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THINKING ALLOWED


Essays on Issues, Ideas and Reflections on the Times. Published now and
then. Opinions pro or con are welcome.

Punishment in the 2nd Millennium

North Miami Beach, FL
A.H. Schectman

You have to be careful about where you came from, what you say about politics, religion or the words you choose which were absolutely forbidden by the morality that governs common speech.  It is important to always know where you are for the police are everywhere.  The exception are of course the Traffic police who are never there to catch speeders or those who break other laws of the road.  If you pay attention you will notice the police who guard our speech to protect the  religious right, correct our dress,  and then whisk illegal aliens from amongst our midst.  If you remember the religious police in Afghanistan - the Taliban -they were mainly about women’s dress .  They strictly enforced modesty rules. The Afghans during the time of the Taliban also insisted that ancient Buddhist statues were immoral and had to be removed  even those  that had to be blasted out of the sides of mountains where they were carved thousands of years ago. All religions make rules for their believers.  Some are more puritanical than others.  The Saudis still cut off the hands of thieves and stone women accused of adultery. Our American ancestors in Puritan New England employed monitors  who carried long poles to prod nodding worshippers so they had to fully participate in the sermon.

             In China today Politically incorrect speech is forbidden and excised from the speech of dissidents. In the United States you must be careful about what you say or words uttered in confidence years ago may come back to hurt you today, in re: Harry Reid.  Dress codes are in place throughout America.  Court cases occur frequently about the dress of individuals or groups which offend the sensibilities or morality of large numbers of people.  Shunning Is still the extreme punishment of choice among the Amish. It is custom, not legislation. Stoning and throwing acid in the faces of revealingly dressed women in regressive Muslim countries to correct “criminal” behavior Is still the norm in that part of the world .

             Ancient Greeks used exile to punish free thinkers. This was akin to the death penalty because the violator of custom was denied the privilege of living within the Greek community. The idea of political freedom came from those same ancient Greeks who taught us that there were many different forms of government each of which had rules of conduct, distinguishing right from wrong.  Thought police are particularly repellent.  The bad example is of the huge nation of China It shows the extremes to which government can go to repress individual thought.  Other nations like the United States are beneficiaries because repressed dissidents flee to our shores. That is a reverse brain drain.

             Punishment is still the norm in modern 21st Century.


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