Voltaire didn't say this.

This statement was made up by Beatrice Hall, in her 1907 book Friends of Voltaire writing under the pseudonym S. G. Tallentyre. Not only that, Ms. Hall specifically stated that it was something Voltaire might have said. That is, she thought he should have said it, but didn't. You can think of the statement as Ms. Hall's summary of Voltaire's Essay on Tolerance.

in 1963, Norbert Guterman suggested that a February 6,1770 letter to Louis Henry Riche had contained:

"I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write."

It didn't.

Recently in Australia, we had an hilarious and timely reminder of what happens when you reject this simple ethic.

An Australian left wing columnist and supporter of Australias Racial Vilification Law, Philip Adams wrote an article in the wake of the events of September 11 2001 castigating the United States, blaming the US for what happened (not to mention, global warming, third world debt and fall of the Roman Empire) . Shortly afterward, an American living in Australia submitted a complaint under Australias Racial Vilification laws. As I write this, the complaint is under investigation.

Of course, the trendy politically correct types have suddenly gotten all hot under the collar about freedom of speech. If they got half as worried about other peoples freedom of speech as they do about their own, Philip Adams wouldn't be in this jam right now anyway. Unfortunately this admittedly subtle point is completely lost on them.

As for me, I am having a ball watching the PC types drown in a sea of their own hypocrisy. Is it too much to hope that this incident will teach them the folly of abrogating basic rights and that it will lead to the repeal of Racial Vilification Laws and a more vigilant attitude to these rights? Yeah, I don't think so either. :(

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