Tuesday, May 11, 2004


1 A person authorized to examine books, films, or other material and to remove or suppress what is considered morally, politically, or otherwise objectionable.
2 An official, as in the armed forces, who examines personal mail and official dispatches to remove information considered secret or a risk to security.
3 One that condemns or censures.


1 To criticize severely; blame.
2 To express official disapproval of.

Whose standards are we suppose to live up to? According to the United States Constitution, I have the right to express my opinions, objections, and criticisms. If these views do not agree with certain groups of people, I may suffer mild to serious repercussions. What does that tell us about our society?

Currently, our nation has suffered one of its worst black eyes: photographs of U.S. soldiers forcing Iraqi prisoners into sexually degrading situations. The finger pointing has started and none of the high ranking officials accept any responsibility. The abuse had been known for quite some time before these pictures surfaced. And still, no one wants to be culpable.

"President Bush, making an unusual visit to the Pentagon on Monday, viewed still-secret photographs of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners and said Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld was doing 'a superb job' for which the nation owes him 'a debt of gratitude.'"

Is there a great big pink elephant in the room? All I did was voice my opinion. I didn't hurt anyone. I didn't degrade anyone like those pictures. I did use foul language, but in this day in age, who doesn't? Except for the Amish, Quakers, and anyone resembling Ned Flanders.

I took responsibility for my actions, but apparently I guess I didn't have to. I could have blamed it on collegues who encouraged me to keep writing; on relatives who wanted to know what I was doing and feeling; on friends who laughed at my boldness, honesty, and "who gives a fuck" attitude. But I didn't and was exiled.

National Coalition Against Censorship
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