Therefore, I am pleased to announce that the governor of my state, Ron DeSantis, jumped off the right-wing GOP petard or canard, select the word you like. He did this yesterday by imploring the majority of Sunshine State residents who remain unvaccinated to get vaccinated. The vaccines, Trump buddy DeSantis announced, save lives. He said this even though fellow Florida resident Trump stoked division this past weekend by writing that people don't trust the vaccine because Biden is president and the Democrats stole the election from him.

I did not vote for DeSantis in 2018, and I will not do so next year. Still, I am glad that he put down his political hat, removed his political mask, and spoke like a leader yesterday. Leaders tell the truth as they know it. Leaders protect life. DeSantis offered simple words yesterday. He said the vaccines save lives. DeSantis, who may seek the Republican nomination for president in 2024, spoke those words even though last week he started raising money by selling merchandise mocking Dr. Anthony Fauci, a leading national proponent of the vaccines. My earlier articles challenged DeSantis to stop playing games, stop leaving the impression with Floridians that they should not get vaccinated.

This background is important because the article that I wrote prior to this one was flooded with comments at OpEd News. Many of the comments came from people who I believe have sincere disagreements with what mainstream experts and media have told us about the vaccines.

Well, I got two stabs of the Pfizer vaccine, as did my elderly father, who was vented about 15 months ago. We are doing fine, thank you. I am also doing fine after reading many of the posts from skeptics that were posted at my previous article. I continue to accept the conventional wisdom that people should get vaccinated.

In other words, I believe we saw free speech in action at the comment posting part of my article. Folk spoke their minds, honestly, sincerely. Disagreement remains, although I am open to the following general concepts: Sometimes experts are wrong. Sometimes it takes us many months, if not years to learn the truth.

So, keep pushing, keep challenging mainstream thought. But do it honestly, and sincerely, and with documentation. I also hope the critics will do it with a bit more humility. I get turned off when serious people lecture me that it is immoral for governments to give the vaccine to people. Maybe that is how some critics feel. But I don't need to know their feelings. I just need their evidence, or lack of evidence to make a decision.

Before I go, I want to share a link about an article an Alabama doc wrote at AL.com. Here is a link that explains the full article, which I will seek out at AL.com.

"I'm sorry but it's too late" (goodwordnews.com)

Submitted on Thursday, Jul 22, 2021 at 6:54:16 AM

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click here

U.S. Surgeon General Says Covid-19 Increasing at Alarming Rate in Florida.

Coronavirus cases in Florida are rising 'at an alarming rate,' surgeon general warns (msn.com)

Submitted on Friday, Jul 23, 2021 at 8:07:50 AM

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Time to start blaming the unvaccinated? click here

Submitted on Friday, Jul 23, 2021 at 10:02:58 AM

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Final approval coming? click here

Submitted on Friday, Jul 23, 2021 at 12:14:38 PM

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Vaccine considered a bioweapon in state with a low vaccination rate. click here

Submitted on Monday, Jul 26, 2021 at 7:00:36 AM

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"Trump vaccines safe?" click here

Submitted on Monday, Jul 26, 2021 at 8:31:38 AM

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GOP governor gets booed after speaking up for Covid vaccines. click here

Submitted on Tuesday, Jul 27, 2021 at 6:02:46 AM

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Docs Lose Patience Dealing with Vaccine Rejection. click here

Submitted on Thursday, Jul 29, 2021 at 12:12:37 PM

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