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Re: DON'T Nuke Singapore Back into the Stone Age

At 06:13 PM 9/2/96 -0400, you wrote:

>> (This was done by many of us during the Karla Homulka and Teale trial in
>There is a big difference between the Canada situation and the Singapore
>situation. In Canada the restrictions are temporary and stem from making
>the right to a fair trial a higher priority than the right to free
>It is a conflict of two competing individual liberties. No observer of
>The situation in Sigapore is simply a corrupt government trying to
>legitimate democratic discussion. The intention is not to protect an 
>individuals right to a fair trial, the intention is to restrict argument

The Karla Homulka case and other criminal trials aren't the only
censorship in Canada - there are far more serious problems.
Zundel's problems (his legal ones, not just his moral ones) are well-known,
as are the Dworkin/MacKinnon-inspired anti-pornography laws which
Canada uses to censor lesbian bookstores and gay magazines.
For the most part, other than sex and drugs, Canada's censorship is the
pro-human-rights-politically-correct-liberal-hypocritical variety 
rather than the Singapore-style anti-human-rights-order-enforcing-
politically-correct-dictatorship variety.  

But it's not only illegal to sell unapproved drugs in Canada, 
it's illegal to sell materials advocating drugs or their legalization, 
or of course information on how to make or grow drugs as well.  
(This helped Mark Emery get the capital to start his Hemp store in 
Vancouver by selling Cannabis magazines door-to-door :-)
(It turns out that, since hemp seeds don't contain THC, they're not
illegal in Canada, and hemp stores he's started or encouraged
have sold enough seeds to grow more dope than Canada's police have
confiscated in the last year or two.  Mark openly violates the
censorship laws, and his shop occasionally gets raided, and after
the last bust they've decided he's a co-conspirator with everybody
who's grown drugs using seeds or light bulbs bought from him,
and they're playing a FUD game about whether to charge him
with 8 life sentences, in under-5-year pieces....)

Vancouver newspaper columnist Doug Collins gave a talk on censorship at an
international libertarian conf. in BC recently, which Emery also spoke at.  
He knows the subject fairly well, since some of BC's censorship laws were 
written just for him.  He's one of those anti-immigrant anti-Semitic* 
WW2-veteran curmudgeons who's got an editor who lets him write whatever he 
wants, and he offends a lot of people.  In BC, and to some extent in
the rest of Canada, you can be charged with human rights violations
for disparaging ethnic and religious groups, and he's been tried
and defended himself successfully for that, because Canada does have
some limited protections for free speech in their Charter.  So BC wrote a law
that allows the BC human rights commission to fine people for human
rights violations with just an administrative proceeding,
not requiring a full-scale trial, and you generally can't get a jury
in Canada for crimes with punishment less than 5 years in jail anyway.
He hasn't been busted under the new law yet, but his publisher has
spent about $30K in legal costs trying to make sure it doesn't happen.
        [*He knew better than to specifically say anything anti-Semitic
          while he was talking to us, but he referred to Jewish groups
          that oppose him in ways that implied he probably was.]

And of course Canada has broadcasting licensing requirements
that prevent people from starting radio and TV stations whenever they
want to, plus a huge government broadcasting company, but they're not
as limited as Singapore on that, and there are other countries with
that problem.  And of course they have silly language laws in Quebec,
but they don't really limit what you can say as long as you say it
in French (or Chinese or Vietnamese or just about anything except English
and maybe Native languages.)

#			Thanks;  Bill
# Bill Stewart, +1-415-442-2215 [email protected]
# <A HREF="http://idiom.com/~wcs"> 	
# You can get PGP software outside the US at ftp.ox.ac.uk/pub/crypto