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Archive for June 16th, 2007

Freedom of Speech…

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on June 16, 2007


Freedom of Opinion, Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Expression are most often considered synonymous with each other. When we use them we most often, if not always, mean “Freedom to Express any Opinion we like in Speech.”But is this synonymization accurate?
Exactly what is covered by those three seemingly identical expressions?

Originally Freedom of Speech was intended to cover the citizen’s right to criticize their Government without fear of reprisals. That is how it is still intended. This can easily be understood by looking at the context Freedom of Speech is covered in Dictionaries. Or by studying the exceptions made in legislation.

In this respect equalizing Freedom of Opinion, Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Expression is correct.

Over time, however, Freedom of Speech has come to cover every man and his dog’s every utterance, whether towards the Government or towards his fellow man. The concept has been vulgarized. This is where Opinion and Speech part ways. Which is evidenced by the additional legislation that has come into being in almost all modern democracies. What would never have been thought of as being socially acceptable within the society where Freedom of Speech originated is now something there has to be legislation against.

“African Americans, Muslims, Jews, Native Americans are inferior to White/Caucasians and deserve to be exterminated…”

“Homosexuals are dirty spreaders of AIDS and should be locked away…”

“Fat People are lazy and stupid…”

“Arabs are terrorists…”

“Jews control the Banks…”

Freedom of Opinion originates in Freedom of Thought – i.e the right to think for yourself, and this should never be limited. I may hold any opinion I like at any time. Also those out-lined above. Those utterances are not covered by Freedom of Speech, because they can all be classified as hate-speech.

So, when people want to limit rights of Speech and Expression to such speech and expression that is not offensive, they are actually protecting the original intent of Freedom of Speech, rather than exercising censorship.

“freedom of speech is integral to tolerance, which some people feel should be a basic value in society. Professor Lee Bollinger is an advocate of this view and argues that “the free speech principle involves a special act of carving out one area of social interaction for extraordinary self-restraint, the purpose of which is to develop and demonstrate a social capacity to control feelings evoked by a host of social encounters.” The free speech principle is left with the concern of nothing less than helping to shape “the intellectual character of the society”.”

Freedom must be tempered by the Responsibility to have Self-Control. That is far from “I wanna say what I wanna say, and I am going to say it NOW!

Shalom!

Posted in Censorship, Freedom of Opinion, Freedom of Press, Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Thought, Human Rights | Leave a Comment »

Refugee Camps…

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on June 16, 2007


Palestinian Refugee Camp in Lebanon

Those are HOUSES, even multi Story Houses – they have real walls made of concrete, real roofs and STREETS in between them – yet they are called Refugee Camps. Compare those to this image of “buildings” in a Darfur Refugee camp

At best those “buildings” are mud-huts with tarp roofs…

Here are some suffering, malnourished Palestinian Children “getting no education” the

marka-in-jordan.jpg

Here some happy, smiling, healthy Palestinian Children are playing in the courtyard of a House in Marka “Refugee Camp”, a house much like this one in Talbieh “Refugee Camp”

Talbieh was set up on an area of about 130,000 square metres, 35 km south of Amman. Tents were donated by the Iranian Red Lion and Sun Society, who later replaced them with concrete “shelters” – that as you can see are actually HOUSES – much unlike the real shelters used by the real refugees in Darfur.

Baqa’a:
Due to the harsh winters in Jordan UNRWA replaced the tents with 8,048 prefabricated shelters between 1969-1971 with special contributions from the Federal Republic of Germany. Most of the camp’s inhabitants have since then constructed more durable concrete shelters to replace the prefabs.
Eyewitness account from the Baqa’a “Refugee” Camp:

“It was with some apprehension that I walked behind the façade of the storefronts and into the camp proper. I was surprised to find a reasonable standard of roading and footpaths, and what appeared from the outside to be housing that was adequate in terms of warmth, shelter, security – sort of reminiscent of our state house units, only built from crude bricks and stones and some significantly more crowded. Certainly an equal amount of “tagging”, which is equally hard to decipher in Arabic or English.”[…]”Many of the refugees are unable to gain permanent employment outside the camps, although some do appear to have very good jobs and incomes. Some of the residents own cars, including some fairly new-looking Mercedes, so life is not totally grim or fruitless.”[…]”It seems that around half the population of this particular camp, Baqa’a, were children under about 15. Schooling is seen as very important and the children generally appeared happy and healthy and were fluent in Arabic and English.[…]This couple had both attended school through to age 14 within the camp, and had a variety of work, and still both work fulltime. The extended family lives mostly together, and have a “joint family” car, a humble 1980s Toyota. Two of their children have obtained Jordanian citizenship and live and work outside the camp.”

Marka:
The tented camp was set up on an area of about 917,000 square metres, 10 km north east of Amman. The Agency’s plans to provide stronger tents to withstand the harsh winters were dropped in favour of the construction of prefabricated shelters, and 4,000 were built between 1969-1971 with support from the Federal Republic of Germany, the Government of Italy, the Jordan Development Bank, and the Near East Emergency Donations. Most of the camp’s inhabitants have since replaced the prefabs with more durable concrete “shelters” like this four story House in Rafah, in the Gaza Strip. This is the “Refugee Camp” Baqa’a in Jordan:

Baqa’a Refugee Camp

After seeing these pictures it’s hard to believe that the majority of Palestinian “Refugee” Camps are anything but ordinary Arab Cities/Towns – like the Center of Sanaa?

Minaret in Saana

Or this in Al-Shatti/Shati Beach in the Gaza Strip,

alshatti.jpg

the home Town of Ishmail Haniayeh, the former Prime Minister of Palestine – what a horrible place indeed! Really, who are they trying to fool?

The world of course – by claiming that they in third and fourth generations are refugees or displaced like their grandparents, they suck sympathy from the Western World, Help Organizations and feed us stories about how horrible the conditions are in the “Refugee Camps” – and that might have been true right after the 1948 and 1967 wars – but now it is certainly a crock of goat manure.

This article, including artworks and photos are © Henric C. Jensen aka Shadow Bear and are NOT public domain, unless otherwise specified.

Posted in Refugees | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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