A Far Cry from Voltaire.

What if someone said to you "I don't like what you are saying, and I will defend to your death my right to stop you from saying it?"

That's a far cry from Voltaire's more famous quote "I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."  If someone did say that, it most likely would not have been an American. This is not to say that we have always lived up to our ideal of freedom of expression, but most people know that is arguably the most important of all the values that we call American.

This is, or should be, on our collective American mind as we watch the "Interview" controversy unfold.  That controversy underscores the real difference  between America and North Korea.  We are capable of valuing  the differences between peoples of different race, ethnicity, religion, history, language and culture ( for instance, South Korea), but when our most fundamental and cherished values, such as freedom of speech, are at issue, we have an irreconcilable difference.

Personally, I find the movie, based on the trailers, to be in poor taste. There might be good laugh lines well delivered by the cast, but why name the country and the dictator that is the brunt jokes?  Maybe somebody thought it would be funnier that way and sell more tickets.

Our Bill of Rights doesn't require good judgment in expression, but it doesn't forbid it, either. Personal responsibility is implicit in a number of the  articles of the Bill of Rights.  It's part of what makes our system work. Yes, it does work.  Not perfectly, perhaps, but it does work.

We demonstrate about our differences. We laugh at ourselves and our leaders, and we generally find solutions to our problems, even if they are not perfect ones.

I'm proud to wave Old Glory, and ever mindful of our fundamental American values.