Freedom Of Speech?


Everyone has got something to say about how free their speech should be.

However, peoples beliefs, ideas and notions about freedom of speech seem to be in conflict with what it actually is.

Well, what exactly is freedom of speech?

To clarify the mystery let us look at the Wikipedia definition, just so we know we are all on the same page, so to speak:

“Freedom of speech is the political right to communicate one’s opinions and ideas using one’s body and property to anyone who is willing to receive them. The term freedom of expression is sometimes used synonymously, but includes any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used. In practice, the right to freedom of speech is not absolute in any country and the right is commonly subject to limitations, as with libel, slander, obscenity, sedition (including, for example inciting ethnic hatred), copyright violation, revelation of information that is classified or otherwise.

The right to freedom of expression is recognized as a human right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recognized in international human rights law in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Article 19 of the ICCPR states that “[e]veryone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference” and “everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice”. Article 19 goes on to say that the exercise of these rights carries “special duties and responsibilities” and may “therefore be subject to certain restrictions” when necessary “[f]or respect of the rights or reputation of others” or “[f]or the protection of national security or of public order (order public), or of public health or morals”.

Interesting. Interesting also to note I have emboldened certain parts of this text, to comment on obviously, as on the this humble piece of the blog-stratosphere, I have the freedom to speak my own opinions.

The first point to consider states that we have the right to; “Communicate one’s opinions and ideas….to anyone who is willing to receive them”. To me, this statement does not mean forcing your opinions or ideas upon those people, who frankly couldn’t care a less. As we all know, we all have our own ideas and opinions, and of course as is human nature, and the difference of being different, they all differ from time to time. What a shock!

Why then do some people think they have a right, or a duty, above and beyond us mere mortals, to shout their ideas and opinions loudest of all? Why do some people wish to drown everyone else out, and force others to shut up and concede to them? Where is the freedom of speech in that ethos? What makes one person, or people, think their ideas and opinions are superior, and are worth listening to more than anyone else’s? “[e]veryone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference”, that is what the definition states loud and clear. Perhaps then these people who wish to subdue everyone else, really ought to educate themselves on the premise of freedom of speech, before they speak!

In other words; if you have something to say then make it worthwhile, otherwise, please just shut up and leave other people alone! We’re not listening if we don’t want to, as per our right, according to freedom of speech!

“The right to freedom of speech is not absolute in any country and the right is commonly subject to limitations”. People often disagree with this, but then of course these people also don’t wish to hear or be informed about other people’s ideas and opinions either. Some people only really want to hear what they want to, and would indeed censor anyone who conflicted with their own ideas and opinions. So, once again, where is the freedom in that??

I would like to know, what is absolute freedom anyway?? Also, why do some people think that their freedom is more important than anyone else’s? Could it be that people claim there ought to absolute freedom when they themselves are censored, because they have something horrible, threatening, bullying and insidious to shout about? Maybe.

This leads me directly to what is censored, and why of course; “the exercise of these rights carries….. special duties and responsibilities………and may…..therefore be subject to certain restrictions……. when necessary……[f]or respect of the rights or reputation of others….or…..[f]or the protection of national security or of public order (order public), or of public health or morals”. Does this clause, that can limit the freedom of anyone’s speech seem reasonable??? For me, no.

Before people accuse me of having petty despot fantasies, hear me out; this is my freedom of speech after all!!

Consider what damage words can do to a person, their life, their reputation, their happiness and security. Many of us may indeed recall a school-yard bully, who didn’t resort to violence to inflict pain and rule with terror, but only words. The sort of words that are better off never being spoken. The type which are threatening, nasty, damaging and damn right insidious.

Extrapolate this example then into the wider-world, and imagine what damage words, uncontrolled and misdirected can do. The answer is, plenty of damage.

Shouldn’t we all then have a responsibility to edit our words? Consider the content, quality, quantity and intent before we fire the loaded weapon, and expect everyone to just sit back and be OK with it all? If we aren’t willing to allow other people’s words to just fly past our ears without response, then why should other people afford us such courtesy?

I think the moral of this tale is; choose your words carefully, and always, always, expect a response!

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Spanish Anti-Abortion Move


Out with the old and in with the new? Well, not for Spain.

An abortion policy that really ought to have been condemned to the history books is soon to be revived, if Spain’s ‘Popular Party’ have their way.

The Socialism of the previous Government is the antithesis of the Popular Party. There is no room for what was. The right wing ruling machine have opted for a ‘clean’ slate’, well, if you consider corruption in economic dealings and social injustice per se, a clean slate.

Apparently, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has drawn his inspiration for tougher abortion laws from the Catholic Church. He is happy to publicly allay himself with the moral and ethical ‘standards’ of this religion. Well, just like in religion, adopting double standards never hurt the cause; just those following it.

So, the plan is to reinstate an outdated abortion law which keeps the religious elements appeased (70% of Spainish claim to be Catholic). The law will state that abortion will be deemed acceptable, only, in cases of rape (Spainish law is also outdated concerning this too), and if the Mother or child will suffer severe health risks.

However, laying stake to such a high moral ground seems perculiar, especially upon knowing the sexualisation within Spanish culture. Sexually transmitted infections are on the increase, affairs are common place, prostitution is ignored, couples are extremely intimate in public places, sex and nudity advertises everything, oh, and women dress scantily clad. Spanish culture is hardly demure and reserved.

So, what can such a restricted abortion law achieve?!

Seems to me as though Spain is a country with conflicting morals; two and two doesn’t necessarily make four.

To make the serious issue of abortion, the rights and freedoms of women worse, Pro-Life organisations have become involved in the mix too. 250,000 plus supporters have protested and petitioned.

One such protester, Ana Maria Llera de la Torre, spokeswoman for Adevida-Jaen Pro-Life Association told the press proudly that her organisation agreed with the Governments proposals to tighten abortion laws. She said in a recently interview; “We want to say yes to life, say yes to the birth of a son”. Ummm, how interesting. Perhaps then, Ms. Torre and her archaic attitude, would be far more sympathetic, and extend the offer of an abortion to those expectant Mothers carrying a girl child?

Such nonsensical attacks on rights, and more specifically rights of women, at this moment in time make sense; consider the economic troubles in Spain. A Government needs to be seen attempting to appease the electorate, so what better way than stamping on the vulnerable. These type of drastic and alienating policy changes are seemingly the only ones this Government is capable of making. They are reactionary, and to be honest not worth the paper it will be written upon. When so much needs to be done, abortion (for or against) is not an issue which will keep the country poor for years to come.

Priorities, por favor!

Criticism


Picture from: marcandangel.com

Picture from: marcandangel.com

“We are always more critical of ourselves than

other

people will ever be”

 

The Savvy Senorita (AKA: Bex Houghagen) 2013

Is It Fair?????


counciltax(1)

What else meant to help the public can be eradicated by the UK coalition Government??

What more can the economic strife demand??

Council Tax Benefit might be a THING OF THE PAST very soon. Everyone will HAVE TO contribute something towards their own Council Tax, EVEN those on the lowest of incomes or on benefits. So, regardless of circumstances, ANYONE living in any housing within the UK will be paying something. The ONLY EXEMPTION to remain in place will be for the elderly (pensioners).

COUNCIL TAX (for those of you lucky enough not it know) is a:

Tax levied on households by local authorities; based on the estimated value of the property and the number of people living in it.

Is this lift on council tax benefit fair when some people clearly won’t be able to pay ANYTHING towards such a tax?

What will be the point in the Government ENFORCING such rules, if people can’t pay the tax?

What resources will be WASTED trying to ensure these people comply and do pay up?

Take a look at the link below from The Guardian newspaper for some more info.

UK Council Benefit Cuts