Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"See you in court"

Here's the opening of Mark Steyn's speech at the Fraser Institute in Vancouver on the subject of the hate speech charges brought against him by British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal for criticizing Islam. It's a Gangbusters type curtain raiser, but the longer we read the more apparent it is that the speech is less about radical Islam than something else.

I’m honoured to be here. The only other invitation I’ve had from Vancouver is from the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal which begins its case against my “hate speech” next Monday. I confess until this case came about I’d always assumed Canada had freedom of speech. I was south of the border, and you may remember that business from last year when Senator Larry Craig had his unfortunate run-in with the undercover cop in the Minneapolis Airport men’s room. I was amazed to read this story in the newspaper a few months ago, announcing that his lawyer had filed a brief arguing that the hand gestures Senator Craig supposedly made under the bathroom stall divider were constitutionally protected free speech under the First Amendment. What a great country. In Canada, according to the Canadian Islamic Congress, “freedom of speech” doesn’t extend to my books and newspaper columns. But in America Senator Craig’s men’s room semaphore is covered by the First Amendment. From now on, instead of writing about radical Islam, I’m only going to hit on imams in bathrooms.

This is my first ever speech in Vancouver. And, amazingly enough, it’s also my last ever speech in Vancouver. So it’s kind of a two-for-one night. It’s like when they say “Direct from Broadway. Limited engagement.” This is a very limited engagement. The reason for that is, next Monday, the excerpt from my bestselling hate crime, America Alone, that Maclean’s made the mistake of publishing, next Monday that book excerpt goes on trial at the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal. As some of you know, the Canadian Islamic Congress has accused me and Maclean’s of “flagrant Islamophobia”. And the trial begins Monday morning at the Robson Square courthouse – 9 o’clock Monday morning. Go to Robson Square and look for the old lady by the guillotine doing her knitting, you can’t miss it. She’s knitting a nice “The World Needs More Canada” sweater out of discarded copies of Magna Carta. It’s a very moving sight. It would have, of course, be wholly improper of me to comment on a case before the courts, but hey, that’s the kinda guy I am.

But what "kinda guy" is modern Western multiculturalism, that proud creation of "progressive" thought? It is, in the last analysis, the principal ally of every fascist unicultural force there is. Steyn soon warms to the point that what is at issue isn't what Islam is; because Islam will be what it will be. What is at issue in the hate speech proceedings is what the West wants to be.

What we’re up against is not primarily defined by what’s going on in Iraq and Afghanistan. Those are still essentially military campaigns and we’re good at those. ... it might be truer to say that this is a Cold Civil War – by which I mean a war within the west. The real war is a domestic war: the key terrain is not the Sunni Triangle but every major city within the western world. ...

Even if there were no battles in Iraq and Afghanistan, even if no one was flying planes into tall buildings in New York, even if no one were blowing up trains and buses and nightclubs in Madrid and London and Bali, even without all that, we would still be in danger of losing this thing – without a shot being fired.

Steyn's insight -- that the War on Terror is essentially the consequence of a Western disease that manifests itself in the newly found power of medieval madmen -- is the key point. All September 11, Iraq, Afghanistan have done is focus attention on a silent struggle that has been going on within Western culture for last hundred years. It is the ideational counterpart of violent struggles of the 20th century. The men who we remember on Memorial Day only buried the physical corpus of totalitarianism. It remains for us, in the twenty first century, to lay its ghost to rest.

Can we do it without restarting the violence of the last hundred years? Perhaps. But can we do it without a mental and legal struggle. Definitely not. And so Mark Steyn continues in defiance of the thought police. Because that's the kind of guy he is.




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79 Comments:

Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Wretchard, I think it's a capital mistake to think of the PC/Multiculti folks as "Stalin Light" or totalitarianists.

They clearly are not. They can only use, parasitically, the existing legal system, and various things they've added to it, in order to gain their way. Hence the Human Rights Commissions. A real totalitarian system would have simply imprisoned and tortured Steyn, killed him had he not had enough friends outside, or various permutations seen in Stalin's USSR, the Castro and Kim family dynasties, etc.

What the PC/Multiculti people are, really, is a "landless gentry" seeking endless advantage for themselves and their children as "priestless priests" who administer the "holy" writ of PC and Multiculturalism. Rather than create wealth and so on directly, they wish to act as a priest/shakedown class, like Jessie Jackson or Al Sharpton or the like.

This is the natural result of too much wealth, suburban isolation, consumerism, materialism, and so on which generate lots of flim-flam men and women.

Proof of this assertion? Violence directed against them by Islamists forces them to cave, as you have noted with the Philippines. You can't be a totalitarianist and be a weak, wet noodle. They lack what Lee Harris calls the ruthless ability to kill and risk being killed. The desire to dominate, physically and emotionally.

The ability of the Canadian Human Rights Commissions to "punish" Mark Steyn or people like him exists only so long as Canada is fat, comfortable, wealthy, and feeling secure from any threat.

Ironically, these places create the seeds of their own destruction. In the UK, the complete abdication of public safety and bourgeois standards have led to a chaotic, crime-ridden anarchy with a "pretend" order. With the White middle and working class the victims. It's "pre-revolutionary" and is already leading to tribal behavior on the part of the white middle/working class.

At best, you get a Rudy Guiliani type reformer. At worst, a Cromwell, from that type of situation. Because in the final analysis the Human Rights people lack the ruthlessness to torture, kill, and be willing to be killed that pure totalitarianism requires.

5/27/2008 01:15:00 PM  
Blogger Teresita said...

Canada doesn't have a First Amendment protecting a right to make "hate" speech like we have her in the "fascist, imperialist" United States, so it makes for great press and an opportunity to go tsk tsk and sound indignant, but the Human Rights Tribunal is on solid legal grounds. We're talking about the country that stayed loyal to the King when we had our little uprising in the 1770's, and when they were gently weaned away in 1867 they forgot to put that part in their founding document.

5/27/2008 02:26:00 PM  
Blogger Fred said...

"The social democrat wishes to see a "fairer" society - that is a society in which there is less inequality - but doesn't want to kill anyone to achieve it. The Maoist feels, perhaps, that this particular omelette justifies a few broken eggs.

In many ways, the main difference between a social democrat and a Maoist is enthusiasm. "

5/27/2008 02:28:00 PM  
Blogger Captain Ramen said...

Teresita: Ah yes, the 'it's legal therefore it is ok' argument. Jim Crow was on solid legal grounds too. If 40 years from now, SCOTUS rules that murder statutes as applied to muslims are unconstitutional, are you going to sit idly by while they stone people to death?

Whiskey: The current crop of PC / Multiculti are merely the precursor. They are the HIV virii that will render our civilization helpless against what is to follow.

You could argue that AIDS doesn't actually kill anybody, that it is actually KS or pneumonia that does them in. Ultimately, does it matter? Dead is dead.

5/27/2008 03:35:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

In a World free of Nuclear Arms, there will be no broken eggs, that is John McCain's dream for our destiny.
---
Or, as Steyn responded affirmatively to Sharon Stone's call for using only a single piece of toilet tissue:

"Give One Piece a Chance!"

5/27/2008 03:38:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Can anyone point out to me the difference between the current Canadian Human Rights Commission, and the witch-dunkers in Salem 300 years ago? Or the Spanish Inquisition? Or an Aztec priest tossing a virgin into a volcano?

It seems to me that it's merely a reincarnation of the same wish to impose one's own personal sensibilities on everyone else, and to tell them how to live.

I think there will always be small petty people who wish to puff themselves up at the expense of others, and who, lacking intelligence, initiative or talent, will don the voo-doo doctor's hat and try to do it through snake oil, chicanery and guilt.

For Wretchard to say hopefully that we can *ever* lay this ghost to rest is optimistically naive. We just need to keep our wits about us and counter-attack every time some bureaucrat raises up to denounce someone holding a sheaf of papers that he claims proves that person is a communist or an islamophobe or a homosexual.

That Canada has allowed it to go as far as they have just underlines all the snotty snickers about spinelessness they have received from their southern neighbors over the past decade or more. You'd think they'd care more, but then I guess there must be a certain amount of fun in watching the dunking at the village pond to unmask the accused.

5/27/2008 04:00:00 PM  
Blogger Bret said...

captain ramen asks: "If 40 years from now, SCOTUS rules that murder statutes as applied to muslims are unconstitutional, are you going to sit idly by while they stone people to death?"

Well, yeah. The time to bother doing something about it will have long, long passed by then.

Anybody got a link to the full text of Steyn's speech?

5/27/2008 04:11:00 PM  
Blogger Mad Fiddler said...

It is interesting that we have not heard of any Canadian Provincial Human Rights Commission action leaping to the defense of any other group besides the astoundingly-quick-to-take-offense Radical Muslims. Perhaps this is merely due to the preoccupation of the alleged news media with matters of greater importance, such as the generation of mythological interpretations of democrat party primary "exit polls."

Is there anyone aware of any other instances of the Gallant Commission placing itself in harm's way to protect, say, Montreal's murdered Lesbians, or abused Aboriginal Canadians, or Québécois ou Fransaskois maltraités?

I for one would feel hugely relieved if Mr. Steyn were NOT the solitary object of the institutional wroth of the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal.

5/27/2008 04:31:00 PM  
Blogger Mad Fiddler said...

"I thought you said she turned you into an ewt!"

"... I got better."

5/27/2008 04:35:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Off topic and off the wall:

Federal Govt does Microclimatology Forecasts Decades Out:

New Climate Report Foresees Big Changes in Water Supplies and Agriculture

5/27/2008 04:57:00 PM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

Islam and Marxism are examples of "greedy ideas"; ideas whose main purpose is to reproduce themselves, in part by eliminating all competition until they literally rule the world.

In contrast, the notion of diversity as a good springs precisely from idea that even ideas which are "unfit to survive" deserve preservation on the grounds that they contribute something even if we do not know what that something is.

The phenomenon of a "multicultural society" coming to the rescue of a "unicultural tyranny" is the outcome of a greedy idea coming into an environment where it's very greediness -- its will to power -- is protected.

I am not persuaded that the current multicultural leadership is truly committed to diversity. Rather, diversity is used as a cover under which a "greedy idea" can be advanced. The problem with totalitarian notions is that by their nature they are all or nothing affairs. As one Englishman put it, "they are either at your feet or at your throat".

The key problem is how to face down greedy ideas like Marxism and Islam without becoming a species of totalitarianism ourselves. I am not convinced this is possible, at least in the militant stage. Totalitarian ideas must be beaten down until they are discredited. They are unsafe to leave in virulent condition.

So I really do think we are in an intellectual fight. We cannot simultaneously be the protectors of greedy ideas and their opponents. I think the key to threading the narrow path between mental militancy and intellectual totalitarianism lies in focusing our opposition narrowly.

For example, it is possible to say Islam qua religion is OK, but Wahabism as currently espoused should be treated like Nazism. Some may have other formulations. But whatever the formulation, the idea is to focus the opposition on a relatively narrow front.

5/27/2008 05:00:00 PM  
Blogger Fat Man said...


Canada - Constitution Act 1982
:

Part I Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

[Preamble]
Whereas Canada is founded upon the principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law:

[Title 1] Guarantee of Rights and Freedoms

Section 1 [Limitation of Rights]
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.

[Title 2] Fundamental Freedoms

Section 2 [Freedom of Religion, Speech, Association]
Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
(a) freedom of conscience and religion;
(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other means of communication;
(c) freedom of peaceful assembly and
(d) freedom of association.

5/27/2008 05:19:00 PM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

One of the big news items in Australia is the rejection by the Camden town council of an application to establish an Islamic school within its boundaries.

Some Muslim leaders have demanded an "apology" for a "racist" act while the Council says the decision was based purely on planning grounds (traffic, suitability) etc.

Both sides are lying. The Muslim "leaders" have been planning their superschool in the almost non-Muslim suburb of Camden as a model for expansion into nontraditional areas. And I have no doubt, though no one will say it, that the rejection was not taken on planning grounds.

In other words, this undeclared war and everyone knows it. But the danger to undeclared wars is that they engender hypocrisy. Personally I don't think there's anything wrong with establishing a Muslim school. What we don't want to say, but should, is that certain varieties of Islam aren't "religious" at all, but vehicles for Saudi-sponsored cultural conquest. As some opponents put it:

"There are currently, I think, around 100 Islamic families in Camden, and they want to build the school for 1,200, plus 200 teachers.

"Now this is just being imposed on us without an discussion at all. This is what they're objecting about and the other thing is that the location of the school is totally in breach of the planning requirements for a school of this type."


I have often argued that the refusal of the West to openly face the aggressive varieties of Islam will result in a generalized antipathy towards all Muslims, whether guilty of anything or not.

5/27/2008 05:21:00 PM  
Blogger Teresita said...

Fred: In many ways, the main difference between a social democrat and a Maoist is enthusiasm. "

Maoism is merely the modern manifestation of Confucianism, which is the philosophy that people can be guided into correct behavior if only we impose the right rules on them. It has always been opposed to Taoism, which is about holding the scepter with a light touch and letting things reach their own equilibrium, such as in a jungle, or a free market. So when you just look at the Confucian social engineers, you find a division between those who believe the rules should be chosen to pro-actively correct an inequality (diplomacy, affirmative action, welfare, progressive taxation, strong labor and environmental laws) and those who believe the rules should be chosen in a rearguard action to maintain a stasis (no gay marriage, no unplugging Terri Schialvo, eternal warfare to maintain superpower status, flag pins for everyone). Its the same Confucianism, but with a slightly different emphasis.

5/27/2008 05:30:00 PM  
Blogger Fred said...

I agree with what Wretchard has written on this matter. Islam and Marxism are greedy ideas - and it seems only those who have become more than superficially educated about them can appreciate this.

whiskey_199 is also on to something as well, although I think these people are more purposeful and lethal than their apparent cowardice reveals. Many of the people who use political correctness and multi-culti ideologies are Gramscians who, as Lee Harris has written, are not Marxists in the sense of being followers of Karl Marx's scientific socialism. They follow the trail blazed by Georges Sorel. It is more like a religion to these people. Except that these people would never die for the cause. They'll shove someone else into the breach to fight their fight against Western civilization. And right now they try to finesse an alliance with Islamic jihad to use it as the canon fodder fed into the breach.

These people are very conscious of their role. They see themselves as agents of destroying the old and ushering in the new. They see effective criticism of Islam as enabling the West to fight and survive. This will not do. If it were otherwise, their zeal for stifling criticism of Christianity and Judaism would match their solicitude for Islam.

The only thing that matters to them is that they have the legal power to declare Islam a protected religion and people, and to use their power to protect this virus so that it can prey upon the weakened host enough to finish it off. And in their delusions of grandeur, they believe that Islam will die an inevitable death and be replaced by materialistic secularity. In other words, eventually the jihadis become nihilistic hedonists just like them.

Their aim is to destroy, not preserve. They hide the truth about themselves behind a veneer of law and moral impulses.

5/27/2008 05:30:00 PM  
Blogger Megaera said...

Bret: the text of the speech was posted at Steyn's website this morning; don't know when it was taken down, but it's gone now. Fiddler: the Commission, provincial and federal, respond to complaints. The most recent complainants using the "you hurt my feelings" provisions of provincial and federal law have been Muslims; another individual complainant appears to have prosecuted the bulk of such other proceedings at the federal level, largely against alleged racists/neo-nazis. As Steyn has observed, no one really got too upset over bureaucratic overreach when it was just some unpleasant, hopeless dude posting nasty stuff on unpleasant message boards who couldn't afford counsel--his freedom of speech didn't seem to get too many knickers twisted up. But when you suddenly realize that an unpleasantly intransigent segment of your population can use the exact same power of the same cheesy bureaucrats to completely shut down a whole area of public discourse--about them, surprise!--whoa, there's a Huge pot of trouble brewing.

5/27/2008 05:35:00 PM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

Of course there's the money angle. The Left I think has discovered Middle Eastern money. You can make a good living shilling for certain ideas, both in law, media and academia. And it's all aboveboard. It's all according to the rules.

Even if they lose the case against Steyn the hassle they've subjected him to will be a lesson not lost on many other publishers.

For this reason I think it's a mistake to dismiss the multiculturalists as so many harmless cranks.

5/27/2008 05:56:00 PM  
Blogger Fred said...

Yes, Wretchard. A major beneficiary of Saudi jihad money is Georgetown Professor John Esposito. He is nothing but a dhimmi whore who uses his paid perch at Georgetown's Middle East Studies department to harass and slander legitimate critics of Islam like Robert Spencer, Bat Ye'or, Andrew Bostom, Ibn Warraq, Walid Shoebat, and Serge Trifkovic - all of whom are precise and accurate in what they say about Islamic scripture, ahadith, and the Prophet.

Prof. Esposito was once a member of a monastic order in his youth, before leaving the monastery to join the comrades at the barricades during the sixties. I think he latched on to Islamic studies because it was a niche that his patron, Edward Said, attracted him to. He bought the cock and bull story about the oppressed Paleosimians and the imperialist Jews. It was cool to find Third World victims to champion. Hell, you could make a livin' out of it. Money for nuthin' and your chicks for free...

5/27/2008 06:49:00 PM  
Blogger Buckets said...

In actuality I know very little about the tribunals Mark Steyn is being hauled in front of, but I can speak broadly as to free speech in Europe and the UK.

The U.S. attitude to free speech is very protective of the speaker; very little protection is given to those who might hear offensive or hateful speech. Public discourse is very free, and not for the faint of heart or easily offended.

The UK and European views on free speech are somewhat the opposite: there are rights of free speech, but that speech is usually not allowed to be overly offensive or denigrate people. Canada is somewhat different, in that it does have a written charter/constitution, but I believe the principle is still adhered to: offensive and hurtful speech may be punished, and speakers have to be mindful of who might be hurt by their speech.

It sounds ridiculous to a U.S. citizen's ears, but no other country in the world has the 1st Amendment and the incredibly broad protections of speech it offers. No other country in the world is as secure and confident in its history, culture, and political system as the U.S. - hence, other countries have problems with inflammatory speech that may lead to terrible things (chiefly, the Nazi party and the Holocaust).

I have been laughing at Steyn's columns for years, he was a voice in the wilderness. I wish him the best of luck, and I hope the Canadian public outrage is great enough to end his persecution.

5/27/2008 07:00:00 PM  
Blogger Megaera said...

Wretchard, the problem is that in this case, at this time, the complainant has virtually a lip-lock certainty of winning: it appears that Sec. 13.1 complaints have a 100% success record. Further, as Steyn explains, the BC Commission will, if it rules against him, issue an injunction against him/his publisher barring either from ANY further comment on the issues raising of which afforded "insult or distress" to the Muslim complainant, i.e., immigration and demographics, the subjects of Steyn's book. By law such an injunction has the force of a Supreme Court order, and will be in force during the whole of any appeal Steyn and his publisher may choose to mount. And even if the appeal is ultimately effective, the chilling effect will be enormous and appalling. The Canadians have effectively slit their own throats, from a free speech standpoint. But then, as one of the federal Commission employees testified in a recent hearing, he gave no absolutely no weight at all to freedom of speech in his considerations, "because that was an American concept."

5/27/2008 07:14:00 PM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

Readers will have noticed news reports which describe European reactions to immigrants, largely Muslims, which have bordered on night rider tactics. This is troublesome because it may mark the return of what I called the "eternal enmity" approach to ideological differences. This is is the approach that World War 2 was fought to end, but which radical Islam, and the reaction it elicits, might revive.

Europe had a foretaste of it in the Balkans and called it "ethnic cleansing". At the time nobody thought it could happen in the West. And I don't think it can -- yet. But the storm petrels are flying overhead. And if the elected political leaders cannot target the culpable parties with decisive, but precision measures, then eventually they risk a reaction which involve a lot of collateral damage.

Though the its situations should not to be compared to the West, it should be noted that militia activity in Iraq declined once the government began to effectively hit back at extremist groups. Most citizens don't want trouble. They've got better things to do than organize neighborhood patrols. The sort of people who want to do that from the get go are probably not very nice. But these types -- the demagogues -- get a leg up when "Human Rights Commissions", like some perverse watchdog, persistently ignores the robber and chases the mailman. If evil succeeds when the good do nothing then private action is engendered when public action fails.

I'm not sure where the Steyn prosecution will go. But I do know it is necessary to resist. Like Karsenty and Landes resisted, even when there seemed no hope of prevailing. Often resistance itself turns the tide. Bureaucrats are often cowards. And extremists exploit this cowardice to intimidate the bureaucrats into going their way. Nobody is advocating intimidation. But resistance is well within bounds.

5/27/2008 07:16:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Wretchard and Fred --

I agree that the Canadian Bureaucrats are not mere nuisances, but I would also quote Lee Harris in the "Suicide of Reason" on the question of Louis XVI and Louis Philippe. Right up until the end, the officers and soldiers obeyed them.

But once people ask, "why should I obey the Human Rights Commission?" then the question becomes, "why can't I be the King or Ruler?"

Which is the danger these groups produce. As Wretchard notes, chasing after the Mailman and ignoring the robber. There are around 100,000 Polygamist Muslim men in the US today. As Harris notes, the highly individualistic men in Ohio found Joseph Smith, his fanatical followers, and his polygamist wives an existential threat and so quite logically, murdered him.

You can't have the Declaration of Independence and No God But Allah co-existing in America. Or likely, the world given inter-connected globalism unlikely to cease any time soon.

OF COURSE it already lamentably too late. Wretchard's "Golden Hour" to avert catastrophe is upon us. Obama is merely Louis Phillipe, the last gasp of the Ancien Regime without the ruthlessness, the ability to protect legitimacy by force, by both killing opponents and chaotic threats (of Muslims inside and outside the West).

The solution to that sort of situation has always been a reversion to tribalism which we will see. Yes we are rich, materialist, consumerist, status-driven suburbanites in the West. But let us suffer the nuking of several major American Cities and you'll see national mobilization along the lines of WWII, where around 45% of GDP was spent on Defense. With the same ruthlessness that we saw in the War of the Pacific.

The ruthless Islamists promote chaos. The more the better. The weak, and comfortable Louis Philippe types of the Human Rights Commissions (or Obama) issue more and more idiotic orders, lose legitimacy (provoking Night Riders) and people suffering under Chaos want neither submission to Islam (which costs them too much) nor continuing chaos but look to a Cromwell. Harris notes that any prospective Cromwell arising out of Western populism will be well aligned with nationalist prejudices, fears, hatreds, and so on of the people, and well able to stoke that for his own aims.

5/27/2008 07:35:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Forgot this last part: the weakness of the Louis Philippes guarantees the rising of a Cromwell.

The Human Rights Commission is neither strong enough to enforce submission to Islam nor able to shut down Islamists.

Chaos produces tribalism and we might as well acknowledge it's inevitable and work to mitigate the consequences as much as possible.

5/27/2008 07:37:00 PM  
Blogger Derek Kite said...

This case in BC, not a court case but an administrative hearing (big difference, not in power but procedure) where some context may be helpful.

The BC government passed a bill last year that gave status as persons to municipalities. The net result is that if you criticize vigorously a municipal political decision, such as a bumper sticker calling into question the honesty of a politician with regard to a development, you can be hauled into court for libel. This is happening in quite a few cities in the province. Political debate is now constrained.

The BC government is currently trying to pass a bill that in the first iteration banned 3rd party advocacy advertising for 120 days before calling of an election. In the parliamentary system, an election is called by dissolving parliament, and the campaigns are 28 days (I think). The amounts they can spend before then is severely limited. There was an uproar, so today they amended the bill to 60 days. Compromise canadian style.

The RCMP, long respected as a competent police force tazered an immigrant in Vancouver airport. He didn't speak english, was tied up in some immigration snafu, was a bit agitated after 8 hours or so of no one helping him, so they tazered him until he stopped struggling. He did that. Stopped struggling I mean. He died.

In Kamloops there was an 81 year old man that had pneumonia, was delirious and as they say, non-compliant. The RCMP and hospital security tazered him to settle him down. He survived.

All this nonsense happening all the while marijuana cultivation is the largest industry in the province. Illegal and underground of course.

Steyn knows he will lose. I agree with him. This place is getting nuts.

Derek

5/27/2008 08:39:00 PM  
Blogger Storm-Rider said...

"the Human Rights Tribunal is on solid legal grounds."

There is a higher law than the Human Rights Tribunal - it is the law of natures God.

Our individual human right to liberty, including freedom of speech, comes not from the state, but from the Creator.

Not many nations have this concept of God-given individual human rights in their DNA; we in America do because of our Declaration of Independence and our founding fathers, but Canada does not.

5/27/2008 08:55:00 PM  
Blogger Fred said...

Will the impending adverse decision against Mark Steyn affect what he publishes in the United States? Will it simply mean that he cannot sell his books in Canada, or will this chill him with respect to publishing here as well?

How will this decision affect Robert Spencer, Andrew Bostom, Walid Shoebat, Ibn Warraq, and Bat Ye'or? Will publishers in the U.S. be reluctant to take on their business because their works cannot be sold in Canada?

The effect could be chilling, because however honest, accurate, and faithful to the sources they cite and footnote, their Islamic opponents can register a complaint with Canada's "Human Rights" Commission and that will be that.

5/27/2008 09:17:00 PM  
Blogger Michael C said...

If Steyn loses and suffers financial damages can he sue the Canadian governmenthere in the US for violations of his freedom of speech rights and collect damages?

5/27/2008 09:20:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Is it not possible for Steyn to countersue for malicious prosecution, harassment, slander and libel? He could start with the Human Rights Commission itself, segue to its head bozo (who has a history of posting sock puppet internet hate messages), move on to include the government bureaucrats who set up this Commission, and end with the Muslims with the remarkably tender feelings which keep getting hurted.

You just know that if he brought such a lawsuit and asked for contributions to pay lawyers, there would be an avalanche of dollars flowing into his coffers because Americans would delight in being able to stir the pot, annoy the Muslims, feel superior to Canadians, and watch the overall show.

If Saudi Arabia can foist Wahhabism off on Canada, shouldn't America be equally free to finance freedom of speech?

5/27/2008 09:24:00 PM  
Blogger bobal said...

Even I would contribute to Steyn's lawsuit! And I'm tight as the bark on a tree.

5/27/2008 10:11:00 PM  
Blogger deepinjuncountry said...

Why not attempt to have the Koran banned? It's loaded with hate speech.

5/27/2008 10:16:00 PM  
Blogger bobal said...

Too reasonable an idea. Never gain any traction, except with the likes of Nahncee, bob and thee.

5/27/2008 10:21:00 PM  
Blogger Mad Fiddler said...

Soon we will see the phenomenon of U.S. citizens being detained at the Canadian border, and held on charges of hate speech for blog posts that end up being read by an Edmonton resident.

Next, extradition of U.S. citizens for statements they originally composed at a keyboard in their own homes, but made the fatal mistake of posting to an internationally-disseminated weblog.

Next, the pre-censoring of all posts by filtering software developed by a certain multiBillion dollar internet Giant, which will be imposed as a preventive on all computers (except those of the censors and scrutators.)

5/27/2008 10:35:00 PM  
Blogger RDS said...

The key problem is how to face down greedy ideas like Marxism and Islam without becoming a species of totalitarianism ourselves. I am not convinced this is possible, at least in the militant stage.

Exactly.

It is clearly missing this point when, after some say things to the effect that given enough provocation, we'll "outlaw Islam and deport them all", that others respond by piously quoting the Constitution as if that will stop anybody when it comes down to desperation.

The FACT is there will be people en-masse doing very un-Constitutional things whether we like it or not -- unless we can nip things in the bud but which our PC bureaucrats prevent us from effectively doing.

Furthermore it ignores the historical precedents of Constitutional irregularities, in say the border states during the Civil War, that would make an ACLU lawyer's head explode -- and yet the Republic survived and we did not become long-term tyrants.

And you know what? I don't recall much guilt being felt over that in the aftermath of the Civil War, unlike the collective guilt we're all still supposed to be feeling about interment of dual Nipponese/American citizens during WW2 (which one could chalk up to being simply something akin to being drafted for the war effort to protect us all).

I find it funny when it is proclaimed that the "terrorists will have won" if we do anything nasty in return ("becoming just like them", you know), as if simply inducing a "gotcha" temporary Constitutional irregularity were their true goal, instead of wanting us enslaved or dead.

5/27/2008 10:37:00 PM  
Blogger Kirk Parker said...

Wretchard,

"So I really do think we are in an intellectual fight."

Yes, indeed, but not only intellectual. It's vital for us to talk up the intellectual side of the struggle, because it's been so badly neglected. But it would equally be an error to think the intellectual struggle can replace the physical. Think of Ransom on Perelandra, if you want a literary example

5/27/2008 11:17:00 PM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

The gradual absorption of Ransom's colleague, Weston on Perelandra, is probably one of the most horrifying scenes in fiction. Weston made the mistake of thinking he could remain the senior partner with evil. It was a monumental conceit.

C.S. Lewis' description of the Weston's soul being eaten up alive by another personality until it finally disappears is extremely relevant in this situation.

The unstated assumption of multiculturalism is that the very system it aims to destroy will remain in control throughout the process of it's destruction. Otherwise the multiculturalists couldn't use the system to destroy itself. A system under attack could alter its properties and the first alteration it would make is to abolish the multicultural idea.

It sometimes seems that the primary goal of multiculturalists, ironic as it may seem, is to destroy multiculturalism itself. To provoke a backlash or stir things up until the tolerance they profess to espouse becomes a vanished quantity. I don't think this path is being pursued by design. Rather it is being achieved in ignorance by a group of people who have taken tolerance, safety and prosperity as a guaranteed right; and think it can be abused indefinitely with no ill effects.

5/27/2008 11:29:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

Earlier tonight, I watched New Year Baby on Independent Lens on PBS. The documentary was about the effects of the Khmer Rouge on a family of refugees.

When I was a child during the era of the killing fields, the stories I read about these horrors made me feel uncomfortable. For whatever reason, I connected the pre-hecatomb living conditions in Jonestown to the living conditions under the Khmer Rouge. The guiding force seemed to be the same.

I had been told that America had withdrawn from an unwinnable war. The depredations of the Khmer Rouge were clearly the aftermath. Some people call it genocide, but that’s not really an accurate description. Although anti-Vietnamese hatred was rampant in the Khmer Rouge, its essential evil wasn’t racism but leftist economic policies. The Khmer Rouge targeted rich people for death, sought to “cleanse” society of “decadence”, and instituted a regime of forced labor with everything owned by the Party. The Khmer Rouge took contemporary leftist dogma so seriously that humanity wasn’t allowed to enter into the equation. Yet, was this really so different from what other leftists advocated at the time? Were Cambodians really the whipping boys for what the Left desired for Americans? Could that explain leftist excitement for Ayatollah Khomeini?

The Khmer Rouge forced people from different ethnic backgrounds to marry one other precisely because they were different from one another. Trujillo of the Dominican Republic had enforced a similar policy in his domain. I think enforced race mixing is not essentially different from enforced prohibition of race mixing; each policy is racist and each policy restricts personal freedom.

Who is worse, the Khmer Rouge fighter who commits an atrocity “under orders” or a leftist professor who makes excuses for him? Who is worse, Jim Jones or a curator of religious history who makes excuses for him? Perhaps there comes a time when the priest who incites murder may hold a greater responsibility than the murderer himself, when a priest who makes excuses for an atrocity becomes worse than the soldier who commits it. The wise trumpet player knows the stakes of combat.

A certain trumpet-player was held captive during a war. He pleaded and begged the enemy soldiers to not kill him, since he was completely harmless and had hurt none of them. The enemy soldiers said to him, "Because you were harmless and witless in war, thus you will die, since you stirred up our enemies to battle with the song of your war-trumpet.”

If there is anything else I've noticed, it is that bullies are the creation of the weakness of people around them. Cowardice in the face of tyranny invites tyranny. So, should it matter what cloth the tyrant's banner is made of when the masochist seeks a sadist to inflict pain upon him? A passive aggressive parent can put his family into danger accidentally-on-purpose, creating situations where his relatives suffer while making it appear that nothing is ever his own fault. Likewise, a linguistics professor may pretend to lack any responsibility for the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge despite the excuses he made for the thugs, yet future historians must hold such an academic accountable to posterity for the effects of the consistent efforts of his crusade to disarm democracy’s ability to defend itself.

The passive aggressive bully is no less of a bully than the one who uses his own fists.

5/27/2008 11:39:00 PM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

The most common response to any criticism of self-loathing is to deny that any problem exists. For example the Nation argues that the growing sense of demographic crisis in Europe is all made up by the "Christian right". The interesting thing about the Nation article, is that they don't actually deny the demographic decline. They simply argue that pointing out the problem is motivated by "anti-choice", "anti-Muslim" and anti-progressive forces. Looking through the pages I kept looking for the factual rebuttal that never came.

Whether or not the West is willing itself into extinction is open to question. That is a matter of opinion. But the facts shouldn't be. And the only argument the Nation ever made was that the demographic decline was being highlighted by a bad set of people and therefore referring to it was illegitimate. So there.

How did this triumph of attitude over reason come about? Kirk Parker, in making reference to C.S. Lewis' Perelanadra book led me to re-discover Lewis' argument that that the first warning sign of trouble is often when allegiance is transferred from people to an idea For example, Weston, Lewis' foil for his hero, suddenly no "longer wants to spread ‘the human race’, but to spread ‘spirituality’." And we are to beware of those who profess to care about "God" at the same time the care nothing for their neighbor.

Allegorically, Weston becomes disconnected even from himself. Hell, in Lewis' view is what happens when the individual is extinguished and absorbed by an amorphous devil, which is exactly what happens to Weston. Losing yourself, extinguishing your freedom is synonymous with damnation.

For many, freedom is a burden to be laid down at all costs. And sooner or later those who want to get rid of their freedom find someone to give it go.

5/28/2008 02:19:00 AM  
Blogger InternetFred said...

This Islamic uprising is mainly caused by an influx of Western Oil Money into unreconstructed, rural, rather illiterate societies.

The problem will diminish or go away when and if we stop paying them the hundreds of billions of dollars a year they get for doing nothing.

One way to stop paying them is to invent new energy sources, like solar or bio-diesel. The other is to invade and seize the oil fields. Seizing the oil fields is cheaper and quicker.

5/28/2008 03:22:00 AM  
Blogger whit said...

At the risk of being drawn and Hageed, I ask:

Is God sending Islam into the post-modern west in order that they may be saved from themselves?

5/28/2008 04:07:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I could get behind seizing the oil wells. It would be fun watching oil sheikhs having to actually *do* something.

My momma used to tell me to quit whining and crying or she'd give me something to cry about. If we took their oil wells away from them, THEN the Muslims would finally have something to actually cry about.

5/28/2008 06:20:00 AM  
Blogger joe buz said...

Whit, That is a very good question. Islam and what it brings to the table should provoke serious spiritual thoughts in those that reason and ponder. Alas, the progressives that I know and lover are more feelers than thinkers. Perhaps the Holy Spirit will lay this question on their hearts; "how does Islam make you feel?"
Will Mr. Steyn be permitted to "speak" at this hearing?

5/28/2008 06:24:00 AM  
Blogger Katchoo said...

Storm-rider said, "Our individual human right to liberty, including freedom of speech, comes not from the state, but from the Creator."

You find an assertion of such rights in the Declaration of Independence, but I do not recognize that as Sacred Scripture. In the Christian Bible, no rights are granted, only obligations to man and God.

5/28/2008 06:37:00 AM  
Blogger Storm-Rider said...

Below is a link and some quotes from an essay relating Socialist Multiculturalism to neo-Marxism. The Socialist nanny state will not remain benign; it will, if given the chance, make the "scientific" transition into Communism, or ne-Marxism, or whatever you want to call it. The multicultural nanny state will become the tyrant state.

“Bukovksy is right: We never had a thorough de-Marxification process after the Cold War, similar to the de-Nazification after WW2, and we are now paying the price for this. Many Marxist ideas have been allowed to endure and mutate, such as the notion that culture is unimportant or that it is OK to stage massive social experiments on hundreds of millions of people. The Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm has stated that had the Soviet Union managed to create a functioning Socialist society, tens of millions of deaths would have been a worthwhile price to pay. But Marxist ideals of forced equality can only be enforced by a government with totalitarian powers, and will thus inevitably lead to a totalitarian society. There is no “enlightened Marxism,” and the idea that there is has ruined more lives than probably and other ideology in modern history. Marxism is an organized crime against humanity.”

“Ideas matter. Individuals matter. Cultures matter. Truth matters, and truth exists. We used to know that. It’s time we get to know it again, and reject false ideas about the irrelevance of culture. We are not racists for desiring to pass on our heritage to future generations, nor are we evil for resisting to be treated as lab rats in social experiments on a horrific scale. We must nip the ideology of transnational Multiculturalism and unlimited mass migration in the bud by exposing it for what it is: A Communism for the 21st century.”

http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/2125/print

5/28/2008 06:43:00 AM  
Blogger Katchoo said...

Wretchard: For example, it is possible to say Islam qua religion is OK, but Wahabism as currently espoused should be treated like Nazism.

That sounds like a good path to take, Wretchard. Islam itself is not inherently evil. There was a time when the Western Tradition was reduced to scratching in a few fields for potatoes underneath the ruins of Roman aqueducts while Muslims were looking up at the stars, Mizar, al-Debaran, al-Gol, Foum-al-Haut, while dabblingin al-Chemy and developing new mathematics like al-Gebra. So they're in a dark ages now. There but for the grace of God go we.

5/28/2008 06:48:00 AM  
Blogger bobal said...

Islam itself is not inherently evil.

If not, it's damned close to it. Too close for comfort. Always relapsing, always fatalistic, always insisting, always irritating, always irrational, always whinning, always mistreating the girls, always...

5/28/2008 07:01:00 AM  
Blogger Storm-Rider said...

Katchoo,

I didn't say the Declaration of Independence was sacred scripture, but it points to a higher law which can be found in sacred scripture.

The sacred human right to life is to be found in Genesis where man is described as made in the image of God; and elsewhere one finds the command "You shall not murder."

The sacred human right to liberty can be inferred from the Exodus story and a passage from the New Testament: "Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."

Our Declaration of Independence does not just point to the higher law, it also points to human reason. The idea of just government power deriving from the consent of the governed has a basis in Greco-Roman reasoning, as does the idea of the people’s right to alter or abolish government which becomes destructive of our rights to life, liberty or creative pursuit of happiness.

The Declaration of Independence is a fine merger of higher law and man's reason, and it's assertion of a Divine origin for our basic human rights is valid. If our rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness derive from man's government power, they can be ignored or rescinded by the same; i.e.: human rights are not unalienable.

5/28/2008 07:09:00 AM  
Blogger John J. Coupal said...

To sum up all the comments above, one only has to read the Brit Roger Scruton's short book,"The West and The Rest"".

5/28/2008 07:18:00 AM  
Blogger Fred said...

katchoo,

Have you ever read the Qur'an? Ever read some ahadith? Or the Sira? I think if you did you would revise your above statements about Islam. While you are at it, add to that list two very scholarly - and I truly mean scholarly in the sense of thoroughly researched - books, in order that you might get a better angle on Islamic civilization and the jihad conquests and their effects.

Andrew Bostom, "The Legacy of Jihad"

Bat Ye'or, "The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam: From Jihad to Dhimmitude"

I once put the question to Robert Spencer, regarding the popularly-made distinction between "Islam" and "Wahabbism." His response: "What distinction?" If you compare their tenets, hermeneutical principles, and theological claims, there is no distinction between the original cult of Allah and Wahabbism. Wahabbism is the faithful recovery of traditional Islam.

This is part of the reason why we are in deep trouble. We are a confused Babel of distinctions without differences and even more confused by the fact that the enemy has kicked sand in our eyes. Our elites coast through their policy thought-process on this topic without any serious depth on the topic.

If I had not undertaken my personal journey of a lot of reading about this subject during the past six years, no doubt I would hold the same views as most of the rest of our society. The downside to it is the experience of seeing the lemmings heading for the cliff and having no power or credibility to avert this disaster.

5/28/2008 07:27:00 AM  
Blogger Kirk Parker said...

"when allegiance is transferred from people to an idea... freedom is a burden to be laid down at all costs"

As long as we're having a Lewis love-fest here :-) The Abolition of Man is pretty good on this aspect; and there's always this famous quote:

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their consciences.

(From "The Humanitian Theory of Punishment", found in the later (US) volume God in the Dock.)

5/28/2008 07:33:00 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

Dostoevsky, Epilog II, "Crime and Punishment," Raskalnikov's dream:

"Some new sorts of microbes were attacking the bodies of men, but these microbes were endowed with intelligence and will. Men attacked by them became at once mad and furious. But never had men considered themselves so intellectual and so completely in possession of the truth as these sufferers, never had they considered their decisions, their scientific conclusions, their moral convictions so infallible. Whole villages, whole towns and peoples went mad from the infection."

5/28/2008 08:10:00 AM  
Blogger David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 05/28/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

5/28/2008 08:23:00 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

Nahncee wrote:

"Can anyone point out to me the difference between the current Canadian Human Rights Commission, and the witch-dunkers in Salem 300 years ago? Or the Spanish Inquisition? Or an Aztec priest tossing a virgin into a volcano?"

Yes, the difference is that in each example, above, it is the majority that is preserving its culture in the face of perceived threats (and in the case of the Inquisition, in part the same threat as under discussion in this thread.) In the Canadian instance, it is the majority privileging the threat. A peculiar psychology. Any psychologist in the house?

5/28/2008 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger Storm-Rider said...

I'm not a psychologist, but it seems that the Canadian Human Rights Commission is, like Socialism or Communism, a form of tyranny; it rules without the consent of the governed.

Thomas Jefferson seems to always say it best:

"That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed" Thomas Jefferson

"All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression." Thomas Jefferson

5/28/2008 08:41:00 AM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

There was a time when the Western Tradition was reduced to scratching in a few fields for potatoes underneath the ruins of Roman aqueducts while Muslims were looking up at the stars,

No, Katchoo, there never was such a time. By 1573 when the Spaniards started small-scale potato cultivation of plants brought back by Conquistadors, Western Tradition was not scratching under the ruins of Roman aqueducts for them.

What have Muslim astronomers done for us lately?

5/28/2008 08:42:00 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

Katchoo wrote:

"There was a time when the Western Tradition was reduced to scratching in a few fields for potatoes underneath the ruins of Roman aqueducts while Muslims were looking up at the stars."

Such cliches. Including, as Cannoneer notes, the potatoes part.

"Islamic" cultural achievement is for the most part an appropriation of Greek learning. "Western Tradition" and "Islamic culture" build greatly upon Byzantine culture, which preserved Greek learning. Arabs quite rightly appropriated this Greek scholarship, finding it intact in conquered territory and scholars in need of jobs. This appropriation was a good and effective thing to do. The Greeks developed good learning and good buildings, e.g. Hagia Sophia is a model of what was to become monumental architecture of the Mediterranean east.

Christians and Muslims have always been uneasy with "Athens." Christians absorbed it, eventually (e.g. Thomism); but Islam eventually rejected it(most decisively with the rejection of "the Commentator," Ibn Rushd, Averroes.)

Islamic art is glorious, but its general aversion to representation of human likeness has its implications, which is a whole 'nother encyclopdia topic.

5/28/2008 09:02:00 AM  
Blogger Fred said...

One of the works I cited in my last post, Bat Ye'or's "The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam: From Jihad to Dhimmitude" deals with the topic of the preceding posts above this one. The minions of Allah created nothing intellectual. It was all stolen from subjected dhimmi Christians and Jews - and also the Persians - when they were conquered. The intellectual, architectural, and scientific work was not done in any original way by the Islamic conquerors. To suggest that Europeans were nothing but a bunch of flea-scratching rustics flies in the face of the evidence. The comments which take the so-called brilliance of Islamic civilization for granted are evidence of the very thing I have counseled against on this weblog and others: evidence of historical revisionism brought about by the collaboration of Leftist and Islamic ideologues masking as proper academics, during the last thirty years.

This is why we are in deep trouble, among other reasons.

Read Bat Ye'or's "Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis" in order to understand how and why this came about.

5/28/2008 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger John B said...

Teresita:

Re: "Canada doesn't have a First Amendment protecting a right to make "hate" speech like we have her in the "fascist, imperialist" United States,"

Canada does have such protection in the constitution (Charter of Rights and Freedoms) but it isn't sufficient protection from a Liberal government that permitted the infamous Section Thirteen of the Human Rights Act and stacked a Supreme Court with left wing judges.

Section 2 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (1982)

Fundamental Freedoms

(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/Const/annex_e.html#I

5/28/2008 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Wretchard said:

"Islam and Marxism are examples of "greedy ideas"; ideas whose main purpose is to reproduce themselves, in part by eliminating all competition until they literally rule the world."

This is certainly one way of looking at "Leftism". However, I see Leftism as a political form of entropy.

Our society is making social progress. Our quality of life and the number of people enjoying a better life has been steadily increasing. Unfortunately this forward progress produces a certain amount of "waste heat" or entropy. The analogy is a power plant producing 3 gigawatt-hours of electricity will also produce 2 gigawatt-hours of waste heat that's sent up a cooling tower. This is an unavoidable consequence of the Laws of Thermodynamics.

One measure of success for a functioning political system is how it dissipates its entropy. If moonbats are allowed to take over then the political process will fail (this is the equivalent of a core meltdown). The opposite extreme of hanging all the moonbats from lamp posts is another form of failure (this is equivalent to using all the useful electrical power only for heat dissipation). The best solution is to operate at Carnot efficiency, i.e. harmlessly dissipate the Left's froth and fury while maximizing social progress. Obviously this represents a delicate balancing act.

5/28/2008 10:18:00 AM  
Blogger bobal said...

hehe, let 'em go up the cooling tower.
--
Well, when the muzzies first got into Spain, the Jews and the orthodox Christians, some of them, sided with the muzzies, having been mistreated by the Arian Visigoths, a rude lot. The muzzies set up some of these folk to run some of the towns for them. They found out too, that they needed some dhimmis around, to pay some taxes. Best not have everyone convert. Seven hundred years later when the Christians regained control, they kicked the whole bunch of them out, Jews and muzzies both. A good move, as regards the muzzies.

5/28/2008 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger Megaera said...

John B: Alas, it isn't a question of "allowing" enactments like Section 13 -- someone drafted it, guided it through a committee, defended it, supported it, and an entire legislature voted it into existence. Alan Borovoy, the "father" as it were of the Human Rights Commissions, now says he had no idea that they could be so twisted as to destroy freedom of speech, but his opponents point out that he was warned, repeatedly, about bureaucratic mission creep. The legislative mandate is especially appalling in regard to the amendment, 13.1, which is being used to catch Steyn and Levant, and was previously used by a Commission employee to trash alleged "neo-nazis" for fun and profit. It effectively states that anything that causes someone to be hurt or offended constitutes hate speech, and can be remedied by an HRC -- whether provincial or federal depends on venue and juridiction. Steyn has Muslim complaints pending in both. The latest amendment extended the HRCs' jurisdiction to internet publications. All of these things were the result of deliberate legislation; apparently nowhere in the process was there anyone with a shred of intelligence or common sense or even a feeling of self-preservation, to say, "Uh, guys, you know, maybe this isn't the greatest idea ... I mean, what happens if ..."

But then, I've been in that position, looking at wildly overbroad regulations, saying, "Uh, you know, what happens if..." and every time someone has patronizingly patted me on the head and said in effect, "Silly thing, that would NEVER happen ..." Well, it did in Canada. Just ask Alan Borovoy.

5/28/2008 12:30:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

whiskey_199 - What the PC/Multiculti people are, really, is a "landless gentry" seeking endless advantage for themselves and their children as "priestless priests" who administer the "holy" writ of PC and Multiculturalism. Rather than create wealth and so on directly, they wish to act as a priest/shakedown class, like Jessie Jackson or Al Sharpton or the like.

Perceptive.

Seven hundred years later when the Christians regained control, they kicked the whole bunch of them out, Jews and muzzies both. A good move, as regards the muzzies.

A good move as far as the Jews were concerned, too. They deserved it.
Most were Separdhic Jews , coming up from North Africa with the Muslim conquerers as camp followers, then serving as the Islamic ruler's Andalusian merchants, running Muslim-owned businesses, being the bankers, tax collectors and other Dhimmi officials loyal to their Muslim bosses.

When the Muslims got booted, so did their Jewish tools. Christian collaborators were killed or allowed to switch loyalties...Jews were allowed to stay, but only if they converted and as new Christians were made "safer" from being a disloyal 5th column within Iberia should the Muslim forces attempt to retake Andalusia.

Jews are not special human beings exempt from the penalties meted out to others for similar perfidity.
Post-WWII, several million ethnic Germans were booted, ethnically cleansed - for the same reasons - perfidity and danger of being an enemy within - from Czechslovakia, Danzig, Silesia, France, Poland. With far greater bloodshed than the Dhimmi Jews suffered after the Reconquista.

5/28/2008 12:32:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

Ironically, much of the impetus behind the Hate propaganda laws in Canada was driven to protect the Jews from being discrimanted against by Neo Nazis. The sword cuts both ways though and now Mark Steyn must rage against the machine.

5/28/2008 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger RobertNichols said...

Teresita,


I ask you this, even though your not Canadian - what "rules" should we as Canadians be following: the very cut & dried indications of the Canadian Constitution and Canadian law, or the vague outlines of section 13.1 of the Canadian Human Rights Code? The rights to freedom of speech,expression, and religion are all in great danger as a result of this particular section in a code that does not even deign to allow itself to be governed by the standard rules of law. It simply runs rampant over our rights as Canadians, saying that it is "protecting" the rights of "other" Canadians. Aren't we all entitled to our opinions? Aren't we all entitled to the same rights?

5/28/2008 01:36:00 PM  
Blogger bobal said...

I thought it was only us rubes in North Idaho that had neo-nazis, Ash, not civilized Canada. But then, maybe when we kicked them out of here, as we did, they migrated north, and found a conducive environment.

5/28/2008 02:09:00 PM  
Blogger bobal said...

What will you Canadians do if your commission extends its writ and warrant to the internet? Say the hell with the commission I hope. They can't go after you all.

5/28/2008 02:25:00 PM  
Blogger John B said...

Megaera:

Well stated. I should have phrased my comment as you did, indeed the offending legislation didn't just happen. As for Alan Borovoy, if he didn't anticipate that regulatory bureaucracies (including the Supreme Court) would expand their reach to the max, he should have.

5/28/2008 02:33:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Cedarford, there is a wealth of documentation from the time that shows that Jews in Al Andulus and elsewhere in the Muslim world were subject to rather horrific persecution. Goya painted a rather famous and brutal beheading of a young Jewish girl in Morocco who refused to convert to Islam. Rather than being a "tool" of Islamic repression like some Hessian mercenaries, they were part of a polyglot group of people in the Muslim Empire who made convenient scapegoats for enraged Muslim masses. Much like the Orthodox or Catholics in the Levant.

If anything, Jewish scholarship (and Muslim aversion to same) made them roughly analogous to diaspora Chinese in places in SE Asia where the populace finds cultural habits a barrier to commercial success. The treatment of Jews in Muslim Spain was not much different than that of Chinese in Indonesia or Malaysia (absent of course the rise of China as a regional power and protector).

The treatment of Jews during the Reconquista is more a function of tribalism of Muslims provoking that of Christian Spaniards. The Inquisition the predictable result of Jihad. Expulsion of the Jews was however, objectively stupid since they were few in number, no real military threat, and possessed sorely needed human capital that Spain, neglecting, fell into poverty astonishingly quickly. Other places such as the Low Countries and England, accepted them, and profited much by Jewish scholarship. No nation can have enough smart people, inclined to scholarship. Spain would have been more powerful and wealthy had it wooed a Jewish Diaspora instead of gold. Each Jewish scholar was probably worth in human capital terms more than his weight in gold. Certainly after Cervantes, Spain never achieved much in cultural or scientific of technical terms.

Katchoo -- I see you have fallen for PC Multicultural Cant instead of the actual truth.

Islam was a warrior religion, and political system. It found intellectual pursuit other than memorization of the Koran useless, and had to import even under the Turkish Sultans, Jewish then Western European physicians, architects, builders, etc. Other than a borrowing of Hindu number systems, and a few investigations (soon stopped) into optics and algebra, Islam produced nothing original. It could not, being at it's core a gigantic game of "King of the Mountain."

What made the West unique, and fueled it's rapid rise, so that by 1000 AD great Romanesque, then 100 years later, Gothic Cathedrals that outdid Roman works, were being built by largely illiterate masons, was it's social structure. Unlike under Islam, a man of even average to poor means could form a family, have it relatively secure, and pass down an inheritance (property, including intellectual property) to his sons.

Thus when firearms, invented in China, but going nowhere there under Emperors, Eunuchs, and slaves, hit both Europe and Islam at the same time, European small-family craftsman continually improved firearms seeking family advantage. The family firm of Beretta, established in the 1400's, might be familiar to you. But not in Islam, where tax farming by the Big Man made the progress of Europe socially impossible.

Warrior religions/tribes do not make complex, commercially oriented societies that continually improve technology for advantage. If anything the small-holding tribalism of the Barbarian West allied to Christian monogamy contains the "secret sauce" for it's rise.

5/28/2008 04:14:00 PM  
Blogger jj mollo said...

Seizing the Saudi oil fields is not just morally questionable, but could probably not happen anyway. I am pretty sure that the wells would not survive the takeover. The Saudis have their own Sampson option. And when the wells are destroyed, it will take us too long to get them back up. We are so dependent on oil that the shortages would damage the Western economies beyond the ability to recover. Look at how much we are suffering from a minuscule price increase.

The Saudis prefer our dependence to increase and will manipulate our politics in order to insure that it continues. Bush has been doing the brave thing in continuing to fill our strategic reserves, but Congress has caved to the pressures in order to cut him off. IMO, our only salvation would come in the form of a national resolve to wean ourselves of foreign oil by any means necessary. Nuclear, coal, alternative energy, Brazilian ethanol, whatever, as long as the American people can agree on it and stick to it. The best tool for making it happen, by the way, is continued high prices. Bush should have imposed a gas tax as a necessary national sacrifice when the GWOT started.

5/28/2008 07:49:00 PM  
Blogger Joshua said...

Up until now the Western Left has thrived on the fact that the overwhelming majority of the "great unwashed" are basically sheep, not prone to any sort of vigorous resistance as long as they perceive no threat to their peace, quiet and creature comforts. For the Left, the trick has always been to stop just short of that tipping point while painting their opponents as right-wing rabblerousers. Hence their preference for gaining control of political and legal processes and exploiting them, as opposed to resorting to subterfuge or brute force. Canada's Human Rights Commissions are just one particularly egregious example. The iron fist, clad in the velvet glove.

With that end in mind, getting into bed with Islamic supremacists has turned out to be an enormous strategic blunder on the Left's part. The proximity of such an openly belligerent lot has made the Left's task of not disturbing the sheep exponentially harder. Once that tipping point is reached, even the sheep will revolt, the Left's velvet gloves will come off, and whiskey_199's Cromwell scenario becomes that much more likely.

5/28/2008 09:13:00 PM  
Blogger USpace said...

.
I can't wait to see a tape of Steyn before the commission. The one with Ezra Levant was a real hoot. Ezra skewered them. I hope Mark will too.

Mark Steyn is totally excellent, someone MUST give him his own show!
We should all go hear him speak if we ever get the chance.
.
absurd thought -
God of the Universe likes
human rights commissions

that violate human rights
while claiming to protect them

.
absurd thought -
God of the Universe hates
real freedom of speech

an American concept
which is NOT for Canada

.
Philosophy of Liberty Cartoon
.
Help Halt Terrorism Now!
.
USpace

:)
.

5/28/2008 09:46:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

I was reading through some of the Human Rights Commissions (they are provincial bodies) and their mandates and justifications are pretty good overall except they slide in this "Hate Propaganda" notion with no explanation or justification. It is this hate propaganda notion that is problematic. Hopefully the courts will strike it down because it does appear to contradict the constitutional protections afforded by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

5/29/2008 06:24:00 AM  
Blogger Storm-Rider said...

"The iron fist, clad in the velvet glove."

Yes, the present Socialist nanny state is the velvet glove, the latent Marxist/Communist state is the iron fist.

http://www.americanthinker.com/printpage/?url=http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/10/the_evidence_for_neocommunism.html

http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/2125/print

http://www.americanthinker.com/printpage/?url=http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/05/how_cryptomarxism_won_the_cold.html

http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Printable.aspx?GUID={154962F8-7FF3-4B63-B37F-CC3921DCF621}

http://www.robertlstephens.com/essays/shafarevich/001SocialistPhenomenon.html

5/29/2008 06:24:00 AM  
Blogger Kirk Parker said...

jj mollo,

I don't follow your reasoning. Oil companies bring new oil wells online all the time. Why would it be impossible to simply drill new wells into the Saudi fields if the Sauds wreck the existing wells?

5/29/2008 01:55:00 PM  
Blogger Zenster said...

Wretchard: Can we do it without restarting the violence of the last hundred years?

Highly unlikely. The very nature of Islam's violent and intrasigent apocalyptic triumphalism make it almost inconceivable.

Wretchard: I have often argued that the refusal of the West to openly face the aggressive varieties of Islam will result in a generalized antipathy towards all Muslims, whether guilty of anything or not.

The West is really not at fault for any refusal to do so on its part. Enough Muslims are sufficiently aware of how antagonistic Islam is to Western culture whereby they ought to feel some moral obligation to attenuate the influence that Wahabbism exerts upon the ummah. Quite clearly they have not and it can only be interpreted as tacit—if not overt—approval of radical Islam's agenda.

If it wishes to survive, Islam bears the sole obligation to moderate its radical component. Failing that, it effectively declares open season upon itself. It is impossible for Muslims to allow even a small part—and the 10% to 20% of Islam that supports terrorism is not small by any definition—of the ummah to declare war upon the entire outside world and still expect that retaliation will not be forthcoming.

To fault the West because it did not “focus the opposition on a relatively narrow front”, is akin to demanding that we do Islam’s housecleaning for it. This idiotic folly is already ongoing in Afghanistan and Iraq with entirely predictable results. If Islam wants to survive, it had damn well better set about purging the virulent totalitarian elements that it continues to harbor within its own body. Nobody expects a bloated corpse to be left unburied as it festers and spreads disease. So, how is it that Islam should be permitted to leave its own filth strewn about as it causes further infection and harm?

Islam has spread this disease and is therefore obliged to remedy the situation. Failing that, Muslims can only expect that a far less discerning West will set about doing so for them. Islam can have no reasonable expectation that we shall be fastidious in undertaking such an onerous and undeserved chore. If Muslims want the operation to be performed delicately, then they had bloody well better do it their selves.

Wretchard: This is troublesome because it may mark the return of what I called the "eternal enmity" approach to ideological differences. This is is the approach that World War 2 was fought to end, but which radical Islam, and the reaction it elicits, might revive.

It is difficult to imagine a better description of Islam’s attitude than one of "eternal enmity". It does so—not just voluntarily but—knowingly and with malice aforethought. All that is troublesome is the West’s abject refusal to recognize or admit that this is Islam’s avowed stance and policy. That the West might increasingly respond to Islam’s "eternal enmity" with payment-in-kind should come as no surprise, especially to Muslims.

Wretchard: … if the elected political leaders cannot target the culpable parties with decisive, but precision measures, then eventually they risk a reaction which involve a lot of collateral damage.

How is it that Islam should be allowed to neglect its own obligation to “target the culpable parties with decisive, but precision measures”? This is the real issue. The only “collateral damage” that our leaders will be liable for is the needless loss of Western lives when we are finally obliged to take up arms where our government has not.

Whiskey_199: Wretchard's "Golden Hour" to avert catastrophe is upon us.

The span of that “Golden Hour” is almost exactly proportional to the timeline for Iran—or the MME (Muslim Middle East) in general—acquiring nuclear weapons.

Alexis: Perhaps there comes a time when the priest who incites murder may hold a greater responsibility than the murderer himself, when a priest who makes excuses for an atrocity becomes worse than the soldier who commits it.

If ever there were a poster child for such a thing, the typical radical Islamic imam is it.

NahnCee: THEN the Muslims would finally have something to actually cry about.

It’s long past tea for perpetually aggreived Muslims to finally have something to cry about in earnest.

Katchoo: Islam itself is not inherently evil.

Pure unadulterated horseradish! Shari’a law is one massive violation of human rights and Islam is nothing more or less than an ongoing crime against humanity. Please feel free to name ONE SINGLE REDEEMING FEATURE of Islam. I challenge you to name even a single one.

Fred: If you compare their tenets, hermeneutical principles, and theological claims, there is no distinction between the original cult of Allah and Wahabbism. Wahabbism is the faithful recovery of traditional Islam.

Thank you for nailing that, Fred. Those words will be an enduring epitaph. Whether they appear on the West’s or Islam’s gravestone is all that remains in question.

5/29/2008 03:33:00 PM  
Blogger Storm-Rider said...

"It is difficult to imagine a better description of Islam’s attitude than one of "eternal enmity."

Thomas Jefferson has already spoken to this subject:

“I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.” Thomas Jefferson

5/29/2008 05:29:00 PM  
Blogger jj mollo said...

Kirk Parker,

The idea that the Saudis would destroy their own oil production capacity is not original with me, but I've always thought it made sense. It's comparable to the Mutual Assured Destruction policy that kept the Pax Atomica during the Cold War. Assuming that they couldn't think up something better, just blowing up the wells would be devastating to us. It would probably take us years to re-drill all the wells, re-lay all the pipeline and re-build infrastructure (while they were shooting at us). But I think we can be pretty sure that they've thought of more ingenious ways to make the fields unusable.

So what do the Saudi's produce? Ten percent of all the world's oil? And its also very high quality, very usable oil. You can't believe what the sudden loss of 10% of the market would do to the West.

Oil usage is a very inelastic economic phenomenon. Prices have to soar before short-term demand drops off. Not only that, but the marginal utility of dollars decreases as the oil price reaches outrageous levels.

I'm betting that the price of gasoline in the US would have to go up to ten dollars before we cut back by ten percent. (caveat: Different countries would cut back by different amounts.) There's also a lot of inefficiency involved in recalibrating the mix. Different kinds of oil have to be handled differently. We might have to cut back on specific fractions like gasoline much more than ten percent. We do have strategic reserves, but not a whole year's worth, and probably not for the general public.

5/29/2008 10:01:00 PM  
Blogger Kirk Parker said...

jj,

Sure, Pipes and Posner are fairly credible sources in general. But I really meant to focus on the "impossible" part of your statement. In this day of fabulous lateral-drilling capabilities, I don't see how any amount of surface damage or pollution could make the resources "impossible" to get at, merely a little more expensive and time-consuming.

5/30/2008 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger jj mollo said...

Kirk,

A sudden change in supply is what we are talking about here. Whether production can be restored in 6 months or 10 years is probably irrelevant. Shortages and price shocks would hurt our economy. How badly is hard to say. Can we quantify that? There is, however, a reason that the Middle East is considered a region of vital national interest. It is also the reason that we have to be so careful what we do in the ME.

I feel odd arguing about a policy that I could not justify. The oil rightly belongs to the Saudis. They are making it reasonably available for sale. The only justifications I find for a takeover would be 1) if Al Qaeda or any overt enemy of the US were to get control of Saudi oil and use the profits for war against us, 2) if the oil were deliberately being withheld in order to damage our economy, 3) if the Saudis represented a repugnant regime to the same extent as Saddam.

Possibility number 2 does exist, and was raised during the oil crisis of the 70s. It might be a matter of self-defense in event of an embargo, but it's still shameful. We should have spent the last 30 years learning to stand on our own resources. Did you know that the Saudis raise a certain amount of wheat in the desert? Why do you suppose they do that?

The time it would take to restore production is precisely the point. I don't know enough to say whether it would be possible or not. I don't know how effective the Saudis would be, or what else they would do to exacerbate the effects. But consider this, our economy is suffering now as a result of a very small change in fuel prices. Our fuel prices have not yet even reached those levels that Europe has experienced for years. We are today living in an energy monoculture. What do you think it's going to be like if it collapses, even for a few months.

5/30/2008 11:47:00 AM  
Blogger Kirk Parker said...

Given this:

"Whether production can be restored in 6 months or 10 years is probably irrelevant."

We'll just have to agree to disagree.

5/30/2008 04:39:00 PM  

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