[Via MLQ3] John Nery of the Newsstand Blog (with the help of Wendy Kaminer) discovers that there is NO right to be offended if we uphold democratic free speech--
She laments the transformation of universities and colleges from bastions of academic freedom, where free speech and the arts of argument are considered essential to education, to fortresses of political correctness, where the distinction between words and actions is fudged, and censorship trumps freedom of speech...even though some uses of language can be offensive, we shouldn't place any limits at all on free speech, that it should in fact be [a] "free for all."Hmmm...I seem to recall a number of PDI editorials and column pieces on "responsible journalism" that bear looking at now, with irony. But I must send this to Fleming Rose and the Danish cartoonists at Jyllands Postens. They will see it as progress and perhaps even thank Benedict for the lesson of Regensberg, and its salutary libertarian effects on our responsible Media.
Oh, but poor Rina Jimenez David has had her day of sightseeing in the Khyber Pass and intense haggling at the suqs and shopping bazaars of Peshawar interrupted by a terrorist suicide bombing--
A Taste of Terror: The minute we arrived in Peshawar, on a delayed flight from Karachi, we heard the news. A total of 42 army recruits, many of them still in their teens, were killed when a suicide bomber ran into their midst in a schoolyard and detonated himself. About 20 others were injured.That'll teach'em for wanting to become soldiers, eh Rina?
Manila Bulletin carries the approbation of US Ambassador Kirstie Kenney and Asst. Secretary Dr. John Hillen for the "legacy of reform" that resigned Sec. Nonong Cruz leaves. It is the strongest signal yet that the US wants those reforms to continue because it really is in the US national interest that the Philippine Military become professionalized and freed from the clutches of the politicians so it can do its real job: to defend the country and secure the people. For example, I think the US wants the Philippine Military to be concentrating on the joint training and planning exercises scheduled this year and next, rather than getting involved in the 2007 elections, because we are due, we are due! I notice Dulmatin and Bali Bombers have probably escaped, and the Filipino people even have to pay for the air fare of demure Mrs. Dulmatin back into the arms of the Jemaah Islamiyah. I hope the right people get the picture, like alleged Garci General Hermogenes Esperon, who was there to see Ambassador Kenney painting a clear picture for him, in case he hasn't been listening lately.
Senator-Judge Joseph Estrada? If the return of Atong Ang wearing a bullet-proof vest marked "NBI" doesn't get Joseph Estrada off his arse in Tanay, probably nothing will. Manila Times reports. But I think the Filipino people deserve liberation from the long-festering case of Erap, which the Philippine Star editorial recently called a "national embarrassment." It is a nontrivial conundrum however, because who will deny that Joseph Estrada has lost an essential element of due process because he has been denied the presumption of innocence and cannot be given a fair trial. Inasmuch as the Edsa Dos Supreme Court of Hilario Davide claimed the 2001 regime change to be "Constitutional throughout," Erap's current plunder trial cannot even be given the cover of "frontier justice" or "victor's justice" that the Iraqi court trying Saddam Hussein is accused of. Yet, even I must admit, deep in my heart, I do believe Erap Estrada WAS guilty of plunder and corruption. It is a classic case of Godel's Incompleteness Theorem apparently being applicable to the Law itself! Erap cannot get a fair final judgment from the Supreme Court that he accuses of illegally overthrowing him. In such a case, IS there a higher court than the Supreme Court? I claim there is: the Filipino people themselves. Trial by election. Joseph Estrada could legally run for the Senate in 2007, and be in time to become a Senator-Judge for GMA's impeachment trial.