by H. Millard (c) 2000

n Germany the other day, Interior Minister Otto Schily expressed concern about the "growing danger" of extreme-right Web sites--the modern equivalent of books and newspapers. Schily is just the latest in a parade of anti-free expression bigots to crawl out from under their rocks in Germany. In the past, Schily's anti-free expression forbears had similar concerns about political and philosophical books that they didn't want the people to read. The solution back then was to confiscate the books, pile them up in a town square and make a bonfire of them while marching around the bonfire shouting slogans.

It's a bit more difficult to pile up Web sites and burn them, or to even control them, since as Schily pointed out, about 90 percent of the 800 or so Web sites that he and his tyrannical friends don't like are located in the United States and Canada. Now the Germans are trying to get cooperation from the U.S. and Canada to stop free expression originating in these countries and which Germans click in the privacy of their homes. The Germans may have some luck in this bigoted attempt with the Canadians, who have shown that they don't mind suppressing free expression in that country. However, the Germans may have a little more trouble getting the Americans to suppress free expression, not because we don't have tyrants here as well, but because of that little thing called the Bill of Rights that seeks to keep tyrants from stomping on the rights of citizens in the U.S. as they do so easily in Germany and Canada and many other repressive countries.

Freedom of SpeechLet us quickly disabuse ourselves of the jingoistic notion that we in America are somehow more freedom loving than other peoples or that we living today, are so pure that we can see the danger in suppressing free expression. In fact, over the past few years more than a few high profile individuals, mostly associated with various Jewish groups, have said that we have too much freedom of expression in the U.S. So far, however, these statements which seem to have been trial balloons to see if the public could be fooled to rein in free expression, didn't fly very high among most people in the U.S. However, have no doubt that present day citizens of the U.S. could be as easily manipulated to suppress free expression as people anyplace on the planet. However, U.S. citizens are largely saved from such manipulation, and from themselves, as a result of U.S. Citizens being the lucky beneficiaries of the wisdom of those who helped form this nation who knew that in every age, tyrants would arise who would try to manipulate the people out of their individual freedoms based on some seeming well meaning call to suppress free expression. United States citizens should take no false pride in our guarantee of free expression, because, had the founders not had the foresight to write a Bill of Rights protecting citizens from government tyrants, we would no doubt have as little freedom today, as the people of Germany.

Ayatollah KhomeiniThere's something basically and organically wrong with a political system when it's so afraid of ideas that it tries to suppress them. There's something evil in a government, composed of certain individuals with certain religious, political, social and philosophical thoughts, that tells other individuals that they can't express or read religious, political, social and philosophical thoughts that are different from those held by the individuals in government. Unfortunately, it seems that far too many people drawn to public life have psychological problems that makes them think that they are in charge of what other people may read, hear and even think. These petty tyrants should be chased out from under their rocks and exposed to the purifying light of truth and the winds of freedom.

The bigots just can't stand the thought that someone might have thoughts that don't conform to what the bigots think is correct, and which they want to impose on everyone else as though humans were some sort of hive insects. Sorry, tyrants, you've got the wrong species.

Of course, the excesses by the tyrants in Germany, in attempting to suppress free expression, may simply hasten the day of a grand revulsion against the tyrants. History tells us that such a grand revulsion grows among a suppressed populace--when their consciousness of the suppression reaches a certain level--and finally reaches a critical mass where the people revolt against the tyrants. Trying to keep free expression suppressed is a little like trying to keep steam from escaping from a tea pot. The more successful you are in keeping the steam from escaping, the sooner comes the explosion.

Meanwhile, there has been yet another attempt to suppress the pope and Jorge Haider and  Pope John Paul II Catholics. It seems that the pope is being criticized by Jewish groups because he spoke with Joerg Haider, the governor of the Austrian region of Carinthia. Of course, neither the pope nor Haider is Jewish, and many Catholics are now saying that Jews should stop arrogantly trying to tell the pope who, among his fellow Catholics, he can and cannot speak with. Before Haider's visit with the pope, Lord Greville Janner, vice president of the World Jewish Congress said "[T]he pope should cancel the visit."

Some will say that we shouldn't point out the Jewish connection in much of this suppression, lest we be called anti-Semites, but facts are facts, and it's important to properly identify the source of much of this suppression in order to understand it and to keep it from gaining a foothold that could eventually erode our freedoms in the U.S. just as these freedoms have been eroded in Germany and other European nations.

Now, in defense of these calls for suppression of products of the mind, Jewish activists will point to the Holocaust and simply say that they are trying to prevent such a thing from happening again. In fact, however, by attempting to suppress the thoughts of non-Jews, these Jewish activists are building up a reservoir of Pontius Pilateresentment among non-Jews that may lead to a consensus among non-Jews that all Jews are to blame for the suppression, when, in fact, they aren't. And, even if we don't mention, as we have in this column, that there is a perceived identifiably Jewish connection is much of this suppression; whether it is carried out by Jews, or simply pushed by Jews through non-Jewish surrogates, as is the case in the German suppression, such a connection will be noted.

It is, therefore, better to point out this perceived connection so that Jews who want no part of suppressing any ideas can distance themselves from those who seem to be identifying Jewishness with the suppression of ideas and freedom, in the public mind. To do otherwise is to let the belief grow that Jewishness and the suppression of non-Jews are one and the same thing.

Wake Up America!Ultimately, freedom will prevail, because even though people can be suppressed for a time and even though they can be manipulated through clever propaganda and can even be conditioned like Pavlov's dogs, they will eventually understand something very simple, that we might formulate like this: "I am an individual person. I am equal with all other individual persons. I have thoughts. I want to express those thoughts. Other individual persons have thoughts. I want to read what these other individual persons think. Why should I allow some other individual person, or groups of individual persons, who are never anything but my equals, tell me what I can think and read? They have no such right, individually or collectively."
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