New Washington, D.C. - Emperor Bush VI has issued a fiat permitting limited free speech. The noble gesture is intended to quell internal and external criticism that the Empire is not truly free.
All publications must be submitted to the Imperial censors for approval before publication. Imperial censors have the ultimate authority to edit or reject any submitted publication. Publications critical of the Empire are permitted as long as they adhere to a few simple rules.
Rule 1 Blaming individuals for problems is not permitted. The people running the Empire dwell on far loftier ideas than the mundane problems of the day, and such problems are merely a distraction for them. If you must blame someone, then blame only vague groups, such as “liberals” or “barbarians.”
Rule 2 Problems may only be discussed in positive terms. For example, you may not say that more people are homeless. Instead, phrase it as fewer people are homeless than was anticipated. Instead of saying the sky is darker because of pollution, say that fewer people are dying from melanoma.
Rule 3 Like members of the Imperial Administration, corporations are sacrosanct and may not be criticized.
Rule 4 Suggestions that there are better or even alternative forms of government are not permitted.
Rule 5 Writing about any time prior to Emperor Bush I’s administration is strictly forbidden. In order to keep the minds of the citizens pure and unconfused, they must be permitted to believe, as they are instructed in school, that the Empire has always been an Empire.
Rule 6 All publications must be Empire-centric. The notion that the Empire is all there is must be constantly reinforced.
Rule 7 Satire is strictly forbidden. Not only is it difficult to comprehend, but it’s based on a fundamental deception: saying one thing while meaning another. Deception is contrary to the core values of the Empire.
Citizens adhering to these simple rules will enjoy full freedom of speech within this great Empire, utterly refuting claims to the contrary by enemies of the Empire.
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