It can't happen here?

A couple of Canadian blogs I just discovered offer timely (and timeless) lessons in freedom.

Debbye Stratigacos (Hope I've got the name right!) writes a probing, insightful blog titled "Being American in T.O."

If anyone had asked me about Americans in Toronto (where I am told you can go to jail for quoting Howard Stern), or French libertarians in Quebec, I would have expected a punchline. But this blog is the real thing: Debbye Stratigacos is a very witty, very entertaining writer.

Reflecting on my earlier comments about bikers and disorder, Debbye cited a scientific study which I found unsettling to say the least. Children need structure, it is true. But adults are not children. Adults handle things like cognitive dissonance better than children do, and treating people like sheep is not the American way.

Parenthetically, I should add that while the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally may not be the best place in the world to take young children, it was my intent to laud adult bikers, not offer advice on child-raising.

Debbye also links to a very thoughtful analysis of the creeping, politically correct tendency to criminalize thought crimes. It makes me furious to read about this stuff, and leads me back to my last post, in which I criticized a blogger who thinks homosexuals are degenerate sewer dwelling slime.

To me, that is freedom -- warts and all. You can call me anything you wish, and I can reply in kind. I like to think that I don't engage in unprincipled ad hominem attacks, but the day anyone tries to restrict anyone's right to do that, why, that's the day I'll stand side by side with the worst bigots in the country.

In Canada they'd put Howard Veit in prison under the Incitement to Hatred Act. Reading what Canadian libertarians are saying ought to make everyone think. If they can put us in prison for "hate speech" then what's next? Criminalization of "red-baiting?"

Rather makes me proud to have linked to the S.O.B.....

Whether the guy hates me is irrelevant. If personal opinions -- however obnoxious -- can be made illegal, then freedom is lost.

Events in Canada serve as another reminder that you don't know what you have till you lose it.

Don't let it happen here!

UPDATE: I recently found another excellent Canadian libertarian blogger, News Junkie Canada, who was kind enough to link to one of my posts.

The blog's philosophy?

No subject should be outside the realm of debate in a democratic society.
That gets my vote! Lots of good stuff throughout; be sure to check it out.

posted by Eric on 08.14.03 at 08:51 AM


Thank you for your comments, I was startled to see the mention when I finally logged onto Technorati today.

I knew you weren't giving advice on child-raising! But that report was definitely creepy: the ultimate goal of social engineers is that we all raise obedient little cogs for a society that is without liberty and soulless but secure and safe.

Cowboys, truckers and bikers are reminders of our heritage forged by people who struck out without knowing what was on the other side of the mountain but pressed on nevertheless.

Continue the struggle for Blogosphere Peace!

I grew up in the SF East Bay Area and know that it can be both fun and frustrating. Sheesh, we might have even attended the same demonstrations.

Debbye   ·  August 17, 2003 3:23 PM

If they can put Howard Veit in prison for hating homosexuals, they could put me in prison for hating Howard Veit.

Steven Malcolm Anderson   ·  November 22, 2003 2:33 PM

That would be a hell of a way to meet up, wouldn't it?

Eric Scheie   ·  November 22, 2003 3:09 PM

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