The speech is from a debate at Hart House, University of Toronto. Hitchens speech is in opposition to a proposed amendment to criminalize hate speech. A big thanks to Scott T.
Meanwhile, CAIR is chipping away on freedom of speech:
CAIR Cheers”Thought Crime” Bill Passage
I warned against the thought crimes bill here. I even saidÂ “I can just see CAIR scampering to get this passed.” They will wield this legislation like a club. Well it passed the House and CAIR is ecstatic. Here is the CAIR alert;
CAIR PRAISES HOUSE PASSAGE OF ANTI-HATE CRIMES BILL
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 5/3/2007) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today congratulated the US House of Representatives on its passage of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
CAIR has supported the act since 2005 and last week renewed its call for the community to urge elected officials to pass the measure.
The Senate now must consider its version of the bill, known as S. 1105.
If passed, the law would allow the Attorney General to provide federal assistance to local law enforcement to aid investigations of crimes motivated by “…prejudice based on the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin…” of the victim.
The White House has indicated that it will most likely veto the measure if it reaches the President.
UPDATE: From the guys in the white hats;
“This legislation is harmful to all Americans because it perpetuates the very hatred and strife that it seeks to prevent,” noted the RSC letter.Â “This legislation would federalize every state and local crime, so long as there exists the possibility that the crime was potentially motivated by hate – but only the specific ‘hate’ directed to the special groups included in this bill and other hate crime legislation across the country.”
“The Republican Study Committee respectfully urges you to veto any legislation which threatens to undermine our most cherished constitutional rights – the freedom of speech and religious expression and equal protection under the law – and asks you to issue a strongly worded veto threat against H.R. 1592 or any bill that contains the vestiges of this legislation.”
This morning, the White House responded to the letter by issuing a veto threat (attached) noting that the bill is “unnecessary and constitutionally questionable.”
“We are pleased that the President will side with the Constitution on behalf of ALL people – regardless of their class, status, or identity,” said RSC Chairman Jeb Hensarling.Â “All of us, regardless of party or ideology, want to deter crimes against young women, old men, African Americas, homosexuals, pregnant women, veterans and everyone else.Â What we don’t believe in is dehumanizing people by segregating them into different groups while ignoring them as individual human beings.Â This bill is unconstitutional, undermines individual liberty and is well deserving of the President’s veto.”