Thursday, June 19, 2008

A big day for free speech

It’s a big day for free speech at the National Post, that is, where there’s:

A strong ‘Post’ editorial on the CHRC’s call for a review of its censorship role:

We don't hold out much hope ... the commission handpicked its own investigator.... But mostly we are skeptical because even when calling for the review, chief commissioner Jennifer Lynch demonstrated no clear understanding of free speech or the value of protecting it.

Canada's human rights bodies .... are out of control, far more interested in imposing political correctness than defending free speech.

They have become laws unto themselves, too, routinely suspending rules of evidence that have taken centuries to perfect.

Ms. Lynch herself gets it largely wrong. In an interview with the Post on Tuesday, she exclaimed "I'm a free speecher. I'm also a human rightser," as though the two were separate.

Frankly, we doubt the sincerity of Ms. Lynch's call for review, especially given the timing.
Human rights commissions might have been created with the noblest intentions. But what they need now is to be pared way back, or eliminated altogether.

Excellent letters:
from Mindy G. Alter, quoting the CHRC’s "commisar-in-chief":

Let's see. By my count, that's four metaphors crammed into one tiny little thought. That certainly qualifies as "cutting-edge" bafflegab, but tends to confirm the impression that what Ms. Lynch and her crew of ever-vigilant thought cops need most desperately has nothing to do with "bores," "equations," "steps" or sharp edges and everything to do with clarity. For it's precisely this type of muddled thinking that has given rise to the current show trial in BC.

It's time to strip Ms. Lynch and the other human rights busy-bodies of their power to hassle us, and give Canadians back the most crucial of the fundamental freedoms enshrined in our Charter.

and Burton Kellock:

The real problem is the scope of human rights commissions are determined by politicians who lack the mental acuity to appreciate what they were doing.

The solution is obvious -- repeal these bad laws. But will the pusillanimous politicians muster the guts to do so?

And, a fine article by Toronto artist Anthony Furey taking Canada’s hypocritical artistic community to task:

Normally it makes sense to put one’s political clout behind knocking down such an ambiguous bill as C-10. But when artists and supposed advocates of free speech denounce Bill C-10, but not the Maclean’s tribunal, they are not only turning their backs on a fellow creator but also setting themselves up for future persecution by these same tribunals.

I urge ... all the .. prominent persons and organizations that have officially denounced Bill C-10 to recognize that, regardless of Maclean’s’ political bent, the destruction of free speech is far more virulent in the kangaroo courts of our human rights tribunals than in our income tax laws. We have so much more to lose.

Also there’s some great discussion in the comments. One of my favourites:

Re. Anthony Furey’s article by ‘wyatt tune’: Excellent article. i can understand why the average member of the arts community would hate Steyn. He's a genuine iconoclast, thought provoking and literate. Grant sucking artists really hate that kind of thing, they prefer well worn lefty cliches which their friends consider revolutionary and ever so avant garde.

Kudos to the ‘Post’ (and its contributors). It’s clearly way ahead of the rest of the MSM on this issue.

See also: Blazing Cat Fur, Mark Mercer, Ezra Levant

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