Friday, October 12, 2012

Free Speech and Its Limits

I am not a specialist in legal anything.  I did see that Terry Jones, asshole extraordinaire, got stopped at the Canadian border and was not allowed to come into the country to spread his ill-informed, ill-intentioned hate.  As an American living in Canada, I am ambivalent about this.  Free speech should be utterly unfettered, my American upbringing demands. We should allow anyone to say anything as we should be smart enough to ignore those who are wrong, have ill will, or are crazy (or all three in the case of Jones).  Infringing on speech is too risky--who sets the lines and all of that.

Well, in Canada, speech is not so free.  It is fairly free, but hate speech faces greater restrictions up here.  If anyone meets the standards of hate speech, it is Terry Jones and his Koran burning provocations.  So, if you have laws about hate speech, then you keep out the Terry Jones of the world.  Otherwise, such laws are utterly arbitrary or utterly meaningless.

So, bad law applied well?

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