Hello! I’ve been in Maui for a week and a half. And pretty much the entire time I was there, the news was erupting with some new story about how we’re not allowed to talk about things we’re not allowed to talk about. Mark Steyn’s written a column on the subject in the UK and Aussie Spectators (The slow death of free speech; How the Left, here and abroad, is trying to shut down debate — from Islam and Israel to global warming and gay marriage), and quoted a bit that I read in one of the pieces floating around Twitter last week that I especially liked, and puts it very well:
Nick Lowles defined the ‘No Platform’ philosophy as ‘the position where we refuse to allow fascists an opportunity to act like normal political parties’. But free speech is essential to a free society because, when you deny people ‘an opportunity to act like normal political parties’, there’s nothing left for them to do but punch your lights out. Free speech, wrote the Washington Post’s Robert Samuelson last week, ‘buttresses the political system’s legitimacy. It helps losers, in the struggle for public opinion and electoral success, to accept their fates. It helps keep them loyal to the system, even though it has disappointed them. They will accept the outcomes, because they believe they’ve had a fair opportunity to express and advance their views. There’s always the next election. Free speech underpins our larger concept of freedom.’
Some others from the last 12 days:
Incidentally, I’ve long sworn never to donate any money to any political organization or campaign or anything that could put my name on a list next to it in the public domain. This dates back to when I was a teenager. But when we still lived in Seattle and there was a gay marriage item on the ballot, and one of the local papers was publishing the address and photos of the homes of people who’d donated to the traditionalist campaign? Yeah. And now this. Just in case there are any political fundraising types reading this.
I read somewhere that the poor Mozilla man’s donation was a result of an IRS leak. But then I never heard anyone mention that again so I’m hoping it’s not true, and we’re not all so used to the idea that the IRS is out to get us that it’s not even worth commenting on when they do.
Update (4.18): Hilariously, I just finally got around to checking what this one thing I had emailed to myself months and months ago (apparently a year ago but that’s impossible) and lo, it fits perfectly! In so many ways!