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Old 04-11-2008, 10:32 PM   #1
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Mandatory Niceness

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In January an officer of the Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission interrogated the Canadian journalist Ezra Levant about his decision to reprint the notorious Muhammad cartoons that originally appeared in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. Levant, the former publisher of the Western Standard, did not try to ingratiate himself. He called the commission “a sick joke” and dared the “thug” across the table to recommend that he face a hearing for offending Muslims.

Levant wanted to be convicted, since that would give him a chance to challenge the censorship that Canadian human rights commissions practice in the guise of fighting discrimination. “I do not want to be excused from this complaint because I was reasonable,” he told the officer. “It is not the government’s authority to tell me whether or not I’m reasonable.” That position has attracted broad support in Canada, where editorialists, columnists, activists, and legislators from across the political spectrum have criticized the commissions for threatening freedom of speech.

The national and regional commissions were established in the 1970s to vet complaints about illegal discrimination in employment, housing, and the provision of goods and services. But many of them have broad, ambiguous legal mandates that can be used to target controversial speech. Alberta’s Human Rights, Citizenship, and Multiculturalism Act, for example, prohibits publishing anything that “is likely to expose a person or class of persons to hatred or contempt.”

Syed Soharwardy, president of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada, claimed Levant did that by running the Muhammad cartoons. “Publishing of cartoons in the Western Standards [sic] is in fact spreading hate against me,” Soharwardy scrawled on a complaint form he submitted to the commission in February 2006. He also complained that “Mr. Ezra Levant insulted me” when the two debated the cartoon controversy on CBC Radio. Until mid-February, when he announced that he planned to withdraw his complaint, Soharwardy was demanding an apology. Human rights commissions can impose fines and gag orders as well.

Meanwhile, the Canadian, Ontario, and British Columbia human rights commissions are considering similar complaints against Maclean’s magazine and the journalist Mark Steyn over an October 2006 article adapted from Steyn’s book America Alone. The Canadian Islamic Congress claims Steyn “subjects Canadian Muslims to hatred and contempt” and harms their “sense of dignity and self-worth” by worrying about high Muslim birth rates. Levant notes that even if a complaint is dismissed, responding to it requires “thousands of dollars in lawyer’s fees” and “an enormous amount of time,” which encourages journalists to steer clear of touchy subjects.
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Old 04-14-2008, 08:12 PM   #2
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"Levant notes that even if a complaint is dismissed, responding to it requires “thousands of dollars in lawyer’s fees” and “an enormous amount of time,” which encourages journalists to steer clear of touchy subjects."


Oh yeah, "We are the world, we are the children..."
We can't have journalists going around free to write anything
or people for that matter.


Big Brother doesn't need to watch anymore,
the whole gig is working out without his help.
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Old 04-14-2008, 08:34 PM   #3
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Originally posted by the iron horse
Big Brother doesn't need to watch anymore,
the whole gig is working out without his help.
I agree with you, or as Mark E. Smith put it:-

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The nanny state
I really can't stand it when blokes feel the need to comment on your drinking habits. It's rampant, all that malarkey: New Labour trying to keep people alive for ever. I don't see them berating the royals or their backbenchers about having a cig or a large gin in the afternoon. If you put it in the context of the current climate, having a few pints and a Benson after work is hardly the worst crime. It's the same when you go to the doctor. It's common knowledge that some doctors are the worst degenerates in existence. They've been on everything in their time. But as soon as you tell them you've got a bad back or a gammy leg, their first question is, "Well, are you a smoker?" What the fuck does that have to do with it? I'm annoyed by the lack of smoking on TV as well. We should have more ashtrays on morning TV, and presenters wheezing.
http://music.guardian.co.uk/rock/sto...273649,00.html
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Old 04-14-2008, 11:14 PM   #4
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But as soon as you tell them you've got a bad back ... their first question is, "Well, are you a smoker?" What the fuck does that have to do with it?
You know if he's going to rant at least don't sound stupid about it.

Many if not most cases of lung cancer first present with back pain.
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