Milton Friedman – Laissez-Faire Trade Policy

Fighting for Freedom of Speech

A young man I know well is taking a Civics class in High School.  For his ‘Civics’ project on how to improve our society, he had chosen to seek to raise awareness of the importance of Freedom of Speech.  He chose to do this in two ways:

1.  Following the example of FIRE, he considered setting up a ‘Free Speech Wall’ at his school.  He asked for and received a meeting with his Principal where he proposed the idea.  Due to School Board constraints (High School kids are still minors), this was deemed not possible.

However, his Principal was very supportive of his overall goal and they did agree that a ‘Freedom of Speech Page’ in the school’s newsletter would be a good idea:  all students would be encouraged to write why Freedom of Speech is important to them.  Since this high school has students from very diverse backgrounds, it might help to be inclusive for students who have come to Canada recently from more oppressive countries to be encouraged to share their stories of what life without freedom of speech was like and why we, in Canada, must protect this most core of our civil liberties.

He is still negotiating with the teacher in charge of the school newsletter, but he has volunteered to do the work on it and is hopeful that this will become a reality.

2.  Drafting and collecting signatures on a petition to ask our legislators to strengthen the legal protections on Freedom of Speech.  He had sent me the petition and the accompanying letter:  I have taken the names out of it and turned it into a template that each and every one of us can use, collect signatures on the petition and present our own MPs with the demand to strengthen or Free Speech protections!

The accompanying letter:

Petition to strengthen freedom of speech in our laws

To: ___________________________

Member of Parliament of Canada

Dear _________________________:

In the most recent Throne Speech, our Government stressed its committment to the protection of our core rights and fundamental freedoms. The most fundamental of these is the Freedom of Speech, without which no other right or freedom can be defended. There have been many attacks on freedom of speech as of recent, and despite it being the most crucial human right, many people see it as an optional bonus, despite how important it is.


Our Canadian laws are not in line with other democratic countries, like Australia and the United States of America, and make it very easy for unscrupulous people to abuse our laws to chill legitimate political debate. This type abuse was happening under ‘Section 13’ of the Human Rights Code, and you, our lawmakers, have listened to us, the citizens, and repealed that section. Thank you for that!

However, our other laws are now being similarly abused and I would like you, and all our lawmakers, to take steps to pass legislation to strengthen our freedom of speech!

Sincerely yours,

The petition:

This is a petition to my Member of Parliament, Pierre Poilievre, to ask that our law-makers pass federal laws strenghtening protection of the freedom unpon all our civil liberties depend, the Freedom of Speech, from attacks by those wishing to silence political discourse, so that Canadians within all of Canada would have better protections under the law for our most fundamental freedom.

SIGNATURE                                             NAME (Please Print)                       City, Postal Code

1. ______________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

2. ______________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

3. ______________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

4. ______________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

5. ______________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

6. ______________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

7. ______________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

8. ______________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

9. ______________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

10. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

11. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

12. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

13. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

14. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

15. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

This is a petition to my Member of Parliament, Pierre Poilievre, to ask that our law-makers pass federal laws strenghtening protection of the most fundamental of all of our civil liberties, the Freedom of Speech, from attacks from all directions, so that Canadians within all of Canada would have equal protections under the law for our mos fundamental freedom.

SIGNATURE NAME (Please Print) City, Postal Code

16. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

17. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

18. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

19. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

20. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

21. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

22. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

23. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

24. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

25. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

26. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

27. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

28. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

29. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

30. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

This is a petition to my Member of Parliament, Pierre Poilievre, to ask that our law-makers pass federal laws strenghtening protection of the most fundamental of all of our civil liberties, the Freedom of Speech, from attacks from all directions, so that Canadians within all of Canada would have equal protections under the law for our mos fundamental freedom.

SIGNATURE NAME (Please Print) City, Postal Code

31. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

32. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

33. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

34. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

35. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

36. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

37. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

38. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

39. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

40. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

41. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

42. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

43. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

44. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

45. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

This is a petition to my Member of Parliament, Pierre Poilievre, to ask that our law-makers pass federal laws strenghtening protection of the most fundamental of all of our civil liberties, the Freedom of Speech, from attacks from all directions, so that Canadians within all of Canada would have equal protections under the law for our mos fundamental freedom.

SIGNATURE NAME (Please Print) City, Postal Code

46. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

47. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

48. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

49. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

50. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

51. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

52. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

53. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

54. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

55. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

56. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

57. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

58. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

59. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

60. _____________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________

If you would like to receive these files as an attachment to an email, where the formatting is properly done up, please, drop me a line in the comments and I will be happy to send it to you.

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Catching up….some post-migraine rantings

Don’t you just love migraines?

Not only do they incapacitate one for days, for even more days afterwards, my brain refuses to function on anything more than 20% of my cognitive capacity…  So, no reasoning, very little reading (that still hurts) and just a lot of listening to TV shows and videos.

Listening to a bit of the radio, the lunacy and unimaginable disconnect between the Ottawa city government and, well, reality, reared its ugly head up again.  And, yes, it was again regarding the cursed ‘O-Train’.

This time, it is not the tunnel under the downtown, to be dug in ‘loose shale’ (but will, in no way, undermine the integrity of the foundations of the really tall buildings right above), nor will it have anything to do with the disruption of the geological station placed in ‘isolated’ area of the Greenbelt, which is being used to calibrate all the other geological stations in remote ares (and, yes, I helped develop their data acquisition/calibration system for them back when I was working in the science field – did you know that scientists pack water bags around their equipment in the Arctic so they can collect data for longer before the instruments/laptop freeze?  Sorry, I’m rambling…) and that is being threatened because the idiotically planned O’choochoo will run right by it.

Nor is it attempting to run  the ‘western’ portion of the O-choo-choo line on parkway land along the Ottawa river – and thus effectively halving the accessibility to it as potential riders would live south of the line and only fish north of it…

No, this time it’s the airport.

It seems that, in its wisdom, the city planners have not only failed to take into account the Convention Center near the airport (and the major cause of traffic jams in the area) and ignored it completely, they have charted the O’choo-choo tracks to run over a bit of land that the airport people own and have, on a few occasions, told the Ottawa people they plan to build a runway on.

How do I get off this planet?

And while I’m ranting on my municipal government…

OK, another bicyclist got killed on out streets.  This time, Hunt Club Road.

What is unusual about this one, the bicyclist was traveling in the bicycle lane, not making any turns, and in the same direction as an 18-wheeler truck that did not even know it struck anything…

The fault for this one  lies squarely with the City of Ottawa!

Why?

It has an insane obsession with making people bike on roads not designed to accommodate bicycles.

There used to be a law on our books, prior to amalgamation, that stated that if a bike path exists between two spots, a bicyclist must use the bike paths instead of public roads to get from one point to the other.  After amalgamation, this rule has not been enforced at all, so I am not sure if it still exists.  Indeed, one can drive on a road which is flanked by a bicycle path which is separated by about 1 to 1.5 meter grass buffer from the road – and encounter bicyclists on the road, blatantly ignoring the bike path.

But, this particular fatality is significant.

It happened on a road that is a major thoroughfare with a high speed limit.  Hunt Club used to be a generous 2 lanes in each direction road.

Then, the bicycling fetish took root with our elected classes and the right lane of this road – generous, true, but not overly so – got narrowed by having a bicycle lane painted onto the right part of it.  Now, it is a road that has a generous left lane, a very narrow right lane and an in-your-face, unprotected bicycle lane.

The right lane might be able to accommodate ‘smart’ cars comfortably, but it is by far too narrow to accommodate 18-wheelers…

And that is why I blame the City of Ottawa for this particular death!

Just because you WANT something does not make it SO!  You know, like making a road physically wider and safe for bikes without actually, you know, widening the road.

Putting ideology over reality will have real-life consequences – and, in this case, deadly consequences…

Or, there is this story out of Saudi Arabia:  a man is sentenced to beheading for ‘crying at a cemetery’.  It happens to be the cemetery where Muhammad is supposedly buried and crying at his tomb, apparently, constitutes adolatry, which is a capital offense in Saudi Arabia.

And the braves of Hezbollah successfully identified and killed a filthy Jewish spy:   yes, yet another endangered-species bird.  Those guys as SOOO brave and clever!

Of course, we all ‘know’ that ‘human rights’ is a gay plot to destroy Islam…my headache is coming back…quick, somebody, pull my teeth out!

And if you have been suspecting that there is a reason why the mainstream media is not telling you the story, the whole story, about world news, you may be gratified to know that a respected journalist has blown the whistle on CNN and revealed that it takes money to not report some stories and to put a positive narrative onto others.

Since I was not really up to reading much, my hubby (I won the spouse lottery – he is the perfectest hubby ever!) has been entertaining me by showing me the original 1978 Battlestar Gallactica TV series.

I LOVE it!

Not only is it totally pro-free-speech and anti-oppression, it shows the fallacy of ‘peace in our lifetime’ of appeasing bullies… OK, I’m not too far into it (I kept falling asleep from the meds), but, it is so much better than the remake which was stripped of the principles that are core to defining the character’s actions…

Then, of course, there are all the videos I’ve watched (or, rather, listened to, over the last few days)…some of which are interesting, very interesting (and not all are political – some are just fun….it’s quite a mishmash!

Let me put some up:

Vi Hart: Doodling in Math Class: Dragon Dungeons