Freedom of speech, freedom of assembly…

When Mubarak jammed Egyptian citizens’ phones to prevent them from protesting, Western commentators condemned it. When the Chinese government does the same to silence its critics in Xinjiang or elsewhere, Western commentators condemn it as well. And condemn it they should, despite the pathetic excuses of the powerful that such human rights violations are necessary for public safety.

So, what shall we make of this? The ACLU, fortunately, is on the right side here; it’s not as if this act has attracted much support.

The real problem is that this happened at all. Will someone be prosecuted? This act is illegal under the first amendment, is it not? Or will someone at least be fired?

There’s no feeling quite so pleasurable as the smugness of moral superiority (especially that of one’s home nation relative to the uncouth barbarians’), but when its undeservedness becomes conspicuous, it’s a real wet blanket.

And it’s getting increasingly conspicuous.

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