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Monday, December 22, 2008

Intellectual freedom in Canada: Honouring our heroes

Most of the dead tree (and dying generally) media in Canada ignored the civil rights story of the year - of course.

Mark Steyn, Ken Whyte, and Ezra Levant fought back against the Establishment's "daft tyranny of zero expectations" - and WON.

Free speech - 1
Tyrants - 0

The "human rights" commissions backed down.

That should encourage those who are wondering whether intellectual freedom is worth fighting for. Indeed, it is!

Ezra Levant is also The Interim’s Person of the Year. Here is Mark Steyn’s comment,
Ezra has been the indisputable man in the battle against the “human rights” racket. I’ve been happy to coast along, but he’s doing the heavy lifting. I’m Dean Martin to his Jerry Lewis: he’s doing all the work and I feed him the occasional line.

Shortly after this thing started, I had lunch with a journalistic bigshot in Montreal who advised me to play it cool – don’t respond to interview requests, don’t take a stand, let these suits work their way through as if it’s some legalistic technicality in which you have no particular investment. And at a fancy Quebecois restaurant, that seemed like good advice. Then Ezra posted his interrogation video and I understood that my friend’s advice was all wrong and that Ezra’s strategy was right. Go nuclear. “Denormalize” them. Expose them for what they are – hacks at best and, at worst, deeply corrupt thugs. Ezra is like one of those shower settings where the merest nudge of the dial whacks it straight from nothing to a scalding torrent – which in a moribund public discourse such as Canada’s is what it takes.
Denormalize them? Find out more on how to do that here.

Not a Canadian? Don't be deterred. The Canadian method might work in YOUR country too! It is a peaceful method. It is/should be legal.

All you need do is ask your relatives, friends and neighbours, should a government agency have all these powers, listed, against a citizen? If not, should we try to help or rescue people ensnared by the system? Look at this specific case ...

We have nothing to lose but the creeping Nanny State, and nothing could be better lost.

If all your relatives, friends, and neighbours think that something like Section 13 is NOT okay - come to Canada!

Contrary to most of the Western world, we are in good economic shape!

Are you sane? Literate? Fit to work? Don't have a grievance you feel you must act out violently? Far too proud to live at public expense?

Come north, come north, we want to hear from you! Hey, what's not to love about a country like this? See how big we are. Consider the opportunities!

We have everything here except year round warm weather. Okay, we have lots of cold/really cold/cold weather ALERT! weather.

Today in Toronto, I fell into several snow drifts. But falling into a snow drift is way different from falling into a pile of rocks. It feels fuzzy for a moment, and then you just get up. It's okay, really.

And, back to civil rights issues - a battle we are winning - in my view, Ezra's opening statement, beginning, My name is Ezra Levant reads like a Magna Carta for Canada- a way out of the fog of our growing Nanny State tyranny.

Steyn continues,
One thing that was confirmed to me this last year is that the incessant media self-congratulation about journalistic “courage” is in inverse proportion to any mustering of the real thing. It took Ezra going nuclear, going bananas, going medieval on Jennifer Lynch’s totalitarian ass to rouse the great dopey herd of conventional wisdom even to take notice of this issue sufficiently to move the debate one smidgeonette in the direction of sanity. I forget who it was who said that Canadians weren’t going to put up with some blowhard going crazy over “their” beloved “human rights” commissions, but they got it exactly wrong. Let’s take it as read that Ezra is everything his detractors say he is – a blowhard, loudmouth, self-promoter, a “controversy entrepreneur,” etc. If he weren’t a blowhard, loudmouth, whatever, he wouldn’t have been so spectacularly successful in his “denormalization” of Canada’s “human rights” commissions.
Media in Canada who are not foursquare in Ezra's camp on this matter are merely helping us understand why they are on the way out.

Indeed, I have broken all ties with one prominent writers’ organization because of its cowardly refusal to join the battle - because its real agenda seems to be of alms from the government. The group is a cultural icon, but its culture is welfare.

Look, if you can't make a living as a writer without alms from government, you can't make a living as a writer. Your local coffee shop is probably hiring. Don't pretend to be a writer and thus spoil things for the rest of us, who really need intellectual freedom, not a government cheque.

While we are here, if some Islamist group tries to get Toronto Life magazine and writer Mary Rogan charged with a "human rights" offence, for the use of the term “honour killing” in Rogan's article on the alleged murder of local teen Aqsa Parvez, I wonder how many alleged feminists and human rights activists will line up to denouce the mag instead of defending it. To say nothing of Official Canadian Writers weaseling out.

While you are here anyway: Aqsa was buried, originally, in an unmarked grave but good citizens have raised money for a proper headstone commemorating her short life.

I am both glad and ashamed to say that, by the time I was able to offer meager funds, the required sum had already been raised. I pray there will be no difficulty in simply allowing Aqsa's resting place to be commemorated in the usual way. In the Catholic tradition, proper burial of the dead is a corporal work of mercy, regardless of the presumed state of belief or lack thereof of the deceased person. It is what we do as a civilized people.

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