Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Power to Blog: Part II

In my previous post, I mentioned the importance of free speech. Here are some posts by other bloggers who talk about what happens when you don't have free speech.
While checking the site of one of my favorite bloggers, I found a graphic and horrifying account of what happens when those who wish to keep free speech to themselves use fear to suppress free speech for others. Trevor, the blogger on The Will to Exist, posted an account of the broadcast execution of a young female Muslim reporter by terrorists, and added an interesting commentary of his own.
Free speech is seen as a weapon by those who fear it. Tyrannical governments will suppress free speech to protect themselves. One such government is that of Egypt, where it is illegal to criticize the government or to criticize religions. "Religion" includes jihadism. Another favorite blogger, Egyptian Sandmonkey, has been using his blog to report the recent arrest and imprisonment of bloggers in Egypt, and has been organizing and reporting protests and demonstrations for the freedom of these prisoners. There is also Free Alaa (The Blog)
which includes the petition and other news on the status of the arrested bloggers.
Please take a look at these sites, for they contain some very important news and information, if you value your freedom. It was the belief of the founders of the United States of America, as well as my own, that freedom comes from Nature, not any government.

Highly recommended reading: the Sandmonkey Bio

Monday, May 08, 2006

The Power To Blog

My good friend Drunkenrantz and I were having one of our usual and interesting conversations the other night, and we were discussing the joys of blogging. On the question of why we blog, Rantz declared, "I blog because my opinion is right, everyone else is wrong, and I am the only one who can express it correctly," or something to that effect. That statement is true for all of us in the Blogosphere; we all have our passions, and we all want to express our feelings about our passions, whether it's about politics,religion, economics, birding, reading, music, NASCAR racing, or anything.The Internet has given us all the opportunity to express ourselves on anything we wish.
Drunkenrantz and I usually agree on things when it comes to music; often, on the subject of economics; always, when it comes to singing ability on karaoke night; almost never when it comes to politics. We never argue, we don't even come close to debate--our discussions usually amount to trading ideas and listening to one another. We respect one another's opinion, even when we are certain the other is wrong.
What is missing from this type of discussion is the ability to drive our point home. This is where blogging comes in--we can write, to the best of our ability, until we are sure we have gotten our point across to somebody. We can support our arguments with links to evidence, illustrations, or to the fellow blogger we happen to agree or disagree with. Blogging has created a community, in which we all can truly express and celebrate our Freedom of Speech.
When we feel we have a novel idea, blogging seems to be the best way to publicize it. Somehow, we feel, our ideas will be read by someone. Before the Internet, the publication of thoughts and opinion was limited to the elite few who worked for news outlets and publishers. Now we can all have the power to publish our thoughts and opinions. The Blogosphere has raised our political awareness, and, as evidenced during the political campaigns of 2004, has involved us in the political process as we have never been before.
I make it a practice to read as much as I can on a subject. More often than not, I enjoy reading the opinions of those with whom I disagree, because, I feel there is always room for learning, and this is, I feel, the best way to learn about how others come about their opinions.
I appreciate and encourage public discussion of my own ideas, and the opinions of others, which is why I have included a link to a forum discussion board, on which you can openly discuss my opinions, your opinions, the opinions of others, or just shoot the breeze. It is a public forum, so anyone may post or reply to messages without registering. But I would encourage registration on that site--it is free, and spam free, as far as I can tell, and registration will allow you to use html and participate in the polls which may be posted on that site.
I enjoy the blogging experience, and I know most of the others I have been in contact with enjoy it. It all comes down to this: Freedom of Speech is "da' Bomb."