Really a Joke

I am finding Andrew Coyne's live blog of the Canadian hate speech "trial" to be endlessly fascinating.  Imagine taking the the most self-important but dysfunctional local school board you can find, give them a knowledge of court procedure and the rules of evidence mainly through watching People's Court reruns, and put them in charge of enforcing speech and censorship, and you will about have duplicated this proceeding.

Interestingly, the current evidence being entered in the proceeding seems to be blog comments made on non-Canadian blogs.  Every so often, we have to go through an educational process with the MSM to help them understand that commenters on blogs do not necessarily represent the opinion of the blogger.  It may be OK to use blog comments as evidence that the community at the Free Republic or the Democratic Underground are loony, but not to say that blogger X or Y is a racist because racist comments have been posted on his blog.

It appears that the government of Canada needs a similar education, but I can see this being hard to do.  Remember, each of the hearing "judges" are essentially people who make their living as government censors.  Their job is wiping out speech with which they do not agree.  It is therefore quite likely difficult for them to comprehend that many bloggers (like myself) have no desire to edit or control the content of our commenters.


  1. linearthinker:

    ...give them a knowledge of court procedure and the rules of evidence mainly through watching People's Court reruns...

    Judging by the bits I've picked up from Coyne and Levant's coverage, you're too generous in as to their competence. But, I suppose rules of law don't apply in this kangaroo court anyhow. Does it seem the defense simply wants to get quickly to the end of Act 1, so they can appeal the expected penalties to a real court?

  2. Alan Grey:

    "Interestingly, the current evidence being entered in the proceeding seems to be blog comments made on non-Canadian blogs."

    Actually, the charge is for 'inciting hatred', so in some way, comments and other posts on Steyn's piece could constitute evidence that Steyn has indeed incited hatred....

    FYI: I think the whole trial is a farce and a serious assault on free speech.

  3. Fred from Canuckistan . . .:

    Andrew is doing a fine job, but Ezra Levant has a better take

    Ezra has been hauled before a Human Rights Tribunal in Alberta for publishing the cartoons.

  4. BOB S:

    I have long thought that the real border threat was not poor Mexicans seeking work or even drug smugglers, but Canadians bringing their deep-in-the bone fascism with them.

  5. Fred from Canuckistan . . .:

    Good summary of our Kangaroo Star Courts here

    David Warren is a common sense voice crying out in our politically correct utopia . . . but the Star Courts are now getting on the radar screen and the outcome will be interesting.

  6. linearthinker:

    Bob S.: ...but Canadians bringing their deep-in-the bone fascism with them.

    Gotta disagree, Bob. Mark Steyn and Charles Krauthammer speak more eloquently for American values than most native U.S. commentators. I saw a list recently of Canadians who're prominent in the U.S. in political commentary, arts, entertainment and sports. A list that I naturally can't find at the moment. It was an eye opener. Though David Warren is located in Ottawa, he keeps a keen eye on U.S. issues, and is always worth reading. Steve McIntyre and Ross McKittrick continue to challenge the Global Warming farce, after breaking the hockey stick.

    Considering the socialist mentality prominent across our top tier of states, from Puget Sound to New England, I don't have to look for Canadians to bash. Toss Oregon into that bunch.

    A group of Canadians who always come to mind in this kind of discussion are those who cross the border for medical care. If anything their mere presence here quietly reveals the failures of their Canadian system. I've never heard of them extracting and spreading "their deep-in-the-bone-fascism" once they arrived. Another group are the snow-birds who migrate back and forth from Arizona to Canada along with the geese. Pretty bland fascists, ya ask me.

    Name a few that get your dander up. I can always learn something new.

  7. linearthinker:

    David Warren today on the Steyn/Maclean's tribunal:

    ...Before Canada's "human rights" tribunals, a respondent has none of the defences formerly guaranteed in common law. The truth is no defence, reasonable intention is no defence, nor material harmlessness, there are no rules of evidence, no precedents, nor case law of any kind. The commissars running the tribunals need have no legal training, exhibit none, and owe their appointments to networking among leftwing activists.

    ...Everything about this case stinks to high heaven. It was brought before three different "human rights" tribunals simultaneously. The British Columbian venue was openly "jurisdiction shopped" because the province's human rights tribunals have an especially egregious record for ignoring respondents' most basic charter rights. The charges were brought more than a year after the article appeared. There was an open attempt at extortion, when representatives of the complainant called a press conference in which an offer was made to retract the charges for unspecified considerations. And so on: a layering of affronts to the most elementary standards of justice and decency.

    ...The case is the more ludicrous because the allegations brought are semi-literate (for instance, Steyn's quotations of lunatic Islamist imams are confused with Steyn's own assertions). The remedies sought keep changing; the arguments keep changing; the explanation of why the complainant has brought the case and what he hopes to gain from it has kept changing. And now the show trial has begun, the prosecution is presenting a parade of entirely irrelevant testimony. (Has Steyn properly understood the Koran? Etc.)

    A farce, but a farce that has huge consequences for Canada: for by such methods free speech and free press are being snuffed out. The Left may think they have found the ideal method to silence anyone who challenges their insane, "politically correct" ideas, but have instead created a monster that can as easily eat them next.

    Worth reading the whole thing.

  8. Shane O.:

    I was reading one of your more recent posts, and started thinking, "This guy would enjoy Julian Simon's stuff" - just after that you mentioned JS. It's nice to find others influenced by him.

    I'm in Canada (Alberta) and so have followed the Steyn/Levant thing for quite awhile. I don't usually see well-understood US coverage of Canadian issues and am just curious where you ran into it? Coyne's blog, by the way, was the first one that got me into the blog world several years ago.

  9. Shane O.:

    I also meant to mention that I first ran across your blog a couple weeks ago. I'm a teacher and our school district recently banned the Heartland Institute 'free DVD's' that were mailed out to schools across Canada. I initiated a conversation with our district science coordinator - somewhere down the road eventually the "Great Global Warming Swindle" came up and its applicability in class was raised (so far, they haven't banned it too). Anyway, I found your global warming guide for skeptics (thoroughly enjoyed it - very well done) and passed the link along to him. Last I heard, he was also enjoying reading it. Anyway, I wanted to say thanks for that.