Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Last Post - Freedom of Speech

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologized for his conduct following an incident when he pulled Conservative whip Gord Brown through a clutch of New Democrat MPs to hurry up a vote related to doctor-assisted dying. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)
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    Here is my last post on the CBC website forums.  After today, those making comments need to publish their first and last names....an infringement on the right to free speech.

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    Touching another member of Parliament in an aggressive manner is a serious matter. It could be construed as a form of silencing...a form of repression...say of "free speech" as an example. As such it is the thin edge of the wedge towards totalitarianism. We used to think Canada was immune to attacks on free speech...now we see them all around us. Nobody is speaking out...and in the near future...nobody will be able to speak out.

    It is appropriate that my last comment on the CBC forums is about a news story of an assault on democratic principles (Trudeau's grabbing of another MP during a vote). The most fundamental democratic principle is "freedom of speech". There's no more basic right in society. When society was evolving towards democracy in the West...primarily in Britain just before and during the Industrial Revolution...freedom of speech took the form of nailing "pamphlets" to public spaces, walls and light posts.  Pamphlets were anonymous printed statements of political beliefs. No one knew who posted them because if these revolutionary thoughts were traced....the Powers that Were...would have imprisoned the writers.  Many were imprisoned for speaking out.  Many still are. It was only after the right to free speech was enshrined in Constitutions and Bills of Rights that ordinary people felt safe enough to attach their names to their views.

    Today, with the NSA surveilling everyone, with CSIS looking for a terrorist behind every door and with newspapers and the mainstream media owned and operated by powerful extreme forces for their own ends...one of the few remaining opportunities for ordinary people to express their opinion on current events is through news website comments forums. We don't have access to the editorial pages of the newspapers...(which opinions are mostly anonymous anyway) we can only comment at the bottom of the report. At first, when comments forums began in the 1990's....there was a brief halcyon period of utter freedom of speech.The shock to the PTB must have been devastating. Ordinary people were not supposed to have such a free and uncensored access to such a wide audience.

    Soon...came the censoring "moderators" then came the trolls, paid shills and the software called "megaphone".  This software allowed shills to track "offending posts" and gang up on the poster. We learned that Israeli university students paid for their educations by spamming the forums and harassing those who spoke up against the growing ziofascist threat to democratic institutions all over the world...not to mention the atrocities going on in Palestine. Free speech on the forums became suitably diluted, degraded and made virtually meaningless from an activist standpoint.

    Still...telling the truth (as we see it) on comments forums was an outlet...a vent...against the smothering repression going on in the controlled JM$M.  "Whatever gets you through the night". as the old song went. Now, even that is being removed. With the necessity of identifying oneself...first name and last...the poster is left to the mercy of the Phishers of the Internet, the Trollers, the silent phone calls at all hours....the repression in the work place by employers. The CBC decision-makers must have taken all this into consideration when they decided to remove free speech entirely from the forums. Now, only the boot lickers will post...and they will have a field day!

    Next, they will come for the bloggers. They will burble something about "respectful" discourse on the Internet....and "hate speech"....blah, blah, blah.  Is there anything more hateful than shooting an injured Palestinian youth as he lies writhing on the pavement? Nevermind. You can't draw public attention to it anymore!

    Facebook, Twitter and their ilk...will become the only avenues for Internet communication...everything will have to be filtered through those heavily surveilled, manipulated, censored, tracked and analysed silos. It will all be over.

    Then....written, printed anonymous pamphlets will start showing up on the telephone poles again....... or.....


    .....brave individuals will speak in Public Libraries...as this writer has done [thanks to Goon Squad Blog for this link]

    Vancouver Writer Greg Felton 

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