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Category Archive: free speech

May 12 2011

Arming the rebels

The recent war/conflict/military police action in Libya has kind of overshadowed the fact that something really important is still happening in the middle east. Shit has seriously got out of control in Syria and Bahrain, and that’s disturbing enough. What is far more disturbing to me is what’s being discussed in Libya. Yes, the rebels …

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Apr 28 2011

The barbarians are still at the gates

Twenty-four years ago, a marginally-talented artist decided to make a statement about the way in which religious figures have been misrepresented by their religious organizations. A fine statement, all things considered. This artist decided to express this opinion by encasing a crucifix in a jar of his own urine and called it, somewhat uncreatively, Piss Christ. …

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Apr 18 2011

Special feature: The Hate Speech Debate

Many of you know that I am a volunteer with the Vancouver branch of the Centre for Inquiry. One of the regular events that CFI Vancouver hosts is called Cafe Inquiry, which is a moderated group discussion on a variety of topics. This past weekend, I was honoured to be asked to moderate a discussion on …

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Apr 15 2011

Join me in person tomorrow at SFU!

Hey all, I realize this is last minute (stupid me for not giving you a heads up) but I will be leading a discussion on hate speech laws in Canada tomorrow morning (Saturday, April 16th) at 11:00 at the SFU Harborfront Centre. Here’s the event blurb: Hate speech laws remain a controversial issue in Canada. When …

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Apr 07 2011

Well India is apparently stupid too

In case you were wondering, it turns out that India is also stupid: A controversial book on Mahatma Gandhi has been banned by the government in his native state of Gujarat. Chief Minister Narendra Modi said that its contents were “perverse and defamed the icon of non-violence”. The book by Pulitzer Prize winning author Joseph Lelyveld contains …

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Mar 25 2011

Movie Friday: Protect yourself with censorship

Still on vacation. Brief writeup of some relevant stuff on Monday. Until then, enjoy this hilarious video by Mr. Sharp Like this article? Follow me on Twitter!

Mar 17 2011

My cup of dissonance overfloweth

As a thoughtful person with strong convictions, it is inevitable that I find myself conflicted over some issues. For example, I’m not 100% confident in my stance on free speech, I sometimes have trouble  drawing the line in racial issues, and I continue to struggle with my feelings about Anonymous. This story doesn’t help: A U.S. …

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Mar 10 2011

U.S. shows its hypocrisy over free speech

Sadly, with this whole free speech thing, sometimes this is what it looks like when your side wins: The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a grieving father’s pain over mocking protests at his Marine son’s funeral must yield to First Amendment protections for free speech. All but one justice sided with a fundamentalist church that …

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Mar 10 2011

Flirting with free speech

There’s an interesting wrinkle in the debate over free speech, which has to do with the issue of truth. If I say that Stephen Harper is the worst Prime Minister we’ve ever had, that falls under the category of political criticism and opinion, which is protected speech. However, if I say that Stephen Harper raped …

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Mar 09 2011

What does religious oppression look like?

I’ve spoken at length before about how, in this country at least, claims of “religious persecution” is more often than not just a complaint based on loss of privilege. To be sure, occasionally there is actual oppression that happens on religious grounds (I have an example of that going up for Movie Friday), and that …

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