Apr 14, 2008

Blog Post - Collector's Edition!

You are witnessing history. The first (and hopefully last) time I will ever write anything with even a whiff of political advocacy. Caveat: there are only trace quantities of humour and lots of annoying links.

  • You do not have to e-mail this to ten friends (there are people with ten friends?)
  • Microsoft will not credit you $.00000016 every time you get Rickrolled.
  • At no point do you need to close your eyes, make a wish and scroll down.
  • This isn't amazing, doesn't really work, and does not store easily under your bed.
Scam update: It appears the Nigerians are doing so well that they are actually turning down Western Union money orders. So don't bother with that, either.

Here's the deal:

Barbara Hall (yes, that Barbara Hall) and the Ontario Human Rights Commission dismissed a case last Wednesday against Mark Steyn and Maclean's magazine. Maclean's had published an excerpt of Steyn's book, America Alone.

The complainants argued that Steyn's "Islamophobic" views violated their human rights. They also complained that Maclean's refusal to "provide space for a rebuttal" also violated their human rights. (Memo to self: sue Now magazine every time they don't publish my right-wing letters to the editor.)

After extensively reviewing the complaint, the OHRC decided to dismiss it because it has no mandate to police private media - unlike the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) which have powers that would make Kim Jong-Il blush. (They get their day in court with Steyn and Maclean's this summer.)

The dismissal, however, did not stop Chief Commissioner Hall from distributing a press release that publicly tarred both defendants - in a sense, convicting them anyway. Guess who didn't get to speak to the commission at any stage of the pre-circus or its denouement? Bingo.

The National Post and it's staff of brownshirts obviously have a thing or two to say about this, but it's the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star that have the most surprising opinions* about a commission that intends to expand its powers well into the world of the now laughable CHRC. (*I do apologise for sourcing Steyn on this, but the Globe requires a paid subscription to read the full piece.)

Say no to Thought Police.
Say no to muzzled media and blogs.
Say yes to Encore.

The OHRC can be e-mailed here:

Barbara Hall can (possibly) be reached here:

Nobody ever plays Encore.

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