ModernityBlog

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Posts Tagged ‘Freedom of speech

Nicely Put.

with 2 comments

Read it:

“It concerns the issue of liberty: the liberty to publish well-argued opinions without fearing that the local police will drop by for a “friendly chat” aimed at nudging you towards removing posts from your own blog which may have offended someone else’s cherished self-image. For one thing, finding the police at you door on a Sunday morning is not exactly an image of friendliness conjured up by law-abiding conscientious citizens. For another, the preservation of another person’s cherished self-image should not really be the business of our law-enforcement personnel.

I think this is a very simple principle to grasp and to agree with.”

Written by modernityblog

01/02/2010 at 01:27

The State Of Play and Rev. Sizer.

with 61 comments

Hopefully one of my final posts on Sizergate, as I get the impression from Richard Wilson’s blog that Dr. Sizer would like to dampen down matters.

Understandably so, otherwise he might have to answer why did he use an ex-Royal Marine to try to track down Seismic Shock?

I would recommend that readers take the time to study the comments from Rev. Sizer’s associate, Mordechai ‘Motkhe’ Cohen.

The comments are rather nasty, and whilst my memory is faulty it was one of the exchanges that I remember clearly from Seismic Shock’s site, given the ferocity and venom of the remarks.

Richard Bartholomew has put up a spirited defence of Rev. Sizer. A pity, I expected a bit more.

Contrary to Richard’s assertion, we can see the previous blog or parts of it from the google cache, as I highlighted in this post.

Readers might want to re-read Seismic Shock’s old blog and decide for themselves.

[Use these key words in Google, site:seismicshock.blogspot.com Sizer, about 49 entries are return with a fair few of them cached and readable about 18.]

The Leeds University’s student newspaper covers matters too.

Concluding, so what in fact you had was:

1) an Anglican vicar annoyed at criticism of his strongly held views
2) an effort was made to warn off that critic
3) when it failed a ex-Royal Marine’s assistance was sought
4) when that failed the Police were used to intimidate the blogger
5) said Anglican vicar gloated about his apparent success at seeing off a critic, and then threatened another blogger.

Less of a rose tinted view of events than we are often told, and I am sure more will come out, eventually.

Written by modernityblog

30/01/2010 at 17:52

Wikipedia, Rev. Sizer And Bits Left Out.

with 8 comments

I am indebted to Judeosphere for pointing out that Wiki has updated its page on Rev. Sizer, mentioning the Barbara Streisand effect along the way.

I am not unduly worried that I was not credited. I won’t cry or moan, but what struck me was more what they chose to leave out of the Wiki entry.

I appreciate that Wiki is trying to achieve some neutral point of view. They are up front about it and I can see why that might be a good idea.

However, what I think is reprehensible is that they do not comment on how Rev. Sizer left another message trying to intimidate another blogger, in particular, Vee of Living Journey in Australia.

The evidence is there for everyone to see, his own comment:

“Stephen Sizer says:
January 16, 2010 at 5:45 PM

Dear Vee,

You must take a little more care who you brand as anti-semitic otherwise you too will be receiving a caution from the police as the young former student of Leeds did recently. One more reference to me and you will be reported.

Blessings
Stephen”

[Even if it is subsequently denied, which I would doubt, then the Internet record can be pulled up to verify that Rev. Sizer did, in fact, leave that threat.]

Still, I suppose if Wiki had included that information then it would take the polish off of Rev. Sizer’s halo.

But there is a wider problem here and in the past I have been a bit critical of Wiki and Citizendium.

I think there’s a tendency for some of the biographical sections to come out like hagiographies.

Certainly, those of a religious persuasion (or not) would probably see why such an approach is not a good idea, and a bit unlikely under these circumstances, as few of us really have halos and most assuredly they do not need any on-line polishing!

1997 Harassment Act?

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I thought this was an intriguing post, I hadn’t considered it in that light, but it makes a lot of sense:

“In a case of ‘harassment via Facebook’ two years ago, Michael Hurst was brought to trial for allegedly contacting his ex-girlfriend Sophie Sladden online, but he was cleared by Magistrates in Birmingham after the prosecution failed to prove the charge.

The definition of harassment above is deliberately wide-ranging, as it was introduced with the main aim of facilitating action in cases of domestic harassment. Is this law being used appropriately?

For the media and for bloggers, a harassment complaint in circumstances where there has been no documented physical threat or alleged ’stalking’ incident is worrying.”

Written by modernityblog

29/01/2010 at 17:21

Seismic Shock: The Video.

with 5 comments

Stanley Kubrick’s marvellous film Spartacus was the inspiration behind the “I am Seismic Shock” campaign

This web Web phenomena, courtesy of the Streisand effect, was started to highlight how inappropriate it was for the British Police to visit a blogger and intimidate him into deleting one of his blogs.

Now there is a video.

Please take a copy and embed it in your blogs, as a reminder that the Police should not be involved in legitimate political criticism and discourse on the Internet.

Update 1: John Gray ably reminds us of the problems that he, Dave Osler and Alex Hilton had and still have to suffer from a vexatious claim.

Update 2: I forgot to add that I now have a YouTube channel.

I haven’t given any thought as to how best to use it, but if readers wish to contribute media, video or suggestions, please do.

Twitter, Rev. Sizer And Be Reported.

with 9 comments

The viral nature of the Internet was shown when Iran’s theocracy tried to push through the fiddled election results.

Iranians reacted and use technology in ways that none of us could have foreseen.

Twitter was seen as a key ally for the regime’s opponents.

Technology has also proven that Rev. Sizer’s desire to intimidate bloggers has rebounded.

Thousands of Internet readers are now aware that Rev. Sizer used the Police in an inappropriate manner, to intimidate a young blogger. On top of that twitter has come alive with users expressing their astonishment at Rev. Sizer’s actions.

All in all, Rev. Sizer’s actions have been counterproductive and unnecessary.

But what I can’t understand is why he felt it necessary to try and intimidate another blogger in Australia with this comment:

Stephen Sizer says:
January 16, 2010 at 5:45 PM

Dear Vee,

You must take a little more care who you brand as anti-semitic otherwise you too will be receiving a caution from the police as the young former student of Leeds did recently. One more reference to me and you will be reported.

Blessings
Stephen

One more reference to me and you will be reported.

Reported, to whom? Presumably the Police?

That strikes me as rather overwhelming and threatening for a blogger, out of the blue to know that if you mention Rev. Sizer again that Policemen will knock at your door.

It is becoming a bit of a habit with Rev. Sizer, intimidating bloggers. Hmm.

Update 1: I thought this was rather good.

Update 2: As far as I can see Vee has not in any way called Rev. Sizer an “antisemite”, yet he is quick to take offence and threaten action.

Apparently there were only three posts mentioning Rev. Sizer at Living Journey and none called him an “antisemite”. So I think Rev. Sizer should apologise to Vee for being unnecessarily aggressive and rather, er, unchristian in his attitudes. make your own minds up, I’d welcome reader’s comments:

Calvin L. Smith: Stephen Sizer as Anti-Replacement Theology Champion?

A little more about Supercessionism and that book…

Worth posting…

Why did Rev. Sizer take offence and threaten to use the Police again?

Written by modernityblog

28/01/2010 at 00:23

The Knock At The Door.

with 3 comments

Imagine, for a moment, that you are a writer, maybe a journalist, a trade unionist, a community activist, a plain letter writer or just a normal person

Imagine that you express your views on politicians and people in the public domain in a vigorous fashion.

Nothing offensive, no swearing, no abuse, just factual comment, backed up by evidence and a few pointed questions.

Suppose you do that.

You write letters, you make comment on society or life, would you expect a knock on your door while you’re still in your night-clothes?

Of course, not.

Still less would you expect to find Policemen knocking on your door questioning you about your writings.

That is unless you lived in a Fascist or Stalinist State.

The Policemen knocking at the door was always dreaded by citizens of those repressive regimes.

Citizens knew they had to watch their words.

They knew they could not express their contempt for their leaders or those in authority. They knew an unguarded word could lead them to a camp or Gulag. So the citizens of these awful regimes do, and have, tended to censor themselves, to be extra careful what they say and what they write, lest Policemen come knocking at their door.

And why should the Police become involved?

They shouldn’t be, unless it is a criminal matter, or there is criminal intent and activity.

The State should not intervened to control legitimate criticism, or intellectual discussions and political activities will become stifled as a result.

We do not want the days of self-censorship and stupefying debate to return, that should not happen in modern democracies.

We should not fear the knock at the door, as Seismic Shock experienced.

Written by modernityblog

26/01/2010 at 23:16