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186 Things Duck Dynasty Missed

GLAAD not the only one miffed

People jailed, even dying, over tongue slips

When the world exploded over a few things Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty said, it overlooked hundreds of others that have gotten people arrested, fired or even killed, as free speech has lost its protective value in the past few decades, according to a book that carefully documents the loss, Bomb Jokes at Airports.

"Sure, saying Merry Christmas could get you fired," says the book's author, Alan Korwin, who has written 14 books, including Bomb Jokes at Airport--and 186 other things you better not say, about the limits of free speech. "But revealing that our own government is supplying guns to Mexican drug lords, or that the NSA is spying on all of us can force you into hiding, just for speaking truth to power," and it gets worse, he says.

Korwin was censored by the city of Phoenix recently for saying "Guns save lives," in a case that made national headlines (NY TimesUSA TodayFOX NewsCapitol News Service). "Why should we be burdened with such messages," was the city's position, as the case went to the Arizona Court of Appeals, and may go all the way, with the ACLU as an amicus to the Goldwater Institute's defense of Mr. Korwin's right to make statements some politicians would prefer to suppress.

Bomb Jokes at Airports looks at more than 200 people, some of them murdered, many arrested, bankrupted, ruined, suspended or just humiliated, for saying things that met with disapproval, and were no longer protected under the classic belief that, "It's a free country and I can say what I want."

It's a common misconception that the First Amendment only controls the government. While it's true that tremendous legal protection attaches to political speech in an official context, popular opinion and court precedent firmly recognizes broad protection for a "court of popular opinion" protection for Americans to speak their minds freely without fear of reprisal or criminal prosecution.

This has eroded in recent years as the "angry gay" community, "aggressive racism" community, and other "offensive" political correctness groups have organized to act collectively to suppress speech, making many average citizens terrified of speaking freely or even telling jokes. Although federal prosecutors have been slow to act, conspiracy to deny civil rights is a serious federal crime that can include the death penalty (18 USC §241 et seq.) College campuses have limited candid political talk to "free speech zones," with certain types of open dialog on "politically incorrect" topics virtually banned by "speech codes."

Bomb Jokes at Airports, with hundreds of examples (the book stopped changing its title at 186) is available for review on request to legitimate media outlets. Retail copies are just $19.95. It is a stunning, sometime hilarious, sometimes terrifying read.

[email protected]
See all of Alan Korwin's books:

And 186 Other Things You’d Better Not Say
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352 pages, only $19.95 +S&H

Things you can't say anymore? LIKE WHAT?

“Are you married?”
Muzzled during job interviews by the EEOC, federal law
It's an “illegal question” says The New York Times

“Apartment for rent with picture window, walk-in closet.”
Muzzled in newspaper ads by the FHA, federal law

“Tart cherries are good for you.”
Muzzled in advertising by the FDA, federal regulations

“That's so gay.”
Muzzled in public schools by the California Supreme Court

“How many roads must a man walk down,
before you can call him a man.”

Muzzled by NYC school administrators and textbook makers

“Vote for John McCain.”
Muzzled in broadcasts within 60 days of an election
by the McCain-Feingold campaign reform act

“Guns are good.”

Muzzled by policy at mainstream newspapers in America

“Guns save lives.
Muzzled by policy at TV networks and their affiliates
Muzzled by the City of Phoenix (currently in litigation)

“Merry Christmas.”
Muzzled at department stores by political correctness

“Ho ho ho.”
Muzzled by Al Sharpton after Don Imus said, "nappy headed ho" (context dependent)

“Is the jury aware they can acquit me if they think the law is bad?”
Muzzled by judges who don't believe in fully informed juries

“Are you in this country legally?”
Muzzled by sanctuary cities that keep their police on a tight leash

American free speech is reaching the breaking point where any
politically correct or diversely foolish idea muzzles your right to freely speak.

“Korwin's latest book is a stunning, frightening look at how weak free speech is getting.
His plan to use federal 'anti-muzzling' statutes to fight back makes sense.”

Read the book.

Court Decides Against Free Speech

The lamestream media told you:


The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:

"Guns Save Lives" Bus-Stop Ads To Remain Censored

TrainMeAZ campaign will appeal

Goldwater Institute attorneys "disappointed" but "confident"

The lowest court to hear the free-speech case against Phoenix, for censoring the "Guns Save Lives" Educate-Your-Kids firearm-safety campaign, has decided against the plaintiff in the case, Alan Korwin and TrainMeAZ, LLC. The TrainMeAZ campaign will proceed with an appeal and Phase II, and is promising news on that soon. You can sign up for bulletins here.

Click the image for full details.

This is the advertising poster the city of Phoenix tore down in the middle of the night.
It was posted under an $11,000 contract at 50 public bus stops in high-traffic locations.
The campaign was financed by civic-minded sponsors in the firearms community,
listed here, take a look.

The court decision was not a total surprise, though the decision itself was something of a stunner. Clint Bolick, the director of The Goldwater Institute's Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation is the lead attorney representing TrainMeAZ on the case. Korwin discussed this with him and attorney Christina Sandefur, who has been on the case since it began.

"As expected, the judge ruled against us," Korwin said. "What is shocking is the utterly superficial nature of the ruling -- one of the worst any of us have ever seen, especially with the volume of evidence and complexity of the case. We've been at this now for two years -- hearings, filings, sworn depositions, responses, evidence gathered and submitted. Although we're displeased, our interest is not diminished."

Clint commented, “Given the importance of the legal issues and the extensive evidence showing that the City’s advertising policy is applied in a highly subjective manner, we were disappointed by the cursory decision issued by the trial court.  We’re confident that the Court of Appeals will give this case the attention it deserves, and that in the end the plaintiffs’ fundamental First Amendment rights will prevail.”


So here I was all set to bite into the meat of the decision, win or lose, and the decision is so short (five paragraphs) and so devoid of substance that there isn't much to say. Judge Brain concluded that, "... if one where (sic) to carry plaintiffs' arguments to its logical conclusion, Phoenix could only adopt one of two policies: (a) anyone can advertise anything; or (b) no one can advertise anything." It almost sounds like Brain was late for a dinner and didn't bother to read the arguments or the mountain of evidence the case generated.

Continue reading "Court Decides Against Free Speech" »

Phoenix Censorship Challenged

The Goldwater Institute today filed a lawsuit against the city of Phoenix, alleging unconstitutional suppression of free speech. The city in October last year had censored a set of gun-safety-training advertisements posted under contract by TrainMeAZ LLC, a coalition of members of the firearms industry. (Goldwater's announcement is at the end of this email.)

The group's website,, displays the censored “Educate Your Kids” promotional ads, along with others the group has erected around the state. A total of 50 illuminated bus-stop ads had been posted around the city under contract for about one week before Phoenix told its contractor, CBS Outdoor, to tear down the printed messages. CBS replaced them with public-service announcements and some out-of-date older ads to fill the space. See the censored ads here:

“My jaw dropped when people began to call asking where our ads went,” said Alan Korwin, author of The Arizona Gun Owner's Guide and manager of the TrainMeAZ program. “We were getting great responses when the city let us know they had decided our ads were unacceptable,” he said. “What power do they have to sit in judgment of our free speech? We began an active dialog with the city about the content to which they objected. While we awaited the next phone call, they had them all torn down literally overnight, without notice,” Korwin said.

The suit charges the city with several violations of fundamental rights. First, the Phoenix transit advertising standards on their face impose greater restrictions on noncommercial than on commercial speech, which is unconstitutional.  The standards are also impermissibly vague, and are arbitrarily and unequally applied -- for which there is substantial proof -- all of which are constitutionally unacceptable. From the complaint: “Because defendants are violating plaintiffs' federal and state constitutional rights to free expression, due process and equal protection, the transit advertising standards as written and enforced cannot stand.”

The free-speech clause of the Arizona Constitution is generally considered a stronger protection of rights than the federal First Amendment protection. This is because Arizona specifically guarantees a right, as opposed to simply preventing government from acting against the right. The state Constitution says:

6. Freedom of speech and press
Section 6. Every person may freely speak, write, and publish on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right.

The ads featured a bright red heart with the words, “Guns Save Lives,” and a headline reading, “Educate your kids.” Though the website is filled with commercial shooting ranges and training opportunities for people to hire and use, the city claimed the ads were non-commercial and public-service advertising, both of which it claims it can censor.

A survey of ads posted at the time revealed numerous public-service ads and others that did not explicitly “propose a commercial transaction,” which the city claims is a prerequisite for all ads. This suggests it was actually the content to which the city objected, a speech restriction government cannot legitimately make. At the least, the standard is inconsistently and arbitrarily applied. The city in no uncertain terms publicly stated at a meeting that the non-headline content-rich text of the ad had to be removed. That text can be read at the bottom of the home page. Content-based censorship has virtually no support in the legal system.

A series of announcements is planned as the case proceeds.

The Goldwater Institute has set up a web page to track the case:

New Crime -- "Muzzling"

The lamestream media told you:

A student was sent home and suspended for wearing a t-shirt that said "NRA." Other students were reprimanded, forced to apologize, suspended, or denied space in the class yearbook for criticizing homosexuality, posing with a shotgun-competition trophy, mentioning Jesus, saying, "That's so gay," and making other insensitive or politically incorrect remarks.

The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:

The increasingly frequent crime of political-correctness censorship needs a good name, and the Uninvited Ombudsman recommends "muzzling," for its simplicity and directness.

Muzzling means interfering with a person's sacred First Amendment freedom of speech for partisan political purposes.

Political correctness, a basic socialist tool for controlling thought and manipulating public policy, should never be allowed to trump your First Amendment right to free speech. Anyone attempting to do so should face a serious violation -- and it turns out a suitable federal law is already on the books.

That would be 18 USC §242, which basically says:

Anyone who, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, custom or regulation, willfully deprives any person of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, shall be fined, or imprisoned for up to one year, or both.

If bodily injury results, or if the violation includes the use or attempted or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosive or fire, the prison term rises to up to ten years.

If death results, or if such acts include kidnapping, attempted kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault, attempted aggravated sexual assault, or an attempt to kill, the violator may be fined, imprisoned for any term of years up to life, or put to death.

All that's needed now is for Americans everywhere to start noticing instances of muzzling or attempted muzzling, and pointing it out. "Be careful, ma'am, you've muzzled that student and could go to prison for it."

All it will take is one cooperative states' attorney and one case to begin to put a chill on the runaway train of politically correct suppression of freedom of speech.

Don't get caught muzzling anyone. Point out muzzling -- loudly -- when you see it. If you're the victim of such hateful intolerance, look into filing charges.

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Don't Say Queer

The lamestream media told you:
Republican Mark Foley is a very bad man and a reason for the defeat of the Republican Party at the polls in November. Even though his badness was known for a long time, no action was taken against him. Democrats generally support gayness and Republicans generally do not, though both parties have some.

The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:
As near as is known, Mark Foley, an acknowledged homosexual member of Congress, has been found guilty of writing words that are not approved of, but has committed no conduct that would be considered against the law, with underage male pages serving in Congress.

The consequences for using unapproved “salacious” words will appear in the Uninvited Ombudsman’s next book, his 11th, on the limits of free speech, currently entitled, “Bomb Jokes for Airports.”

The Wash., D.C.-based National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association's guide to language for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community advocates against using the word “homosexual” to describe homosexuals, preferring the terms gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender, or simply GLBT. Older terms such as “fag” and “queer” are on the hate list and should never be used, the guide says.

Homosexuals may call each other fags and queers though, following the same hypocritical rules governing the “N” word for black and somewhat black people. Under these duplicitous guidelines, if you are a member of a group, you can use words that, if used by a non-member, constitute a hate crime. (NLGJA says gays have "reclaimed" these words as "self-affirming umbrella terms" but they remain "extremely offensive" for others to use.)

Isaac Asimov’s classic science fiction novels from the 1950s and 1960s often speak of things seeming queer, in the normal meaning of that word. Modern writers though have totally abandoned the word due to pressure from GLBTs (sometimes pronounced “gullbutts”).

The classic Christmas song "Deck The Halls" includes, “Don we now our gay apparel,” and the Flintstones theme says, "We'll have a gay old time," and are sung with gay abandon, though how much longer this may be acceptable is uncertain. No new material using gay or queer were known to be in the works at press time.

While the First Amendment says “Congress shall make no law,” regarding free speech, social engineers operating under political correctness have no such restriction. Some observers believe social pressure to be a far more pernicious and overarching set of rules than anything Congress can devise.

More than 400 things you’re not allowed to say are currently in the draft for “Bomb Jokes for Airports.” The book is expected out in 2007, but sometimes these things take longer than you expect.

Nearly every day, newspapers have stories about people in trouble somewhere for saying something. Look for it, it’s there.

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Must Stop MySpace

The lamestream media told you:
The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on telecommunications and the Internet held hearings, on how to deal with "the rampant growth of children using social-networking sites," like

Their bill would ban anyone under 18 from accessing MySpace, Friendster or Facebook from school or library computers, in an effort to improve child safety on the web.

The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:
In a dramatic display of just how out of touch Congress has become with the American way of life, a lowly subcommittee is attempting to regulate a robust new innovation due to "rampant growth."

Rampant growth is part of what makes America great, and the last thing Congress should be meddling with. They are absolutely banned from regulating speech in any manner under the First Amendment, but that no longer constrains these misguided do-gooders, who have not been charged with violation of their oath of office.

Confirming what critics call "a lack of touch with reality," committee members appear to believe that by banning access to government-funded computers, they will have an impact that means anything. Experts at the panel hearings told them their approach was hopeless, though Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott told them it was a step in the right direction.

The alternate approach of using existing law to convict and imprison anyone who perpetrates a crime on a child was not discussed.

Renzi Visits Lebanon

The lamestream media told you:
Congressman Rick Renzi, returning from a fact-finding trip to the Israel-Lebanese border reports that he is, "not free to discuss much of what the delegation learned," on the trip.

He did report that Hezbollah has turned southern Lebanon into, "a maze of tunnels, bunkers and weaponry," right under the nose of the U.N. peacekeeping forces, for 12 years. "The U.N. allowed Hezbollah to come down and take control," according to the published report, and that Iran helped turn the terrorists from, "a bunch of thugs into a sophisticated army."

The United States pays 22% of the U.N.'s operating costs.

During the mission, Renzi and three congressional colleagues met with Palestinian president Abbas.

The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:
We never find out what these policy makers talk about when they meet. Now THAT would be news. Whatever we get instead is obviously pale.

"There's no way for us to get that," says one reporter. Whatever he delivers to us instead has any crumbs of credibility torn to shreds by default. The real deal is unavailable to any but the elite insiders, and they're not talking.

The idea that a congressman cannot speak about what he learned bolsters that unfortunate view. The First Amendment protection of free speech does not apply, even to a congressman, for reasons that remain unclear.

What sort of capabilities could the terrorists have, what sort of secrets could Abbas reveal, what could our legislators have learned from their trip, that we aren't getting from the news, that they cannot say. What was the U.N. actually doing there for 12 years. It sure makes you wonder.

Both sides bombed and rocketed each other again today. Pictures of the exploded buildings and injured (but not dead) people were broadcast widely, as usual.

Flag Desecration Consequences

The lamestream media told you:
The Senate bill to ban flag desecration failed by one vote.

The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:
The Senate bill would have amended the Constitution to allow Congress to ban flag desecration, something it lacks the power to do, under the current reading of the First Amendment.

How Congress might exercise such new power is unknown.

Despite scores of infringements on the right to say whatever you damn well please, legislators believe they lack the power to stop flag burners. It's the height of hypocrisy to watch Congress trample the Constitution at nearly every turn, and then hold itself back in one simple arena.

So much speech is currently banned that the Uninvited Ombudsman is writing a new book called "186 Things You're Not Allowed to Say." From jokes at the airport to asking job applicants if they're married, free speech is becoming a disappearing right.

If Congress does indeed ban flag desecration, the authorities may have to arrest anyone wearing a flag bikini, flag do rags, flag boxing trunks, and every other inappropriate application of the U.S. flag, right down to a child's discarded crayon drawing of a flag, an obvious destruction of our national symbol.

The law of unintended consequences suggests that, as soon as the amendment is enacted, flag burners will thumb their noses and start burning copies of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, red-white-and-blue star-and-stripe flag lookalikes, and whatever else can rile up the populace to voice extreme displeasure.

On the other hand, if flag burners are simply allowed to continue to play with matches, we find out just who they are. Which is a good thing.

In other news, Tucson protester Roy Warden is burning Mexican flags, on U.S. soil, and getting the cold shoulder from the national "news" media. Now in serious trouble with law enforcement and with pending court dates, he has made points that have infuriated the Mexican consulate, in front of which he conducts his exercises in free expression.

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About the Author

  • Freelance writer Alan Korwin is a founder and past president of the Arizona Book Publishing Association. With his wife Cheryl he operates Bloomfield Press, the largest producer and distributor of gun-law books in the country. Here writing as "The Uninvited Ombudsman," Alan covers the day's stories as they ought to read. Read more.

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