Tag 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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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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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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Lefty litmus test

Assorted lefties are falling all over themselves to support the freedom of the press.

Warren Kinsella has had a come to Jesus conversion and is in full support of Charlie Hebdo. I commented that he might want to apologise to his Sun colleague Ezra Levant for failing to stand with the Western Standard when it published the Motoons and that he might want to strike hate sniffer general Richard Warman off his Christmas list. The coward Kinsella deleted the comment a few hours later. The Jackal we know and love.

Over at Dawg’s one of his regular commenter took exception to my suggestion that mosques be closed. I responded at length. Two things:first, my comment and several responses are still up and there is a reasonable conversation occurring. I don’t think the lefties at Dawg’s are going to agree with me but, unlike the Jackal, they are prepared to engage.

Poor Warren is still trying to get the hang of this free speech thing. He might ask Ezra or Mark Steyn how it’s done.

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Idiots

Even Section 13’s penalty section, under which hate propagandists can be fined $10,000, was found by the court to be “a reasonable means of imposing financial accountability for the damage caused by the vilification of targeted groups and of deterring the communication of hate speech in order to decrease discrimination against them.”

The penalty section was a key reason the law was once judged unconstitutional, on the grounds that such quasi-criminal punishment invalidates the remedial purpose of the Canadian Human Rights Act. Now, however, both Section 13 and its penalty provisions are on solid legal footing. national post

S. 13 is a long time dying.

Repealed it has been but the ninnies on the Federal Court of Appeal are happy to pretend that its penalty clause is not a penalty at all. Rather it is “a reasonable means of imposting financial accountability”. Ah, got it. Nothing more reasonable than fining someone. For, after all, there is no evidence at all that any financial harm was done to the complainant. What is basis for the assessment then?

Well, the ninnies are more than willing to provide the answer: “deterring the communication of hate speech”.

Now, wiser folk than I will think that is not a penalty. Just as they will believe a fine for speeding intended to deter speeding is not a penalty. Because they will be able to discern a difference.

I cannot.

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Phil Robertson

Duck Dynasty drives me crazy – though my wife and kids like it. Fundamentalist Christians make me equally crazy. As do people who decide that God, their mother or Nature has decreed homosexuality “a sin”. Or that it is anyone’s business what people do in their bedrooms.

At the same time if a ZZ Top patriarch is asked about his beliefs and answers honestly the gay lobby is making a huge mistake making an issue of it. The Streisand effect in spades kicked in instantly.

There is, at best, a grudging acceptance of the need to be at least polite about homosexuality. But this is hardly an embrace of the concept of the ideology which it has spawned. Until the advent of the internet, the willingness of large numbers of ordinary people to defend a person’s right to speak freely gained no traction because it was not heard. The leftist bias of Mainstream Media meant the proverbial “little people”, the much maligned “Silent Majority” or “Ford Nation” were silenced in the public arena.

That is now over. A Facebook page, Twitter and the comments sections of MSM all give voice to people who would otherwise be sidelined.

And these people are not unsophisticated: there are already calls to boycott A&E and, more to the point, Wal-mart and Chrysler who are major sponsors at A&E.

As the Chick-fil-a kurfuffle illustrated, drawing negative attention to anti-homosexual comments made by a public or semi public figure can bring significant blow back for the gay rights activists.

I suspect we’ll see more of this as more and more ordinary people realize they do not have to sit silently as people they identify with are subject to MSM censorship.

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Reasonable

Saskatchewan (Human Rights Commission) v. Whatcott is a long decision which I have just skimmed the headnote and a few dozen paragraphs of the reasons as well as the conclusions. Lawyers on both sides are going to have great fun parsing the decision and noting how it limits certain restrictions on freedom of expression while affirming others.

My own sense is that, insofar as Whatcott rescues Taylor’s  general view that speech can and should be regulated by the state, this decision has simply proven that Canadians, and Canadian judges, are unwilling to let go of the idea that speech must, somehow, be controlled.

It is a very Canadian position.

Our discomfort with the idea that individuals are capable of governing themselves and that, ultimately, the state needs the means to intervene when some one “goes too far” (for whatever reason) is the animating spirit behind a cautious, communitarian, group driven society.

Obviously I would have preferred a decision which embraced individual rights and accepted that, from time to time, the exercise of those rights will be offensive to some. But as one CHRC official put it, and I paraphrase, “I don’t pay much attention to free speech, its an American concept”. And the decision in Whatcott suggests strongly that this view is going to determine the law in Canada for years to come.

Rothstein, J.’s reasons are very carefully considered and are, in their essence, a narrow but effective assertion that, in Canada, there are some things which you simply cannot say and, more importantly, that this position is deeply embedded in the Charter.

The Charter is a profoundly Canadian document. Its few ringing phrases are ring fenced  by the saving clause in s. 1 “reasonable limit prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society”.

Canada is never far from her original values of “Peace, Order and Good Government” as Rothstein, J.’s masterly rescue of the dim reasoning in Taylor ably demonstrates.

Nice people will take heart in Whatcott‘s affirmation of real, reasonable Canadian values. And, if perchance, you don’t take heart well then you are not very nice are you…possibly un-Canadian.

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Terry Wilson rides again!

Hate Crimes Horseman Terry Wilson was in on the raid on odious Arthur Topham’s trailer.

Apparently, as a condition of his release Topham must
“abstain from communicating directly or indirectly with Richard Warman
or Harry Abrams.”

Hmmm.

Update: It is not obvious that the RCMP per se has anything to do with “New Westminster police detective Terry Wilson”. Not terrifically significant but dealing with this sort of self rightous dimwit one wants to be accurate.

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