Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Blessing of Free Speech Shows Assertions of Domestic Tyranny in US To Be Grossly Exaggerated

Better barbed words than barbed wire. Fairness matters. One does not have to look far on the Internet to hear assertions that (to roughly quote an Alex Jones promo) "the United States is one of the worst police states on earth".

But this is patently absurd. And both Jones and Glenn Beck are proof. They operate daily, saying some things that are true and many things that are completely wild and incendiary. But the point is they are free to operate. Would that be possible in Red China, North Korea, Saudi Arabia or any number of other real tyrannical governments?

It is also true of the less theatrical political Left, Chomsky, Peter Dale Scott, Naomi Wolf, Chris Hedges and many others.

It's true that free speech is hemmed in like never before in this country by absurd and often immoral political correctness today, but we are free to counter such ideology and zealots with facts without being hauled off to jail, are we not?

Then consider: We are free to discuss things never permitted in modern totalitarian states, even such things as possible governmental complicity in assassinations (see here), or in terrorist attacks we have suffered; we are free to criticize any war atrocities, even to the calling for Presidents to answer for war crimes. This is tyranny? This is "one of the worst police states on earth?" Only those abysmally ignorant of history or even of contemporary reality could assert such a thing.

The fact is we are free to criticize any aspect of government policy and persons. I was telling a friend just last week that were it not for our unjust and seemingly perpetual wars against poor nations and peoples, and banker / Wall Street greed which threatens or dispossesses so many here, we would have very little to complain about indeed.

Vigilance

Yes, we must ever be vigilant, of course; it almost goes without saying; especially as we have already seen many civil liberties compromised in fact or in policy decisions which may, or may not, have been implemented yet since September 11, 2001. Things could change, which God forbid. Free speech can never be taken for granted. But we need to be fair; and it is irresponsible to wildly exaggerate the state of oppression in the US today when we are free to say and write practically anything we wish, especially protesting on behalf of the poor of the world who to this very hour are experiencing fire and mega-ton explosives rained down on them daily from science fiction-like US jets, planes and drones which the victims can hardly even see.

Free Speech the Best Friend of Democratic Governments


Free speech is in the best interest of governments. It is irritating to be sure, but not more dangerous than true oppression. It is better to have barbed words, writings and protests than riots, civil wars, barbed wire, endless insurgencies, bloodbaths, and the like.

We need to be prudent and fair. There is still very much to be grateful for here and in the West in general. We only want it to be better, we only want us all to return to decency and justice again.
_______

--->US to Maintain Prison, Rendition Flights in Afghanistan. The US military is planning to maintain a prison at its massive Bagram Air Base even after the Afghan government is handed formal control next year. Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, the head of US military prisons in Afghanistan, Vice Admiral Robert Harward, said the US will continue to jail people deemed "security threats" as well as prisoners brought into Afghanistan on rendition flights. In response, Clara Gutteridge of the legal charity Reprieve said, "This proposal for a US 'prison within a prison'...reveals that the operative principle at the heart of Obama’s overseas detention policy is to maintain a clear continuity with the worst practices of the Bush-era." (Source; emphasis mine)

--->From start, Bush team focused on war with Iraq
: documents

--->US bishop urges Congress to remember low income families in tax debate...

--->UN Finally Accepts New and Much Lower Estimates of Global Maternal Deaths. UN leadership capitulated on key maternal health figures last week, conceding pregnancy-related deaths have fallen faster than recently reported. A new report abandons statistics fiercely defended just months ago. Please, if you have the means, financially support C-Fam; it is the most important UN watchdog on the planet. Critical to all of us.

--->UN chief: Bring the world together. "Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned kings, prime ministers and presidents Thursday of growing political polarization and social inequalities and implored U.N. members to show greater tolerance and mutual respect to bring the world together." Memo to UN Chief: Dear sir - there's nothing wrong with a peaceful truly multi-polar world. In fact it is much to be desired; old fashioned voluntary regional alliances will continue. The wise will get used to it. The UN's rise has hardly put an end to wars...It is many of the hegemonic nuclear powers which have largely continued bloodshed and exploitation on a massive scale since WWII. Speak to them if peace is the aim. Social equality cannot be mandated (that's Marx), only equality of opportunity through real justice, trade and fairness.

--->Bloody Chaos in Mexico: "Explain to Us What You Want from Us"–--Juárez Newspaper Publishes Editorial Addressing Cartels After Another Reporter Gunned Down. See DN video report. 6,600 homicides in Mexico City. Journalists say at least some military and police are complicit in murders, torture and kidnapping.

--->1 in 5 'gay, bisexual' men
in US cities has HIV

--->Executed US woman
'startled and fearful'

--->Nicaraguan diplomat found dead in NY with throat cut. "A police spokesman said no motive had been identified nor suspects arrested."

--->New strikes in France over retirement age

--->Darwin in Asia: This "global survey of the scientifically literate public
" finds that "a startling 35% of the Japanese and 49% of the Chinese respondents agreed that there is 'reason for doubt' about evolutionary theory's ability to explain the variety of species on Earth" . "Japanese and Chinese respondents were also less likely than others to say that they trust scientific explanations of the origins of the Universe..."

--->Bono's ONE foundation under fire for giving little
over 1% of funds to charity

--->The Church of Spontaneous Creation...