Archive for the ‘free speech’ category

Collectivist Totalitarians, Right and Left

April 30, 2011

People on the extreme left and the extreme right, find diversity of opinion unbearable. Both groups are totalitarians and want to completely shut the other side up. They assume the exact same motive of any one who disagrees with them. They can’t imagine an EXCHANGE of ideas or learning anything new. They can’t imagine anyone else being right or themselves being wrong. None of their ideas are held provisionally pending new information.(I suspect that’s because their ideas are not based on information.) They certainly can’t imagine a marketplace of ideas where their views are on the exact same footing as everyone else’s.

Yes, I think government has an important role to play in people’s lives and I believe in a strong social safety net. But I also I believe in free market capitalism. I believe in private ownership of property. I believe in liberty, even for people I think are fools. I believe that extreme, lunatic right wingers get to say what they want and speak their mind. They even get to vote for whoever they think will represent them. I believe in their rights even when the right wingers are shocked that anyone to their left has all the same rights they do and work hard to strip them of their liberty.

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Islamic Public Relations

January 26, 2008

In Afghanistan recently Sayed Perwiz Kambakhsh, a reporter for a daily paper and a journalism student, thought he had freedom of speech.

He was wrong.

He downloaded an Iranian article which pointed out that Mohammad had ignored women’s fundamental rights. The young man was arrested and charged with blasphemy. It’s amazing how blasphemy and the truth are often the same thing. He’s been in prison for three months (so far) and was tried without a lawyer. Naturally, he was sentenced to death. He can appeal the decision, of course. He gets three appeals before they stand him against a wall and cut him in half with a Kalashnikov.

Kambakhsh probably won’t end up in front the Kalashnikovs. He has a brother who’s a reporter and Reporters Without Borders are on the job getting worldwide attention brought to this case.

This case. How many thousands are killed or terrified into silence because they know their brother herds goats and won’t be able to get their story on Reuters? The “Qatif Girl” got a reprieve from the Saudi king after being sentenced to 200 lashes and six months in prison for the crime of being raped. Her male protector was not a close relative, that’s a crime in Saudi Arabia. But she got off because some watchdog group noticed her case and she was saved. Thousands are not saved.

And here we have a case of a man sentenced to death for the crime of distributing an article which suggested that this bloody minded barbarism might be wrong.

It’s Islamic public relations in action. Again.