So this last Monday afternoon was the day when our press release went public. I am of course talking about the news of the prosecution of my son and two of my grandsons. Over stickers. Since that time, developments have, as is their wont, developed. Let me tell you a little more about them, shall I?
A Brief Reprise
To remind you, the city of Moscow to date has spent tens of thousands of dollars in pursuit of Justice As They Understand It, which is, as I understand it, threatening our people with up to six years in jail for affixing stickers to poles that were already covered with stickers.
You see, the problem with these stickers is that they contained an implied criticism of our elected officials. And anybody who is even remotely familiar with our constitutional protections of free speech must know that this right to free speech—which is so precious to us that nobody is being allowed to even take it out of the box anymore—was intended by the Founders to protect things like pornography and performance art, and never criticism of our overworked and underpaid public servants. People who think that the right to free speech covers criticism of official government actions must be red-pilling somehow. Or maybe I have something inverted in some way.
Nevertheless, even though these stickers were not prohibited by the ordinance concerned, and even though the city has never prosecuted anybody who really did transgress the terms of the ordinance, such as various notorious yard sale outlaws, they have shown a real determination to pursue this thing.
And thus it has come to pass that they don’t just have a little egg on the face, but rather are face down, once again, in an oven omelet, made by them, in their own kitchen.
We suspected that a story like this would have some feet, and so it has proved. Moscow Idaho has once again shouldered its way to the front of the crowd in a desperate attempt to remain a national laughingstock. We are being governed in a pretty tedious way—by martinets who are not very competent.
Remember. There was a psalm sing to protest an unnecessary extension of the mask mandate. This psalm sing was entirely LEGAL, and yet three of our people were arrested at it. The city later admitted that they arrested our people for a LEGAL activity, which is why they dropped the charges against them. But in the meantime, not having had enough embarrassment, they then decided to prosecute a LEGAL protest of their ILLEGAL arrests that had happened at a LEGAL event. The city is alleging that my grandsons put up stickers that were critical of an ILLEGAL abuse of power. If their allegation is true, they are alleging, in effect, that they are cracking down on yet another LEGAL protest. And so what does the City of Moscow do with LEGAL protests against their actions? Well, the answer varies, but they usually try to come up with something ILLEGAL.
If the appearances would indicate that the city is abusing their power, what better way to refute the canards that are swirling around all this than by abusing power some more?
We Have Received Numerous Requests . . .
Many have wondered where they might obtain these marvelous stickers. We have received various requests concerning this pressing question. Numerous public-spirited citizens have expressed a desire to learn how they too might obtain one of their very own stickers. That is in process, and I will notify you all when and where they are available.
And this sudden demand really is fortuitous timing. The city, or some industrious volunteer, decided that they needed to clear a bunch of space for us before the new stickers arrived.
Just after the news release did its cannonball into the deep end of the pool, right next to where all the cute girls were trying to sunbathe, this was consequently the occasion of a certain amount of excited scurrying about. A number of you wonderful people had started taking pictures of various stickers on poles and began inquiring, somewhat querulously, what the City of Moscow was going to do about it this open and manifest crime spree. This resulted in city officials, or aforesaid industrious volunteer, scrambling yesterday to remove lots of stickers from lots of poles, such that it might appear that they have always cared deeply about this sticker-on-pole problem. But unfortunately for them, we have lots of pictures from the way it was before, back when the only stickers they ever cared about were the ones that they were alleging were affixed by descendants of mine.
And speaking of that, in Monday’s post I said that they were being prosecuted because their last name is Wilson, and one sympathetic writer wondered if I was trying assign motives from a distance. No, there is good evidence for this, and the reason all of this looks like a selective prosecution is because it is one.
The Theocratic Basis for Free Speech
This whole debacle is a great illustration for the Christian case for the necessity of a guarantee of free speech. I will just mention it here, but promise to develop this point more later.
The foundational reason for insisting on free speech has to do with the Christian doctrine of the nature of man. Every restriction that is placed on men is a restriction that must be enforced by men. And the men who enforce are almost always a greater hazard to our liberties than the man in the street who wants to pop off about something. The men who enforce any restrictions on free speech have the same problem of sin that the general populace does, and in their case this sinfulness is combined with political power.
This means that if you grant the authorities the power to punish the one who would yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater, which they need to have, they will be tempted to use that power to punish citizens who are critical of them.
This thin-skinned and authoritarian tendency is currently on full display here in Moscow, Idaho. It is on full display. Look at it.
I do not want to defend free speech because each of us is so wise that we all must be given our chance to contribute our wisdom. No. Rather, I maintain that we are a fallen race, and cannot be trusted to police certain things. To the extent that the authorities have any power to regulate speech, that power must be carefully balanced and held in check by factors outside their control. This was in great measure the genius of the American Founding.
So if the archangel Gabriel were dispatched to come down and regulate our speech, the effects would be altogether salutary. He is unfallen, and doesn’t have any ego issues. But sinful human beings? Ah, that’s another matter.