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Freedom of Speech

Cliff, Terry, Russ & others:

  I'm often involved in debates concerning rights. Personal rights vs.
public good, etc., etc. The general themes have been popularized in
this century by factual and fictional writers alike.

  What I'm hoping for in the next millenium (maybe sooner?) is what I
feel is the flip side of that coin -- responsibility. With every right
comes a responsibility to act honorably under the umbrella of that
right and to accept the consequences of your actions. I have had
people stand up in public forums (namely, in an antenna tower dispute)
and essentially say that people like me don't belong in this
community. Was it their right to say that? The first ammendment says so.
Did it further their cause? Probably, because the City Council felt
so much political pressure that they caved in to it rather than
reasonably accommodating my communications needs. Were they acting
in an honorable way? I think not, for the following reason: They
exercised one of their constitutional rights to try to deny me 
one of mine. Would these same people accept personal responsibility
for the unnecessary psychological trauma these events inflicted on
me and my family? Probably not. They would claim that that is the way
the 'game is played'. They did view it as a sporting event, with a 
winner and a loser, and applauded the City Council when they voted
against my personal rights.

  Cliff's remarks hit dead center for me. What is the intended purpose
of the negative comments about the P3D program? Have these individuals
stepped forward to volunteer to build a smaller satellite and had their
proposals rejected because there was no more AMSAT money left? Have they
been trying to contribute to P3D in any way they can so that, through
'sweat equity', the actual $$ cost of the project has been decreased?
I'm no rocket scientist but I've spend my time sweeping floors at the
Integration lab, taking pictures of the bird, editing an AMSAT book,
and setting up a satellite station for the ITU conference here in 
Minneapolis last fall. Everyone can do something for AMSAT.

  If the negative perspectives win the day, volunteerism will be dead.
What *can* be done is important. Perhaps, by reading what has been
published about the P3D systems, *you* could find another use for
a certain P3D circuit, *you* could build a station component that could
use a capability new to P3D (maybe even contribute it to AMSAT for
fund-raising!)....the possibilities are there. You have a RIGHT and
a RESPONSIBILITY to pursue them!!

  Best 73's to all. Let the rights *and* responsibilities prevail!

--Paul Beckmann, wa0rse@amsat.org
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