Thinking in public about anything that matters.

Category: Blogs (Page 1 of 2)

Dissident Cuban Bloggers

I’ve been reading the blogs of Cubans who risk their freedom (or what they have of it) and physical well-being in order to put their thoughts into cyberspace.   The best thing you can do to help keep these bloggers safe is to read their blogs and post on them, and tell others about them.  Help to build an online following.   One of the bloggers, Yoani Sanchez, writes:

“Link to the blogs and place them on the search engines or platforms where they can have greater visibility. Each person who reads us, protects us, so we need to strengthen the shield formed by readers and commentators.”

With that in mind, I offer these links:

Generacion Y

Octavo Cerco

Sin Evasion/Without Evasion


Laritza’s Laws

Those are just a few of the blogs.  Most of them have a list of other Cuban blogs down the right-hand side of the websites.  It’s a fascinating and deeply moving world to explore.  Better yet, we can help spread their fame and thus help keep them from serious harm while giving them a great sense of connection with the outside world.  Let them know they aren’t risking beatings and prison for nothing – for speaking out to a world that doesn’t hear.

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ThinkerToThinker Blogs Upgraded

I’m writing to you today from my upgraded “ThinkerToThinker” blog.

Prodos has been working hard for so long to upgrade his web-system, including changing all his websites to another server (the other one kept crashing) and upgrading the blogs to WordPress Multiuser.  He’s had a lot of headaches during this changeover, but it looks like he’s almost out of the hot, sweaty desert on this one.

As you see, my blog has a new design.  I really loved the old design, called “Retrospotive”, but the old designs aren’t available anymore.  But now… I really love the new design.   And there will be more alternatives available soon, like a wardrobe.

So if in the future you come here and see yet another design, as long as it says “Sydney Kendall Says” at the top, you’re in the right place.  I’ll TRY not to give in to the temptation to change the blog title every month.

One of the new features that I really like is that the comment section now has a text editor, so that guests can use bold and italics and a few other options.

So welcome to my new web-home.  Enjoy the new furnishings!  Type up some replies and bold and italicize them to your heart’s delight!  Send your buddies over to bask in the turquoisiness of the wallpaper.  Or would that be the tealiness?  Anyhow, it’s my favorite color scheme in life.



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Aliens Attack Canada!

Canada. It’s that big country north of the USA. Famous for maple syrup, ice hockey, and saying “Eh?”

And now it may well become famous fordestroying the freedoms of speech and press by persecuting the politically incorrect.

But fear not! Sometimes saviors come from the most unexpected places! Look up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane!


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Part 1: Analysis of “Society Consists of People”

I am finally going to start analyzing Mikko Ellila’s “Society Consists of People” bit by bit, to sort the issues as thoroughly as I can.

The issue of racism is one that is especially prone to make even reasonable and honest people knee-jerk. We all know racist ideas have lead torights violations, and even atrocities,in the past, and still do so in the present in various areas of the world. No people of humane spirit want to let such evils happen in their society.

But does this mean that we have to completely avoid even looking at apparent differences among races? Does observing and mentioning those differences amount to racism? Does it mean that there is an area of inquiry that we must avoid at all costs? And is anyone who fails to avoid it a racist?

To many among the politically correct – and perhaps many who do not usually fall into that category as well – the answer to all the above seems to be “yes”. But it is my conviction that Continue reading

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More on the Mikko Ellila Case

No time to comment, except to tell you that I plan to follow this case and as part of my self-assignment I mean to examine, paragraph-by-paragraph, both Mikko’s blog post and the charges against him for that post, sorting out the issues contained therein. This will take several blog posts of my own. Plus I’ll be following new developments in Mikko’s story.

For the latest comments at the Prodos blog on the Mikko case, go here.

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More on the Finnish Censorship Case

I was correct to be concerned about the fact that we could not read Mikko Ellilä’s blog article being investigatd by Finnish authorities. (Couldn’t read it because it was written in Finnish.) As it turns out, the post was indeed racist. However, while neither Prodos and I want to be supporters of racist blogging, there is another issue at stake.

Below is the post I made this morning on Prodos’s blog:

There are everal important issues involved in this case. I’ll blog about them when I have enough time to do so.

But at the moment I’ll deal with only a little bit.

Prodos and I are not at all pleased that one of our bloggers has written racist material on his ThinkerToThinker blog. If it were not for the legal action against Mikko Ellilä, I would be urging Prodos to disassociate ThinkerToTHinker from Ellilä. I would not want Prodos to be mistaken as supporting such ideas and would not want him to offer blog space to views we think are hugely unjust, when that space could be filled with material in line with Prodos’s (and my) moral and intellectual convictions.

However, there is another issue that I think is more important, under the circumstances, and that is the freedom to state one’s views openly, and to engage in open debate without having to fear arrest and punishment for those beliefs.

In regard to freedom of speech, it doesn’t matter if one’s beliefs are wrong and/or offensive. Freedom of speech means the freedom to lay out your ideas publicly and have them scrutinized by others.

The ideas that Mikko has put to the world are not new. And Mikko puts forward evidence that, taken by itself, without the fullest known context and in-depth examination, makes sense to a number of people. Already. Without Mikko writing a word.

These are ideas that will exist whether anyone writes about them on the Internet or not. They are ideas that some people talk about amongst themselves. When you suppress such ideas *by law* and fail to address them with rigorous and honest arguments – when you fail to listen to these beliefs and then address them rationally, factually, clearly, honestly, and justly, you only convince the holders of such ideas that you are closed to what they hold to be facts and reason. You convince them that truth is not on your side, so you must use suppression.

Now, anyone who owns any kind of communication media has the right to set the terms. You have the right to refuse to give your financial support to ideas you think are wrong. But a government’s only proper job is to restrain those who initiate force, or deliberately commit fraud, so that free people can go about their non-coercive business.

That business includes expressing prejudiced ideas. That business also includes kicking the c**p out of those ideas when you come across them. And hopefully you will do it intelligently, so that anyone listening or reading will see that perhaps their own prejudices – maybe ones they came up with all on their own – are wrong.

Prejudices can grow in people without any outside encouragement. But if you know that you’ll be prosecuted for stating what others say is a prejudice, you might just keep believing it. And no one will know that there’s a bad idea brewing in your mind that needs addressing.

So when a government starts suppressing prejudiced speech, it is time to stand against that suppression. It is not time to reject Mikko’s blog from ThinkerToThinker, even though Prodos (and I) rejects what Mikko has said in the blog post legally at issue.

No more time at the moment. I’ll deal with the other issues involved later, on “Sydney Kendall Says”.

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Egyptian Sandmonkey Rants No More

Freedom of speech, of the pen, of the press, of the blog. Those of us who have the freedom to express our minds must guard it as the precious treasure it is.

There are so many on this earth whose governments fail to understand their proper job. The only legitimate purpose of government is to protect the right of each human being to his life, liberty, property, and pursuit of happiness. That very broad formulation includes – most importantly and fundamentally – the right to use one’s mind honestly and to express oneself honestlywithout being subject to legal punishment. I said “honestly”, which doesn’t guarantee by any means that the honest mind will always be correct in its content or its judgments. But human beings need to be able to seek the truth, make errors, and self-correct. We need to be able to communicate our ideas with others, to discuss and argue,to trade information,etc., without fear that some Big Brother will forbid and punish us when he doesn’t like what we have to say. In doing so we are able to refine our grasp of reality, weed out our mistakes, and over time improve our understanding of whatever it is we care about. Continue reading

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For awhile, when looking over the entries on my blog, you’ll be seeing annoying, disruptive stray characters, which I’m going to have to edit away over time.

I don’t know technically why this happened, but I do know that it has something to do with the migration of my blog – and all of the other websites that Prodos hosts – from Prodos’s dedicated server to a new server, which will give the Prodos projects more server space, greater bandwidth, and will cost less than half what Prodos was paying before. Plus the people who run the server will take care of any server problems that come upas part of the server package, no extra fee. Before, Prodos had to pay an outside technician to do the fix-ups. It was becoming impossible to sustain financially.

But the migration process resulted in an unexpected bug – the blog character mess.

New entries should be stray-character free, however. And I’ll be working on fixing the archived articles a few at a time.

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