OUTRAGEOUS IMPRISONMENT: Two Britons — Simon Sheppard, a writer and behavioral scientist, and Stephen Whittle, a freelance writer and satirist — languished a year in American jails though they committed no crimes whatever under American law. They fled to the U.S. seeking asylum because they fell afoul of tyrannical anti-free-speech laws in Britain and faced imprisonment merely for expressing their ideas and publishing the ideas of others — such as Robert Crumb cartoons! — on a Web page. If anyone deserves asylum here, they do. The pair, dubbed the Heretical Two, are prime examples of our abandonment of our once-proud tradition of freedom of expression. They’ve now been forcibly returned to Britain, where they face sentencing for their “crimes” on July 10. Before we cast stones at Iran, we need to examine our own societies.
by Kevin Alfred Strom
SOME PEOPLE — most notably lobbyists for the world’s wealthiest ethnic group — would like to see “speech codes,” which make it a punishable offense to criticize persons who belong to certain “protected classes,” enacted into law in the United States.
These pressure groups have already gotten their way in many European countries, and people have gone to jail and had their lives ruined and their families devastated merely for telling the truth as they saw it — for saying that some racial groups commit a disproportionate amount of crime, for example; or for suggesting that some wartime propaganda stories might be exaggerated.