Free Speech Is On Thin Ice
By Amir Alwani
January 13, 2012
Is anybody noticing all the flak journalists are getting for trying to do their jobs lately? Free speech of any kind seems to be under attack. It is fairly common now to see people getting arrested for video-taping police officers. To add insult to injury, SOPA/PIPA threatens free speech and spells RED ALERT to almost everyone willing to look at the facts. Do any of you think you’ll get anywhere by submitting to any of this, sugar coating it, or looking the other way?
Now is the time to make ourselves heard. When someone encroaches on our liberty we have a duty to fight back.
The role of the mainstream media has traditionally been to limit debate and to basically be the mouthpiece of government. Conversely, the role of the responsibly minded media is to take advantage of technology and opportunities to spread important/urgent information – being our eyes and ears when we can’t be there.
In the Arabic language, when you Love someone you call that person “ee-oo-nee” which means my “eyes” (probably because they offer you another perspective which you see as crucial and valuable). Hijacked governments are taking our eyes, leaving us blind, deaf and dumb – politically impotent.
There is a lot to look forward to in the times ahead but we must first deal with history’s immense baggage which is manifesting in all sorts of grotesque ways now, allowing us to see our true colours. I see a lot of beauty in the world but our present situation is also a nightmarish science fiction scenario for many reasons. At this point we are about to marry that scenario’s much uglier cousin. We must speak now or forever hold our peace (pun fully intended). If you have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about at this point, you have some catching up to do.
Those who witnessed the recent NDAA arrests shouldn’t be surprised at all. Here’s a brief glance at the political climate that has endured in the past couple years and what one might be faced with when trying to record a video, cover an event, attend a protest, have one’s voice heard in a public meeting, etc:
June 26 / June 27, 2010
November 22, 2010
January 7, 2011
June 8, 2011
June 24, 2011
August 22, 2011
August 31, 2011
December 16, 2011 – Culture has succumbed to the point where even a priest was practically kicked out of a town hall meeting recently, probably because they merely didn’t like the sound of his voice.
January 9, 2012
So it’s bad, right?
Don’t you think it’s a slippery slope if we keep letting this kind of thing slide? Over a year ago, State Sen. Bruce Patterson was proposing legislation that would introduce government-registered reporters. Mac Salvo wrote,
Once a reporter is licensed, the public would have the comfort of knowing that the writings, opinions, and insights being presented have been thoroughly sifted, filtered and edited to ensure the information is truthful and easy to understand.
The same population of gullible idiots that require government intervention when it comes to smoking cigarettes, drinking sodas, and salt intake, also need to be told what news they can consume.
I’ll be honest, I don’t know what the current state of affairs are regarding this legislation, but I agree with Salvo and here are my thoughts on the matter.
What was being proposed, albeit “voluntary”, was nothing more than government filtration of information. Our awareness is already extremely narrow and many human beings sadly go from the cradle to the grave without ever experiencing true happiness/bliss (except maybe as children). We need all the help we can get but we don’t need the style of help offered to us by government. The argument often used seems more or less like, “there’s a lot of stupid people out there and you can’t trust everybody so allow us to make sure the biggest and brightest get the spotlight and a chance. Have you no heart? For the love of GOD, let us help you by limiting your options and thinking for you. Let us be your God.”
Even if that argument was somewhat accurate – that is, even if the internet or the general arena of written work was in fact full of crap and you, for whatever reason, feared that people would take some unsavory (possibly dangerous) characters seriously – then it might be worthwhile to take a quick glance at Charlotte Iserbyt’s work because it might shed light on the why people are so ignorant these days and why there may be so much crap to filter through (if there even is indeed that much crap floating around shrouding the truth in a sea of mediocrity).
However, I personally don’t think it’s difficult for anybody to sift through the crap, whether it be online, in a physical library, or a newspaper. Furthermore, nobody is putting a gun to anybody’s head and saying, “believe Joe Blow’s blog or else”. It’s our responsibility to come to our own conclusions and if we’re never given the opportunity to practice that discernment and be able to say, “I did this research on my own”, then we are robbed of yet another freedom. If absurd laws like this were in place, nobody anywhere would be able to say they did the research on their own. You would have to say, “I did this research on my own, but every article I came across was preselected and hand-picked by my government” and so your government would be acting as a middle man.
More importantly, at the end of the day the whole idea of free speech is meant specifically for unpopular speech (probably because times of great change are usually led by a minority). Think about it. We need a great change right now. You’re not going to get it with the help of CNN.
Sometimes the presence of a middle man doesn’t work out so well. Why have a “middle-man” between you and reality? Why are so many people so desperate for powerful people, “experts”, and people with degrees to rule over them?
There is no real danger and there never was, except for maybe the danger posed by a psychopathic government’s obsession with control. Writing about what you see in your world is not the same as performing medical surgery or driving a vehicle. The world is not going to fall apart if one guy posts a slightly inaccurate blog every now and then by mistake. When you read a piece of news, you should critically think about it for yourself because you matter in the grand scheme of things. Chances are that your opinion of whatever piece of news comes your way is actually much more aligned with reality and conducive to genuine growth and maturity (for you and our species) than your government’s version of the events (at least when you can think clearly anyway).
If that still doesn’t make sense to you, consider the following. What if you even already have a degree (which some consider a scam in and of itself, by the way). What assurance can you honestly say you have that this “committee” Patterson is talking about, this bureaucratic arm of a monstrously corrupt and rampaging hijacked government will be fair when contemplating your qualifications (or that any future administration wouldn’t abuse those powers)? This is a hijacked government which, by the way, is controlled by a banking cartel which is hellbent on robbing people of their ability to eat real food, breath untainted air, and drink untainted water.
I would bet that if you did your homework you would have zero assurance that any “committee” like this would be looking out for your best interest.
A recent article titled “Mainstream Media To Bully Bloggers Out Of ‘Fair Use’” mentions,
The Associated Press, The New York Times, The Washington Post, along with 28 other news organizations, are launching a company which hopes to further profit on their news reporting, by seeking to make paying customers out of websites or blogs which reproduce their content, either in full or in part.
So even if that Detroit legislator mentioned above didn’t get his way, we can see that the corporate oligarchy’s wheels are in motion and that the fight to suppress free speech is ever present.
When people’s websites get torn down or when reporters get arrested for filming a public event or for filming a police officer abusing his/her authority, the message there is simply. “shut up, slave. We own you.”
Sure, if all your life you’ve had a tendency to conform, you might be shortsighted enough to come up with some sort of rationalization for that kind of assault on your freedom but at the end of the day there is no justification for these pompous acts of domination, and worse, they are intertwined with an entire system of domination that has world depopulation at the heart of its agenda. Seen in this light, World War 3 is also not surprising.
Furthermore, when you look at the fact that many honest small businesses actually had their websites shut down and replaced with Department of Homeland Security logos falsely accusing them of being pedophiles and violating child porn laws that is obviously quite another story. I don’t think that’s a fumble. I find it difficult to believe such a mistake could be made. It is like saying, “Oops, I tripped and fell on the button that falsely accused your website of violating child porn laws”. I mean I can’t say for certain, but I’m pretty sure this is a joke or on purpose.
The solution? Do you even have to ask? What could it be?
Simple: Do not shut up. They can’t shut us all up.
I’m already seeing a huge surge of various names in the alternative news media expanding their operations. We do outnumber those pushing for the global genocidal tyranny.
If you do shut up, the powers that be say, “mission accomplished” and celebrate. Instead, listen to your “gut feeling” and act on it, please. You’d be doing me (and all of us) a huge favor.
- Hosting Company Says al-Qaeda Website Reason for Removing 73,000 Blogs (July 20, 2010)
- Every email and website to be stored (October 20, 2010)
- Metered internet a colossal failure (January 26, 2011)
- Egypt’s Internet Kill Switch: Coming To America (January 28, 2011)
- Algeria Shuts Down Social Media Websites As Protests Grow (February 14, 2011)
- VeriSign Demands Power To Kill “Abusive” Websites (October 11, 2011)
- Thousands leave GoDaddy over registrar’s support for SOPA (December 30, 2011)
- WordPress Comes Out Against SOPA Internet Censorship Bill (January 11, 2012)
- Reddit to shut-down over SOPA (January 11, 2012)
- Activist Appeals Felony Ruling for Exercising Free Speech (January 13, 2012)
Amir Alwani is a psychonaut who makes metal, electronic and hip-hop music. He is also the founder and editor of the online independent media outlet known as Potent News.