And so she is. Some countries are not unlike a bashful debutante. It seems that in the midst of a technological storm that’s bridging people, cultures and countries; some governments are all frets over people discussing, opinionating, debating, and shredding to bits the actions (including follies) of politicians and the like. You could almost hear certain quarters of governments say, “Oh, why would anyone want to speak in a popular and benevolent manner of such matters as rights, freedoms, conspiracies and other such fancies? Oh, the embarrassment! Off with their heads!” The word is as old as the light. The fact remains that to speak is to be. To be heard is to be a citizen rather than a partisan to overlords. This is a basic tenet of modern civilization and society. It’s an expectation that cannot be simply dismissed with frantic hand waving, beard pulling and devious internet proxies. Is censorship an anachronism in an age where information is owned by no one? Funny how when not even legit commercial information is containable as a result of rampant piracy, some regimes will still seek [...]
Tag Archives: politics
Many might have kid about Bahrain’s most popular blog, Mahmood’s Den, being blocked one day. It seems that day will be tomorrow according to a ministerial order. While one can only speculate on the reasons for the block, some have pointed out that it most likely has to do with the Bandargate scandal. Mahmood has been quite outspoken about the issue on his weblog, and has also started the much commended Just Bahraini campaign. Esra’a over at Mideast Youth has this to say. A petition by HAMSA has been launched to unblock the site. Hang in there, Mahmood! If anything, this will all come to pass. via Mahmood’s Den [Post 1, Post 2] Note: Fortunately, mahmood.tv is still accessible from Bahrain-based ISPs as alyousif.tv Note II: As of 2 November, 2006, mahmood.tv has been unblocked.
Listen to podcast: [audio:lfdpc1.mp3] Transcript: While research suggests that people are connected to one another within six degrees of separation worldwide, one of the charms of a small island country like ours is that everyone on it seems to be connected within a degree or two at the most. Such closeness of relation in large cities or countries provides for happy coincedences, perhaps even serendipitous encounters. Yet in Bahrain finding out that for instance a certain stranger in a restaurant happens to be a friend of a friend does not call for celebration. It’s just the way things are. It’s part and parcel of our social fabric that has eliminated the need to mix and match happenstance with fate. This has its pros and cons. On the one hand, everyone can identify with one another and appreciate where they’re coming from. On the other hand, you would think twice before flipping a bird at a tailgater. On a more political note, one is to laugh in the face of feeble attempts by certain diseased elements of society that try to undermine and create a rift [...]
From NPR: The Miami-Dade school board seeks to ban a book on Cuba, saying its portrait of life there is overly positive. A federal judge has ordered Vamos a Cuba back on school library shelves while the district fights a lawsuit aimed at keeping the book available.
Many of us have come across individuals that distance themselves from the truth so much so that it seems quite absurd. I wrote the following after encountering such an individual a few years ago. It was a bit long-winded, so I’ve revised it and cut it short. Read it if you will. As always, comments welcome. A most strange occurrence in societies treading the almost always painful path to freedom and self-determination is the constant presence of the reductionist. A creature so accustomed to habits of disinvolvement and passive observance, he occasionally makes himself visible to the public, orating a few remarks that attempt to curtail the flow of fundamental logic and moral sensibility. There is a disinvolvement from critical understanding that underlies reductionism. This, it appears, is a direct consequence of selfish convenience and comfort. There might not be such a thing as a right or wrong opinion, but there are opinions formed on ignorance, on half knowledge, on wit and on academic discourse. As Socrates states, half knowledge is worse than ignorance. And the problem with reductionists is that they are a product [...]