Thursday, May 20, 2010

John Stuart Mill and free speech

THURSDAY, MAY 20, 2010

"If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if had the power, would be justified in sliencing mankind."

John Stuart Mill
From "On Liberty"
Today is the birth anniversary of the great British philosopher John Stuart Mill, a passionate advocate of free speech. Mill was born in London, England on this day in 1806. He was the eldest son of the Scottish philosopher James Mill.

John Stuart Mill wrote "The Subjection of Women" in which he likens the legal status of women to the status of slaves and makes a case for equality in marriage and under the law. That was radical thinking for a male living in the 19th century. I must say that Mr. Mill was certainly a man ahead of his time.


Today marks a very significant date in Canadian history. This is the 30th anniversary of the first Quebec referendum. I'll never forget the passions and emotions of that campaign. As a staunch federalist, I remember how worried I was about the situation as I awaited the results on that memorable day in 1980.


Hey, my Blue Jays are on a roll. They are on the road and they won the first game of their series against the Seattle Mariners. The Seattle Mariners aren't exactly a homerun hitting machine, but a W is a W.

Les Canadiens contine their series with the Philadelphia Flyers tonight. They play their first game of the series at home in Montreal. They are behind the proverbial eight ball, down 2-0 in the series. If they don't win tonight, they'll see the fat lady approaching and she'll be preparing to sing.

- Joanne

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