Congratulations to my fellow NewsBlaze writer

India contributor Nava Thakuria, who has been honored with ERDF Award of Excellence 2010 for his contribution to the field of journalism

What does internet regulation have to do with the financial crisis?

Nothing.  And yet (via Instapundit),

Earlier this week, the Washington Post reported on another little Easter egg in a bill cruising through Congress that would normally have followed Nancy Pelosi’s policy of discovery ex post facto. Democrats have pushed hard to get the financial-regulation reform bill unstuck in the Senate, mainly playing on class-warfare themes in painting the GOP as the party of eeeeeeevil Wall Street robber barons. However, the House version of the bill contains provisions that would put the Federal Trade Commission in position to start issuing rules on Internet transactions that would not only slow down business growth but also have no relevance at all to the financial collapse that prompted the bill. 

I’m not trying to argue that these hidden gems are in any way meaningful.  I’d note that this is about trade (although that’s not a problem that should need a solution at this time), and in no way threatens communication.  But it’s puzzling, none the less. 

This is just another example of something that can be avoided if we were to limit federal bills to only the topic at hand, as I wrote about here.  If this aspect of the legislation is necessary, and I think that’s a big if, let it stand on its own.

I don’t know, should I do it?

Recieved an interesting comment on my article “Looking for Hate in All the Wrong Places” from its link at Care2.

Just Carol wrote:

Just Carole (503)
Wednesday April 14, 2010, 6:09 pm
I hope you’ll accept this gesture with the grace with which it is offered. I’ve always thought that we could do so much more if we could concentrate on our commonalities.
 
(And, honestly? I don’t think I have any Tea Party members on my friends list.)
 
At CODEPINK, we are extending an olive branch to Tea Party activists. While we don’t support the goals and tactics of the Tea Party, there is an area where we are seeking common ground: endless wars and militarism.

I responded:

I appreciate your offer and your grace. However, I think that your attempt at a connection is misguided. The tea party movement (which I don’t speak for, though nor does anyone else, I guess) is about reducing the size of government, reducing government spending, reducing government control of our everyday lives, and reducing taxes. There appear to be a large number of veterans in the group. I do not believe that it would be in the group member’s interests to join forces with a group focused exclusively on anti-war efforts. However, if members of your group are interested in those things I listed, they are more than welcome to join the Tea Party movement; it’s very open. Just search for (your location) tea party, and you will certainly find an event that you can attend.

I do have a problem with what you said about not “support[ing] the goals and tactics of the Tea Party.” As for the goals, why would a group want to join with a group that explicitly does not support it’s goals? As for the tactics, I am not sure what tactics you are referring to, however, I would note that there are a lot of alleged incidents that are being reported as fact, when they have no support (despite hundreds of video cameras being nearby the alleged incidents). This was addressed in my article. The Tea Party has been explicit that it does not support racism or violence, regardless of what you might hear from those who stand to lose from its success.

I do, however, have a large problem with many of CodePink’s tactics. If you can tell me that the reports are mistaken or that the actors behind them do not speak for the group, I will reconsider, but I was extraordinarily dismayed when I heard about, for example, Code Pink’s disgusting attempt to psychologically torture little kids who have parents at war, as I described here . While I can understand an anti-war stance, I find the idea of Code Pink supporters calling for support for people who are killing our soldiers to be disgraceful. There are many other similar stunts that have been done under the name of CodePink that I certainly would want no part of, and I suspect that most Tea Party members would agree. Although, once again, I am not part of the group and do not speak on its behalf. Thank you for your grace. You are more than welcome to add me to your friends list, as I am always fond of interacting with people with whom I disagree.

I can see the logical connection between government spending and reducing our defense spending, but, knowing what I know of CodePink, I am certainly wary of this sort of “outreach.”  And, while it appears that she meant to be polite, I can’t accept the backhanded swipe at the Tea Party’s “goals and tactics,” particularly given the outrageous tactics employed by CodePink.  Any thoughts?  (I’ll add, just to be clear, that I am not a member of the Tea Party and have never been to an event (although I will be going tomorrow), so I couldn’t join forces in the name of the Tea Party even if I wanted to.  I’m just blogging it because it was interesting.)

Wow

Instapundit actually linked my NewsBlaze article!  I’m extremely flattered!

(Reynolds is a former professor of mine, who I greatly admire, but I have to admit I’ve been too shy to show him my work.  I assume he wouldn’t recognize my name, as it’s a corruption of the name I went to law school under.)

My new article on NewsBlaze is here.  Please read it and let me know what you think.

New Article on NewsBlaze

I wrote a new article on NewsBlaze: Want Limited Government?  Limit the Bills.  Read it and let me know what you think.

More on Canadian Law’s Free Speech Problem

I wrote an article about Ann Coulter’s and Mark Steyn’s experiences with the Canadian speech police for NewsBlaze.  Please read it and let me know what you think. 

I also received a response from an interested Canadian.  Here is our exchange:

By far the majority of Canadians disagree with the move to muzzle Anne Coulter.  And that included the majority who disagreed with what she had to say.  Shortly after her cancelled speech in Ottawa, she went on to an uneventful speech in front of a sold out crowd in Calgary.  So please don’t generalize.  You are being as offensive as Mr. Houle although I’ll defend vigorously your right to express wrong opinions.

Comment on story http://newsblaze.com/story/20100329061957lyss.nb/topstory.html

Regards,

(name withheld)

Cobourg, Canada

Hello,

Thank you very much for reading and taking the time to comment.  I wanted to address your comment, though, in order to make sure things are clarified. 

First, I’m really glad to hear that you and a large number of Canadians disagreed with the silencing of Ms. Coulter’s speech.  That gives me hope for the future of freedom in Canada. 

However, I’d like to note that the statements that you described as my generalizations were based on the law in Canada, as it has been threatened against Ms. Coulter and exercised (albeit ultimately unsuccessfully) against Mr. Steyn.  Until the majority of Canadians rise up against these abusive and freedom inhibiting laws that allow people to be prosecuted for expression and demand that the police protect people’s freedom of expression, the beliefs that you attribute to them are only so much dust in the wind. 

In other words, I don’t believe that I was offensive or generalizing, and I’m not sure what I said that you believe was wrong. 

If you have no objections, I would like to post this discussion on my blog.  I will, of course, redact your personal information. 

Thank you again for reading and commenting.  I hope that you will continue to do so in the future. 
Thank you,

Lyssa

Op-Ed Contributor to NewsBlaze

lyssalovelyredhead@gmail.com

lyssalovelyredhead.wordpress.com

Lyssa,

Feel free to post the discussion – I tend to assume that emails become public once sent.

To take the discussion further, the problem in Canada with free speech is that while the courts generally support the idea, it’s covered by laws and precedents but not the constitution.  The laws are not really clear because there is also the “hate speech” law.   The blight on all this though is the collection of “Human rights commissions” which do not always make rulings that make sense.  A number of Canadians – including me – feel that these should be disbanded and leave any issues that need resolving with the regular courts.  Unfortunately, as yet, this idea does not have the same majority support that the concept of free speech has.

I further understand that the problem is worse in the U.K.  This is because they have a law against libel which is so easily invoked that people from other countries use the U.K. courts to press their dubious claims.

 So in summary, I do agree that the laws on free speech (constitutionally based) in the U.S. are better than other places – perhaps better than anywhere in the world.  But that does not mean everyone in those countries agrees with the laws.

 And to support my contention that “most Canadians support Ms. Coulter’s right to speak”, see this article here:  http://www.nationalpost.com/todays-paper/story.html?id=2738098

 Regards,

(name withheld) 

www.cobourginternet.com

 One commenter already expressed concern on my earlier post about how reflective this attitude is of Canadians in general.  I’m glad to hear that it is not very, and I hope that they are able to change their laws accordingly.