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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Speech laws turn scumbags into martyrs

From David Irving to Red Ken, speech laws always backfire. They give a wider audience and moral authority to people who really, really don't deserve it.

Inchoate offenses, of which speech is a part, are one thing. Punishing speech itself is always abused for political reasons, if one accepts any benefits to doing it in the first place, which I don't. The UK and Belgium are poster nations in this regard.

He accused the Board of Deputies of British Jews of making the original complaint only to try to “hush” him up over his views on the Middle East. They want him to “tone down” his views on the Israeli Government, he claimed, adding: “For decades the charge of anti-Semitism has been used to try to suppress any meaningful debate about the policies of the Israeli Government.”

What calling a Jewish reporter a prison camp guard has to do with criticizing the Israeli government, I have no idea. Red Ken gets another free shot for the price of one, this time as a "martyr."

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