Skip to main content

Blogger Jailed in Egypt

Last week, an Egyptian man was sentenced to four years in prison for writing comments on a blog that criticized the Egyptian government and a Muslim university.

This isn't the first time we've heard about such oppression in Egypt or elsewhere in the Middle East, so it doesn't come as much of a surprise. Still, as a blogger, it alarmed me. As an American, it filled me with pride, but also with concern.

While we live in a free country, we have to realize that our freedom is not guaranteed by anyone, we have to actively guard it and fight for it. Luckily, it is enabled by a government that was engineered to ensure personal freedom, and to create the conditions in which people could be free to live as they chose. However, if we stopped paying attention and stopped fighting for it, that freedom would disappear. It wouldn't happen over night, but it would happen eventually.

If you look closely, you can even see the early warning signs. Laws like the Patriot Act, which use fear of terrorism as an excuse to broaden the powers of the government, should scare us all into paying attention. The Bush administration itself has widened the powers of the executive branch in ways I won't discuss here, but which could set a dangerous precedent and which should be kept in check. These issues are the canaries in the coal mine of freedom (if you'll forgive that horrible analogy). If you think that this country is incapable of sliding into a state of repression and intolerance like that of Egypt, think again. It is possible, and it will happen if we don't pay attention.

What we can do as individuals is to stay informed about what our government is doing, to ask questions and demand answers, to fight back when and if we feel our rights are being tampered with. Hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of people have given their lives to make this country free, and if we are going to reap the benefits of that freedom, then each of us owes it to those people to carry on the torch, and stand up for what we believe in.

Stay informed, stay critical, and realize that our freedom is not to be taken for granted, for if we do take it for granted, it will be taken away from us.

Stand up and be heard...


seth paine said…
well well, just maybe we should start to look at this bloggie here and if you're not careful, just maybe we'll put you in the slammer for even questioning this country. And as for freedom, if you even talk about a looking at a womans hand in the middle east you shall be banished to the goat farm for two years.
Anonymous said…
who is this 'seth paine' character? it is as if he thinks he is a stud with chest hair and likes the ravens or something. come on, i want some blogs about life, ie, why is it that when people drink what they think is alcohol they act intoxicated when actually they are not?? why do women like men?? how much paper and how many forests are cut down for pornographic material?? why do dogs not lick themselves more often?? what makes pop star's opinions important?? how can iron city brewery not be bankrupt??



Popular posts from this blog

New Yorker Fiction Review #146: "Three Short Moments in a Long Life" by John L'Heureux

Issue: May 9, 2016

Story: "Three Short Moments in a Long Life" by John L'Heureux

Rating: $

Review: I feel like this is a somewhat tired technique, straight out of Creative Writing 101: write a story consisting of three or four different snapshots or snippets out of a character's life at different ages, sort of like a series of written photographs. Fun perhaps, but strikes me as a bit amateurish. However, I also think L'Heureux succeeds here by pushing it a bit further, playing with the character's tentative attempts at something close to faith -- in childish, adult, and mature adult ways -- and tying all three "Short Moments" together in a subtle and readily decipherable way.

L'Heureux's prose and his frank humor and his ability to glorify and find the meaning in the mundane events and thoughts of every day life, and thereby turn the life of an ordinary person into a drama with meaning and significance puts me in mind of John Irving. As well a…

New Yorker Fiction Review #151: "The Bog Girl" by Karen Russell

From the June 20 issue...

My loyal readers (if there are still any, which I doubt) will know I'm usually not a fan of Magical Realism, which, as you may also know, is Karen Russell's stock in trade. That said, there's nothing I love more than having my antipathy for magical realism shattered by an awesome story like "The Bog Girl."

Briefly, an Irish teenager discovers the body of a young woman who as been buried in a bog for over 2,000 years and begins to date her. What more do you need, right? If I'd read that one-line description somewhere else, and wasn't on a mission to review every New Yorker short story, I doubt I'd have read "The Bog Girl." But maybe I should start doing a George Costanza and do the opposite of everything I think I should do.

Where Russell succeeds here is in two main areas: 1.) Making us really love Cillian, the teenager who falls in love with the bog girl, and 2.) pulling the unbelievable trick making the characters…

Water Review: San Pellegrino 250ml Bottle

Damn you, tiny little bottle of San Pellegrino. So little. So cute. But what are you really good for other than to make me wish I had a full bottle of Pellegrino? 
Good as a palate cleanser after a nice double espresso, I will give it that. But little else. The suave yet chaotic burst of Pellegrino bubbliness is still there, but with each sip you feel the tragedy of being that much closer to the end of the bottle, that much faster.

This is a bottle of water made specifically for the frustrated, for the meticulous, for the measurers among us with a penchant for the dainty. This water does not love you in the wild, on a sunny porch or with the raucous laughter of friends. No...much the opposite. Whatever that may be.

Best drunk in tiny, tiny sips, while forcing oneself through an unreadable and depressing Russian novel one does not want to read but feels one should, on a cold, wet day in December that promises four months of gloom and depression...or in pairs or threes and poured over …