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HOW HE SEES IT Kids just don't get freedom



Published: Thu, February 24, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



By BILL MAHER

LOS ANGELES TIMES

A new survey found that a majority of high schoolers think newspapers should not be allowed to publish without government approval. And almost one in five said that Americans should be prohibited from expressing unpopular opinions.

Lemme tell you little darlings something: This is my livelihood you're messing with, so either learn the Bill of Rights or you don't deserve Social Security.

Now, to those of you who think I'm overreacting: Yes, I understand that when you're in high school you're still very young and that no one really cares what kids say anyway .

But the younger generation is supposed to rage against the machine, not for it; they're supposed to question authority, not question those who question authority.

And what's so frightening is that we're seeing the beginnings of the first post-9/11 generation -- the kids who first became aware of the news under an "Americans need to watch what they say" administration, the kids who've been told that dissent is un-American and therefore justifiably punished by a fine, imprisonment -- or the loss of your show on ABC.

President Bush once asked, "Is our children learning?" No -- they isn't. A more appropriate question might be, "Is our teachers teaching?" In four years, you can teach a gorilla sign language. Is it too much to ask that in the same amount of time a kid be taught what those crazy hippies who founded this country had in mind?

Taken for granted

I know the Morals & amp; Values folks want us to take time out of the school day for prayer and the Ten Commandments and abstinence training and at least two theories of evolution -- the one agreed upon by every scientist in the world and the one that involves naked ladies and snakes -- but, lest we forget, last month the people of Iraq risked death and danger to send a simple, inspiring message: America, get out of our country. But also, we want the freedoms you take for granted.

Now, I didn't mind being on the losing side of the last election. But as a loser, I guess I have some "unpopular" opinions -- and I'd like to keep them. I'd even like to continue to say them out loud on TV, because if I just get up there every Friday night and spout the Bush administration's approved talking points, that's not freedom or entertainment. It's Fox News.

X Maher is the host of HBO's "Real Time With Bill Maher."




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