News Day Tuesday: Thanks

  

First, allow me to apologize for the extreme tardiness of today’s News Day Tuesday.  The month of November was wondering if I still knew what “insanity” meant, and saw it fit to flood me with about a bajillion different things to do.  But I’m still standing November!  Ha!
Second, for those in the States…is anyone as excited as I am that Thanksgiving is this Thursday??  I!  LOVE!  THANKS!  GIVIIIIING!!  Love it love it love it love it!!  It is hands down my favorite holiday.  😀
Third, so what does this have to do with the news?  Well, you all know how it is with Thanksgiving…it’s traditional to take time out and list all the things that you’re thankful for.  In fact, Brooke posted an awesome list of things that help you find happiness, and one of the things on that list is related to gratitude.  (Yeah Brooke!)  There are certain things that top almost everyone’s list:  family, friends, food, home.  I can honestly say that hardly a day goes by when I don’t pause to think about how lucky I am because my friends and family provide me with more love and laughter than should be legally allowed.  And anyone who knows me will tell you that food is joy to me.  Man, I love food, I really do.  This is a big reason why I love Thanksgiving so much.  And home…ok, well given the outrageous rents in New York, maybe I’m not as thankful for having a roof over my head as I should be.  😉
Anyway, all of this got me wondering…what about some of the things that I don’t take time out to appreciate on a daily basis?  What are some of the things that I benefit from everyday yet take for granted?  And this is where the news comes in.
Recently, several countries (including the U.S.), rights groups, and the United Nations have condemned trials held in Myanmar (Burma) that have resulted in sentences of more than 60 years.  Who were the people convicted and what were their crimes?
A blogger who posted cartoons making fun of Myanmar’s ruler, Than Shwe.  He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Zarganar, a comic who criticized the government’s slow response to Cyclone Nargis and organized private deliveries of aid to the cyclone’s victims.  He was convicted of violating the Electronics Act and was sentenced to 45 years.
Ashin Gambira, a Buddhist monk who led the “saffron revolution” – the wave of peaceful protests by thousands of monks across the country in September 2007.  He was convicted on several charges and sentenced to a total of 68 years.
And the Burmese aren’t the only ones being jailed for voicing their views against the government or other establishment.  In 2006, Abdel Karim Suleiman was sentenced to 4 years in prison.  His crime?  Insulting religion and defaming Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on his blog.  What did he say?  Here is a sample:
“I say to Al-Azhar and its university and its professors and preachers who stand against anyone who thinks differently to them: ‘You are destined for the rubbish bin of history, where you will find no one to cry for you, and your regime will end like others have.'”
Meanwhile, on my side of the ocean, I’m cracking up (or at least I used to, back when I had more time) as Jon Stewart and his merry band of comics on “The Daily Show” consistently make my President and other powerful officials look like a bunch of buffoons.
One of the many things I love about the U.S. is freedom of speech.  And it is one of the things that I definitely take for granted.  I realize that it’s still not a perfect system here, whatever that may be, and that there will always be tension between the right to say what you want and the risk of offending those who don’t want to hear what you say.  But certainly, we are given a wide berth here, and whenever I hop on the internet to ask Google for magic answers, I rarely stop to think that there are more than a billion people out there who don’t experience the internet the same way I do because their government censors the content.  One of my friends sent me a link to China Channel, which offers a free plug-in that lets users experience what it’s like to surf the internet in China.  I tried it, and let me tell you…it’s spooky.  Try Googling “Tiananmen Square protests” and see how far you get.
What do you all think about freedom of speech and censorship?  Do you think people should have the right to say whatever they want to, even if it hurts others?  What about criticizing the government and people in power?  Are there times when censorship by the government can be beneficial to society?

Finally, I’d also like to mention that I’m thankful for all of your participation and feedback on this blog.  Thank you Taylor Kagy for writing the “Twilight” review.  I thought Taylor Nikole was supposed to write it, but apparently she punked out.  So thank you for stepping in and covering her butt.  😉  I think you did a great job, for which I am grateful.  And thank you to everyone who read and/or commented on the other posts.  Believe it or not, I do read all of your comments.  It warms my heart to see that my ignorance on certain matters has entertained some of you.  😉

ADDENDUM:  Just to make it clear to everyone…Taylor Nikole did NOT, in fact, punk out.  I was just kidding because I enjoy giving well-meaning people a hard time.  😉  Taylor Kagy and Taylor Nikole are one and the same, but will the real Taylor please stand up?  😉

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13 Responses to “News Day Tuesday: Thanks”

  1. Chris Says:

    Thanksgiving is an awesome holiday! Can’t wait for the yummy food

    pfft Taylor didn’t punked out. Shes too kewl for that;)

    Freedom of speech is very crucial in living in a democratic society. It is very very important to be able to get all your thoughts across and to be able to express yourself. Otherwise, we would be “robotic” which isn’t a way humans should live. As opposed to before, I think we are more concerned with safety than freedom now. There are times when I do think censorship by the government can be beneficial to society. Some situations may call for it. Never say never.

  2. Giu Says:

    I really liked this article… I feel the same way, sometimes I don’t realise how hard it has been to build democracy in Western countries. Chinese ppl were oblivious of what happened during the OG because they censored the riot parts… Well maybe they aren’t totally unaware of that situation but they can’t do anything about it … Tiananmen Square events is a good example of what repression is like over there :S …
    Long story short : I’m grateful for living in a democratic state =’)

  3. MarilyneL Says:

    There are so many things I take for granted: Family, friends, school access, healthcare, my country(Canada) and even the generations I am livng in. As you said Kathy, freedom of speech is a huge part of us that we take for granted. Sometimes, I think that it gets too far when you can hurt other people, discriminate, etc. However, I would wish that it would be accepted when you use it for criticizing corruption, and things like that. I know that even in the 60’s in Quebec, certain books were prohibited in schools and students caught reading them were expelled. Those books were banned by the Church because they were talking about sex, not enough about religion or about revolution movement against this stagnation. Because of those years, Quebec was for a while, behind the normal evolution of Western societies. We called those years “La grande noirceur” (The big darkness). So I really think things have to change and every single humain must have the same rights and be able to share their opinions.

    Finally, thank you Kathy, Kristin, Kendra, Tabby and everyone involved in GBD! You’re great !

    xoxo

  4. taylor nikole Says:

    HEY HEY KATHY!
    haha
    taylor kagy is taylor nikole!
    lol
    haha at the bottom it’s signed
    xoxo
    taylor nikole!

    but ill take that as another shout out -_-
    :-p

    haha i covered my own butt

  5. taylor nikole Says:

    and yay thanksgiving is rad!
    im soo stoked about seeing my family
    i see them once a year now
    and when i actually do see them its soo much fun

    andd… i get to stuff my face with food 🙂
    no meat though
    lol
    soo im confined to green beans and potatoessss

  6. jessicaf Says:

    thanks for the news updates, Kathy! Happy early Thanksgiving to you also! And yes, I am SUPER excited for it (I live in CA).

  7. Ashley Says:

    Thanksgiving is a great holiday!!!

    I believe though that the internet should be experience by everyone in the world. Not just censored well some things should be but others shouldn’t i mean meeting great girls like this is a positive and i don’t regret it at all. I’m so thankful to have met every single one of you. You all have amazing ideas and are totally creativity. GBD is just Big Heart filled by us women and Im thankful to have gotten the chance.

  8. Emma-Lu Says:

    So true Kathy! There is so much we should be grateful for, gosh.. freedom of speech: I don’t want to even try and imagine being limited in expressing my opinion. But after reading those examples of what you said, you realise what a privilege that kind of freedom is in today’s world.

  9. Kathy Says:

    @ Taylor Nikole – lol…I was just kidding. I know you and Taylor Kagy are one and the same. But far be it from me to slander your good name, so I will amend the post to make it clear to everyone that you did not, in fact, punk out. lol. Thanks for being a good sport. 😉

  10. taylor nikole Says:

    @kathy
    haha
    i was hoping sooo
    orrr you are just covering for you own butt
    *ponders*
    lol
    i saw the humor in it and laughed
    i was actually thinking of posting as taylor kagy
    and saying that i hate covering for taylor nikoles butt constantly 🙂

  11. taylor nikole Says:

    oh and
    *stands up*

  12. Kailin Says:

    I was kinda confused at first thinking that Taylor Nikole really didn’t write a movie review. And who was this Taylor Kagy who was so nice to cover for Taylor Nikole. by-the-way, love your name Taylor Nikole. Well…that’s my expression for right now. So thankful for Thanksgiving and for Freedom of Speech. Can you imagine a world without it?

  13. taylor nikole Says:

    heheh thanks 🙂
    its actually spelled taylor nicole
    but for my stage name
    and on my headshots
    its taylor nikole
    so now i just write it for everything 🙂
    i like it too lol

    hahah it was all kathys fault that gbd thought
    taylor nikole was a slacker LOL
    🙂

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