26 November 2005

Where Freedom Lives

God knows this country is full of people with whacko ideas. Heck, there is even whacko-ism in other countries. If you choose to be a whacko, though, make sure you know all about the oppressiveness of the government in power before you begin your whacko rant:

A judge on Friday denied a request for bail by David Irving, the British historian accused of violating Austria's laws against denying the Holocaust, who pleaded in court to be set free and allowed to return to his home in England. The ruling means that Irving, whose highly eccentric and widely rejected views of Nazi history have gained him notoriety, will remain in prison while Austrian prosecutors prepare an indictment against him.

Irving was arrested on Nov. 11, while on a trip to speak to a far-right student group. But the charges against him date to 1989, when the prosecutors charge he delivered two lectures in Austria in which he contended that the Nazi gas chambers never existed.

Austria, which was annexed by Germany before World War II and was a part of the Third Reich until the defeat of the Nazis in 1945, is one of a handful of countries - others include Germany, France, Belgium and Poland - that have laws forbidding the expression of the opinion that the Holocaust did not take place.

Christian Fleck, an Austrian sociologist, published a long article in the daily Der Standard on Wednesday arguing that Irving had committed "an opinion offense against which it is not appropriate to evoke the danger of the resurrection of the NSDAP." The initials stand for the National Socialist German Workers Party, the full name of the Nazi Party.

Wow, I'd say Austria has some indentity issues.

I know, I know, we're all living under the Bush/Rove/Cheney Regieme, and the Patriot Act is one big Gestapo tactic being flung upon us, wonk, wonk, wonk . . . HOWEVER . . . on this blog, or on the radio, or in the newspaper, or on a sign in my yard, I can claim George Bush is the best president ever, and that the Gophers will play in the next Rose Bowl, and that the moon landing was staged by Hollywood, but I will not be jailed for such silliness.

This is not Austria. This is the United States of America.


flamer said...

Very good post, RDF. Right to the point.

One of the best comments I've read on this subject comes from Michael Rivero over at whatreallyhappened.com:

"Nobody locks up people who claim to see Bigfoot, or who think Elvis is alive. People with such loony notions are simply allowed their freedom of speech, then ridiculed, then ignored. If Zundel, Irving, Rudolph and Verbeke are totally crazy, why the intense pressure to steal them from their homes and ship them to Germany for the crime of simply not agreeing with a particular spin of the history of WW2?

Truth needs no laws to support it. Throughout history, from Galileo to Zundel, only lies and liars have resorted to the courts to enforce adherence to dogma. More than anything else, it is the extreme tactics employed by the defenders of the orthodoxy that calls into doubt the accuracy of the history they proclaim to the world."

And he's right. I never would have even given the issue a second thought had it not been for the extraordinary efforts to silence these men.
Now, I'm intrigued.

Nice work, Austria.
You just unzipped your fly.

flamer said...

Whoops... did Germany sign this?
How about France?

"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."

Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, United Nations General Assembly Resolution, 10 December 1948.