We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
What a disgraceful person she is, the worst German chancellor since ...well, I don't want to go all Godwin's this early in the piece. But a few years ago, when Maclean's and I had our triple-jeopardy difficulties with the Canadian "Human Rights" Commission, the Ontario "Human Rights" Commission and the British Columbia "Human Rights" Tribunal, the response of many of my fellow Canadians to the eventual outcome was along the lines of: "Well, I don't know what Steyn was making such a fuss about. The process played itself out and he was acquitted. So the system worked."
Some of these people were genuine innocents who've never been caught up in a time-consuming seven-figure legal battle before. But many others were making the argument cynically. They know that, if you can tie up a book or a magazine article in court, then there will be fewer books and magazine articles.
The litigants win whether they win or lose. Exxon can afford the lawyers and the time, but can you? Thus self-censorship and paranoia.
characterizing this as an assault on protected speech is the best line of attack. but there are some nuances here. speech is not absolutely protected, for example, statements made by corporations that violate blue sky laws don't enjoy a first amendment shield.
fortunately, the warmal coldists' use of RICO to shut down dissenting voices challenging the increasingly discredited george-bush-made-weather fetish feels more like a first amendment issue rather than a RICO/SEC case.
but.. self censorship and a kind of hecker's veto are serious issues in first amendment law, and the warmerists will have to contend with that.
Donny "The Bear Jew" Donowitz