Banning Hodder? How dumb is that

Banning Hodder? How dumb is that! I’m late in catching up with the news that Iranian blogger Hodder (who is a resident of Canada and who has been staying with a friend in New York) has been barred from the U.S. for six months. Hodder (Hossein Derakhshan) came to Nashville for BlogNashville and left with lots of friends. Here are more details (and calls for support) from a site called “Committee to Protect Bloggers” and from Jeff Jarvis.

(via: Nashville is Talking)

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  • lcreekmo

    I am glad that you are getting on the free speech boat. Stuff like this, and worse, has been happening since the Patriot Act passed (haven’t read enough to know if that’s even related here or not). Watch out, I’ll get on my soapbox and we’ll all be in trouble. 😉 My basic point in all similar discussions — from the “feel-good” security checks that really don’t make us more secure to the Patriot Act itself is this: we aren’t any more secure; we’re just letting the terrorists win by stifling the freedom we cherish and they abhor.

  • lewis pennock

    wow, i am sort of frightened by the comments on that post. as someone who has several friends from multiple countries who have all had problems with visas etc. that were never problems pre-9/11 i can say that we are definitely throwing a lot of babies out with the bath water, or something like that. idioms were never my strong point.

  • rex

    Yes, Laura. I’ve been “against” free speech for so long, it’s good that I’m jumping on that bandwagon. As to the “we aren’t any more secure” statement…I’m racking my brain to think of a major terrorist act on U.S. soil or airspace since 9/11. You may not feel any more secure, but every day that goes by without a serious attack, I’m amazed — and grateful. And I’m also trying to think what specific freedom of yours is being stiffled by the Patriot Act. I’m sure there is one, but I can’t think of it off hand. As for the ridiculous action that turned back Hodder at the border, I wouldn’t be surprised if the law that prevented him from entering the country was on the books long before the Patriot Act. It’s the mis-guided application of the law by over-zealous HSA employees that was probably responsible for this.

  • lewis pennock

    well, rex, i can speak for a few of the above mentioned friends who have lots of experience traveling to the US from terrorist haven countries like england and australia, and several of them have said that the whole process is certainly much more difficult than it was before, especially with regard to obtaining various types of Visas. i have no specifics about why things are more difficult, only that they are, and for all i know it’s simply an increased bureaucracy issue now that everything is under one big department (that seems to be going really well so far by the way) but that’s what they tell me, “they” being specific acquaintances rather than anonymous people in black robes.

  • lcreekmo

    re: the Patriot Act, I’ll just refer to two of my favorite quotes which get more relevant all the time.

    From Martin Niemoller about the Holocaust:
    First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a communist;
    Then they came for the social ists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a social ist;
    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a trade unionist;
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew;
    Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak out for me.
    And Ben Franklin of course:
    “Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security, will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”