One of the primary foundations our nation is built upon is the concept of Free Speech. In most countries during the Eighteenth Century, when the seeds of our nation were being sown, public utterances your government found objectionable could easily lead the speaker to prison or the gallows! So in that age, the freedom to speak your mind without fear of government retaliation was a daring, radical concept.
In the earliest days of our Republic, the most visible expression of this right was a soap box placed in the town square. From this lofty perch, anyone, regardless of their station in life, who had a concern or grievance could speak on any subject they wished. The great orators who fanned the flames of liberty that lead to the Revolutionary War and our establishment as a free nation often did so from atop these crude, unfinished boxes of wood.
Today, many would say that the soap box has given way to radio and television. But although their signals reach into every home, the message is more often controlled by the moneyed interests and spin doctors than men and women of conscience. The voice of the common man has been relegated to seldom-viewed "public access" channels, except for the occasional "sound byte" . . . if the reporters deem it "airworthy!"
Fortunately, the World Wide Web has effectively replaced radio, TV, and letters to your neighborhood newspaper's editor, and has become the ultimate soap box. Anyone with a computer, a text editor, and a few kilobytes of storage courtesy of their ISP has the capability to reach an audience far greater than the Founding Fathers could have ever dreamed of. And the smallest voice is no less accessible or effective than that of the largest multinational corporation or government agency (and often much more entertaining!).
Accordingly, the pages tied to the links below are my soap box, where I may speak my mind on subjects I feel strongly about! Please take the time to read them, and feel free to direct your comments to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. In the spirit of free speech, opposing views will be gladly accepted—and debated!