Saturday, June 21, 2008

Kangaroo au Canadien

Friends have asked me about the Kafka-esque proceedings going on next door in Canada concerning Mark Steyn, accused of "intolerance" towards Muslims for excepts published from his book, America Alone. I haven't blogged about it because I don't have much to add.

The case is frightening. Canada has ludicrously misnamed "human rights" commissions (originally formed to investigate prejudice in employment and housing) that have been spending the last few years issuing "gag" rules against public figures whose statements are deemed "hate speech." They aren't real courts of law, they have none of the usual legal procedures for protection of the accused, and so on. But their rulings have the force of law nonetheless. In a next-door, supposedly democratic country, free speech is a light that is going out. The commissions have a 100% "conviction" rate, so it's unlikely Steyn has any future journalistic career in Canada. Fortunately for him, he lives in the US and can still publish here.

Nothing could illustrate better the difference between PC "tolerance" and "human rights," on the one hand, and human rights on the other. The case was originally brought by the Canadian version of the same Islamic front groups familiar (although less powerful) here, like CAIR, all sponsored by big money from the Persian Gulf. In Britain and other countries, lawsuits and bureaucratic rulings of a similar type and with similar motives and goals have been brought against truth-tellers.

Americans should count themselves very lucky to have the First Amendment speech protections that they do. Even other democracies have generally weaker (sometimes much weaker) protections. Legalized harassment and repression have already come to a country next door - let's hope they don't land here too.

If the generally boobish American news media had anything serious to say, they'd be all over this stunning threat to free speech. But the media, for the most part, is no longer interested in free speech - they're interested in suppressing the free speech of others and generally acting on the side of the powerful. Many of them today are no longer journalists, but would-be court flunkies.

Jihadi groups can't win except through force or the threat of force. We've proven we can match force against their force, even if we can't seem to aim straight at times. But conflicts like this are ultimately and always political at bottom. Court victories, "human rights" commissions harassing journalists, speech suppression, all on behalf of jihad, are just as much defeats for us as some idiot blowing himself up on a subway or killing "deviant" Muslims. The means are different, but not the end.

It might be time for some Canadians to consider emigration or civil disobedience. Normally, we associate "Canadian" with being nice, not thuggery like this.

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