Simi Valley Sophist

The Simi Valley Sophist ruminates on all manner of topics from the micro to the macro. SVS travels whatever path strikes his fancy. Encyclopedia Britannica: Sophist "Any of certain Greek lecturers, writers, and teachers in the 5th and 4th centuries BC, most of whom travelled about the Greek-speaking world giving instruction in a wide range of subjects in return ..."

Location: California, United States

Retired: 30years law enforcement-last 20 years Criminal Intelligence Detective.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Freedom of Speech, Don’t Take It for Granted

When you grow up in the U.S. you tend to take the incredible freedoms afforded us for granted. How many of you realize that you can be imprisoned in Europe for everyday “speech” in this country. In Austria, David Irving, a rather reprehensible Holocaust denier historian, was just sentenced to prison for a lecture that he made 16 years ago.

Now a German court is jailing a German business man for insulting Islam. This guy had the bad taste to print “Koran” on toilet paper and distribute it to mosques. Apparently, insulting any religion can get you imprisoned in several countries, if not killed by a mob of Islamists.

One of the great benefits in the U.S. is the freedom to be a jerk and say all sorts of lies and distortions. That makes our politics robust and vibrant as everyone fights for the public attention. The downside to this arrangement is that an uninformed public can be deceived. Such is the problem with the majority of the mainstream media pumping out the same pabulum. But, the rise of talk radio and the Internet has created economic factors encouraging the MSM to change it ways, even if it is slow in coming.

Freedom of speech is such a marvelous right. For the life of me, I can’t understand why U.S. citizens find the political systems of democratic, socialistic countries without full freedom of expression as desirable. Could it be that U.S. citizens don’t understand that other democratic countries are less free? Remember that a defining concept for the U.S. is freedom, while in Europe it is equality. Equality is at the root of the philosophy of socialism. Freedom is at the root of the philosophy of capitalism.