Thursday, August 07, 2008

We are all Ezra; and none of us is really yet free!

Yesterday came news that the ethical dinosaurs (i.e. victim worshipers) at the Alberta "Human Rights "Commission, after taking three years, engaging fifteen bureaucrats, spending in excess of $500,000 of taxpayers' money, have declined to prosecute Ezra Levant for publishing the Danish Mohammed cartoons.

Their explanation... the fruit of three years of mental effort. As Ezra fairly frames it (see also his National Post piece):
Pardeep Gundara – a second-rate bureaucrat, a nobody – had to give me his approval for me to be allowed to go back to my business. For 900 days I was in the dock, waiting for this literary giant to pronounce his judgment on me. And I found favour in his eyes – but barely.

Sorry. I don’t give a damn what Gundara or the HRC says. Getting his approval is not a success. I won't legitimize his arrogant "authority" by saying "thank you, master". I'll say: "who the hell are you? Besides a busy-body bureaucrat?"

Look at his rationale for acquitting me: because the Western Standard met Gundara’s home-made tests of reasonableness. We published the cartoons in “context”; we published letters that “criticized” them; and my favourite, the cartoons weren’t “simply stuck in the middle” of the magazine. Gundara must have thought for ten whole minutes to come up with that list of journalistic do’s and don’t’s. And – phew! – he likes me. He really likes me!

Sorry again, I don’t give a damn if he likes me. In fact, it rather creeps me out that a whole squad of teat-sucking bureaucrats spent 900 days inspecting me and the Western Standard. I positively want to offend them. In fact, that’s pretty much the only test of my freedom: can I do exactly what Gundara says I shouldn’t? I’m not interested in publishing recipes or sports scores. I’m interested in bothering the hell out of government.
So, those of us who think we have the right in Canada to publish a cartoon - no less an exemplarily political cartoon - that may be seen by some supposedly educated bureaucrat (keep in mind our universities are hot houses for victimary ideology) as "stereotypical, negative and offensive", who think we have the natural and inalienable right to publish cartoons anywhere and anyhow we damn well please, remain unfree.

Gundara writes "While the cartoons remain offensive, the stereotypical nature of the cartoons is muted by the context of the accompanying article which focuses on free speech." So Ezra, or his company, who has spent about $100,000 on their defense can go without formal penalty, this time. But the fear of next time remains.

Freedom is something we all share or none really has secure. We are all Ezras, in Canada. We must remain worried that the Gundaras of the world could decide we have done wrong at any moment; and they could banish us for life from speaking out on certain issues, as happened recently to Pastor Stephen Boissoin for criticizing pro-homosexual teaching in the schools. And we'd have to be rich to fight them.

In his reasoning in this case, Gundara declares Muslims, since 9/11, a "vulnerable group" - hence to be state protected under the "human rights" code - in transparent obeisance to the worst of victimary ideology, demonstrating how "hate speech" laws can only work to politicize the bureaucracy and judiciary.

Ezra walks, with light pockets. But the evil "human rights" codes remain in this country. It is perhaps time the bloggers involved with this story start discussing the establishment of a more permanent organization, or central clearing house (where information could be permanently recorded), to fight the existence of these laws. We can't expect figureheads like Ezra Levant to do all our fighting for us, forever, notwithstanding that Ezra promises to keep in the fight. It is the very evil of these laws that they can exhaust any one person, sooner or later, almost guranteeing that the victim-worshiping state will always be right, and the lonely individual who wants to be free of human sacrifice, wrong.

There needs to be an organization, more or less formal, that will stand up for and publicize the case of each and every person who is prosecuted for using his God-given freedom of expression. As long as writers in Canada remain fearful of these laws, we don't really have a free culture. We can only sustain the courage to be free by knowing that there will always be people to stand with those accused by the victimary forces ensconced in the bureaucracies and academies and often courthouses of this country, until the latter are overwhelmed by a freer and superior ethic.

We are free as long as we refuse to obey unjust laws. And to have the courage to do that, to perform civil disobedience when and where necessary, we need to move towards more permanent organization and support networks, until these "human rights" laws are scrapped or seriously amended.

Trying to build a network of like-minded people here in Vancouver, the Covenant Zone bloggers meet every Thursday, 7-9pm, in the atrium of the Vancouver Public Library, in front of Blenz Coffee. Look for blue scarves and guys wearing free speech t-shirts.

But I propose other bloggers in Canada start thinking of the kind of organizations we could further develop, in order to keep this fight for our shared freedom permanent. I can only watch your back if you watch mine.


walker morrow said...

Just in Canada? It was kind of amazing to me to find that there were bloggers in New Zealand and Australia concerned about the human rights commissions here in Canada.

And while we're forming such a group, why not include writers, artists, and others from the arts/intellectual community?

Perhaps we could form an online entity somewhat like a cross between the blogging tories, the Union of Bloggers, and PEN?

Walker across Worlds said...

Whoops, that was my alter ego speaking.


truepeers said...

Whoever he was, this Ezra is with him too.

Dag said...

Don't agonazize, organazize!

Walker across Worlds said...

two google accounts=slight danger of schitzophrenia.


truepeers said...

OH, I see now! Careful reader, eh?

Well, I have three Google accounts, so I guess I'm positively certifiable!

Jonathon said...

"There needs to be an organization, more or less formal, that will stand up for and publicize the case of each and every person who is prosecuted for using his God-given freedom of expression."

I believe that would be parliament. Call your MP about this.

I know my comment may seem sarcastic to some, but I'm dead serious. Our elected politicians are likely the only ones who have the power to decomission the HRCs.

truepeers said...

Of course our MPs are the ultimate constitutional power, but perhaps they are not just impressed by individual voices but also by more organized ones.

As it happens, my MP is an NDPer who wants to expand the hate speech laws, both criminal and CHRA, to include the crime of "transphobia". He did not reply to my letter calling for him to reconsider thought crimes.

Findalis said...

They should make the idiots that brought this to their "attention" pay the citizens of Canada back. That would stop these attacks on Free Speech in a heartbeat.