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Friday, January 11, 2008 

Ezra Levant Faces Alberta Human Rights Commission Today

"Today at 2 p.m. I will appear before an Alberta "human rights officer" for an interrogation. I am being interrogated for the political crime of publishing the Danish cartoons in the Western Standard nearly two years ago."
Ezra Levant

One of Canada's most notorious political 'haters' faces the Alberta Human Rights Commission today to answer to a complaint concerning the publication of cartoons in the now defunct (and extreme right wing) Western Standard magazine.

Canada .com

There's apparently no stampede to defend Levant or to revile the HRC.

He's not yet into middle age and he's fallen out of favour with many Canadians. You can count me among them.

Nah. No need to defend freedom of expression if it's someone you disagree with, is there.

The festering religious hatred that Levant spews can hardly be called 'freedom of expression'!

I don't think it's possible for you to have missed the point more than you have here.


Unrestricted, unrestrained 'Freedom of speech' has accepted limits namely laws that prohibit slander and libel. You can't just say anything!

The Keegstras and Zundels of the world cannot teach that the Holocaust did not occur or that there was no Auschwitz. Society, by means of its laws, restricts their 'freedom' to preach complete lies and utter nonsense.

Right wing thinkers (who don't put much thought into their 'thinking') generally just grasp the primary elements at play in the debate and their concept of what 'freedom of speech' is appears underdeveloped and primitive.

You don't get it, do you leftdog. It's not about Ezra Levant and his annoying ways. It's about the extent to which the state can control and bully people who say things that may not meet with someone else's approval. There has to be a limit on that, as well. Just like the police need to be watched and need to be accountable, so do the agencies of the state need to be accountable lest they violate the very foundations of our rights and freedoms.

Those of us who support Levant and Steyn are sticking up for the Canadian Constitutional right to freedom of the press and freedom of expression. We do not and should not expect never to be offended or insulted. That is entirely different from denying historical facts, such as the holocaust because what insults me may not insult you, and vice versa. There are no "facts" involved.

We have a legal system which includes courts and lawyers and judges and centuries of common law and the state has a obligation to not interfere in its deliberations. The Human Rights Commissions throws all of that aside. They have become the thought police and they now presume to have the authority to crush people for the sin of hurting someone else's feelings.

If you don't like Levant you can rail against him all you want on your blog and I will defend your right to do so. But if you want to take legal action against him, you should have no other option than to use the real justice system where law and precident are the guiding principles, not whether or not you are offended.

How do you think you would react if Canada's "right wing" government had set up these commissions and you had said something that insulted me? Should I have the right to bring my wrath down on you by dragging you through this process where you have to pay for your own legal defense, whereas all I have to do is just whine to the Human Rights Commission, without having to spend a penny? If you had to pay to operate this blog, would you be able to continue to blog if all of your financial resources were drained away in legal fees and your chance of winning was close to zero?

This is the face of totalitarianism were looking at, leftdog. Where do you draw the line to prevent that from happening in this country? I you cannot defend freedom of expression you will lose it.

You don't get it, do you Louise. What Ezra does goes well beyond 'hurt feelings' - he takes a group (Muslims) and denigrates them ALL (everyone of them!) as being violent and blood thirsty. He is not freely expressing something that might simply offend some, he is creating hatred and encouraging a reaction towards an entire group of persons based on their religion! That goes beyond freedom of expression. In your world, with your interpretations on this, then we could end up with ethnic cleansing just like what happened in Kosovo and Bosnia. Wasn't Mylosovich simply using his freedom of expression to lecture the Serbs on the need to 'cleanse' their sacred soil of Bosnian 'filth'? Those are the terms he used. Well, thousands of dead Bosnia children, women and men later at least Slobodan had his 'right' to free expression.
The face of 'totalitarianism' we're looking at in Canada centres around the right wing fear of Islam that has sent Ezra, Kate and others into a panic stricken tail spin since 911. It is all based on fear! It is hurting us all!


You obviously don't get this issue...

Ezra is fighting for all of us, left and right.

Your comments on many posting about right wingers, an identifable group have been worse than some of these cartoons.

Should we be able to drag you in front of the HRC, at your cost to defend your comments based on "it hurt my feelings"?

Ezra is not calling for the annihilation of Muslims, nor has he ever (unlike Mohamed Elmasry who says that any Jew over the age of 18 is a legit target... which begs the question "Why isn't his ass in from of the HRC?"), he is posting cartoons that are deemed offensive by a certain group.

Should this be the standard of all bloggers?

How long would your blog last if people who thought it was offensive could get a hearing from the HRC, at your cost?

Ezra is also questioning the mandate and the process of the entire HRC. Someone needed to do this.

Is this not unlike the Court Challenges program the Liberals set up, that the left what whining about incessantly when the Conservatives tanked it? The only difference is that Levant has to spend his own money, rather than having government grants given to fight government programs?

As the publisher of a blog, the outcome of this case is obviously more important to you than you realize.

This is not about the right wing or left wing, this is about all our rights, and as an intelligent blogger, rather than take the easy pigeon hole stance of "He's a right-winger, therefore I disagree with anything he does", it would be wise for you to carefully consider his words and the outcome for everyone if he indeed loses.

It has been quite a while since we have seen a topic with so much passion as this one!

-Ezra's Day in "Kangaroo Court" Lights up the Canadian Blogosphere
-Ezra Levant: Wanking It Two-Fisted

Two further points, leftdog. My kids are half Iraqi. Their father is a Muslim (half assed, but Muslim nonetheless). You know nothing about my personal history or about my views on Islam, yet you presume you know the complexities of what I think based solely on the fact that my politics are further to the right than yours.

You (and this is the really frightening part) presume that someone who finds my views offensive should be able to haul me off before one of these Commissions to defend myself against someone who wishes to silence me. As a private citizen, you have a right to ban me from your blog simply by doing what you just did (ie) enabling comments moderation. That's the rights that come with ownership. But you should not have the right to summon an agency of the state to have me destroyed, just because I say things that you may find offensive. That is the principle at stake here, and that is far more basic that whether or not you or anyone who you support find me to be offensive.

If I say something truely libelous (the definition of which you appear not to understand), then you have the right to persue remedies in the real courts where evidence and precidence must be weighed and where impartiality must be maintained by those who judge.

The Human Rights Commission, in this instance at least, and apparently many others, is not being asked to rule on the validity of the evidence based on the meaning of a legal concept (libel), but only whether or not someone was offended. Being offensive is not a crime, as your blog clearly illustrates, nor should it be.

The case has nothing to do with promoting and spreading falsehoods that may cause hatred. But even if it did, it would endanger us all, because once the right to speak like an asshole is quashed, then the right to rebuttal of asshole speech also flies out the window and ugly issues raised by assholes will never be subjected to public scrutiny.

There have been a few cases, Keegstra's being one and, more recently, Ahenakew, where I was glad to see the assholed centured, but generally I am very uncomfortable with the whole idea that free speech can be so easily suppressed. Far better, in my opinion, is to let everyone speak freely by upholding freedom of the press and freedom of speech. That way, the smart ones can write and say all that needs to be said to illustrate why the Keegstras and Ahenakews are soooo wrong. But if we must have it, then let it be handled by real courts.

***Right Wing Crap Advisory***

Dear me. We have another meltdown.

Who gets to decide what is hatespeech, leftdog? Where is the line drawn? If anyone is consistently guilty of hatespeech it is Elmasry and the CIC. And you STILL haven't acknowledged the real distinction between the actual issue at stake and your feeble attempts to deflect from it, namely - due process.

But, I expect you would rather dispense with such tiresome delays and get right down to the business of punishing those who you have decided are guilty of offending every single individual member of an entire ethnic group, each of whom may or may not have very large issues with Elmasry themselves.

Even your reference to Matthew Sheppard supports my take on this and not yours. His murderers were taken to a real court with real rules of evidence. Got that? A REAL COURT OF LAW!! Murder is a real crime. Bigotry is a stupid attitude, akin to the sort of vigilanti justice that you would find acceptable when hunting down and silencing whatever infinitesmally small number of preachers (if any) that actually counsel murder.

If you want to make bigotry illegal, at least make the real courts the remedy for it and allow the Christian conservatives the right to take the creators of this art to the same court and be held to the same standards. I happen to believe they shouldn't take them to court, but rather argue their points in a free press, which you would prefer to take away from all of us.

If you actually believe in a principle here, rather than just wishing to impose your will on others, you should at least agree that some Christians may have a right to find that art offensive, just as some Muslims may have found Levant's ravings offensive, and such Christians should be allowed to seek a legal remedy. In fact, you seem to have supported that by citing the Matthew Sheppard case, although you certainly supplied no evidence of the claim that it was the rantings of some particularly bigotted preachers that directly inspired the killers - and on that point, I am not surprised. What's good for the goose is - well, let's see, - hmmm. I guess it's not good for the gander.

Louise - I haven't read such extremist crap since David McLean used to troll here as 'the artist formerly known as..' as well as his many other handles.

On your OWN SITE - you state the following ... "I monitor comments to keep out trolls and lunatic lefties."

Considering that you would likely not allow me, therefore, to post on your site, do you not think that I am being fairly tolerant to your right wing rants here on mine???

NOTE TO BUCKDOG READERS: Just so you know what I am dealing with here, I submit to you the first sentence of Louise's most current post on her blogsite: "Love him or hate him President George W. Bush has helped spread more freedom in this world than any leader since Ronald Reagan."
( I rest my case! - I am being 'trolled')

MAD, that particular entry on Muslims Against Sharia was mine. I'm not Muslim but one of the members of the organization invited me to become a regular poster there. I guess that means they either agree with my views or welcome civilised debate. Either way, did you read my entry called Thoughts on Human Rights? I link to an article and a comment thread where British Muslim Ali Eteraz make some brilliant remarks against the idiotic boys from Osgoode Hall and their client the CIC, who are suing Mark Steyn.

You and leftdog should go and read his remarks, if you haven't already. It's posted on both my blog Stubble Jumping Redneck and on Muslims Against Sharia on January 4th and 5th respectively.

I especially liked this line, which could likely be applied to our friend leftdog with equal accuracy. It a mindset that seems to be very common among leftists:

"The individuals I am describing often tended to be highly educated, driven by some kind of parochial original sin which motivates them to teach utter and total despair to the community they attach themselves to, so that they may then save said community, and feel good about themselves."

Considering that you would likely not allow me, therefore, to post on your site, do you not think that I am being fairly tolerant to your right wing rants here on mine???
Come on over sweetheart. This is typical leftie "contempt prior to investigation" speak. In other words, an assumption based on absolutely no real concrete evidence. I would also like to point out that the first line on my blog entry that you have quoted is from the page I linked to. It is not mine, if that's what you're thinking. But thanks for providing me with amunition. I love to see lefties squirm and twist in order to avoid dealing in a substantive way with the substance their opponents criticism. See you at my blog.

Don't read this one, Bucky. It will make you really blow a gasket. Here's Canadian Muslim who agrees 100% with the article I linked to. How dare he!!!

"Instead, Bush struck directly at the most rotten core of the Middle East – Iraq, the land of two rivers, choked to death by the vilest of Arab tyrants in recent memory, Saddam Hussein – to give the Arabs an opportunity one more time to make a better future."

I am siding with Louise here. I think that if there is any doubt as to whether something is inciteful hate speech or simply distasteful and offensive, one has to err on the side of caution and protect that speech (slippery slopes and all that).

Besides, offensive speech is dealt with much more effectively by using persuasive criticism and rebuttal rather than censorship.

Small Business owners are largely forgotten. Thats why I only focus on them. I have experience several members of my family file bankruptcy due to small business failures. I also I suffered through 2 destroyed businesses due to failure however, in my failings I have learned some of the secrets to success. (Who can say they know it all?)


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