Category: Freespeechers

The Tolerant Left

You will be made to pay;

For Leitch, the transition to private life did not go smoothly.
As parents and their children entered her clinics, she found herself dragged into discussions about her political views. In the interview, she at first said the interactions were positive, but when pressed acknowledged it was not always the case.
For parents to be concerned she had an “agenda” was not in the best interests of the children she wanted to help, Leitch said.
“It was beyond disruptive,” she said.
“For me personally, it was very uncomfortable. And I can’t imagine what it was like for the child.”
So, after encouragement from Canadian colleagues and after canvassing available jobs elsewhere, she settled on accepting a position as chief of pediatric orthopedic surgery at the children’s hospital of Mississippi and moved there last spring.


A Win For The Good Guys

Global News;

Saskatchewan’s highest court has overruled a disciplinary decision and $26,000 fine levied against a nurse who criticized her grandfather’s care on Facebook.
The Court of Appeal quashed the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association‘s finding of professional misconduct against Carolyn Strom, a registered nurse from Prince Albert, Sask.
A few weeks after her grandfather’s death in 2015, Strom wrote on Facebook that some unnamed staff at his long-term care facility in Macklin, Sask., were not up to speed on delivering end-of-life care.
Strom made the post as a private citizen, and had lost two previous decisions. […]
Justice Brian Barrington-Foote wrote in his decision that Strom’s freedom of expression was infringed and she had a right to criticize the care her grandfather received.
The judge ruled that criticism of the health care system is in the public interest and when it comes from frontline workers it can bring positive change.
It’s a win for a Prince Albert nurse, one that some are calling a victory for freedom of speech.

The 1776 Commission

“Teaching this horrible doctrine to our children is a form of child abuse in the truest sense of those words. For many years now the radicals have mistaken Americans’ silence for weakness. But they’re wrong. … American parents are not going to accept indoctrination in our schools, cancel culture in our work, or the repression of our traditional faith, culture, and values in the public square. Not any more.

“Late You Come, But Still You Come”

Via Wayback, reprinted here as the original website is now gone (George Jonas passed away in 2016) and I think it’s in the interest of free thinking people that it not be.

My misgivings about hate-speech legislation and Human Rights Commissions go back to 1977. In those days such laws seemed progressive. Only a few considered that compelling liberalism may be illiberal. In time, second thoughts and questions emerged. A National Post editorial published in January, 1999, viewed Canada’s hate-speech legislation as “potentially sinister” whose proposed new provisions “could be put to authoritarian and illiberal purposes.”
I wrote that hate-speech laws were sinister by definition and could only be put to illiberal purposes. Certainly John Stuart Mill thought so. He phrased his objection rather forcefully 150 years ago: “The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it… We can never be sure that the opinion we are endeavouring to stifle is a false opinion; and even if we were sure, stifling it would be an evil still.”
What is “hate-speech”? It’s speech the authorities hate. No doubt, it is often worth hating. It may be speech that every right-thinking person ought to hate, but it is also, by definition, speech that falls short of unlawful or tortuous speech — i.e., speech that’s fraudulent, defamatory, seditious, conspiratorial — for which a person could be either sued or charged criminally. Hate-speech legislation seeks to regulate speech that is not against any law — logically, since unlawful speech doesn’t need to be outlawed. Here’s the paradox. Hate-speech legislation can only ban free speech. Prohibited speech is already banned. People often say that freedoms aren’t absolutes and they’re right. Free expression is anything but “absolute” in free societies. It’s hemmed in by strictures against slander, official secrets, perjury, fraud, incitement to riot, and so on. The question is, should laws go beyond these strictures? And if they do, won’t they suppress opinion and creed in the end?
The answer is yes. There is nothing else for them to suppress. Repressive positions are difficult to defend for those who wish to keep their liberal credentials intact. They usually do so by quoting bits of pernicious nonsense from the kind of speech they would ban to illustrate how worthless and abhorrent it is. But pointing to the abhorrent nature of despised speech is insufficient because no speech is legislated against unless it’s abhorrent to some. Nobody outlaws Mary Poppins, not even the Human Rights Commissions (though this could be famous last words).
If suppressing opinion breaches axioms of liberalism, can it be justified by utility? Canadian defenders of hate-speech laws rarely offer any examples, other than the dubious benefit of distinguishing ourselves from Americans (one Human Rights-type called free speech an American concept in a recent court case) but one suggestion is that such laws would have stopped a Hitler. The problem is, the Weimar Republic had such laws. It used them freely against the Nazis. Far from stopping Hitler, they only made his day when he became Chancellor. They enabled Hitler to confront Social Democratic Party chairman Otto Wels, who stood up in the Reichstag to protest Nazi suspension of civil liberties, with a quotation from the poet Friedrich Schiller: “‘Late you come, but still you come,'” Hitler pointed at the hapless deputy. “You should have recognized the value of criticism during the years we were in opposition [when] our press was forbidden, our meetings were forbidden, and we were forbidden to speak for years on end.”
The Nazis would have been just as repressive without this excuse, but being able to offer it made Hitler’s task easier. Like Canadian supporters of hate-speech legislation, supporters of the Weimar Republic thought that their groups and causes would occupy all seats of authority and set all social and legal agendas forever. Shades of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association or the Canadian Jewish Congress! They couldn’t envisage the guns of their own laws being turned around to point at them one day. Eradicating hateful ideas through free discourse is liberal; trying to eradicate them through legislation is illiberal. “There is always a chance that he who sets himself up as his brother’s keeper,” wrote Eric Hoffer, “will end up by being his jail keeper.”
Another thing: “Banned in Boston” sells tickets. As Victor Hugo put it: “The writer doubles and trebles the power of his writing when a ruler imposes silence on the people.” I’d think twice before banning neo-Nazis for this reason alone.
© 2002 – 2015 George Jonas

Wuhan Flu: Penal Colony

They went from “flatten the curve” to “put your hands behind your back” so quickly we didn’t even notice.

Earlier: Three police officers showed up at a young mother’s house to interrogate her about a Facebook post telling Melburnians to go for their daily walk. Megan Kira, 27, called on everyone to go for their hour of exercise allowed under Stage Four lockdown at 5pm every day in their local park.

Lara Loomer Wins Primary

The “most banned woman in the world” pulled out a major upset against the Republican establishment which had, in recent weeks, shifted to being less antagonistic towards the right-wing candidate as a result of her performance in polls as well as fundraising efforts.
Decision Desk called the FL-21 for Laura Loomer at 8:02pm on August 18th, just over an hour after polls had closed…

Your Moral And Intellectual Superiors

Barbara Kay has resigned from her National Post column, citing “severe pressures” editors face on sensitive issues and the “public shaming of Rex Murphy.”

It’s been two decades since my first byline appeared in the Post. For a woman who already was well into middle age when her career began, the experience has been a thrill and a privilege. Perhaps more importantly, it’s been lively, energizing and fun. The National Post was conceived in 1998 as a safe haven from the stale pieties that dominated (and still dominate) the legacy Canadian media. Unfortunately, the spirit now has gone out of the place. And I’ve decided to step away from my regular column, at least for now. I’ve been noticing for a while that much of the best writing about Canada is increasingly taking place on platforms that didn’t exist until recently (and in some cases aren’t even Canadian). Numerous international writers whom I admire have decided to find new ways to reach their audience. I will now join their ranks.

Related: WSJ Responds To Staffers Outraged About The Opinion Section

A newspaper with a survival instinct would fire them all.

Is Systemic Racism running rampant at Wilfrid Laurier?

Wilfrid Laurier professors David Haskell (Faculty of Liberal Arts) and William McNally (School of Business and Economics) have sent a letter to their university president, Dr. Deborah MacLatchy:

Our first concern is that adopting the CRT lens and declaring systemic racism seems hasty given that you have not yet defined the term ‘racism’. This lack of a definition is underlined by the fact that the fourth plank of your suggested action plan to fight systemic racism is to establish a definition of racism. One cannot take action to fix a problem until it is defined. And the different definitions imply different solutions. For example, solving individual racism differs significantly from solving systemic racism.

Second, according to CRT, to fix systemic racism requires making revolutionary changes to every part of the University from governance to curriculum and hiring. We are concerned that the Laurier community might not understand the profound nature of the implied changes.

The letter and the responses can be found here.

White Fragility

A book review by Matt Taibbi.

Cancelations already are happening too fast to track. In a phenomenon that will be familiar to students of Russian history, accusers are beginning to appear alongside the accused. Three years ago a popular Canadian writer named Hal Niedzviecki was denounced for expressing the opinion that “anyone, anywhere, should be encouraged to imagine other peoples, other cultures, other identities.” He reportedly was forced out of the Writer’s Union of Canada for the crime of “cultural appropriation,” and denounced as a racist by many, including a poet named Gwen Benaway. The latter said Niedzviecki “doesn’t see the humanity of indigenous peoples.” Last week, Benaway herself was denounced on Twitter for failing to provide proof that she was Indigenous.

All that and much more.