In Blogging, Free speech, Human rights on May 31, 2009 at 4:24 pm
[Cross-posted from OR318]
The two main arguments governments, and their supporters, make against free speech are these. First, that the outlawed speech is immoral. An example of this might be a blogger in Egypt who claims that Islam is a false religion or a blogger in the United States who maintains that killing people involved in overseas military operations is justified.
The second, and I think more common, argument is that allowing unfettered speech creates chaos that would significantly harm, and possibly ultimately destroy, a nation or society.
Neither rationale justifies the prohibition of speech because both are specious. There is, in fact, no legitimate justification for such a prohibition, because freedom of speech is not a cultural artifact, but rather a human right. By human right I mean that the need to express oneself, both on an individual and collective level, is a function of the human psyche, regardless of culture, subculture, geography, religion or even time. Try to think of a group or an era in which mankind did not attempt to express what was within its minds and hearts.
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In United States on May 26, 2009 at 12:04 am
My friend, Kelvin Holland, who works as an editor for a history publisher near DC sent me this account of the first U.S. Memorial Day. It’s from by David Blight on Common-Place via Kevin Levin’s blog, Civil War Memory.
After Charleston, South Carolina was evacuated in February 1865 near the end of the Civil War, most of the people remaining among the ruins of the city were thousands of blacks. Read the rest of this entry »
In Committee to Protect Bloggers, Employment, Personal on May 19, 2009 at 12:39 am
[Re-posted from CPB.]
I have some very bad news. I was laid off at the end of January but always thought I would find new work. That has not happened. I am now face-to-face with the reality that if I do not spend every single waking minute in the pursuit of a new job we will wind up living on the street. I wish that were a poetic exageration. It is not.
As much concern as I have for people I don’t know, far and away my most important commitment is to my wife and our family. The Committee to Protect Bloggers, this blog, all the rest of it, is of distinctly secondary importance. From now until after I am re-employed, I cannot spend a single second on anything but my search for employment. I should have realized this before but “thinking positively” can sometimes function as simple delusion. Today things happened that brought it all home.
I hope that this hiatus on my part is temporary.
In Poetry, Publications on May 10, 2009 at 11:50 pm
BlazeVOX, the well-regarded magazine from upstate New York, has published three of my poems in its Late Spring issue.
You can visit via the cover page or read the poems directly (in .pdf form). They published three: “Night and the Body,” “A Desert Place” and “San Bruno.”
You can read the contributor bios here, including mine.