Wednesday, October 04, 2006

In Poland, there's no freedom of...flatulence?

If only this were a joke. From Tuesday's New York Post, in the "Weird But True" compilation, I, uh, caught wind of perhaps the stupidest manhunt of all time:
His wordless protest spoke volumes - and now police in Poland are looking for the man who passed gas when asked what he thought of the president.

Hubert Hoffman, 45 - charged with "contempt for the office of the head of state" - failed to show up for his trial on the charge, setting off the manhunt.

Interpol is on the case.
For heaven's sake, Interpol? What is the difference between Poland now and when it was Soviet-dominated? What has really changed, since Poles are still compelled by government to respect their rulers?

This only serves as the latest proof that freedom of thought is most dangerous to the state. In that entry (worth reading again for the great comments two readers left), I quoted Orhan Pamuk, the author persecuted by Turkey's governmen: "For a country to enter the EU, there has to be full respect of minority rights, freedom of thought and expression." Indeed, that's for a country to enter the union, but apparently such freedoms can be overlooked in existing members.

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