Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays to all

I want to wish Happy Holidays (be it Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanza or Winter Solstice) to the readers of this blog (even the Latvian Security Police and its translators). I will be in the US, the land of the sometime beleaguered First Amendment, from December 26 to January 11.  To the extent possible (and with an apparent calm on the free speech front in Latvia) I will update this blog.

Valdis Rošāns, the neo-Nazi writing under the nickname Fenikss, has returned to the nationalist discussion forum www.zemesargs,lv after detention by the Security Police and seizure of computers and electronics (these have apparently been returned).
Fenikss was detained, allegedly on complaints by the political discussion website and advocate of internet tolerance and civility The publishers of the site may have taken offense at Fenikss' s anti-Semitic and racist posts on several Latvian internet discussion sites.
The issue here is whether one fights racism and anti-Semitism by argument or with the blunt instrument of the police (and resulting chilling effect and enforcement creep-- we got one crackpot, lets take in a few more, etc...). I don't want the same police who arrest economists and musicians policing the thoughts expressed in Latvia.