Category Archives: Free Speech

We Saw What You Did There

rebel media, ezra levant

As my readers know I have very little time for Ezra Levant and RebelMedia. However, the SJW bullies are now well offside.

From the remarkably self-rightous Independent:

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has bowed to pressure and cancelled a booking for a “neo-nazi” conference which was set to take place on one of its ships.

Rebel Media, a far-right group based in Canada, had planned to hold a week-long meeting on-board a NCL Caribbean Cruise. The trip was scheduled to leave in November from Miami and would take in Honduras, Belize, and Mexico. link

The quotes around “neo-nazi” don’t disguise the move. It is a move we are seeing a lot of recently.

Step 1: Ask if a person or organization was on the “right” side on something like Charlottesville. The right side here being unwavering support for the people who “opposed” the Nazis/KKKers/white supremacists who were, if you are woke, the only people who were demonstrating for the retention of the Robert E. Lee statue.

Step 2: If there is a hint, an inkling, of anything less than full Maoist denunciation of the obviously evil alt-right creeps, take that as an indication of support for Nazis. (Same applies to any less than full support for the antifa thugs confronting the alt-right creeps.)

Step 3: Where Step 2 has been successful, you are now able to call the person or organization “Nazi supporters” or “neo-Nazis” and then, and here is where the brilliance of the manoeuvre becomes apparent, you can then ask decent people – such as Norwegian Cruise Lines – if they want to be associated with Nazis, neo or otherwise.

It is a page right out of the Joe McCarthy playbook. Take a lie, turn it into a smear, spread it around.

Is Ez a Nazi? Hardly. Is RebelMedia “neo-Nazi” and is it correct to characterize any conference or cruise put on by RebelMedia as “neo-Nazi”. No and no. And is it correct to repeat the libel as Warren “Lying Jackal” Kinsella did this morning?  Frankly, calling a news organization “neo-Nazi”is libelous on its face. Ez has been known to be a bit trigger happy on the litigation front but filing in Ontario and in London might sober the smearers up a bit.

I suspect RebelMedia is going down in any event largely because it has been seduced into pushing right wing causes of the moment rather than building a solid reportorial reputation. Ez seems to think that, having got his name in the news with an epic rant what is required are epic rants on every topic which pops up on the right wing radar. Combine that with endless fundraising and you will begin to lose the audience you have worked hard to build.

But RebelMedia should not go down as the result of a nasty, fascistic, smear campaign.

Update: It may, however, go down if anything in this video is true.

Upper Date: Which, Ez says is not true and simply an attempt at extortion.

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Sheep from goats

The mayhem in Charlottesville was pretty much locked in when the Swastika was unfurled and neo-Nazi chants about Jews filled the air. The antifa people are usually exaggerating when they go on about how nationalist=white supremacist=Nazi, but in Charlottesville that reasoning was not wrong.

Here’s the thing: if Nazis, real live Jew hating Nazis, join your protest and you let them, their stench will infect everything you do. Over on the left people are at pains to distance themselves from BlackBloc whack jobs. The right needs to do the same thing with Nazis.

This is not a question of free speech or free association: the Nazis have a perfect right to both; rather it is a question of whether of not the resurgent right wants to accept Nazis tagging along for the ride. If the right and alt-right people are OK with Nazis in their midst then they will simply lose the vast majority of their supporters. However, if they make it very clear that Nazis are unwelcome they can carry on an build support. And by “making it clear” I mean to the point that Nazis at right wing gatherings are more likely to be punched by alt-right people than antifa.

If the Nazis want to organize their own demos they can go right ahead; but the serious right need to make sure that there is no place for Nazis on the right side of the aisle.

(And, just to avoid confusion, America’s own KKK needs to be bunged in the same barrel as Nazis.)

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Scalps

Hal Niedzviecki was forced out of his editorship of an obscure magazine published by the Writers’ Union of Canada for daring to suggest that writers should try to get out of their identity silos and use the voices of “others”. Apparently, this offended the Writers Union and its “Equity Task Force” and Niedzviecki was forced to resign.

A number of brave souls in Canadian media stepped up and said Neidzviecki had a point and was a victim of political correctness run wild. On Friday, the Walrus’s editor in chief, Jonathan Kay wrote an article for the National Post in which he said,

Personally, I land on the side of free speech: I’m fearful that, as at many points in history, small acts of well-intentioned censorship will expand into a full-fledged speech code that prohibits whole categories of art and discourse. national post 

He went on to conclude,

What I don’t find helpful is the reflexive instinct to shame those with whom we disagree—the kind on display at TWUC this week. Indeed, it is these mobbings that encourage the idea that free speech is under siege from a systematic program of left wing censorship. On both sides, it is fear and suspicion that is driving the social media rage. And as of this writing, there’s no sign it will dissipate soon. national post

Today Kay resigned as the editor in chief of The Walrus.

Niedzviecki was entirely right in his initial article. White people should be encouraged to write about non-white people, women about men, blacks about Asians and gays about straights; otherwise we’ll have a sterile, politically correct, literature in which the only characters in a novel will be from the “community” (however defined) of the author.

Kay was entirely right in standing up against lefty cultural pogroms.

Where both were wrong was in capitulating to the cultural fascists without a fight. The Twitter mobs are nasty but they are relatively powerless unless a target is willing to give them power. Niedzviecki was pushed out the door by his employer but, realistically, other than a craven apology for “glibness and insensitivity” Niedzviecki barely fought at all. Kay’s meager defences were apparently overwhelmed in less than twenty-four hours and he scuttled off to a baseball game with his phone off to escape the baying hordes.

Free speech and freedom of cultural expression in all its forms are won by people willing to fight back. People who actually believe in their positions and are willing to fight their corners. Niedzviecki was beginning to gain support for his liberal view of how writers should approach the world. Sure he was being howled down by lefty illiterates on Twitter. So what? The Twitter mobs of SJWs live to howl and denounce and yell about their sensitivities. The cultural cringers at the Writer’s Union would have fired Niedzviecki in any event, but rather than apologize, he should have published a really fierce piece defending his position and calling out the censors of the identity left.

Kay, having adopted a strong, liberal, free speech position should have stuck to his guns. If The Walrus wanted to fire him, fine. But surrendering before an actual shot had been fired is just sad.

The only way to stop the SJW barbarians is to shoot back. Make it tough, if not impossible, for them to impose cultural tyranny. Surrender only leads to more demands, more censorship, more badly grounded claims of moral superiority. Surrender narrows the discussion and the boundaries of what may be discussed.

The only silver lining to Niedzviecki and Kay’s failure to fight back is that their cowardice in the face of the viciousness of their detractors shows just what liberal, free speech, supporters are up against. Kay, in particular, has access to major media, friends in government and the academy (not to mention the PMO) and has demonstrated a willingness to suck up to the PC SJWs on issues like “climate change”. If these cultural fascists can “get” him it is a huge warning to the rest of us.

 

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Betrayed: Stephen Harper’s war on principled conservatism – A Review

51i7c9ikkIL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Various people have asked me why I will not vote for Stephen Harper and the Conservatives in this election. While the Cons’ failure to seriously tackle the deficit, reduce the size of government and begin to dismantle the Liberal state are all good reasons, I probably would hold my nose one more time if it were not for one, fundamental fact: C-51. And I might have even given Harper a pass on C-51 if I didn’t know the Conservative record on free speech, the perversion of the Human Rights Commission and the legal thuggery which attended it.

Connie Fournier and her husband Mark are not going to be voting for the Harper Conservatives either: Connie has detailed her reasons in Betrayed: Stephen Harper’s war on principled conservatism.

Full disclosure: I’ve met Connie and Mark once and I provided an affidavit in their defence when Dr. Dawg sued them for libel (a case which they won at great personal expense). Connie and I chat on Google and, in so far as it is possible to have friends you only chat with on the internet, I’d like to think Connie is one of mine.

The Fourniers are ordinary, middle class Canadians – Mark drives long haul trucks, Connie was a homeschooling stay-at-home mum – who were politically involved as far back as the Canadian Alliance. They started a website called Free Dominion in 2001 where conservatives of various sorts could post topics and comments and have a good time arguing among themselves. Continue reading

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Academic Matters

Screen-Shot-2013-11-26-at-11.34.40-AMNotes Re Coming Academic Year
From: Dean of Arts
To: Faculty
Dear Colleagues,

I hope you are enjoying your well earned summer vacation. I know I am. However, a number of issues have arisen which I feel I must bring to your attention.

1. Marking: Many of you are still clinging to the outmoded idea that marks are designed to measure absolute progress in a subject. You are insisting upon received grammar and spelling in essays. You are setting exams and papers which, in themselves, are triggering events causing significant anxiety. Worse, you are not taking into account the often heart rending oppression narratives which many of your students bring to class. Stop it.
2. Subject matter: It is not enough to include writers and topics from outside the tragically exclusionary Western Cannon. The fact is that even a reference to Shakespeare will trigger feelings of anxiety, worthlessness, racial othering, religious persecution and, of course, sexual confusion. Just stop it. The same with references to the Bible, Plato, Milton, any so called Saint, Mark Twain or that Moby D*** fellow with the harpoon obsession. Each of these references will only serve to underscore the possible ignorance of your students which, rather obviously, will make them feel anxious, disrespected and unsafe. Best not to mention any of it.
3. Women: This is a minefield. First off, for those of you who are cis male and not queer, women should not be discussed in any context whatsoever. Just stop it. You have nothing to say about women’s experience. The same goes for “cis female not queer” instructors as the gender identification of women in the past is a contested subject and you have nothing to say about lesbian/bi or “just a little confused” womens’ experience. While the rules, perhaps, should be different for instructors coming to women from a queer perspective, there are too many potential triggers for this to be a truly safe topic. There really is no right answer as to why Vita was asked to take off her earings. (Or, for that matter, why queer men liked first Berlin and then Tangier.) So stop it. By the same token, POC instructors are advised to a) avoid discussions of non-POC women except in the context of oppression studies and there only for purposes of illustrating relative levels of oppression, b) wondering if Vita would have taken her earings off had her paramour been black and the marks wouldn’t have shown quite so much on those dusky thighs.
4. Islam: Are you joking? There are no circumstances whatsoever in which Islam is a proper topic for classroom discussion. The danger of unsafe speech from Zionist oppressors or even well meaning, but white privileged, students is far too great. This is particularly true where the instructor is Jewish, queer or female. Just stop it.
5. Science: As we know “science” is the socially constructed study of natural phenomena which has advanced from first principles all of which were created by cis male, usually straight, often Jewish, so called scientists. There is math. It has no place in a safe, inclusive ARTS faculty. However, by all means discuss global warming as it is well understood to be science free.

6. Race: Pretty much the live hand grenade of the Arts Faculty. Say anything and it explodes with unknowable consequences. Even a supportive statement such as “slavery is wrong” can lead to disastrous conversations about Black African complicity in the trade and the continuing Islamic acceptance of slavery. Plus, and this is an acute problem, Chinese and South Asian students, dealing with our university’s current admission policies, may take strong exception to remarks vis a vis affirmative action or diversity. Just don’t go there.
7. Logic/Argument/Reason: Mansplaining at its heteronormative worst. It is pretty clear that argument, both verbal and written privileges middle class, usually white, usually male, left brain dominant, testosterone charged, individuals. By prioritizing thinking over feeling, requiring reason means an instructor risks making women, minorities and queer students feel unsafe with the feelings they often use in discourse rather than accepting the oppressor’s terms of exchange. Stay away.
8. Economics: At one point it was safe within undergraduate Arts Faculties to discuss and even teach Economics. Between Marx and Keynes undergraduates (and there is a word which needs rethinking) could learn to structure arguments in favour of social justice. However, recent advances in correct thinking underscore the fact that even Marx and Keynes are rooted in a form of logic and Keynes, it turns out, had some math in several of his books. (Plus, Keynes was a queer traitor happily marrying a ballerina of all things.) While it is certainly acceptable, indeed practically obligatory, to teach inequality theory you are on safe ground there as, like global warming, it is theory untainted by actual economics.
9. History: Whose history? Here again what had been a safe, non-controversial subject in which white imperialists committing genocide in the name of Christ provided the oppression narrative for many of our Aboriginal and POC peoples. However, a huge new danger of anxiety and triggers (and possible in class beheadings) has arisen. Until very recently the understanding of the historical facts surrounding the spread of Islam was confined to a tiny, dry, silent, scorned, academic anti-elite. With the rise of ISIS, popular attention has been drawn to this area to the shock and, of course, anxiety of Islamic students and their allies. Don’t go there.
10. Political Science: Not at all safe. There are two big dangers – individual rights and democracy. Individual rights looked good in the 60s and 70’s but more up to date thinkers realize that the very idea of an individual right as opposed to collective rights will always privilege dominant, cis male, heteronormative, white people at the expense of “the Other”. Democracy, the idea of giving the already privileged the right to vote to keep their privilege is, of course, the ultimate tool of oppression. Rights talk and democracy cannot help but create anxiety and a sense of unsafeness for anyone not a member of the privileged group. Worse, any conversation about rights and democracy by definition is an insult to Islam and we know what can happen with that.
I am sure that I have left a few things out and I humbly beg your pardon if I have in any way offended you by my errors or omissions.
Now I know a few of you will be wondering, in light of the list above and its implications, what will be safe to teach in the coming semester? Well, there is always global warming. And you can can teach inequality theory provided you don’t use any math or those curvy things economics professors draw on blackboard. But mainly, no matter what the subject, it is best to listen to your co-learners. Make sure you structure any written work or class discussion to be inclusive. Avoid assigning readings as this will privilege the cis literate.
Remember, our Faculty is committed to respectful, safe and inclusive learning.
Have a great summer…see you in September.

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Law Marches On

Madame Justice Heidi Polowin has rendered her decision in Baglow v. Smith et al (Free Dominion) .

It is a long, closely argued, decision – 62 pages – ending in a win for Free Dominion on fair comment grounds. I suspect it will join Grant as one of the critical decisions advancing Canadian defamation law into the post Charter, internet age.

I want to read it at leisure but two things are striking: first, the judge has decided that each side shall bear its own costs – which mean Connie and Mark still need your donations. Second, and I have not seen this in a decision that I can recall, Polowin, J. ends her judgement with these words:

“Finally, I thank all involved for their assistance and thoughtful submissions.”

Connie, Mark, Roger Smith and Dr. Dawg should never have let this matter get to Court. But it did and as a result, and at great cost to all of the parties, we now have a roadmap for online conduct. The defence of fair comment has been slightly extended and the question of “context” driving the meaning of particular words considered.

I am delighted that Free Dominion won and the win was well deserved. But it was a damned close run thing.

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New Charlie Cover

Charlie Hebdo Cover

(h/t bcf)

This should be on the front page of every paper in the world that has run “Je suis Charlie” graphics of any sort. Because either you are willing to print an image that might well be Mo or you are not. If you are then you support free speech. If not, then shut up and cower.

UPDATE: The Lying Jackal has a smarmy post up on the topic he says (and I screen shotted it):

Almost a decade ago, a global debate raged about cartoons depicting the prophet Mohamed as a terrorist – and my colleague Ezra Levant’s decision to display them in the magazine he then published. The cartoons set off a wave of emotional protests and threats on a global scale – and fostered a vigorous debate about what constitutes free speech. Was the publication of those cartoons satirical, or was it hateful?

When we attempt to answer that question – honestly, diligently, impartially – we will quickly ascertain the difference between an act of mischief (say, spray painting a graffiti artist’s tag on the doors of a synagogue), and an actual expression of actual hatred (say, spray-painting “DEATH TO THE JEWS” on the doors of a synagogue). Certain words and images can stir up actual fear and pain and hate. Others don’t, or shouldn’t. the lying jackal

Of course the Jackal does not let me comment, but you cannot help but admire the sheer finesse with which the scumball avoids answering the question of whether or not Ezra’s decision to publish the cartoons all the news was about was right.

UPPER DATE: Daily Mail runs the cover story – doesn’t show the cover.

Telegraph – story no picture, just the title.

Order-Order.comLoud and Proud

Guardiannot a splash but it is there – Good for them. “The Guardian is running this cover as its news value warrants publication.”

New York Times – No…

Washington PostYes

CBC – no mention of cover at all

The AustralianYes – full image

UPDATE #2 – Boris Johnson shows the Jackal how it’s done:

London Mayor Boris Johnson said Charlie Hebdo had “no choice” but to print the cover it had, following the unity marches in France and defences of press freedoms in the wake of the attacks.

He told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: “You cannot have a march through the streets of Paris attended by 46 world leaders, four million people, climaxing with a shout of ‘We are not afraid’ and then not print the central object of contention.

“Of course they are right to do that and I am afraid it is absolutely vital now that everybody stands up and defends their right to publish.

“You may not agree with what they have done, you may be offended by what they have done, but you should defend their right to publish it.” Daily Mail

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Another March

pegita

How now Frau Merkle?

As expected the PEGITA rally in Dresden tonight attracted a record crowd,

A record 25,000 people have joined an anti-Islamisation rally in Dresden, Germany, called in the wake of the Paris terror attacks.

The protesters defied calls from German politicians to stay away from the Pegida organisation’s rally.

Elsewhere across Germany, tens of thousands of people joined anti-Pegida rallies. bbc

If the BBC is saying 25,000 I have to bet closer to 35,000 actually marched. Likely a doubling. And not much of a surprise.

The ordinary people have had it with Islam’s rise in Europe. Charlie Hebdo was a horrible, violent, incident. As such it was a, as I put it, Useful Horror. It underscored how desperately wrong the present immigration, asylum and multicultural policies in Europe – and Canada – have gone wrong. We have too many of the wrong people arriving and then excluding themselves from our societies for political/cultural reasons.

The demonized “far right” politicians recognize and address this fact. The bien pensant political leaders of the left, centre and right are flailing in the face of a problem they created and the anger of their citizens that this should be so.

The mainstream media demonstrate a combination of cowardice and confusion in the face of the anger of their public. Their craven refusal to print the cartoons their fellow journalists were killed over demonstrates just how badly we are served by the press whose freedom we have sought to enshrine. Their willingness to go along with the line that CH had nothing to do with Islam and not to call politicians on this nonsense shows how completely they have been captured by the political class.

The question which now confronts us all is whether the collapse of the political elite and their lapdog media is going to be allowed to matter. The thousands of pro-Farage comments, the presence of 30,000 plus Germans in the streets of Dresden, suggests ordinary people have had enough.

And that is a start.

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A casualty

This is a sad story. It is also what happens when a nation forgets who it is. The France that marched yesterday included it’s Jews.

Not for much longer.

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High Risk

The French government seems to think hosting world leaders and several hundred thousand French citizens at rallies for unity is a step towards the social cohesion which was damaged by the Paris atrocities. They may be right.

There is the obvious risk of more terror. Put a lot of people in one place at a pre-annonouced time and you create a target. I hope and pray the French security services are up to the job.

The greater risk is that the people who show up will be the lily white crowds who have attended the “Je Suis Charlie” demos to date. Will that build unity or will it serve to illustrate the two solitudes which have emerged in France. Without black faces and headscarves the rallies risk underscoring the essential problem Islam poses for France.

The gains from such rallies are ephemeral. If they are successful everyone will feel a little better. The downside risks are long term. Even without a terrorist outrage the stark divisions present in French society may well be underscored.

For France’s sake I hope the rallies are a huge success but there is no question that they represent huge risks for minimal gains. And on Monday the very real problems ill thought out mass Muslim immigration pose for France will be just as intractable.

UPDATE: The March has come and gone and other than anyone trampled by Sarkozy as he pushed his way to the front row, it was without terrorist incident.

And, with the exception of the President of Mali, it was a collection of 1.5 million white French people. I have been scanning the pics but I’ve seen no signs of any black faces. No doubt there were some which I have missed. No headscarves that I could see. I may have missed some of those as well as it was a cold day and people were bundled up.

However, I think it is fair to say that if the demographics of the crowds out today were the actual demographics of France the atrocity at Charlie Hebdo would not have happened.

Non-white, Muslim immigration to France has been a failure. There has been no integration at any sort of mass cultural level. Realistically, one reason why there are so few obvious Muslims at the Charlie Hebdo rallies is because they would have been made to feel deeply unwelcome. As they have been for fifty years.

The Solidarity rally reminded French people of a France which has vanished from day to day life. At the rally there were no “No go” zones.

The sullen, sometimes violent, black, Arab and Muslim immigrants whom the majority of the French population ignore or, sadly, despise are out of sight at the rally. As they are in the parts of France the rally goers will tend to come from.

Tomorrow the rally will be over and the intractibily of the French problems with race, religion and radicals will return.

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