George Will mocks Alderman Phyllis Young's "horror" of free speech
In case you missed it, buttoned-up conservative columnist George Will of The Washington Post
devoted his widely-read Sunday column
to the case of Jim Roos
-- the guy who painted the giant "End Eminent Domain Abuse" mural on the side of his building in downtown St. Louis, and is now appealing the city's decision to deny a permit for it.
In a typical, hyper-articulate flourish, Will describes the ongoing Roos case as "a dialectic of judicial deference and political arrogance."
But he also mocks St. Louis City Alderman Phyllis Young
for her "horror of uncontrolled speech," quoting her at length:
"If this sign is allowed to remain, then anyone with property along any thoroughfare can paint signs indicating the opinion or current matter relevant to the owner to influence passersby with no control by any City agency. The precedent should not be allowed."
She's not worried about people getting distracted and wandering into traffic, Will says. She's worried about speech that might "escape government control."
Then he includes this zinger: "St. Louis is not the problem; government is. Many people go into it because they enjoy bossing people around." Yowch!