In Washington, D.C., lobbying is a way of life.
Just walking from the State Department to the Metro means you'll get accosted by somebody wanting action on some issue.
I took this photo in action today of this guy obviously not in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline.
He equates it with "Climate Chaos!"
He is holding a sign up to me and trying to hand me some literature.
Whether or not piping tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast is net good for the economy and national security or bad for the environment and global warming, is of course a matter of debate.
But like all issues, there are two sides to everything--so prove your case!
Maybe the point to free speech is that everyone can not only have an opinion, but also express it and advocate for it.
There can be open and amble discussion, vigorous debate, compromises, and ultimately a vote and decision--that hopefully gets us to the best course of action.
Unlike countries run by dictators or religious fanatics who attempt to quell all opposition--where bloggers are flogged and jailed and authors and satirists are threatened and murdered--we try to make our best case and not condemn those who simply think different than us.
In expressing ourselves here, someone may occasionally joke and say, "now don't chop my head off for saying this," but in other countries they really mean it!
Tyrannical dictatorships and Jihadists terrorizing and imposing their will on the masses just won't cut it anymore. ;-)
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)