Le roi est mort…

October 14, 2016




July 29, 2016




Time to THexit

June 26, 2016


Just two choices were given British voters: LEAVE or REMAIN.

Our first reaction to the news that the highest turnout of United Kingdom voters in history chose to abandon the European Union is that, as in Scotland’s independence referendum or the Quebec separation referendum in Canada, the results, 52% to 48%, was simply too close to call.

Such referenda are good examples of genuine participatory democracy rather than simply voting in politicians for their often-false promises.

Regardless of the marginal will of the people, UK’s governing Tory Party has unsurprisingly vowed to ignore the results and remain in the EU.

While that remains to be seen, departure from the Union will mean far more than economic readjustment. The UK will be giving up a well-respected charter, incumbent on all EU countries, incisive and binding oversight on all member country decisions.

It will also mean that the UK, which in recent years has become the world’s premier surveillance state, will be giving up the EU Charter’s protections for human rights, freedom of expression, and civil liberties.

Thailand’s own referendum looms. The vote for a new Constitution is really not about that at all. It’s about the military: LEAVE or REMAIN. Will Thailand’s military decide what’s best for us regardless of the popular vote? We have already been illegitimately forced to give up our Constitutionally-protected freedom of expression. Will we write human rights and civil liberties protections into law for Thailand’s future?

If the Constitution fails, will Thailand’s strongman do the right thing, like David Cameron, and step down? Does he have enough courage to admit he’s been wrong all along?

It’s really quite simple, actually: Free Speech is about FREE SPEECH – not moderated (i.e. censored) speech.

Contrary to the perverted concept held by many users on this website, no one has a right to never be offended. There is a very good reason for this: because it is utterly impossible to avoid offending every individual on every subject – no doubt someone reading this very answer will be offended, and what needs to be said for that is simply “tough shit, get over it.”

If a user is offended by what another user writes, then mute the person, block him or her, and then go about life without further bother. But it is no one’s job or duty to police the thoughts or ideas of others in defense of the rest of the world; each individual has the capacity to make his or her own decision as to what they wish to actually read or listen or watch.

Political correctness is poison, a cancer that gets in the way of discussing matters honestly and openly. Political correctness invites abuse by anyone who “feels threatened” or “feels offended.” Political correctness robs human beings of interacting free of reprisal or unfair material counterattacks.

The “line” between Political Correctness and Free Speech is very easy to identify. Free Speech is a TOTALLY FREE exchange of ideas; political correctness is ANYTHING that limits, qualifies, quells, changes, modifies or moderates speech …NO MATTER HOW SUBTLE.

It genuinely scares me that so many are so CONSUMED with stifling the free and open exchange of ideas.

Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis said, “Fear of serious injury cannot alone justify suppression of free speech and assembly. Men feared witches and burnt women. It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears.”

Brandeis also said, “Those who won our independence by revolution were not cowards. They did not fear political change. They did not exalt order at the cost of liberty. To courageous, self-reliant men, with confidence in the power of free and fearless reasoning applied through the processes of popular government, no danger flowing from speech can be deemed clear and present, unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is so imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion.”

Brandeis went on to say the following, a most clear expression of the essence of the importance of Free Speech: “If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.”

Adherents to the concept of Political Correctness seek NOT to have an open and free exchange of ideas but to silence those whose ideas are divergent from the collective’s. There is a word for that: CENSORSHIP.


Silent nights…

December 22, 2014

FullSizeRender-4Free Speech Xmas card

[Graduate School of Journalism, University of California at Berkeley]

2012 in review

January 1, 2013

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 160,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 8 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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